Category Archives: Meeting notes

Notes from a meeting of full Council, 24th April 2017

Tenders are being opened in the Chamber.  They relate to the fitting out of the motor tax office.

Mayor proposes a suspension of standing orders at 1pm for discussion of issues in the Local Area Plan.

 

1.  Confirmation of Minutes

‘Minapr1.17.pdf’
‘APPENDIX 1.pdf’
‘APPENDIX 2 LAP amendments.pdf’

Will be done at 1pm.

 

2.  Votes of Sympathy

Cllr Frank O’Flynn had a vote of sympathy.

 

Statutory Business

3.  Disposal of Property

Bandon – Kinsale  Municipal District Meeting, 27th January, 2017:(a)  Disposal of property at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven.

Passed.

 

4.  Section 19 of the Local reenwayovernment Act, 2001:
Filling of Vacancies on Housing SPC, Arts Culture & Languages SPC and LCDC West Committees

Cllr K Murphy proposes Cllr John O’Sullivan.  Seconded by Cllr M Hegarty.  For all three committees.

 

Financial Business

Capital Programme

‘FINAL Council Report Capital Programme 2017 – 2019.pdf’
‘Final Council Table.pdf’

Head of Finance:

  • The budget is divided into two: contractual and non-contractual.
  • The ongoing programme of works is contractual. These include housing, roads, water, recreation, municipal districts.  There is a further €129m which is based on business need.  These are schemes we want to progress but we have to go through statutory processes.  We have to make sure that funding is in place before we can progress at all.
  • This programme doesn’t require Council approval.
  • We’ll get as much grant funding as we can.
  • ICR = internal capital receipts. Comes from tenant purchase of houses.  We reinvest this.
  • Social housing is the biggest area of proposed investment. Ties in with commitments under Rebuilding Ireland.  Includes €131m contractually committed.  Part V is included in this, turnkey developments, energy efficiency, social housing construction (Clonakilty, Fermoy, Ballincollig, Bantry, Kanturk).  €29m not contractually committed is for single house and land acquisition.
  • The schemes we hope to bring forward are contained in here.
  • Footpaths – looking at over €1m per year.
  • National roads is the biggest area of expenditure – includes provision for Ringskiddy, Macroom, Dunkettle. Most will be dealt with by TII but the initial elements are included in our programme.  Also includes some other projects like the pavement at Lissarda.
  • “Other” is things like the Science Park, Carrigaline.
  • “Regional and local roads” is improvement works across the County.
  • LIHAF – a lot of the works required for this will be roads based. Ballincollig, Glanmire, Midleton, Carrigaline.
  • Burial grounds – we have an ambitious programme to extend and develop. At the moment we have funding of only €0.5m.  We have intentions to develop this further.
  • Non-contractual programme in “environment” includes for capping of landfills. Air monitoring included there also (?).
  • Provision in “fire” for three fire stations.
  • We will need to source funding for the libraries.
  • Public realm is something we discussed as part of the revenue budget. We want to try and improve the public realm in our towns.  We are committed to this and to sourcing funding for it.
  • Tourism includes Camden. We have applied for the Fáilte Ireland grant for Dursey.
  • If we need to buy land for housing, we will be borrowing.

CE:  We are required to bring a capital report showing proposed expenditure.  It isn’t setting out a whole range of projects.  We all know there are lots of things we’d like to progress.  This simply captures the entirety of what we’d like to do if we had funding.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Lots to be welcomed in this.  Particularly recreation and amenity.  Discuss playground improvement programme please.  Worthwhile seeing that reinstated.  Hopes we might get a briefing at Municipal District level about how this will be implemented.  Also welcomes footpaths; thinks the commitment to footpaths should be more.  It works out at only about €120k per Municipal District per year.  Kanturk Mallow is subventing footpaths at Municipal District level.  Thinks we need to look at this again at budget time.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  Welcomes.  €2.6bn extra was mentioned from the Southern Assembly between 2018 – 2021.  Cooperation between 3 cities in the southern region, which is critical.  In the report, they mentioned that some of the €2.6bn should be spent at the discretion of local authorities.  Asks that the priority would be put on rural towns and rural villages.  Have we made that application in conjunction with the Southern Assembly?  Have we backed up the Southern Assembly’s primary objective about the M20?

Cllr Hegarty (FG):  Thanks Lorraine.  Very encouraging.  Thought we were now renting/leasing our fleet.  So what is fleet investment about?  The €4.2m on the 2nd slide. What is that about?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Huge increase on previous programme.  Rolling programme is to be welcomed.  Overall figure transferred from the revenue budget to the capital budget?  Any money to be transferred from the capital budget to revenue?  Housing – in the last 3 year programme there was €15.1m put into affordable housing.  Has that come to an end?  Also the DPG grants, there was €700k committed before.  Doesn’t see it committed now?  Housing programme – in 2015 we were given figures of 469 units provided in the county.  168 were under social leasing.  But the national oversight and audit committee report says it is 52 short of the figure we were given last year.  Why?  98 local authority builds and acquisitions – we were told this last year.  But more recent report said 90.  Voids numbers are different too giving a shortage of 29 houses.  Can these be explained.  Delivery of 429 units is to be very much welcomed.  LIHAF – €27.3 is contractually committed but we’ve received funding for €15m and we have to come up with €5m.  That’s €20m.  So where is the €27.3 coming from?

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Thanks Lorraine.  Footpaths and roads are both included under the “roads” category.  Cyclepaths and facilities for bikes are always included in “recreation and amenity” or in something else.  Could they please be included under roads also because unless we start the mindset of planning for them from the outset, they will never be a real alternative to the car.  Also we are very anxious to improve the appearance of our town centres.  Many are blighted by dereliction which we can put right using compulsory purchase.  It would be good to see provision for CPO in the capital budget.  Last year’s capital budget was for a spend of €165k, with €50k of required funding to be found through grants and other means.  Would like to know how much of that €50k we succeeded in getting.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF):  Welcomes long term planning for quality of life.  Voids are taking too long to turn around.  CBL is working very well.  There is nothing worse than a Council house lying idle.  Parking in estates, especially older estates, is a big issue.  People have to have cars; there are no buses and no trains.  When I ask, the answer is “no funding”.  Regional and local roads – I understand our funding is back 10%.  We have to look after these.  Playground programme is very welcome.  There was serious damage done again to the playground in Fermoy recently.  A disgrace.  Perhaps there should be CCTV put in.  On Mallow Relief Road and M20 – thanks Michael Lynch who did a lot of work on this.  Asks the Mayor is there any update on when we can meet the Minister.  Now there is rumour about a new line for the road going through Cahir and Mitchelstown.  This is crazy; it must go through Mallow.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Thanks all.  Very encouraging budget.  Makes a strong case for the state of the roads.  They are away behind the standards that you find around the rest of the county.  The southern region and the €2.6bn is not to be sneezed at.  Hopes the Council has a submission made for a slice of that money.  There are a lot of villages and towns losing out because of the lack of LEADER money.  This is a golden opportunity to replace that and bring life back into those villages and towns again.  Hopes the Council has made a submission.

Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind):  Thanks for report.  Asks that we clarify the housing element.  You said we would look at borrowing for land purchase.  Is it built in that the Council would borrow for construction of houses also?  There are good sources of borrowed funds available now.  Welcomes the number of projected housing completions but think it is completely inadequate in terms of the need.  It is one of the biggest crises in our society.  If it means borrowing money to deliver houses, thinks we should.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  welcomes the MD funding in particular.  Especially public realm, footpath, parks and playgrounds improvements.  Mid term review of the roads programme is up during the summer.  Highlights the need for the M20 and the route of the M20.  Maybe some of the €2.6bn could be used in the short term to provide relief roads to the likes of Charleville and Mallow?

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Ambitious programme and welcome.  Maintenance and upgrade of national secondary routes is never mentioned.  €680k for the county is invested in this as a whole.  A disgrace: they are the forgotten routes.  Thinks this should increase to several million.  Wonders if we can look for an opening to fund these.

Cllr T Collins (Ind):  Importance of the M20.  It should not go through Mitchelstown.  Huge bad bends there where people have been killed before.  If the M20 is put in place, this would solve the problem there.  Should go from Cork to Mallow to Limerick.  Would improve Buttevant and Charleville.  The Mallow Relief Road cannot be forgotten.

Cllr S McCarthy (FG):  Thanks Lorraine.  National roads budget is €86m.  Regional and local roads is €9m.  Understands TII is the national roads authority but wonders why while there is huge investment needed in national roads, the smaller roads are suffering drastically.  Is this allocation to national roads because it is locked in money from TII?  Maybe it is more a national issue that we need to look at this breakdown and disparity?

Head of Finance:

  • Fleet investment – we are progressing to leasing smaller vehicles but not the bigger ones like velocity patchers and bigger trucks. We have to maintain the fleet.  A lot of it is over 10 years old.
  • Capital transferred from revenue account – we transferred about €13.6m from revenue to capital over the 2014 – 2017 period. That goes across areas from coastal protection, tourism, housing, etc.  Our capacity to be able to do that is based on what we provide in the budget, the variation in LPT, etc.  If money isn’t spent in the capital account, we post it back through the revenue account but this rarely happens.
  • We have a provision in capital programme for DPGs of about €4m.
  • Figures as regards housing will have to be clarified with housing. Will revert.
  • Cycleways – will be included under greenways and NTA schemes. Traffic and transport sits within roads directorate so it is more nomenclature really.
  • Dereliction and funding was part of the revenue budget.
  • Borrowings – any we take on has to get Council approval and then departmental approval. Perhaps some of the LIHAF will come from borrowing.
  • Non-national roads grant allocation would be included in the revenue budget. So the imbalance is perceived but it is actually included in the revenue budget.
  • €517m is the intent from taking on board what the directorates have said and taking on board what came through the MDs. We may not reach the €517m over 3 years
  • We still have €50m unfunded. It just moves on and on and on.  There are €50m for identified projects unfunded this year too.
  • We haven’t made a submission to the €2.6bn. Will follow this up.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Wants year on year figures for transfer from revenue to capital over 3 years.  Asks more about LIHAF.

Lorraine:  Has them and will send out.  3 housing schemes which haven’t progressed would be in Kanturk, Cobh and Mogeely.  There are not included in 2017.  But there are others coming in under social leasing.

CE:  We have to fund 25% of the €20m – LIHAF.  The LIHAF doesn’t fund land purchase around spine roads so we will have to do that.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  On the Southern Assembly.  We have a problem with LEADER funding.  Is a particular problem in Cork.

Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind):  Are our hands tied that the Council can’t put together a programme for investment in housing to respond to the housing crisis?

CE:  What we do on housing is governed by 6 year housing strategy.  Covers a whole range of housing options.  Our funding comes directly from the department and we try to achieve the targets set by that 6 year programme.  That’s the way it works.

Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind):  Knows this.  But Council has its own revenue.  Is it ok for us to put together a far more ambitious programme?

CE: I would have to bring that programme to Council for approval.  When there is a funded government strategy in place, I can’t bring another proposal to Council for borrowing.  Government has account of our need and requirement and will fund that through the various forms of social housing support.

Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind):  Can we as a Council bring forward a proposal?

CE:  To bring a proposal for borrowing, I have to be satisfied that we can secure it for a particular purpose to respond to Council’s investment programmes.  I am told by government that they will deliver on what we need so I see no need to outside of that.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  LIHAF – this is for infrastructure.  In a town like Charleville which is zoned for 800 houses or so, we will never have the infrastructure.  Is it possible to get some of that funding towards infrastructure of this nature.

CE:  We will have to come back to the Council for support to borrow for this.  We got good funding from LIHAF in the context of allocations nationally.  Borrowing to pay for the infrastructural deficits in towns like Charleville, etc. would be based on our capacity to borrow.  I would borrow if I were sure that number of houses were going to be delivered by a developer to support the borrowing so I could get it paid back.  At the moment, I don’t see that happening.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  There is a separate capital fund in the housing department to build roads to facilitate development.   If there are 750 plannings in Charleville, there should be funding from the housing department because there is general acceptance that those 750 houses cannot be built until the traffic problem in Charleville is solved.

CE:  The funding was the LIHAF funds.  We weren’t successful that the level of investment there would not deliver that number of houses.  If there is another round of LIHAF, we will go back in and look for more for Charleville and other towns like it.

Mayor:  This year’s capital budget represents a good sum of money and a nice increase in last year. We have a provisional date with Minister Ross towards the end of June.  Request was in since last October.  We have asked that it would be brought forward.  Confirmed that it would be cross party.

 

Reports and Recommendations

6.  Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000:  Proposed Development of Pedestrian and Cycle Greenway and Ancillary Works from Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge.

‘Part 8 Manager’s Report 15 March 2017.pdf’

To be deferred.  It will be on the next full Council meeting.

 

7.  Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000:  L6506 Ferney Road Improvement Scheme, Carrigaline, Co. Cork

‘Ferney Road Part 8 Managers Report (8).pdf’

Approved.

 

8.  Reports from the International and EU Affairs Committee
(a) Report on proposed Sister Agreement with Miami Dade County.

