1. Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 27th April, 2015.
Cllr D’Alton: CE agreed to circulate Capital Budgets for the last 3 years. These were requested for comparison purposes. Not noted in minutes and not yet received.
Minutes proposed and seconded.
2. Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:
(i) members or employees of the Council
(ii) dignitaries of Church or State, or
(iii) members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.
Cllr O’Grady (SF), Cllr Collins (FG) and Cllr O’Shea (Ind) all had votes of sympathy.
3. Disposal of Property – Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:
(a). West Cork Municipal District, 7th April, 2015:
Disposal of freehold interest in house at 53 Assumption Place, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
(b) Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District, 20th April, 2015:
Disposal of Sub Lease of lands at Powdermills, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
(c). Disposal of 14 Woodbine Lawn, Inniscarra View Estate, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
(d). Disposal of 34 The Cedars, Bridewood, Ovens, Co. Cork.
Proposed and agreed.
4. Section 121 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014:
Report of the Audit Committee on its review of the Local Government Auditor’s Reports on the Annual Financial Statements for 2013, for the Town Councils of Fermoy, Mallow, Cobh, Youghal, Midleton, Kinsale, Macroom, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Bandon, Bantry and Passage West.
Proposed and seconded.
5. Corporate Policy Group:
Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for May, 2015, approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on the 5th May, 2015.
Proposed and seconded.
6. Housing SPC:
Housing Allocations to Single Persons.
For proposed policy, click here: SPC-single persons accommodation
Cllr McGrath (FF): This is an issue that has been discussed at a number of the housing meetings. Is pleased that we have a recommendation before us today. 42% of our applicants for housing are single applicants. It can be difficult to get single applicants allocated units. There are only a tiny number of single bed units available. So we are always looking at 2-bed units. We are trying to change the allocation policy so that fome fairness comes into it. Recommends the policy to the members.
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Welcomes report with reservations. The sooner the government recognises the social housing crisis, the better. Will these houses be built by houses or purchased or messed around with housing agencies or will applicants have to wait a further 3 years for an allocation? Has many families living in overcrowded conditions. With this circular and the government’s announcement of building for social housing, he moves that the government would be asked to release some of these funds now to purchase 4 bed houses in some of the ghost estates in County Cork. We must fight this social issue.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): We support the proposal, recognising that it doesn’t go far enough. Can we seriously expect that 20% of all 2-bed units will be given over to single people? 6 month period? Government strategy for housing is to clear 25% of people off housing list. To clear 25% of our housing list is a huge target. For a single applicant where the threshold of rent allownace is €425, there are 5 houses available in Co Cork at present at that price. They are well outside the city. You will not get a house through HAP if you are a single person.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Report doesn’t go far enough. The 2-bed house will suit a single person with one or two children. The older single male or female who is on the list for years will not take precedence over these. There should be a rider: some percentage of 2-bed houses should be allocated for single people who have no dependents.
Confirmed that this is what the proposal is all about!!!
Cllr Forde (FG): Delighted to hear Cllr O’Grady thinks we’re moving in a positive direction! Had a long conversation with a developer a few days ago. He is looking to build houses at the moment. He told her that it makes no sense to build 2 bed houses. It is the same cost to build 3 bed houses. So what can the Council do to encourage the building of 2 bed houses? There are also people who want to downsize. Sick of repeatedly bringing this up in the Chamber. They would love 2 bedroom units in their area. Please can we devote some time to this? Asked for a full debate for a holistic approach to the housing crisis before. No more discussion on a piecemeal basis. Last week watched a programme and an architect in the North designed a house out of containers. There are in-between options that we could look at. Not talking about halting sites; talking about real different types of units to deliver for this crisis.
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Delighted there is a policy here. These single people are often people forgotten in our communities. Thinks Cllr Forde’s suggestion that we should have a full discussion is a good one. We have a major problem at the moment.
Cllr PG Murphy (FF): This problem has increased incrementally since he got elected. Glad that we are addressing it. Knows we are not building anything less than a 2-bed house. Thinks we may need to revisit this. So this policy is an initial step but will need to be reviewed as time goes by.
Cllr A Moynihan (FF): Supports the policy. For far too long, single people have felt that they were towards the bottom of the pile when it comes to allocation. Particularly frusturating when they see houses boarded up. Availability is the big concern – 20% of available units is what is being proposed, not 20% of all units. We really need to see progress on the availability.