Cllr Coleman (Ind):  It is 20 years since we last signed a sister agreement.  That was with Cook County and it has been very successful.  The most critical thing Miami Dade brings is the cruise industry.  It is the heart of the cruise industry and we will see 7 cruises coming to Cork this year.  That is as a result of the hard work of the County Council.  Food ingredients is a big area too as is agriculture.  Hopes this Council will endorse the signing of a sister agreement and hopes if it progresses well, it will move forward to a formal twinning.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  If it was only a quarter as successful as what we have with Cook County, it will be phenomenal.  We have many similarities and will give us lots of opportunities to grow our links.  Formally seconds.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Welcomes and speaks on the importance of these visits.  From West Cork’s point of view, we welcome the 7 cruise liner visits.  The work of the Council often goes unrecognised in these areas.  Would like to see more relationships with Port of Cork developed too.

The sister agreement was approved.

 

(b) Tourism and Trade Mission to the U.S.

Mayor:  This is on the agenda for information.

 

Correspondence from Government Departments

9.  Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding bird flu virus.

Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘Bird Flu Virus.pdf’

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Pleased to note requirement to keep birds confined.  Thanks the Department and Michael Creed, TD.

 

10.  Department of Justice and Equality
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding amendment of the Valuation Act 2001

Response to Cllr D’Alton’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Justice & Equality.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Extraordinary irony that the issue the Oireachtas is concerned with is ensuring there is no discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas.  They are utterly forgetting about the discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public.  If they want parity and not to support discrimination, rates should be payable on all constituency offices whether within the Oireachtas or not.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  We received a letter from Minister Coveney saying he would be bringing forward legislation on rates.  Has the Council made a submission on this.  May give us an opportunity to work something?

Cllr O’Shea (Ind):  Cllrs have to pay rates if they have constituency offices.  That was brought up when the motion was discussed.  That is discriminating to us too.  Suggests that if we are writing back we would ask that this is noted.

Cllr O’Flynn:  Thinks we should treat all public representatives the same.

CE:  The proposed legislation from Minister Coveney is being drafted to strengthen local authorities’ powers in relation to rates.  Hasn’t seen the draft legislation.  Once it is legislation, is sure it will become part of our discussions.

We agreed that we would write back.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Ask that the legislation would be relooked at so that it doesn’t support discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public.  In other words, rates should be imposed on all constituency offices regardless of where they are located, whether in the Dáil or otherwise.  But if they are adamant they won’t relook at the legislation then the least they can do is to produce legislation which is equally supportive of all public reps.

 

11.  Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment:
Letter dated 24th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 20th February, 2017, regarding a moratorium on solar energy power plants in County Cork

Response to Cllr Murphy’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Communications

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Is disgusted with the response.  Doesn’t agree that planning code is sufficiently robust.  Have spoken to Minister Coveney.  He said he would look at guidelines going forward.  They should be included in the framework.  Otherwise there will always be a question.  They should be in place early on.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  The Minister says his function is to encourage renewable energy.  We’re not discouraging this; we just want to control development within the sector.  Guidelines would provide greater clarity.  The court case imminent on wind farms shows what happens when there are no guidelines in place.  In Cork, there appears to be a high concentration of solar planning applications within the county.  Thinks we should write back to the Minister.  Wonders should the Environment SPC look at this?  Up to last October there were 22 planning applications lodged for solar farms.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Agrees with Cllr Murphy.  Solar farms are new to our planning department.  They are various sizes, scale and we have no understanding of the effect they may have on our rural areas, runoff, visual impact, construction, etc.  It is an unacceptable response.  We have seen what has happened to wind farms and the distance between wind farms and houses Europe-wide has now changed.

Cllr Coleman (Ind):  Cork County Council was the first to come up with pilot guidelines on windfarms.  Thinks the PPU could do pilot guidelines on solar farming too.

Agreed that we would write back.  Cllr O’Grady supports that the PPU would help us develop our own.

CE:  Assures the members that these applications are always assessed against the various policies.  Any level of development that is approved will be appropriate.  Doesn’t see that this organisation should develop guidelines when there are no national guidelines.

 

12.  Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding designation of the southern side of Carrigaline as a Rent Pressure Zone.

Response to Cllr Jeffers’ motion: ‘DOE Rent Pressure Zone.pdf’

Cllr Jeffers (SF):  Thanks the department for writing back.  Is not happy.  The response doesn’t support the people on the south side of Carrigaline.  Can’t understand how the Minister could let this happen within his own town.  SF does not agree with the mechanism of rent pressure zones.  We want to link them to the CPI.  But we have to work with what we have and on the southern side of Carrigaline, a 4 bed is priced on Daft at €1500.month.  On the northern side of Carrigaline, it is at €900.month.  Is it down to this?  Home ownership is at its lowest since 1971.  The Housing Agency may, in conjunction with a local authority, make a proposal to the Minister for an area to be a rent pressure zone.  Asks that we as a local authority would make that submission to the Minister.  Asks that we would write to the Minister and ask that the criteria for rent pressure zones would be changed so that other areas in County Cork could be included.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Supports and seconds.

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Thinks the price disparity is caused more because we have an electoral area dividing the town.  The market will correct a lot of this; you can’t just compare prices on one side of a boundary with the other like that.

Mayor:  Supports calls to raise this issue further.  It does stem back to the town being divided but no town should have an area left out.  We should write to the Housing Agency asking that we would together jointly make the request.

Cllr Jeffers:  Agrees.  Thinks it would have to come from the Chamber that we request the Housing Agency to follow up on this issue and include the southern side of Carrigaline.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Suggests that we start the letter by supporting the scheme in general.

Cllr Jeffers (SF):  My own political views would be not be supportive of the scheme.

 

13.  Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding a resolution of the Council in relation to Affordable Housing Purchase schemes

Response to Cllr Coleman’s motion: ‘DOE Affordable Housing.pdf’

Cllr Coleman (Ind):  Very disappointing response that we will have no affordable housing scheme.  We were told at SPC that an affordable housing scheme would be imminent.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Thinks the Minister has missed the point.  There was a good scheme run up until 2011.  People are in a gap at the moment; they can’t afford to buy privately and don’t fit the criteria for a Council house.  There is confusion as to the message we’re getting; thinks we should write back.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  We discussed this at Western Division.  It is important to have a scheme for couples who are falling through the hoops.  Thinks we should seek more clarity.  Is disappointed with the response.

Cllr Barry (FG):  Support previous speakers.  Is a huge supporter of the affordable scheme.  It maybe had too many hoops to jump through but definitely filled a gap in the market.  We have to look at how we house people.  The gap between social housing and people drawing mortgages from financial institutions is huge.  We have to see if there is a way people on the minimum wage can purchase their own homes.

Cllr G Murphy (FG):  The Minster has to either make affordable housing available or raise the threshold for social housing.  There are people caught in the middle.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  We should seek for this to be clarified.  Affordable housing and affordable sites – neither was really addressed.  There is a welcome for an affordable scheme for people who are caught in the middle.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Is disappointed.  In my own estate, the affordable houses didn’t sell but it was the wrong time at that point.  There is now much need for an affordable housing scheme.  My motion looks for an increase in the threshold for social tenants.  It will have to be one or the other.

Mayor supports too.  Has long been an advocate for this.  Has raised this issue when the Minister was with us last year.  We have agreement that we will write back and ask for him to examine this issue.

Cllr McCarthy (SF):  The response to my motion (yet to be heard) asks that we would write to seek an increase in threshold for social housing.  Should we not tie the two together?  We shouldn’t really be asking for both.

Mayor thinks that because we haven’t time to hear the motion now, we’ll have to go ahead and write separately on both issues.

 

14.  Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 9th January, 2017, regarding the plight of older separated men and women with marital and relationship problems in their quest for social housing.

Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘DOE Social Housing Leasing.pdf’

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Asks Council to consider relaxing the housing letting regulations.  They are crazy.

 

15.  Department of Health
Letter dated 11th April, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding an opt-out system of consent for organ donation

Response to Cllr Sheppard’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Health.pdf’

Cllr Sheppard was not present so the response was noted.

 

Suspension of Standing Orders

Mayor proposes a 5 minute recess to meet with party leaders with the CE, the Senior Planner and the Director of Services, Planning.  Asks the proposers of the two amendments relating to Little Island and Passage West to be present also.

The meeting reconvened.

Senior Planner:  The two proposed amendments under discussion are those for Little Island and Passage West.  In the case of both these proposed amendments, the planning authority determined (S20.3(f)) pursuant to environmental reporting that an Appropriate Assessment (AA) was required for both of these amendments. The legislation says that where AA is required that the amendments don’t pass screening and would therefore fall to go forward for full AA.  The Act provides that the Manager will specify what period is necessary for the passage of the resolution.  We’re saying that should take between 12 and 18 months.  The AA relates to the Cork Harbour SPA.  We will probably need to procure specialist services.  We can confirm that the amendments could not be published without AA and therefore we would not be in a position to publish those amendments in May or adopt the two relevant Local Area Plans until the AA was finished.  The planning authority is required to publish a proposed material alteration, publish a determination and say that it will take that long.  So the amendments will be published but will not be brought forward for adoption until the AA is completed and this will not be completed for 12 – 18 months.

CE:  Where an amendment proposed is deemed to require Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), I must publish the amendments as proposed but I must also publish the date by which the AA will be undertaken.  So when we publish the draft Local Area Plans next week, I will be specifying that SEA will be required for both of these amendments and that the period to undertake these wil be 12 – 18 months.  So the full LAP for the Cobh Municipal District and the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District will not be coming back for adoption until the AAs are complete.

Mayor:  I proposed one of these amendments.  Is there an option to revoke?  How does it happen?

Meetings administrator:  A special meeting would have to be held.  Notification would have to issue today.  Intention to amend the resolution of Council would have to be given.  One third of Members would have to sign this.  Two thirds of the Members present at the Friday meeting would have to vote in favour of carrying the revocation.

Cllr P O’Sullivan (FF):  I proposed the other amendment.   Am willing to withdraw it.

Cllr Forde (FG) spoke.  Think she asked about the cost of doing the AA for both amendments.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Don’t understand how when the site in question in the Little Island amendment is 450 metres from the SPA and the development that is proposed is 10 serviced sites that AA is being required, yet in other areas of Little Island and in Ringaskiddy in particular, we have a list of sites zoned for industrial development right down to the water’s edge, noted in the Local Area Plan as interacting with the SPA but they do not need AA.

ML:  These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available.  They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Will the provisional screenings of the amendments also be made available?

ML confirmed that we can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.

ML:  We don’t have a cost for doing the AAs for the amendments.

CE:  We may have to go to tender.  There are two AA’s which would have to be undertaken.  So we don’t know how much that will cost.

ML:  These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available.  They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available.  We can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.

Cllr G Murphy (FG) asked for clarity.

Cllr Canty (FG) also asked for clarity.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  In two of the sites in Ringaskiddy listed as being industrially zoned, the draft Local Area Plan clearly states “this area may be used as a feeding ground by bird species for which Cork Harbour SPA is designated” and in another it says “this zone is adjacent to the Cork Harbour Special Protection Area”.  Why is it not possible to include the two amendments in the same way, noting that there may be impacts on the SPA and assess those impacts subsequently through, as you would suggest yourself, development control?

ML:  The amendments failed the screening.  That’s what our ecologist says.  That’s it.

 

31.  Votes of Congratulations

 Cllr O’Grady (SF) wished Cllr Danielle Twomey congratulations on the birth of her little girl.

(Think there was another vote of congratulations also.)

 

The rest of the meeting was adjourned.

Notes from the March meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District, 20-03-2017

1.  Confirmation of Minutes

(a) To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 20th February 2017.

Minutes of the previous meeting: ‘Minutes 20.02.17 draft.pdf’

Confirmed and seconded.

 

Matters arising:

MDO said he has had no update from the Planning Department on Continue reading Notes from the March meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District, 20-03-2017

Notes from the February meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

1.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 16th January 2017.

‘Minutes 16.01.17 draft.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Correction – The Island as referred to in the minutes is in Ringaskiddy. So the casual trading areas to be included are Roberts Bridge, Passage West and the Island, Ringaskiddy.

The MDO also had a correction on Cllr Harris’s motion which will be incorporated. Continue reading Notes from the February meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

Notes from the Municipal District meeting, 16-01-2017

First part of the meeting with Martin Walsh, Area Manager Bus Eireann:

MW comments on questions sent in advance by the Members:

  • Bus shelter at bridge in Carrigaline – would love to see it and has been requested. Structure of bridge won’t allow it to be put in place. There are concerns that it might undermine structure of the bridge because a base has to be put in. There appears to be no other suitable area in Carrigaline Main Street. A new company has the contract for looking after bus shelters: JC Deceaux. We will mention it to them and see have they any suggestions.

Continue reading Notes from the Municipal District meeting, 16-01-2017

Notes from the December 2016 meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

1.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 21st November 2016.

‘BallincolligCarrigaline MD Minutes 21.11.16.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton: Motion 3 from last meeting – meant that a programme for slip cleaning would be drawn up in our Municipal District. The background to this is that the €50,000 allocated to our Municipal District in Budget 2017 for coastal works was clarified as also including for slip cleaning.