Cllr Creed (FG): 20% of what??? How many 2-bed units have Cork County Council at the moment?
Cllr Ryan (FF): Echoes Cllr Creed’s question. 20% of what? What will we allocate it from? That is not addressed in the document at all. Agrees with Cllr Forde’s proposal for a full debate on the housing issue. Stress that people are under with cuts and lack of housing is a massive issue. This issue has not been properly addressed by successive governments.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Agrees with the speakers. Where are we going? This is not really good news because the properties are not there. Knows one single lady who is waiting 12 – 13 years for a house. He told her that she was not waiting at all because there were no houses for single people like her.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Are these houses that will be built for definite not going to be sold on under tenant purchase schemes? Wants them not to be sold on.
CE: This policy will start immediately. 6 months will be until October. With regard to availability of dwellings: all that come available will come from casual vacancies. In 2014, we allocated 81 2-bed units. So if the same casual vacancy rate arises in 2015, we should see 40 units become available over the 6 months. We could put the issue of housing on the agenda for a development committee meeting.
Cllr McGrath (FF): Thanks members for their support on the proposal. Thinks it is a significant step in the right direction. This proposal is not a panacea for the housing crisis but it does mean that when units become available, some will go to single applicants.
7. Kanturk Mallow Municipal District:
“That the Kanturk Mallow Municipal District, together with Cork County Council, move to urgently address the terrible conditions present at the unfinished housing estate in Lismire.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
Cllr B Moynihan (FF): One of the worst estates in the country. Estate is unfinished, unsafe, problem with sewerage, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. It’s a huge issue in the community. There is no public lighting. One person living there and working shift work. It is ha huge issue for the people of Lismire. Has a list of 400 signatures from residents of Lismire. Has given them to the chair of the Municipal District. There is a bond to be drawn down to finish off the estate. Some of this estate has to be levelled and made safe. It is across the road from the primary school, from the church. This is a vibrant, active community. Has a community council. They went door-to-door to get signatures for this motion today. Please will the Council prioritise this matter and see if there is something we can do relatively quickly to resolve this issue.
Cllr T Collins (Ind): Agrees with everything. Was working on this problem for a number of years. Another similar estate in Boherbue. This estate is so bad that it is the worst in the country. Approached John Aherne in the Council and we worked together on trying to resolve the problems in Lismire, Boherbue and Kilbrin. We were successful in Kilbrin to a certain extent but in the other two we had problems with drawing down the bonds. Quinn Insurance held the bonds. Big delay int ranferring from Quinn to Liberty Insurance. The developer had an agreement with John that they’d knock the unfinished houses and turn the area into a green field. Recently, the Council had to go in and free the sewerage pipe because the sewerage was backing up into houses. Is a pity that developers can walk out of estates like this and leave Cork County Council to tidy up the mess. The last time I spoke to John Aherne, Liberty Insurance had agreed to knock the unfinished houses. That was 21/2 years ago. Nothing happened. The bonds are not being paid by the financial institutions who hold them. That’s not their money. But they won’t release it. Asks the CE to use everything in his power to get these bonds released.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Supports also. Was well discussed at the MD. Lismire was at Allsopps auction last week and failed to sell. It is that bad. No footpaths, public lighting at the back. John Aherne is very well aware of it. The Estates Department in County Hall and the CE need to intervene. The entire village supports moving this estate. They don’t care if it is demolished or completed. 7 houses in the front of the estate are occupied and their residents are living in atrocious conditions. The owners paid good quality money for the estate. Estates Department needs to get in touch with the Legal Department.
Cllr Fitzgerald (FF): Agrees. Spoiling streetscape of the village. So dangerous if you look into the estate. Needs urgent attention. People living in dire conditions. Services maybe not working properly. Not fair because the people of Lismire are very active and involved.
Cllr Mullane (SF): Concurs with what has been said. Has had previous motions on unfinished estates and on bonds. We need to show some recompense to those who bought houses in these estates. Believes there is some responsibility with Cork County Council. We don’t keep a strong enough eye on developers. I don’t think we are doing enough. We issued the planning permission.
CE: Estates development is not our responsibility. We’ve had significant success with taking unfinished estates in charge and making sure that works are finished out. We are actively in the process of taking proceedings in relation to bonds. When we don’t get co-operation from security providers we are willing to go the whole hog and take legal action. We would prefer to have it resolved without having to go the legal route.