Also in AOB – my comments on the table tennis nets are correctly noted. But I also commented that the promised reinforcing under the table tennis nets has still not been put in place.

Minutes were proposed and seconded.

 

Matters arising:

Cllr D’Alton: We spoke about the Town and Village Renewal Fund at the last meeting. Is concerned because the funding was to have been spent and the project completed by year end. But we have had no update on the funding at all.

Anne: In an ideal world they wanted the money spent by December. But the closing date for applications was September and the projects weren’t confirmed until well into October. So the Department has said that the year-end deadline was insofar as possible. We have flexibility.

Cllr D’Alton: Will it be necessary to draw down the funding at least before year end, even if the projects aren’t complete.

Anne: We have the money!

Cllr D’Alton: We spoke of the consultation on the Casual trading bye-laws at the last meeting. The revised maps for our Municipal District have not been issued and legal advice was to have been sought on how to deal with the new maps in the consultation. Have we an update on this?

MDO: No. This is being run from West Cork. Will seek an update.

Cllr D’Alton: Concerned that the consultation will close on 31st December and we won’t have another Municipal Dsitrict meeting until after that. This is especially relevant to us because it is our maps that have been omitted. Asks that the update would be circulated to all Members as soon as possible.

Cllr McGrath: Update on Maryborough Ridge? The Area Engineer was to have got in touch with the NNRDO?

MDO: She did and believes a reply was issued but not circulated. Will circulate.

 

2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
(a) Part VIII Planning report N27 Airport Roundabout & N28 Shanbally Roundabout.

‘Part 8 Planning Report N27 Airport Roundabout & N28 Shanbally Roundabout.pdf’-2

A presentation on these proposals was given previously.

Proposed and seconded. They will now go to full Council for approval.

 

(b) Report on the proposal to Take In Charge roads and services in (i) Daneswood, Douglas and (ii) The Orchard, Monkstown

‘TIC Layout – Daneswood.pdf’

‘TIC LayoutThe Orchard.pdf’

MDO: Planning has been in touch to say that an issue has arisen in The Orchards. They ask that the taking in charge of The Orchards would not be dealt with at this meeting. So only Daneswood is being considered at this meeting.

The taking in charge of Daneswood is proposed and seconded.

 

(c) Proposed Part VIII for upgrade works to Shannonpark Roundabout.

POD on proposal:

  • There are existing congestion problems at the Shannonpark roundabout. Various proposals have come to us in the past and have not been accepted. Arups was asked to consider all possible options for its upgrade. They have given us 8 options. They have also given us recommendations. The original proposal was for signalisation and it is seen still as the best technical solution.
  • The option that is being put forward now is Option 3A in the report. It comprises a three-lane approach from Ringaskiddy plus a north – east sliproad on the north east side. This arrangement gives additional capacity to the roundabout and should improve the queuing and pm delay in particular. Council intends to commence the Part 8 process for this upgrade with our agreement.
  • This is a national route so the Part 8 work would be done by the Cork Roads Design Office.

Cllr McGrath: Welcomes this. Never thought traffic lights would work but this is a welcome proposal.

Cllr D’Alton: Also welcomes it. Concerned that the third lane on the Ringaskiddy arm of the roundabout doesn’t start back far enough. Current queues stretch back to east of the Fernhill junction during the pm peak.

POD: The results of the simulation are showing that queuing will be significantly reduced. We have a constraint in that there is an entrance into a private property. The main reason for the long queues is that there is no opportunity to get out. The matter will be kept under review when the work is done. If we need to make further improvements afterwards, the various options can be examined.

Cllr D’Alton: Is this upgrade sufficiently adequate to allow the Shannonpark housing development to proceed?

POD: This improvement allows for the second phase of development of Shannonpark. The final phase requires some major alteration which is likely to be the motorway. Coming out on the Rock Road is going to need more than is there at present. But it will take us from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

 

(d) Lands at Castletreasure.

Lands at Castletreasure

MDO: Since the leasing of land at Castletreasure to the Corinthians, the Douglas Rugby Club has asked for access. The club is in discussion with the residents. They have been in contact with the planning department to make sure there is no hitch with respect to developing two full size pitches, car parking, etc. If things progress successfully, it will be brought back to the Municipal District again. This update is for information purposes.

Cllr Forde (FG): We will monitor this and will see how it goes. It is great that some sporting organisations get land. Notes though that others are left without it.

Cllr McGrath (FF): This land is sitting there and it would be great if it could be used. Welcomes engagement with the residents; it will be dependent on them.

Cllr Jeffers (SF): Understands this is the last of the lands available here? Would this stop other clubs wanting to join with Douglas Rugby Club?

MDO: It would be leased in entirety to Douglas Rugby Club. There would be no additional lands left – they will use it all. If any other club were to use it there would be an issue with the residents. A single club solution is the best solution from the residents’ perspective.

Cllr Forde: Some lands are zoned for recreation and amenity in the Local Area Plan that will never come on stream. We need to be careful of this.

Cllr Harris: Is there any land zoned for housing there?

MDO: No. It is adjacent to Green Valley. Some building is still going on there. (To Cllr Jeffers) If we lease the land for the sole use of Douglas Rugby Club, no other club could use it. In developing the pitches, they will have to cut and fill the land. By the time it is done, there will not be room for anything else.

 

3.  Correspondence
Correspondence re Extension of Public Consultation Period in relation to the 8 Municipal District Draft Local Area Plans.

 MDO: The Planning Policy Unit asked that we would bring this to the attention of all members.

‘Correspondence re Extension of Public Consultation Period in relation to the 8 Municipal District Draft Local Area Plans.pdf’ 

 

4.  To consider the following Notices of Motion:

Responses to all motions detailed in a single report here:
Response to all motions, 19-12-2016
Response to O’Donnabhain’s motions, 19-12-2016

 Cllr D O’Donnabhain
1.  “That this Municipal District be furnished with a Report on the Council’s policy of issuing litter fines to businesses, the number of such fines to businesses issued since June 2014, and the geographic areas where the fines arose from.”

Cllr O’Donnabhain: This came up in respect of a specific situation with one of the businesses on one of the main streets in Ballincollig. There was false information put out there that the business had been notified not to erect signage. It was not true that the business had been thus notified. In Mallow, Clonakilty and Bandon, there are similar signs on the run into towns and nobody is taken to task about these. The ones in question in Ballincollig were small and were just for a promotional weekend. Circus signs are given a by by the local office because they are not subject to any fines. The business on the main street pays its rates, donates to Tidy Towns and is part of the business association. But it is being fined while the other crowd coming in gets away scot free. Much larger and more offensive signs in other places are not pulled up.

MDO: Knows the signs being referred to. The property owner was advised not to erect signage like this again. The Environment Department (George Salter) said he had been advised not to do it on a previous occasion and had told him that if he did, he would be fined. But he did it again. We can’t comment in relation to other municipal districts. We have tried to chase after circuses. We have isseud fines to them. Some can be difficult. They change their name on a regular basis. We did pin down one on one occasion. So we don’t give them a by.

Cllr Canty: Don will tell sporting organisations where to put the signs. Not by a roundabout, etc. There used to be signs being put out by the businesses but the blind association and Enable Ireland, etc. asked that they be removed in case they fell down on people. Then the supermarkets started putting down little signs themselves. Don got sick of them and asked a litter warden to go to every business on the main street and say no more signs on the footpath. It got out of hand. But yes, circuses are a problem.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Why are the circus signs not taken down immediately? The signs erected by the business were taken down imediately. In other towns, businesses are given a by. There are much larger signs going into Carrigaline put out by businesses that are being ignored.

MDO: It is factually incorrect to say that one business was being singled out. Another was the business with the barber sign. Ballincollig is different in that we have our own traffic/litter warden. There is none in Carrigaline and you are dependent on the resources of the Environment Department. They have engaged a couple of litter wardens recently so they will be looking at this issue. They are trying to develop a policy in relation to signage. Doesn’t think people have an issue with signage for events. Major bugbear is that those signs are not removed after the event has taken place. The Environment Department is developing a countywide policy in relation to signage. Will ask the Environment Department for a report for the next meeting.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Would like that. If these circuses are so hard to come by, why would their posters not be taken down immediately?

MDO: Some are glued on. Also if the area office spends time on taking down circus posters, other work won’t be done.

Cllr Forde: This is a huge issue. It is taking money out of the area office to do real work. A planning was given for a shopping centre in Douglas. If you pass it, every space that was meant to be a window is now an advertising hoarding. So Planning needs to be brought into this. It is too ad hoc and is going to have to be fair to everyone. We want to encourage businesses, but otherwise the environment of our centres is going to get out of hand.

Cllr Harris: Agrees. Notices a couple of neon signs appearing outside shops. This is a worry.

Cllr Canty: We had the auctioneers associaiton at an area roads meeting years ago.

Cllr Forde: If planning gives permission which is meant to be aesthetically pleasing, it shouldn’t be used as an advertising hoarding.

MDO: But is putting advertising signage in a window a breach of planning?

Cllr Forde: That’s what I mean. We need planning not be woolly.

 

2.  “That this Municipal District seeks the painting of a disabled parking space outside the post office in Ballincollig.” 

Cllr O’Donnabhain: The post office is the only safe facility in the town where people can collect their social welfare.   There is a parking bay close to the post office. Would like one space within that bay as a disabled space.

This will be looked at.

 

 

Cllr M D’Alton
1.  “That mindful of the proximity of the former IFI plant at Marino Point to Passage West, the eyesore that currently is the derelict former IFI plant from the town of Passage West and the conditions attached to the grant of planning for the fertiliser factory in 1974 that Cork County Council would outline:

  • whether the former IFI factory is on the derelict sites list and if not, why not
  • whether the bond agreed between NET and Cork County Council in February 1976 will be used to remove all redundant or obsolete structures and infrastructure on the former IFI site and, if not
  • whether Cork County Council will require the liquidator responsible for the site to remove all redundant or obsolete structures and infrastructure on the former IFI site and, if not
  • whether Cork County Council would require any future purchaser of the former IFI site to remove all redundant or obsolete structures and infrastructure on the site before any future development takes place.”

Response to D’Alton’s motions, 19-12-2016

Cllr D’Alton: Marino Point is 500 metres from Passage West at its closest point. To put it in perspective, it is 5.8 km from Cobh. Before the fertiliser factory was developed, the area was evaluated as being of high amenity value. It was compared to parkland, with Marino House and grounds in an idyllic setting in what was compared to a parkland of mature beech, oak, horse chestnut and sycamore trees. When the planning application came before Cork County Council, the recommendation from the senior planner at the time was that because of this amenity value, permission should not be granted for the fertiliser factory. But it was indeed granted by the Minister in 1975.

Condition 34 clarified that the developer and owner of the site should furnish a bond or other security measures before the development commenced. This referred to the taking down and removal of the plant, equipment and installation if the plant ceased to function. The site would have to be reinstated to agricultural, rural or other uses agreed with planning authority.

 

On February 13 1976, N.E.T. entered into a Bond with Cork County Council with some £500,000 being put aside for the Council to take down and remove all plant equipment and installations connected or formed part of the plant in the event that the ammonia and urea complex ceased to function in the opinion of the council.

But it is still there and the factory has long since ceased to operate. The environmental liability on the site has been discharged and the EPA is happy. But as part of that discharge of environmental liabilities, the cladding from the buildings was removed. It contained asbestos. So now the facility looks more derelict than ever before. And the people of Passage West are looking at it. Wants the Council to confirm that these structures will be removed. That they will commit to their commitment of many years ago.

Cllr McGrath: Supports the spirit the motion. Very stark closeness to Passage West. Supports the points made in terms of the condition of the site. If a sale is agreed, this is something we need to monitor closely. Should also monitor closely if the Port of Cork development goes ahead. We need to be mindful of this.

 

Cllr Murphy (SF): Supports. Had a motion to full Council about this. The state of the place is the thing. When enquired from the environment whether the jetty was safe, was told everything was in order.

Cllr Canty: This issue has come through the Council in the last 10-12 years.

MDO: We can refer this again to the Cobh Municipal District and ask the Planning about the bond. In Cobh, they are conscious that the site is for sale and the best way to have it cleaned up is that it is sold. They are slow to do something that would impede a potential sale.

Cllr D’Alton: Understands the Cobh Municipal District’s approach. But we don’t know how long a sale may take. The reality is that the Council was given a bond to clean up the site and the site has not been cleaned up.   So wants to see a commitment of some form or other.

MDO: We need to be careful of our wording. The motion is essentially asking for preconditions of planning and we can’t do this.

Cllr D’Alton: Fair enough, but somehow wants to see commitment to the Council’s commitment. Asks that we keep in touch with the Cobh Municipal District about this.

MDO will contact the Director of Services, Planning again. Will state the concern of the Municipal District.

Cllr Forde: Would like to support the principle of the motion. There are proposals and solutions for dealing with what needs to be disposed of there and very creative solutions. There are big plans down the line. We can’t just ignore things because they went wrong 40 years ago. Has an issue with conditions that haven’t been met in planning. Is currently assessing the number of planning conditions that haven’t been met. These are very costly to Cork County Council. Knows 2 big planning permissions that haven’t fulfilled all of their conditions.