Cllr B Moynihan (FF): Compliments John Aherne totally. Wants that put on record. The work he has done is exemplary. Also acknowledges the work done by Cllr T Collins during the years. Boherbue estate is in a very similar situation to Lismire.
8. Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport:
Letter dated 27th April, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 13th April, 2015, relating to mandatory speed limits in housing estates.
Link to letter from the Department: Department of Transport
9. Councillor Susan McCarthy:
“That this Council welcomes steps taken by Minister Reilly of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to address the current problems associated with Childcare in this state, and asks that the role of the Family Resource Centre be given due recognition when investigating ways to improve the system. Like many other voluntary organisations dependent on subsistence from the state, these Centres have sustained cuts year on year since 2008. Many of these FRCs carry out essential work in the areas of childcare and early intervention and serve as the central focal point within their communities.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
Cllr McCarthy (FG): FRCs are funded by Tusla. They combat disadvantage and the improve functioning of family unit. They help people to help themselves. They are not just for the disadvantaged. FRCs are the only independent not-for-profit legally registered company with a voluntary board of directors. Staff are paid through funding from statutory bodies. Tusla covers only starting salaries for 3 – 4 staff members. All other costs must be sourced from outside. They get funding from Pobal, HSE (not any more) and many rely on fundraisers. This is time, energy and skill consuming. Out of Tuslas’s €120m budget last year, FRCs get approx 5%. Board of directors ensure that policy is formulated from the ground up. These voluntary boards of management save Tusla an estimated €11.3m per annum. 106 FRCs and 2 outreach centres in Ireland. We need more support. The projects need to be recognised for the good work they do. Wants 100% core funding going forward.
Cllr Dawson (FG): Anything that works from the bottom up is good. So seconds and supports.
Cllr N Collins (Ind): 2 years ago we voted to have the rights of our children recognised in the constitution. The earlier children can feel they truly belong to a happy family, the earlier they can be confident and cherished. This is where FRCs come in. Legislation that is coming is long overdue.
Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Supports the motion. Agrees entirely with it. For many crucial state services, the gaps are filled by the community and voluntary sector. Familiar with FRCs in Carrigaline, Ballincollig and Togher. FRCs do hugely important work. These are essential services.
Cllr Hurley (Ind): Supports motion. Board member on his local FRC. Knows the hard work they do. They are a cornerstone in every community. They operate on a shoestring. Very welcome call and the Minister should be made acknowledge and support.
Cllr Buckley (SF): Supports.
(Tender being opened – Haulbowline Island framework)
10. Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“To request a written report from Management outlining the most up to date information available from the Department regarding a new Tenant Purchase Scheme or Incremental Purchase Scheme for housing tenants. If no firm timeframe is known for the commencement of the scheme at this point, that the Council calls on the Department to initiate such a scheme as a matter of urgency.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
Cllr McGrath (FF): The inaction of the department on this issue has been scandalous. It has been 21/2 years since tenants have had the opportunity to buy out their homes. We have always had a scheme whereby they could. I believe tenants should be able to buy their own home. Department has not been in touch with the Council in relation to this issue. Asks that we would write to the Department and look for a full update and ask for either one of these schemes to be implemented.
O’Laoghaire (SF): People want to own their own homes. Also creates mixed tenure in local authority housing schemes. But these schemes did lead to diminution of the housing stock. Thinks it is vitally important that if a scheme such as this is pursued, any houses which are bought are replaced by traditional local authority housing.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Supports.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): Agrees with the motion. There is a problem with the voluntary housing agencies. Some effort should be made on their part to partake in any such scheme. There is an anomaly between how local authority housing stock is handled and how voluntary housing agency stock is handled. Very important from a social point of view that a certain number of these houses are allowed to be purchased. Helps to mature estates and lesssens the turnover. Makes financial sense for our constitutents and makes good social sense.
Cllr A Moynihan (FF): The work has been done on this issue and the legislation just needs to be enacted. It is frustrating for this reason and shouldn’t be taking this long. With 7,000 houses, if only 1% of houses get to be sold, you have a cash injection into the Council which can be used for the benefit of the other housing stock.