Ann: Will report back to a future Municipal District. Will say to the Planning Director of Services that these points have been agreed by the Members. Will make it clear that these are our concerns and this is what we’re looking for.

 

2.  “That Cork County Council would investigate the feasibility of making a continuous footpath on Church Hill connecting the existing footpath beyond Bloomingdale to the footpath at the bottom of Avondale.  This would allow children living west of the Maulbaun junction to walk to school in safety.”

Cllr D’Alton: Is happy with the report and would be pleased with an investigation into the feasibility of a footpath here. Asks the support of the Members for same.

Cllr McGrath: Supports.   This has been brought up as an issue before.

 

3.  “ Haulbowline Island has had a long and intimate relationship with Ringaskiddy.  It is accessible by land only from the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District.  The former primary school on Haulbowline Island amalgamated with the primary school in Ringaskiddy to form the Ringaskiddy Lower Harbour National School.  The navy based on Haulbowline Island has an intimate relationship with the National Maritime College at Ringaskiddy.  The proposed new amenity area to replace previous public access to port lands at Ringaskiddy is at Paddy’s Point, merely 200 metres from Rocky Island.  In the light of this historical and current relationship, that the Planning Policy Unit of Cork County Council would explain why Haulbowline and Rocky Islands are considered to be part of the Cobh Municipal District rather than part of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District.”

Cllr D’Alton: Notes the report provided and thanks for it. Had believed until only recently that Rocky and Haulbowline Islands were part of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District. Seems crazy that they are not. Acknowledges that the Planning Policy Unit commits to mentioning the special relationship between Ringaskiddy and Haulbowline Island in the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Local Area Plan. Would prefer if the islands were part of our Municipal District and that the special relationship between Cobh and Haulbowline Island were mentioned in the Cobh Local Area Plan.

MDO: The delineation was made by the Boundary Commission. We cannot change that. If we could, there would be other delineations we would change too.

Cllr D’Alton: Noted. But when the Boundary Commission makes new recommendations, as it surely will, believes that we should seek to have Haulbowline and Rocky Islands designated to the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District.

 

 

Cllr E Jeffers

  1. “That Hollyville, Grange would be included for footpath repairs in the next program.”
  2. “That the engineer would consult with the residents of Palmbury Orchard, Togher to provide extra residential parking within the estate.”
  3. “That the engineer would look at the possibility of improving visibility at the junction of Cooney’s Lane and Elm Hill.”

Cllr Jeffers is happy with the written responses to all of his motions.

 

Cllr MR Desmond

1.  “That this Municipal District would request that as part of the agreed works with the developer prior to taking in charge or out of the bond received by council that at least one if not two pedestrian crossings would be provided in Mount Ovel village to allow safe access to the square in Mount Oval. And that the Municipal District receive an update on the current status with taking in charge of this estate.”

Cllr Desmond: Has been working on this for nearly 12 months. Put it down as a motion because progress is so slow that people didn’t believe she was working on it. Stood with an elderly gentleman in Mount Oval while he was trying to cross the road. It took 15 minutes before he could safely get across. There is a difference of opinion between the developer and the Council. There are 800 houses in Mount Oval. There is a huge issue for children trying to access the shop area. Accepts there is no planning for a crossing but what are we going to do for the residents? They really need two crossings but even if we had one … A child will be killed there. An older person can evaluate the risk but a child cannot.

Cllr McGrath (FF): This issue has been raised with many of us over the years. Serious issue. Very busy road. Glad to see it in black and white about the position with the taking in charge of the road. Understands the developer is engaging with the Council.

Cllr D’Alton: Has had this issue raised also. Supports.

Cllr Forde (FG): Would like to see a report on where this taking in charge is at.

MDO: Will ask the Planning Department for a report on the taking in charge and an estimated time frame.

Cllr Desmond: We can’t leave this on the never never. Doesn’t want a one-line report back like this that has been given. The developer believes the road has been taken in charge and the Council says it is not. Nobody can find the paperwork to prove that it has been.

 

2.  “That children at play and reduce speed signs be placed in Kiltegan Park.”

Cllr Desmond is happy with the written response.

 

3.  “That this Municipal District write to Minister Simon Covney requesting assurance that the resources and funding required by the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage project team to allow for them proceed with the alternative site for the ESB substation as part of the project in Monkstown.” 

Cllr Desmond: Is not happy with this response. Is just asking that the Municipal District will support the premis of the move and is asking that the Minister would have that support across his desk.

Cllr D’Alton: Irish Water proposed to put a substation for the proposed pumping station in the Bosun car park. The location was chosen without consultation and blocks the view of the sea both from the village and the greenway. The residents have requested that it would be moved to a site in the Cut n Cover. Irish Water has done a feasibility study on it, it is technically possible. All that remains now is the funding for the move. This is what the residents want and it is aesthetically best for Monkstown. Supports the motion.

Cllr McGrath: This will ultimately be a cost issue. Supports writing to the Minister. There are no technical issues that will cause a difficulty.

 

Cllr S McGrath

1.  “That this Committee would contact Bus Eireann requesting that a bus service to Carrigaline from Passage West, Monkstown, Shanbally & Ringaskiddy be considered as a matter of priority.”

Cllr McGrath (FF): This issue has been raised before. There should be a bus link to Carrigaline from Passage West. The social welfare office amongst other services is in Carrigaline. There is a good bus service between Passage West – Monkstown – Ringaksiddy – Shanbally but it doesn’t get to Carrigaline.

MDO: We had Martin Walsh here before but it was some time ago.

Cllr McGrath proposes we write and invite him. Wants this issue to be included for discussion.

Cllr Murphy (SF): Supports the motion. Had a motion in at the full Council about coming back to us with a monthly report. He should be coming into us to liaise with us.

Cllr D’Alton: Had submitted this same request for Martin Walsh at his first meeting with us. His response was that the demand is not there. How do we overcome a repeat of the same response?

Cllr Forde says there is a review of the buses going on. Might be good to meet with him before the review is finalised.

Martin Walsh will be asked to attend the January meeting. Members are to submit questions for Martin Walsh to the MDO by the end of the week.

 

2.  “To seek a report from the Engineer in relation to the proposed plan for salting / treating roads over the Christmas period.”

Cllr McGrath: Where do we go with calls in adverse weather conditions over the holidays? Texted the area engineer over a weekend but did not receive any response. Not happy with the answer that has been given. There will be areas stranded if there is cold weather. Church Hill in Passage West is one, Church Hill in Carrigaline is another.

AC, Area Office: We have come up with a contingency plan in the area office should weather conditions deteriorate over the Christmas. We will engage our local crew and will have them briefed on salting well-used routes, not just priority 1 and 2 routes. Use the existing emergency line and we’ll have someone lined up to do salting insofar as possible.

Cllr Canty: We have 3 salt areas – in North Cork, in B’collig and West Cork. So there is never one too far away. Will get us circulated with the call centre number.

Cllr McGrath: This system hasn’t worked in the past. We need feedback. People ask us when the salt is going to be put down.

AC will take this concern back to the area office.

 

3.  “That the footpath from Coolmore Gardens & Coolmore Close in Shanbally to the Village be upgraded as soon as possible. “  

Cllr McGrath: This footpath is badly needed. Understands what the report says.

AC: There is no point in doing it yet before the Irish Water work is done.

 

5.  Votes of Congratulations

 

6.  Any Other Business

Pay parking dividend

MDO: Instead of spending the parking dividend piecemeal, suggests that we save it up to create a fund so that we can pay for removal of the overhead services along Douglas West. This is a really good proposal. Funding it will always be an issue. With this proposal we can overcome that.

Anne: €250k are the estimated costs at this stage.

Cllr Forde appreciates this innovative discussion.

Cllr Forde: Speed ramps in Avondale in Passage West. Who paid for these? They are needed in Avondale as well as Avondale Mews.

AC: The local residents came up with 25% of the funding. If the Avondale residents come to the Area Office requesting the same, we will talk to them.

 

Cllr Desmond: Asks for all responses to be paperless.

MDO: Hopes to go this way.

 

Cllr D’Alton: At the end of last year, we were promised quarterly derelict sites reports. But we have had only one this year – around April.

Anne: We’re only at the beginning stages of figuring out how we can deliver the services best. We want each Municipal District to develop expertise in certain areas. One will have expertise in derelict sites. Another will, for example, have expertise in parking fines. We haven’t the resources to develop this expertise in each Municipal District so we will have to optimise insofar as we can.

Cllr D’Alton thinks this is a very good idea but wonders how it will affect our requests for a site to be regarded as derelict. Anne clarifies that it won’t.

Cllr D’Alton: Have asked in every way possible about locks being replaced on bins. There is one in particular that is a concern between Glenbrook and Monkstown. It is swinging onto the path.

AC: Will put in the lock.

 

Cllr Harris: Re Avondale, the speed ramps were put into one part of the estate which left the other part of the estate with nothing and traffic speeds up when it comes to the other part of the estate. So the more affluent part of the estate gets speed ramps and the other part doesn’t get anything.

Cllr D’Alton: There is no more affluent part of the estate. One part of the estate is older than the other and there are two residents associations. One residents association in the newer part of the estate where a crèche is situated wanted ramps to slow down cars collecting from the crèche. They part paid for them themselves. The same will be offered to the other part of the estate. Have already advised them of this. That one part of the estate got ramps has nothing to do with affluence, merely to do with the fact that one part is newer than the other and so there are two residents associations.

 

Cllr Forde: Douglas GAA had done Trojan work in developing a training ground. The Council had given them an amenity grant. They were short €350. Can we find them the extra €350?

MDO: The GAA Club said the work was done. They said this in a letter when they were returning the invoices in August.   We paid out. We can only pay 50% in accordance with the scheme. Then the Club came in December and said something quite different. They were granted another grant in 2016. We can’t give them the extra €350.

 

Cllr McGrath: The lights in Church Road haven’t been turned on. We’re waiting on the ESB. They have been paid. This is the 2016 public lighting programme and the lights still haven’t been switched on. It takes so long to work through the scheme. We tell the public that we’re going to get public lighting and we’re half way through the winter and there are still no lights. We are the paying customer and should be following up with the ESB why they are not doing their part of the job.

AC: It is the ESB that is the problem. We will reinforce your concerns to them.

 

Cllr Harris: On Shamrock Road it is very dark. Was a bad accident there a few weeks ago. A car overturned.

AC: Will talk to the public lighting engineer.

 

Cllr Canty: Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to everyone.

_______________________________________

 

 

 

Notes from a meeting of the full Council, 24th October 2016

1.  Confirmation of Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 12th September, 2016.

Proposed and seconded.

 

2.  Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:

  • members or employees of the Council,
  • dignitaries of Church or State, or
  • members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.
Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:
  • members or employees of the Council,
  • dignitaries of Church or State, or
  • members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.


Cllr Hegarty (FG): Alf Smiddy’s father

Cllr Jeffers (SF): Donie Harris, Grange

 

3.  Disposal of Property

East Cork Municipal District, 5th September, 2016:
(a).       Disposal of land at Dungourney, Co. Cork.

Blarney/Macroom Municipal District, 30th September, 2016:
(b).       Disposal of Cloughphilip, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.

Both agreed

 

REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF COMMITTEES

Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

4.  LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 2001 (BYE-LAWS) REGULATIONS 2006
Making of Cork County Council’s Cemeteries Bye- Laws, 2016

‘Draft Cemetery Bye Laws Final June 16 (with amendments).pdf’

‘Bye Laws report to Council Oct 2016.pdf’

Mayor: This was discussed previously at full Council. Clarification was required. Now it has gone back to the Municipal Districts and has been agreed at Muncipal District level.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF) proposes. Says that regardless of the bye-laws, we should always be sensitive because families are burying their loved ones and we should be slow to change precedents. Know that some families like Celtic crosses. They are beautiful and part of our heritage. They should be considered. Also there is a restriction on the number of graves a family can buy when there is a bereavement. Thinks we should be flexible on this. Recently there was a funeral in Fermoy where a single family was looking for 6 graves – 4 members of the family had passed away within 5 months. Proposes adoption of the bye-laws but thinks we should always look on a case by case. This is a very sensitive issue in rural Ireland.

Cllr Carroll (FF): We discussed this in West Cork. We were told that with the consent of the local authority, the traditions of neighbours and family could be observed. The people of West Cork will need more clarification on this. Seconds the bye-laws.

 

5.  “That the Ballincollig – Carrigaline Municipal District would ask Full Council to support its request for a detailed status update on the taking in charge of Pembroke Wood, Passage West, identification of the procedural steps to be taken from this point forward to achieve the taking in charge and timelines for same.”

CE: Over the last few Council meetings there have been issued referred from Municipal District meetings which should be dealt with at Municipal District level. This issue should be dealt with at Municipal District level. Understand it was already brought up at the Municipal District and a report was issued. We will arrange for a more detailed report to be sent to the next Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District meeting.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): This is on the agenda because it was indeed brought up at the Municipal District meeting and the report that was issued in response was a one liner – “Pembroke Wood has not been taken in charge”. This estate received planning permission in 1997/98. The residents had been working with the developer until he went into receivership in 2011 or so. I understand there is an issue with the bond. The bondholder claims the bond has expired and the County Council is pursuing it through the legal department. It has been with the legal department since before Christmas.   There are 400 houses in it, the residents of which pay their Local Property Tax every year.

I as their representative need to be able to give them an update and I have been unable to get that update. Hence I asked for the support of the Municipal District to bring it to Full Council. If there is a difficulty, that is fine, but at least let us know.

CE: There is no request for the taking in charge in. If there is a suggestion that it is taking long because of our legal department, wants to clarify that this is not the case. Understood that a second more detailed report was given to the Municipal District. Will get a more detailed report issued.

The Mayor says he understands that this is frustrating for all including members of previous Town Council. Will wait for the more detailed report to issue to the Municipal District.

 

6.  Road and Transportation SPC
Road Drainage – draft policy approved by SPC on 12-09-16

‘Road Drainage – Draft Policy approved by SPC on 12 09 16 (3).pdf’

‘Appendix A – Roads Act 1993 Section 76 Drainage (3).pdf’

‘Appendix B – Guidance Notes Section 76 Roads Act 1993 (3).pdf’

‘Appendix C – Guide Landowners and Roads Act Section 76.pdf’

Cllr Hurley (Ind): If we support this, we will commence a public awareness campaign in relation to the importance of good road drainage, the dangers of water on roads with respect to aquaplaning, etc. Thanks to the SPC members for their input in bringing this policy to Council.

Cllr T Collins (Ind): Supports. There are many roads that we travel that are not drained at all. Suggests that more funding is made available to do drainage on roads.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): The volume of water from landholdings is making trash of our roads. We spend several million per year repairing roads damaged by water coming from landholdings. This policy will not address the warning of landowners that any water on public roads is not acceptable. We have to ensure that where drainage works take place the relevant landowners have to get their act in order. Enforcement is the main issue here. We have to prosecute if landowners let water onto the public road.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Prevention is better than cure. You raise the road over the land and if you don’t the water will never leave it. It would save us millions. Most important things in the draft policy are communications and the best practice guidance. In some cases the local landowners or householders go out and clear the local drain. Are they right to do it?

Cllr Carroll (FF): A mini0digger could do many miles of road in a short time where drains are no longer being freed. We still haven’t seen minidiggers used for this purpose. They would solve a lot of problems.

Cllr Hayes (SF): Supports the policy as a member of the SPC. In recent times, many of the local area engineers are putting more of an emphasis on drainage work in association with resurfacing. This makes sense. Might cost more at the start but it is worth it in the long run. The policy also highlights the responsibility of landowners to keep water off the public road. Welcomes that.

Cllr D Collins (Ind): Supports the report. What is happening here is that the Council workers are not being replaced. These are the people who know where the drains are and who used to keep them cleared. We need more Council workers on the road to keep the drains cleared.

Cllr K Murphy (FG) repeats the importance of enforcement. We have to make sure water doesn’t go onto public road.

CE: Welcomes the policy document. It reflects our own policy. There is an emphasis on road drainage and how we deal with that. How adjoining landowners are impacted is a particular issue.

Cllr Hayes proposed.

 

CORRESPONDENCE FROM GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

7.  Department of Education and Skills
Letter dated 5th October, 2016, in response to Council’s motion of 27th June, 2016, in relation to ASD provision at secondary level in Cork

‘Correspondence from Minister for Education and Skills.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): This was in response to a motion I raised and this is the second response from the Department. The two issues we asked the Department to address were to acknowledge the shortage of ASD special classes at secondary level and to outline proposals for removing the option for schools to pick and choose whether they want to set up a special ASD class or not in an area of identified need. The letter doesn’t deal with the first issue at all. It is repetitive in telling us about the additional ASD special classes provided this year. But there are still twice as many at primary level than at secondary level. It is coming a little closer to dealing with the second issue. It appears that the Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill will require admission policies drafted by Boards of Management to not discriminate on a whole range of issues. But if a school is oversubscribed and a school has to pick between two students, it is far too easy for the school to choose the student who requires fewer special resources. The Bill also says that if a child with special educational needs cannot find a school place, the NCSE will find that place. But that place would of course be within mainstream education, not in a special class. Think we are not going to get any further with the Department and it is a waste of time writing back. The Education (Admission to Schools) Bill has gone through the first stage. Asks for the support of the Members to send a letter to the Special Committee on Education and Skills, letting them know that if the NCSE identifies a need for a special ASD class in an area, it will no longer be optional for schools to pick and choose whether they want to set up that special ASD class or not.

Cllr Desmond: Agrees with everything Cllr D’Alton says. This is an area of huge need. The response from the Department is saying more of the same. We’re so far short of where we need to be. There are children and young adults with no places to go. They do not have access to education which is their right. Access to an SNA is an issue and not enough. It has shifted responsibility to a local principle which is totally unfair. They decide who gets access and what access. This is a huge issue and it is escalating.

We will forward a letter to the Committee on Education and Skills.

 

8.  Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Skills
Letter dated 7th October, 2016, in relation to Council’s motion of 12th September, 2016, in relation to potential business and employment opportunities for Cork following the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union

As read.

 

Notices of Motion

9.  Cllr Des O’Grady
“To request a written report outlining the total cost paid by Cork County Council to external consultants for the year 2015. The figure should include all professional consultancy fees paid to non-Council employees, including amounts paid on projects funded by Government grants. The separate amount for each Council Directorate to be included.”

Separately, to outline the amounts spent on external legal services in 2015.

Response to Cllr O’Grady’s motion on consultants

Cllr O’Grady (SF): €4.6m was spent last year on outside consultants, including legal fees. This highlights the amount of public money which is being transferred into public hands. Over the last few years, €30m transferred from Cork County Council into private hands. It is clear what is happening here. Road services cost €2.1m in consultancy fees. €866,000 was spent on external legal services even though the Council has its own legal department. Thinks the growing dependence on outside consultants should be reversed.

Recent example – when Minister Coveney announced LIHAF, he stated local authorities would now prepare submissions to the Department. There was no mention of outside consultants in the Ministerial announcement. But we didn’t liaise with the bodies the Minister mentioned, rather employing outside consultants to carry out market research. Are any agency workers employed by Cork County Council? We should be depending more on our own in-house departments to carry out this work.

Cllr Mullane (SF): Seconds. Concurs with what Cllr O’Grady said. Would like a better breakdown on division of fees. Have we ever done a breakdown to see how cost-efficient it is to use external consultants? My own experience from my own employment is that those in-house have huge knowledge. This public money is spent ad-hoc. We don’t have a proposer or seconder on how we spend public money on consultancy fees.

Cllr Jeffers (SF): Supports. The amount spent on road services is a lot of money. We should be looking at expertise in-house. Fees to external agencies for public relations – are we employing them this year?

Cllr K Murphy (FG): The report shows in detail where the money is going openly and transparently. Thinks it is trash to draw up a report and criticise it immediately. Thinks it is money well spent to have proposals from consultants who are experts in the field and thinks our expecting to do that work in-house is futile. We are drained for staff. So welcomes the report and if we are waiting for internal staff to do this work, we would be several years behind. Glad to see we are spending prudently on consultants.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): It is only 4.5% of the capital programme of €80m. €2.9m was recouped from grants. Shows that there is activity in the Council. If we weren’t doing anything, we wouldn’t need outside specialists. Get the people who have expertise in an area. Hopes there will be more consultants with more work carried out but wants them taken on only where necessary.

Cllr Harris (ind): This motion gives good service because it gives us an idea of what is going on. Hopes we are not using the same consultants all the time. Presumes most of the companies are based in Cork so we are helping local employment. This is a good motion and the most important thing is transparency and a lot of people are vying for the business and it is important to get value for money. Better to have in-house expertise but if it is not there at the moment, this is not money wasted.

Cllr K McCarthy (Ind): Thinks we have enough people in the building without venturing outside. Why does the Council spend taxpayers money on consultants and then hire people on JobBridge.

CE: We only recruit consultants where necessary. Cork County would grind to a standstill if we weren’t engaging consultants. If this figure were increasing year on year, it would reflect an increase in activity within the County. Would like to see that happen. We have an excellent in-house staff but there are situations that arise where we need different teams of consultants to work with that staff. Roads is 60% of the spend on consultants. But much of that is from NTA and TII for projects which we are progressing on their behalf. We couldn’t get an N28 or Dunkettle scheme ready to go without consultants. Legal spend is to bring in former Town Councils. This will reduce over time. But there is a significant cost associated with defending actions against this Council. On LIHAF, it is a competitive bid, a highly significant issue and I wanted to put our best foot forward in a short space of time. Wanted a highly professional proposal which built on the professional work we had done in-house here. Makes no apologies for that. The issue of cost efficiency has been referenced. All consultants go through a tendering system, some through EU tendering. Rarely do we use PR consultants for external advice. Our LEOs use them at times but a very small spend only. If €3.79m increases, it reflects increased investment.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): We are very much against the CE’s position. Is there a cap on the amount we can spend on external consultants in any area? Also are there funds due from the grants system from the Department? None of the money from government for housing (€972k) will be paid back to Council until work starts on site. Much of this money will go to outside consultants and the Council will have to pay up front. Won’t be recoupable for some time.

CE: The €972k is a cashflow issue. We are developing projects and we will recover our costs associated with housing capital projects once work commences on site. So this is just a cashflow issue. There is a certain percentage recoupable from the Department. On LAP €4.1m, there is no link between money spent on consultancy fees and the LAP income. There isn’t any cap on what we pay to consultants. We go to the market and a competitive tendering process. You pay for what you get.

 

10.  Mayor Seamus McGrath
“To seek a report outlining the Council’s previous involvement, in whatever form, in the provision of public garden allotments across the County. Also, to request that further consideration is given towards utilising Council owned land as garden allotments, perhaps on an interim basis and particularly in the vicinity of large population bases”.

Response to Cllr McGrath’s motion on allotments

Cllr McGrath (FF): Allotments have worked very well in the past in the county. They involve use of local produce, reducing transport costs, etc. They have many positives associated with them. Welcomes the report. Hopes the Municipal District would try to identify land that is available for garden allotments in association with local groups. Even in an interim or medium term this is something we should explore. Overall welcomes the report.

Cllr Canty (FG): Fully supports. We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get where we are in Ballincollig. At the time, the owner of the land objected to Cork County Council using it if he wasn’t allowed build on it. Ballincollig has 100 allotments. It is railed off, has toilets, etc. But that was the Regional Park land and it is working very well. There are people working on their allotments from 7am in the morning. There is a charge but it is minimal and it is encouraging people to get out. They have formed their own committee in relation to the running of it.

Cllr Barry (FG): Congratulates on bringing the motion …

 

I had to leave for a few minutes.

 

Cllr O’Flynn (FF) supports.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Commends allotments in town and villages where they are. Some provide employment through TUS schemes, etc. Some take groups and schools, some do courses. In Bandon, the land that they are on is Council land, some of which we would hope to develop for social housing. So the future of the allotments is a little uncertain. Hopes that the land would be allocated so as to give them greater security.

Cllr Dawson (FG): When Mitchelstown wanted an allotment, we found it very difficult until Cork County Council came on board.

Cllr Hurley (Ind): There is a community garden in Dunmanway getting great support from Cork County Council. It is a win-win situation for the Council and the community. It provides employment. It provides produce for the farmers market. Participated in the West Cork Food Festival. Community gardens are another focus for this motion.

CE: Welcomes the motion. The Director of Services is also keen to move this on. There have been some very successful allotments. It is important that communities who take the allotment project on have the capacity to do so. We don’t want land that is required for something else to displace allotment groups. Need reasonable permanency for them.

Cllr J Murphy (Ind): Thinks a great motion. In Mitchelstown, we could see some Council land being used as a car park down the line which is right next to an old folks home. They would love to see this land used as an allotment. If it comes to full Council for approval, hopes Members will remember what they said today and will not let it go ahead.

Cllr McGrath: Thanks Cllr O’Flynn for the point in relation to new developments. Thinks relevant. Could retrofit into existing estates where members are having difficulties in managing a particular area of ground. We will work through the Municipal Districts and come back to this issue.

 

11.  Cllr Noel Collins
“That this Council report on the need for public health warning signs to bathers and beachgoers to exercise caution on beaches, following the massive infestation of deadly jellyfish, which have reached our shores”.

Response to Cllr Collins’ motion on jellyfish

Cllr N Collins (Ind) outlines the dangers of the jellyfish.

Cllr Cullinane (InD): Onsite, it is vital that we bring awareness as to how dangerous this is.

Cllr A O’Sullivan (FF): Supports and commends Cork County Council staff for picking up hundreds of these jellyfish on Youghal beach. We are very happy in Youghal with the County Council response.

Cllr C O’Sullivan (FF): Thinks Cork County Council could not have predicted this influx of jellyfish and commends them for the speed with which they have responded. But beach users generally need to be aware.

CE: We have reacted swiftly to the issue of these jellyfish. Signage has been erected but welcomes any opportunity to increase awareness further. Hopefully the influx of jellyfish won’t last much longer.

Cllr N Collins (Ind): Thanks all for the support. Would appreciate if signs were to up on the 5 beaches in East Cork.

 

12.  Cllr Michael Murphy
“That this council writes to the minister to keep their promise as stated in programme for government document Page 48 – to protect and enhance the services available within our post office”.

Cllr Murphy (SF): A report commissioned by An Post in 2013 suggested that without government commitment to granting of services through the post office network, they wouldn’t stand a chance of survival. Some postmasters are maintaining services at below minimum wage income. Most can stay open for only a short while.

Cllr O’Shea (Ind): A number of reports have been commissioned by the government and An Post on how to improve the sustainability of the network going forward.   They have missed deadline after deadline in reporting back. Unless the services are used, 400 post offices are really going to be in serious trouble. We know post offices that have closed in recent years have had a devastating impact on their towns and villages. Suggests that we write to Ministers responsible for this. Minister Naughten has set up a committee in relation to rural post offices.   Thinks we should write to both Ministers responsible and ask for an update.

Cllr Jeffers (SF): Post offices are under pressure. Previous governments have let so many close. We have lost garda stations too. Everything must be urgently acted upon to save our post offices.

Cllr Coughlan (FF): Supports. Post office as an integral part of communities is to be strengthened. Current policy is non-existent. We are not seeing any policy. We need to send out a strong message that we want enhancement of the services post offices provide. It will be further centralization and movement towards banks if we don’t.

Cllr Doyle (FF): Supports. Through our Municipal Districts, we are always discussing and putting money back into rural Ireland and enhancing our towns and villages. We have a ready made business centre with our local post office. It behoves us all to help the services it offers.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Supports. Can’t highlight how important this really is. It was a big social aspect in rural areas. Wouldn’t blame government necessarily but the policy that is there doesn’t give confidence that the post offices would stay open. Non-viability was stated on the Week In Politics that this is what would close them. Supports suggestion that we would write to the Ministers.

Cllr D Collins (Ind): Post offices should be extending their services. Minister Ring said mobile post offices might be one way out of this. This is rural Ireland. A lot of towns have lost mobile banks. Social welfare was taken off post offices and put into the banks. We need to expand their services.

Cllr B Ryan (FF): Supports. Supports Cllr O’Shea’s suggestion. The government governs and we should insist that Ministers with the responsibility would come forward with a policy quickly. Would be terrible to leave communities without the services post office offer.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind): We have all been contacted about this issue. All our national services used to carry a sovereign seal.   This has disappeared from post offices. Nobody noticed, almost signalling what is coming down the line. They are a national service. We need those sovereign seals back.

Cllr Hayes (SF): Post offices are a vital part of the social fabric. In Clonakilty 15 years ago there was a threat of post office closure. We formed a committee and ensured its survival. You do have to use the facility if it is in your community. Nationally, services do need to be driven through the post office. Social welfare going through banks need to be knocked on the head. Welcomes the reopening of Leap post office last year.

Cllr J Murphy (Ind): Supports and concurs. Local postmistress felt that the public representatives in Dublin didn’t care. She couldn’t sleep worrying about what is going to happen. She has full time staff employed. The knock-on effect of what might happen is detrimental.

Cllr PG Murphy (FF): An old chestnut. We have to creative about how we look at increasing the services of the post office. A suggestion made is that they could become tourist information offices in small towns and villages. The way the government has undermined them with regard to social welfare payments is unacceptable.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Post offices are a way of life for people in rural Ireland. People in Dublin don’t understand this where you have wifi or banks on your doorstep. In rural Ireland, they don’t have those services. This is a matter of principle. If the government is serious about reviving rural Ireland, this motion should be taken seriously.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): We don’t use post offices properly. In some cases we have to be realistic as well. Modern technology must be installed in them. We have to prove conclusively if a post office is needed in an area and the we have to use it. Get as many ideas as we possibly can to make them viable. We have to use it or we will lose it.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): They are talking about post offices one every 20 miles at the moment. They were saying that about local health centres at one stage. Use them or we’ll lose them. At the same time, they need to be reviewed with a heart that wants to keep them open. It behoves the Minister and his department to ensure that facilities that can be used in the local post offices will be put in place.

Cllr Harris (Ind): When you try to expand services in post offices, it is objected to by the banking sector. So it is a political decision. Thinks post offices would thrive were it not for the banking sector.

Cllr Murphy (SF): Thanks all for their support. Has no problem with what Cllr O’Shea proposed.

 

13.  Cllr Danielle Twomey
“That this council ask the Minister for health Simon Harris. To increase funding to the CUH in the new budget. In order to help alleviate the staffing shortage and to also give enough funding for the hospital to provide its own Mri equipment and facilities”. 

 Cllr Twomey (SF): Nurses and midwives are paying unfair taxes. We are losing our doctors and nurses to abroad. One nurse she spoke to was a single mother who is struggling to pay and says she may be forced to leave her country. Hard to visit this hospital and see the wonderful work it does but also to see the stress which they employees are under. The MRI at the CUH is owned by Alliance Medical and the hospital has an SLA in place. Constituent had seizures on a Friday, had to wait until the following Wednesday for an MRI. No staff available to conduct the scan. The CUH doesn’t take referrals for MRI scans unless private. Then you will be referred to a consultant. Young boy – bike accient – ER – needed MRI – nurses feared because out of hours – consultant answered phone by chance and agreed to carry out the scan – boy survived because he was treated adequately. A PR company gave her a copy of operating hours at MRI unit. CUH aims to provide high quality care, clinical excellence and safety. The hospital is totally relied on and more so with the closure of the Mercy ER department. The staff is amazing but is stretched to their limit. Staffing level needs to be addressed. Amends motion to increase pay and abolish crazy taxes.

Cllr Mullane (SF): A private company is running the MRI equipment in the CUH. The health service should never be down to the wealth that you have.

Cllr Twomey clarified her amendment to the motion: That the Minister would consider addressing the concerns that the staff have in relation to their pay conditions and their taxes.

The motion was passed.

 

CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER BODIES

14.  Davis College Mallow
Letter dated 10th October, 2016 in response to Council’s letter of 5th October in relation to the current progress on the construction at Davis College, Mallow.

‘Correspondence from Davis College Cork.pdf’

Cllr Mullane (SF): Was in discussions with the planning office here about Davis College. What is said here by the ETB is not correct. They don’t qualify at all. So can we confirm that ETB would be breaking planning conditions by going on site with prefabs?

CE: If the Cllr has a concern that the letter doesn’t represent the situation on the ground, there is process for anybody to issue their concern to our own planning department.

Cllr Mullane (SF): I have done that, I have been told that what the ETB is claiming is not ok and I have relayed that to Cork ETB.

Mayor: We will receive clarification.

 

15.  Port of Cork
Letter dated 11th October, 2016, in response to Council’s letter of 27th September, 2016, in relation to plans for the Marino Point site.

‘Port of Cork Correspondence.pdf’

Cllr Murphy (SF): The letter is brief. Who looks after the site at the moment? It is run down. Is it safe?

Cllr Cullinane (Ind): Met with the Port of Cork last week on this. They say several of the partners have to iron out some specific points but they do intend to move forward very shortly.

Mayor: This response doesn’t give us any new information! Will we revert to the Port and ask that they come back with new information when there is more to hand?

Cllr Murphy: Yes.

 

16.  VOTES OF CONGRATULATIONS

Cllr P O’Sullivan (FF): Munster Senior League Soccer Club.

Cllr D O’Brien (FF): Kildorrery karate club

Cllr Coughlan (FF)

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Passage West karate club

Cllr D Collins (Ind): on Shamrocks match yesterday.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): Wants to be associated with that. Also own home team of Kinsale who won junior football champions.

Cllr PG Murphy (FF)

Lots more

 

17.  Any Other Business

Cllr Forde (FG): Could the CE help us out with N28? There was a recent accident on Carr’s Hill. A resident rang and said it caused a lot of hassle. We don’t have stats for accidents and around Bloomfield, Carr’s Hill, N28. We’re going to make a momentus decision in relation to the Port of Cork and these roads. Have looked for Demand Management Study to be published. Would also like to know the volume of traffic increase on the N40, N28 and at the Bloomfield. Can’t make an informed decision without this data. Will be asking the gardai if they can give us some stats. We never get stats for this. The Area Office wasn’t aware of that accident on that day. Asking the CE would he liaise with maybe the gardai or the agency and come up with those stats as soon as possible?

Cllr Couglan (FF): Bus Eireann is providing buses to transport people from the Cork Jazz festival to the Metropolitan area and to Midleton but not to Bandon. They have done this before. They provide a bus to Ballincollig, Blarney, Carrigaline, Midleton, etc. but not to Bandon. Asks that we write to Bus Eireann on this. Will be writing herself.

CE: Will convey members request to TII. We are agents on behalf of TII. Is sure that these matters have been raised through the public consultation process but will ask.

Cllr Forde (FG): Is asking for the Demand Management Study to be published for the last 18 months. Also asks that CE write to the Chief Garda Commissioner.

 

 This concluded the meeting.

 

 

 

 

Notes from the October meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

1.   Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 19th September 2016.

Minutes 19.09.16 draft

Proposed and seconded.

To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Special Meeting held on 19th September 2016.

Cllr McGrath wonders should we endorse these minutes at the next Special Meeting rather than today?

Municipal District Officer (MDO) says that what was given out at the last Special Meeting was a presentation and the next one will be a presentation on what is going out for public consultation in November.

General confusion amongst the Members who thought that they were going to be consulted at another meeting before the Draft Local Area Plan was produced for circulation.

Cllr Forde: Why have we had two meetings so the officials can tell us what they are going to do? In effect, the officials decide what is in the plan.

MDO: No. The decisions are made after the public consultation process. That’s when the decision-making starts for Members. This time, the Planning Policy Unit (PPU) did consultation with Members over and above what is required under the Act.

Cllr Collins: All the submissions that came in – are they being weeded out before it goes for public consultation?

MDO not clear on this.

Cllr D’Alton checked up her notes from the Special Meeting and confirmed that although it wasn’t the impression given, the PPU had said that the next meeting would indeed be the presentation of the Draft Plan.

Confirmed that the next Special Meeting will be on 25th October at 10am – next special LAP meeting.

MDO: What will be presented at the next meeting is what is going to be published. If people want to put something in which wasn’t there at that stage, it is done under the public consultation process.

Cllrs Collins and Forde are worried that some submissions were late in, the PPU was under pressure to get the Plan out. They asked that these submissions would be left until after the public consultation has gone in and then they will be considered again.

Cllr McGrath: We are concerned that Members have no input into the Plan that is going out. I don’t feel like we have ownership of it.

All Members are in agreement.

Cllr Forde: I want to flag it that this matter of the late submissions will be cleared up on 25th. I had a private meeting with the PPU and they asked me to defer. They said to come back to them after the pubic consultation. Now this appears to be wrong?

Cllr McGrath: When the Draft Plan is published, you can make amendments only.

Cllr Collins: If there were late submissions that might top up the availability of land for housing requirements, they will be narrowing it done to one in the Draft Plan?

Cllr Canty: They showed us 3 late submissions the last day and they said that they’d go out as well. There are 800 houses planned for Ballincollig already. Spoke of Murnane O’Shea development. Details for the main new area for housebuilding planned for Ballincollig are already in.

Cllr McGrath: Please tell PPU that the Members want this next meeting to be a 2-way meeting, not a one way meeting.

MDO: OK but to be fair, PPU made it clear that they had time constraints, that they were working under significant pressure and that the next meeting would be a presentation.

 

2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations

National Roads – Proposed Speed Limit Changes
Works programmes updates: – Surface Dressing, Restoration Improvement, Drainage, Footpaths, Public Lighting

 Area Engineer (AE): For information purposes, the TII is doing a speed limit review for national roads. RPS has been appointed to put the proposals together. The proposals as recommended by RPS are what are in these drawings today.

  • The N40 to the Kinsale Road Roundabout.
  • The N27 to the airport from the Kinsale Road.
  • The N71 towards Ballinhassig.
  • The N28 from the Bloomfield Interchange.

RPS is proposing some changes to speed limits. They will go to public consultation next month. These proposals were shown to the area engineers and the Area Engineer has recommended some changes. Thinks we should look at the proposals and will email us with whom we should send our recommendations to.

Restoration improvement programme: We came before the Municipal District Committee with a 3 year programme and we have done the 2016 items listed on that. Alta Terrace is still to be done; hopes to have it done before the end of the month. We had some money left over from savings from a competitive tendering point of view. We extended the areas we were working in rather than transfer the money to 2017. It was primarily this that completed the section in Coach Hill. Yet more savings mean that we will do some roads from the 2017 programme. We don’t like doing road work of this type at this time of year but so far it has been relatively favourable from a temperature point of view.

After the bad storm weather in December last year, we got funding from the Department to cover the damage done to roads. Three other roads being done with this funding. Ballea Road: extra drainage and resurfacing. Ballinrea Road: drainage works done and surface will be redone from from north of Ashgrove roundabout to the urban area. Old Carrigaline Road is in very poor condition and it got a bad battering because it didn’t have an adequate storm network.

Surface dressing programme: All done.

Public lighting programme: Church Road and R610 done. We hoped to do a Ballincollig scheme but the public lighting allocation wasn’t sufficient at the start of the year. This was a big project. But other budgets were made available subsequently and we can put a new section of footpath in this area (to be started in next few weeks) and will include an underground network for public lighting.

Also a larger scheme included an additional light on Bracken Court. We have since decided to put in a new section of footpath where we removed the ditch at Scart Cross and we will put new additional lights on this rather than the single light planned beforehand. All the other individual lights are being done.

 Footpath programme: Has started. Focusing on Carrigaline at present but a second crew will come on line soon in Douglas and they will work in tandem.

Drainage programme: Mostly done. Apart from the drainage programme, we have a drainage company on site every day of the year who twice a week clean out drains.

Cllr Collins: There is a public light in the middle of the footpath of Highbury Drive. The location is dangerous and the light is faulty. Is delighted with the drainage at the Portgate Industrial Estate. Sightlines out of Carrigmore are dangerous; one cannot see traffic coming up from Ashgrove.

Cllr McGrath: Will there be any layout changes with the resurfacing of the Old Carrigaline Road? Will the footpath at Scart be done in the coming weeks? What about the €800k from the new school campus in relation to the drainage and resurfacing on the Ballinrea Road.

AE: On the Ballinrea Road, most of the perceived works will be beyond where we will be resurfacing. The €800k will be used for resurfacing, Ballinrea Cross and on the main Cork Road, etc.

Cllr Jeffers: When it is raining, because of the camber of the road, rainwater is flowing down into Grange Heights.

AE: Water should be cut off before it reaches Grange Heights. There will not be any new drains installed here – this road has a concrete base. But if we can improve the shape and stop water coming in off the Grange Road, we will do that.

Cllr Jeffers: When will the Donnybrook Hill lights be turned on?

AE: Footpath will be in and as part of that the ducting will be in as will the bases for the columns. Airtricity is swamped at the moment so thinks it will be December before those lights are connected. There is no timeline for by Douglas Hall. A week ago, they said they would be submitting a road opening licence.

Cllr Forde: Good news. If you get the detail of the footpath programme, you might let us have it. Years ago we would get a detail every month of what was being done in the Municipal District. Would that be too much trouble?

AE: I can try but at times it will not be possible. Or the programme may change before we get it. Will try though.

Cllr D’Alton: When the Rochestown to Passage West walkway was being done, there was a commitment to putting low wattage lights that wouldn’t throw lights too far. This was to protect the SPA in Lough Mahon. At the beginning, some of the lights were repeatedly broken. Some of the heads have been replaced with heads that throw a sharp white light, nothing like the soft light which had been committed to. Would there be funding remaining after this lighting programme to put replacement low wattage heads on these lights that are too bright?

AE: No. But will follow this up with Airtricity. Get details of the poles that have those new lights and will get the public lighting section to liaise with Airtricity too. They might replace them free of charge if the timeline isn’t too long.

Cllr D’Alton: Also on lighting, the lights on the quayside at Passage West haven’t been working since the works in Fr. O’Flynn Park.

AE: We are aware of this and we have identified what is wrong. We’re waiting for the contractor who did the work on the park to come back and fix it. He broke the cable. Not sure if the park will be closed off for fixing this but will give us warning if it is.

Cllr D’Alton: And the new lights in Tom Fahy Park and those installed in the Centre Block by the Town Council before its dissolution are also not working. The Centre Block ones may be troublesome because they are installed in the ground so drainage may be an issue.

Also on drainage, when some of the roads were being resurfaced, manholes were covered over. In the case of Chapel Hill, for example, the ones at the top were re-exposed but the ones at the bottom were not. Also tar was left in the drains running down the side of the hill so that the rainwater can’t reach the gully.

AE: Yes, we’re aware of that. Believes that drain is on the list to be cleared.

Cllr Murphy: Light beyond Eurospar where there are trees growing around it. Public lighting guy couldn’t find it on his map. Also please clean gullies in Ardmore Estate.

AE: We’re aware the trees are blocking the light.

 

3.  Disposal of Property

To consider the disposal of freehold interest in house and plot at No. 8 Dan Desmond Terrace, Carrigaline, Co. Cork to Jason Orchard and Deirdre O’Callaghan for the consideration of €350.00 inclusive of administration charges.

No objections

To consider the Grant of Wayleave and Right-of-Way at Castletreasure, Douglas, Co Cork to Mr. Maurice Walsh, Clonmoyle, Coachford, Co Cork for the consideration of €1.00.

No objections.

To consider the disposal of property at Castletreasure, Co. Cork to College Corinthians A.F.C. by way of lease for the term of 35 years for the consideration of €200.00 per annum.

Cllr Forde: Raised questions about this at a previous meeting and didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Said that she was unhappy with disposal of that land and access/egress. The main access outlined in the planning was subsequently built over and the council then decided that the access would go through an estate and the residents objected. We all supported the residents. There was a parcel of land which was given to College Corinthians prior to this – that’s great – and this next parcel is great news for them but queries why some of the land could not be designated for another sporting organisation. There are many sporting organisations in Douglas which need to be facilitated, including Douglas Rugby and gymnastics. Has never been told what the cost of the 25 acres was. Who paid for it – housing or recreation/amenity? How much is left? Will the topography mean that it cannot be used for anything? Doesn’t want to hold College Corinthians up but feels the whole way this land has been bought, used and dispersed is open to question. Still wants to see sight of the email Cllr D’Alton saw when the South Cork Manager was circulating a map at a previous meeting. Would like to see this and the date on it. Hopes the Local Area Plan will designate land for other sporting organisations.

Cllr McGrath: This isn’t suitable land for recreation. Thinks we saw a figure before on its purchase cost but doesn’t have it to hand. There is a question mark over the land and why it was purchased. Is happy to propose this for College Corinthians. They are the only club who can benefit from this parcel of land because of the access issues.

Cllr Forde: But you do accept that the access issues have stymied other organisations getting use from that land?

MDO: The original access would have gone through the estate anyway. The new access is 100-200 metres away from the original one. You are saying houses were built over the original access.

Cllr Forde: The access that was proposed originally was a main spine road into the estate. It was the subject of many meetings between the councillors and officials. The officials said then that access could be via a small green. But the residents’ kids used to play on that green. Hopes the LAP will come up trumps so that sporting organisations won’t be forced into other areas.

MDO: Cost of the site would be have been available at the time. You said you were “never able to find out” what the price of it was. But this was publicly available information.

Cllr Forde: That was well over 12 years ago and was in the context of the land being used for recreation and amenity.

Cllr Desmond: Seconds Seamus’s proposal to accept it for College Corinthians.

 

4.  General Municipal Allocation/Town Development Fund

GMA and TDF

MDO: We agreed to set aside €36k for the skate park in Carrigaline if there was a call from Sports Capital. We did it last year because we knew there was a call but it was not successful. We agreed to hold the application and funding but there was no call. So there is €36k in the GMA that hasn’t been spent. It has been agreed that this money would be used for the skatepark and I am waiting for the finance department to come back to report on a Special Planning Contribution in Carrigaline. These two together should be enough to build a skate park. The good news for 2017 will mean that we will have more money available in the kitty for 2017. There is €8,200 left in the GMA. The AE wants €3k to do works on an open area in Frankfield. It was an issue last year. That would leave €5,200 in the GMA.

On the TDF, we allocated money to various schemes. The Street Painting Scheme will use only €5k. About €10k of the signage will be used. So there is €50,500 remaining in the TDF. The AE has suggested that there is a badly needed footpath on the Rochestown Road heading from the hotel into Douglas. The rest could then be used for works in Passage West, Ballincollig, Douglas, etc.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: There is one remaining stretch of footpath in Ballincollig that needs to be addressed. On the way down to the Regional Park. People are stepping off the footpath because it is too narrow and the road is very busy. Urgent health and safety issue.

Cllr Desmond: Welcomes the report and thinks we will have to be tougher. Delighted for the footpaths to be done on the Rochestown Road. Asks for more detail on the Frankfield situation.

Cllr McGrath: Agrees with the skateboard funding proposal. The Minister did say there would be a Sports Capital Grant coming up next year. There is huge potential for the community park in Carrigaline. Was hoping for a running track. Thinks it would get fantastic use. It is off-road and the space is there.

AE: The section of footpath is that opposite the hotel on the Rochestown Road. Not sure if the funding will stretch to the section that has no footpath. The existing footpath is level with the road and is flat and unsafe.

Cllr McGrath: That would be good. Has a motion today about two estates. Would appreciate if their footpath requirements could be considered.

MDO: The width of the road where Cllr O’Donnabhain is talking about is the issue. There isn’t much can be done there. But will look.

In Frankfield, there is a disputed area of green at the rear of Dunvale. There was an attempt to incorporate it into private gardens. It got contentious but has all been resolved. In our efforts to assist, we are proposing to cut the grass.

The running track will be looked at.

Cllr Collins: Twinning – will funding for this be out of the TDF? The County Manager is now saying twinning will be with Municipal Districts rather than with a town. How will this affect it? What about signage? Why is the spending less than allocated?

MDO: Doesn’t know about Municipal Districts and twinning. Carrigaline Community and Ballincollig are the only twinnings which have been funded this year. Is not yet aware of the CE’s proposals.

On signage, Douglas Tidy Towns were going to put up new signs on a lot of the streets. We said we would work with them but when they went to property owners, the proposal wasn’t as well received as was expected. We might have over-provided for signage.

 

5.  To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

 Cllr. D Forde
1.  “That the Area Engineer and MD manager clarify if Monfield estate has been taken in charge and what progress is being made to address the infrastructural deficiencies.”

 Cllr Forde: This has been dealt with.

2.  “That a safe crossing be installed at or adjacent to St Lukes National School or a Traffic Warden be appointed to the school in the interests of the pupils’ safety.”

Cllr Forde: For many years the residents in the vicinity of Douglas Lawn and in the school have been asking for traffic calming. It is very narrow under the BowWow bridge and footpaths are very narrow. The principal of St. Luke’s School is asking for a pedestrian crossing between the school and the church. It is dangerous. Would like to incorporate one from the church to the other side of the road also. And to incorporate assistance for people trying to exit Douglas Lawn. That whole area needs some alternative way of crossing.

AE: There are no real speed or traffic volumes on Churchyard Lane. Is willing to speak to the principal to understand where she is coming from. Whereas there is much more traffic on Church Road, there isn’t a suitable location to serve the school with a pedestrian crossing. You have a tabletop ramp outside the church and you run out of footpath on the southern side of the road. A school warden is out of my control. It has come up many times but it is clear that we are not employing any more school wardens.

Cllr McGrath: Believes the decision on the LPT is facilitating a new school warden scheme. Thinks this will be brought forward as a proposal soon.

AE: Thinks there is no satisfactory answer for Church Road.

 

 Cllr. S McGrath
1.  “To seek a written report outlining who is responsible for the removal of abandoned vehicles in a public place.”

Response to McGrath’s motion on abandoned vehicles

Cllr McGrath: Thanks for the report. Clears the issue up in general. Abandoned vehicles are a huge problem. What about estates not taken in charge.

MDO: We will not clear from estates not taken in charge. The Road Traffic Act deals with abandoned vehicles on a public road or in a car park. But if someone abandons one in a field, etc. it is a waste management issue. It becomes litter. So perhaps take it up with the Environment Department.

Cllr McGrath: Gardai acknowledge a road in an estate not taken in charge to be a public place. You have to have insurance to drive on it. But taking away abandoned vehicles is a significant draw on Council resources. It isn’t ok that people can leave vehicles lying around.

Cllr D’Alton: Could you tell us what cost is involved in moving a vehicle? It might be illustrative for the public.

MDO/AE: The biggest cost is that it is a significant drain on time. An engineer has to go out to check the vehicle, come back and do paperwork, then go back out to check that it has been removed. Will find out the cost of getting the vehicle lifted.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Designated spaces per house in a housing estate coupled with a transient population – this makes vehicle dumping a real problem. Echoes comments seeking stronger regulation. Every vehicle has a registration and the registered owner is liable for fines, etc. when other aspects of the Road Traffic Act is not complied with. There can be a health and safety issue too. Could perhaps be referred to the JPC? Gardai have a role here too. Local gardai in Ballincollig are helpful.

Cllr Canty: This has arisen many times over the years. We don’t seem to have a comprehensive attitude towards it at all. Selling cars on the side of the road is now happening again. Within estates too. You’ll still see signs on the side of the road. We have to enforce our rules and regulations. Recommends that perhaps we could refer it to the SPC.

 

2.  “To request that Mount Rivers & Newton Court be included in a future Footpath Work Programme.”

Cllr McGrath: Have already spoken about this. Mount Rivers is a 40 year old estate. Many of the residents are elderly. Some have taken tumbles. Cllr Jeffers supports the request for Newton Court. The volume of footfall through the estate increases year on years. The school is now Munster’s largest primary school.

AE: These will be looked at in 2017.

 

3.  “To seek a written update on the proposed road realignment at the front of the Maryborough Ridge development.”

MDO: We have no report on this. Will circulate the report and we will talk about it at the next meeting. 

 

Cllr. M D’Alton
1.  “That, cognisant of the damaging noise and air pollution associated with heavily trafficked motorways, the National Roads Design Office/Transport Infrastructure Ireland would consider an entirely alternative route for the new M28 which would avoid its being led through built up residential areas.”

Response to D’Alton’s motion on M28

Cllr D’Alton: We’re all aware that the new motorway to lead from Ringaskiddy is being designed and the EIS and planning application is in preparation. Cognisant that the Port of Cork predicts the volume of freight traffic on this road to increase by almost 3,500 vehicles per year. At present, the route that is being considered is down that of the existing N28. Residents along this route already have huge issues with noise. Even if the residents are to be provided with noise protection, there is only physically so much mitigation noise barriers can give. It is very difficult to engineer the noise issue out. It is virtually impossible to engineer out the issue with air pollution from what will be largely diesel engines. There is increasing awareness of health-related concerns associated with air pollution from busy roads such as this. For example one recent study in the Netherlands indicated that for every increase of 5 µg/m3 in annual exposure to PM2.5, the risk of death for men rises by 7%. And PM­2.5 is a relatively large particulate; there are others which are much smaller. Notes the report that has been issued by Bob O’Shea and thanks for it. We are all aware that the Ringaskiddy traffic must connect with the N40 but I disagree that the only way it can connect to the N40 is through residential areas.

Cllr Desmond: Is concerned in particular about the noise issue. The biggest concern is the standard which TII applies to this. The answer you always get is that the noise experienced is to an acceptable standard. The acceptable is at 60 dB for a greenfield site but all they have to do in relation to this development is not to exceed current exposure which is already far in excess of what anybody should have to endure in their homes.

Cllr Forde: We are all currently involved with residents who have a strong objection to the proposed route for the N28 Ringaskiddy Motorway scheme. These residents have mobilised significant public opinion. I live smack bang in the middle of this area. I can confirm that congestion of traffic has increased significantly in last few weeks. Cannot imagine what it will be like when the proposals are implemented. Also concerned that the long-promised Demand Management Study still hasn’t been given to us. The Douglas LUTS study confirms that noise is way beyond norms. When we raise this issue and ask for noise barriers, the officials tell us it is not the NRA’s problem. So noise and air pollution will cause this to run and run. The reply from Bob O’Shea doesn’t cut it.

Cllr McGrath: The reply doesn’t tell us anything new. Residents attended a meeting here with many of the councillors and at the time, it was confirmed that the EIS would look at alternatives. The response here doesn’t show that those alternatives are being considered. There are indeed existing pollution issues. Asks for some feedback arising from the August meeting.

Cllr D’Alton: I have significant concerns with regard to the EIS. Have been involved with the preparation and analysis of EIS’s long enough to know that it is far too easy to appear to address issues in EIS’s so that they look ok, but they are not really when the project gets implemented. At that meeting in County Hall with the Roads Design Office, I asked the engineers to be aware that there are noise and air pollution issues that are simply beyond their control. And the impacts of those cannot be engineered out. The reality is that if the noise levels experienced by some residents increase yet further, I think they would have a genuine case to bring to the European Courts.

MDO: I will revert to Bob O’Shea and ask for feedback on the August meeting, particularly in relation to noise and air pollution.

All agreed that this would be good.

 

2.  “That the road surface in Maryborough Court would be addressed as soon as possible.”

Cllr D’Alton: Residents contacted me about the road surface in Maryborough Court. Pleased to hear the AE talk about savings in the implementing of the resurfacing programme. Hopeful that perhaps some of those savings could be used to do this surface. The residents maintain the estate well but the roads are narrow, there is a lot of on-street parking and the surface is disintegrating extensively in places. Had hoped the annual programme of surface dressing could possibly be used but understand that this is now no longer permitted within estates. Perhaps the AE could expand on this?

Cllr McGrath: A number of us were contacted about this. Have been talking about this with the AE for some time. Knows she can’t commit at this stage to the resurfacing.

AE: Any savings we have made have been used. We will be lucky to get to the end of the year unscathed. Won’t be doing anything in Maryborough Court this year. It is true that other councillors have mentioned Maryborough Court to me. The roads that were on the programmes this year were in a worse condition than Maryborough Court. Have to prioritise based on the need. It is not suitable for surface dressing. We don’t use surface dressing as a finish in estates because it is loose. Up to this year just gone, a certain proportion of it could be used inside in housing estates. It would be a bitumen surface. But this year we were not allowed to do this any more. Will look to see if something can be done next year but will prioritise relative to other estates.

 

Cllr. E Jeffers

1.  “To implement road markings exiting Glenside into Grangevale in Pinecroft to stop traffic and give way to traffic in Glenside.”

AE: We are still doing road markings although the weather is trying to turn. Will link up with Cllr Jeffers and identify exact area.

 

2.  “To reduce the height of footpaths or allow a gully to access the culvert at Greenwood estate, Togher Road to help with flooding.”

AE: The footpath is right next to a pedestrian crossing. We did flooding protection works and put in a lot of extra gullies. So if the capacity is in the river, that problem is solved. What happened on 29th December is that the river at that point has a concrete beam over the top of it. The full bore was taken up, the volume of water was so great in the river. A resident of Greenwood told me this. A flash flood came down.   In most situations except the extreme, what is there will more than adequately cater for it. No properties were affected.

The residents got an awful battering in 2012, so understands why they are nervous but there is little more we can do. Will talk to the Flood Relief people and make sure there is nothing more can be done. Although we have spoken to them before.

 

2.  “To redevelop and improve the surrounding areas at the mass rock on the airport road to enhance its potential for tourism and theological purposes.”

Cllr Jeffers: The Council did work to this before. It is a gorgeous area off the airport road. People use it to pray. Mass Rocks are historic. This one is very hard to get into now. People did stop using it because there was trouble – horses, litter, etc. Would be something that could make it make it more accessible. There appears to have been some work done on it recently?

AE: The Mass Rock is on private property. We’re limited in what we can do.

Cllr Forde: Didn’t a committee come before us to ask us about this?

MDO: That was about 20 years ago. But there was only so much they could do themselves because it is on private land.

AE: We haven’t done anything on the rock in the last 5 years.

Cllr Jeffers: It is open to the public and it is used.

MDO: It isn’t ours, so it is not our responsibility either. Would be slow for us to take on something like this on private ground. It is very steep. Regulations for slopes, etc. – this wouldn’t do now.

 

6.  Votes of Congratulations

Cllr Desmond: Congratulations to Ballincollig on winning the County Final. They beat NEMO on the way!

 

7.  Any Other Business

Cllr Murphy: Dock Cottages, Passage West – the residents have their bins with Greenstar. But Greenstar won’t come up the road. That means the bins would be sitting on Church Hill. Greenstar says Wiser has narrower trucks than Greenstar does so this why Wiser can go up the road but Greenstar can’t.

AE: Bin collections are a private service between individuals.

Cllr Murphy: Mariners Quay, Passage West – can we write to the property owner?

Cllr D’Alton: There is no overall property owner in this instance. There are a whole lot of individual property owners, all of whom are supposed to pay into a management fee. The property is then managed by a property management company. I have spoken to them several times, most recently about two months ago. Many of the owners bought during the boom and have gone bust themselves since. So they are not paying their annual charge which funds the property management. As it stands, the fund is not adequate to clean the building. On a positive note, the property management company says that in these improving financial times, many of the properties are being moved on. So they hope that the current situation will change. Absolutely write to the property management company, but just be aware that they are as fully cognisant of the need to clean the building as we are.

Cllr Forde: Douglas traffic management alleviation works. Suggests relocating the bus stop outside St. Columba’s School back towards Shamrock Lawn. Has received an email from a resident to make a case for this. He suggests that the footpath would be cut into the tree border. It would enable buses to pull off the roadway and allow traffic freeflow down the hill. It makes sense.

AE: This is an issue for Bus Eireann. But Eireann is very much against bus stops off line because it takes so long for the bus to get back on line. Maybe they would be willing to move the bus stop back without creating the layby.

MDO asks that Cllr Forde would forward the email to him.

Cllr Jeffers: Palmbury, Togher – the residents say the green is going to be taken away to accommodate parking. Is this the case?

AE: Cllr O’Laoghaire asked about this. County Hall hasn’t committed to it. Grangeway residents also requested. Some of this is planning related because it is taking away from green space. There are a lot of steps involved and there are financial steps as well.

MDO: Nicola Radley was to send us 2016 projects that didn’t get funded. We are now wondering whether there would be a call from the GMA for 2017 to fund these projects. There is one for our area – Carrigaline Tidy Towns for the Dermot Lynch Memorial Plaque. They want to put a plaque on the bridge to commemorate him. They were looking for €2k.

Cllr Desmond: Concerned because doesn’t think that the 1916 committee has finished its discussion on where these additional projects might be funded from. Believes they had not yet concluded that they should go back out to Municipal Districts to be funded from the GMA. Believes we should hold off until this is confirmed.

Cllr D’Alton: Very much in support of Carrigaline Tidy Towns. The work they do is excellent. But concerned because they got significant funding from the GMA to do the 1916 garden already. There is a big draw on our GMA and just wants its distribution to be equitable.

MDO: Much of the funding for the garden was from a separate source, not from the GMA. So it shouldn’t affect the equitable distribution issue.

Agreed we will put it on the agenda for next month.

Cllr Jeffers: Believe Carrigaline Tidy Towns opened a Garden of Remembrance. Just wondering why only some councillors got invitations to it?

MDO: The invitations were not issued by Cork County Council.

 

My motion to full Council, 26th September 2016

“That in building new playgrounds or regenerating existing playgrounds, Cork County Council would introduce a policy of application of the Principles of Universal Design by installing a range of equipment which can be used by both able and less able bodied children alike.  In addition, that towards achieving universal design, Cork County Council would begin a programme of retrofitting all existing playgrounds in its jurisdictional area with at least one item of play equipment specifically designed for inclusivity of all.”

Not much is written about the benefits of playgrounds, but the fact is that in a world where play patterns are changing, where there is a decrease in free play and outdoor play and where concerns over children’s safety leads to increasing adult supervision, playgrounds are more important than ever before. Playgrounds help children to develop physical awareness and abilities, social skills, language interaction, motor skills, spatial awareness, balance, co-ordination, fitness and emotional wellbeing.

There are lots of playgrounds in County Cork. They are bright colourful places, a focus in the community, well used and well maintained. But very few of our playgrounds are universally designed. This often means that when a family with two children take an afternoon out in the local playground, the able-bodied child can play freely whilst her wheelchair-bound sibling can do little other than look on.

13% of people living in County Cork have a disability. Of those, over 6,000 are children under the age of 14. The National Intellectual Disability Register tells us that 98.7% of those under 18 with a disability are living at home. So for these children and their parents, the playground as a destination is critically important. Much of the equipment installed in playgrounds is labelled in the catalogues as being universally accessible. But the reality is quite different.

In preparing for this motion, I had the pleasure of visiting St. Paul’s Special Needs School which caters for pupils aged 4 – 18 years with moderate, severe or profound general learning disabilities.   According to the National Intellectual Disability Register, almost half of children registered as disabled fall into this category. I spoke to the principal and to many of the teachers so that I might benefit from their direct experience as to the value of County Cork’s playgrounds for their students.

The immediate reaction from all to whom I spoke was that there are nowhere near enough facilities which their students can use. The new swings in the Ballincollig Regional Park with the back and harness were singled out as being great for many. Basket swings everywhere were spoken of positively. But swings like these can be used by a wheelchair-bound child only if he/she is small enough to be lifted in. There is a wheelchair accessible roundabout in Lisgoold. There is a simple wheelchair swing in Fermoy and a top of the range wheelchair swing in Whitegate. The latter was provided by the Whitegate community, assisted by SECAD. That’s it.

Universal design does not require every piece of equipment to be accessible to every child, nor does it mean providing stand-alone features designed for the exclusive use of children with disabilities. It means choosing a variety of features and products that are usable by children of all abilities. Installing a spring system on gates to reduce the risk of a child bolting. Providing a sufficient range of equipment to cater for gross motor skills without undue physical effort on the part of the carer. Catering for finer motor skills with activity panels at ground level. Allowing access onto equipment via a transfer platform or ramp. If for example, more than one spring rocker is provided, install one with a back rest and sides.

Because children with disabilities can often be marginalised when it comes to play opportunities, the National Play Policy, “Ready, Steady, Play” (2004) recommended that all new and revamped local authority playgrounds would be universally designed.  But Cork County Council’s recreational policy drafted in 2006, doesn’t mention universal design at all.

So I ask that we amend this policy to reflect our collective aim of making playgrounds equally usable by all children.

Retrofitting just one item of universally accessible equipment into existing playgrounds is a small ask. Simple rainbow chimes provide sensory benefits, take very little space and cost in the region of €1,100. A chalkboard that allows children who cannot verbalise to express themselves is €700. A small spinning, swinging bowl for one costs €1,400. The same for two or three children is about €5,300. A gentle rocker with a back to seat several children costs about €4,200. A roundabout accessible to both wheelchairs and able-bodied children can be purchased for about €6,300 and needs a 17cm dig to make it level with the ground. These are just examples to illustrate how retrofitting just one item of universally accessible equipment is financially achieveable, does not need specialist installation but would extend the multi-faceted benefits of our playgrounds to all children, all over the county.