11. Councillor Marcia D’Alton:
“That in view of its obligations under
Articles 49, 50 and 74 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations,
Article 56 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000,
Article 8 of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Article 4 of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
Target 8 of the National Biodiversity Plan 2011 – 2016
and particularly with regard to EU Regulation 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species which entered into force on 1st January 2015 and which lays down rules for the prevention and minimisation of the adverse impact of the spread of invasive alien species and requires a risk assessment within 18 months and a comprehensive control programme within 3 years,
1. Cork County Council would dedicate either new or existing staff resources to addressing the issue of Japanese knotweed and other invasive species
2. Cork County Council would devote some of the financial allocation to the Cork County Biodiversity Action Plan to:
- Improved training of on-the-ground staff, contractors and subcontractors in controlling the spread of Japanese knotweed
- Raising general public awareness of Japanese knotweed.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
Text of introduction to the motion under separate cover.
Cllr Conway (Ind): Compliments Cllr D’Alton on the motion and the way it was introduced. Grew up in a house surrounded by Japanese knotweed. Took 3 years of a very tough regime to eliminate it. Has never come across such an invasive plant in his entire life. Now sees it on every turn at every corner and on every road. His grandfather brought it into his property with soil – he worked for Cork County Council. But within a quarter of a mile of his house in Blarney it is all over the sides of the road. We are becoming aware of rhododenron but we need an education programme so that everyone recognises what Japanese knotweed looks like. This plant will grow through everything. We need an officer for all invasive species.
Cllr M Collins (Ind): Supports. This issue came up for serious discussion at the Western Municipal District meeting recently. Japanese knotweed is on a stretch of road between Schull and Goleen. Work is needed on the road but the work has been sidelined for 3 years due to Japanese knotweed. UK government has spent €2b to date on trying to eradicate it. Spraying is with Roundup is not the way to kill off. It has to be lifted and taken to a safe area. Has to be taken in a serious light. Maybe seek funding from the Department.
Cllr Doyle (FF): Compliments Cllr D’Alton on the motion. The ship has landed in North Cork. Very serious problem. Prevalent in a public park in Charleville. Seconds all those here looking for a remedy. The very good work of volunteers could unknowingly be spreading the weed.
Cllr Barry (FG): Compliments Cllr D’Alton. The presentation to the Development Committee presentation brought home how serious this problem is. We had an issue in the Glounthaune area with this. We need to tackle it while we can, maybe with Tidy Towns groups. Cork County Council and the NRA have been responsible for spreading ragwort. Japanese knotweed will be the same. There are 3 or 4 different stands in Carrigtwohill. It is also at Slatty Bridge.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Supports motion. All Cllrs will seek a remedy to obnoxious weeds. Will come up at SPC and we will talk about it. Wants to talk about one other noxious weed – wild clematis. This has also done untold damage to properties and other wildflowers. Will be the scourge of our lifetime if we don’t do something about it.
Cllr Forde (FG): Thanks Cllr D’Alton for bringing this up. Did not recognise Japanese knotweed until she got representation from Ballincollig about the fears of resident. Cork County Council engineer says it takes 4 years to kill it. We need public awareness. What about insurance if weed like this grows on an adjacent property? If it damages a private/social house, can the owners claim off their insurance?
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Compliments Cllr D’Alton. Japanese knotweed is a gardener’s nightmare. Cllr Conway covered it very well also. Education and training is so important. We have to take that on board. One of the ways we can control it is with Roundup. Roundup will be controlled from 1 September so we need to be conscious of that. Very important motion. Asks our Manager to take it on board.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Good motion. Don’t think the Council has being taking the matter seriously at all. Asked for a report on what the CCC had intended to do about Japanese knotweed several years ago. We never got that report. Hopes Cllr D’Alton has more success. The seriousness of Japanese knotweed is not being taken as it should be. We have proof from UK of what damage it can do. Cemeteries, playgrounds, etc. – it is all over them. People might be taking this business further if the Council doesn’t act. Very serious in West Cork. Houses will be devalued.
CE: Responsibility in relation to enforcement of this issue is the responsibility of the NPWS, not the County Council. We have responsibility as a landowner. We are not standing idly by. It is in our Biodiversity Plan. There was awareness raising at the time prepared by our own Heritage Unit. Reads from the County Council leaflet. We can raise awareness by putting the leaflet on our website. In terms of our own responsibilities, we tackle it when it impacts on our own projects. Contractors under Cork County Council’s remit are required to comply with the relevant legislation. I have no evidence that Cork County Council broke the law. Controlling Japanese knotweed is a massively resource-dependent matter. There is a suggestion that we apply more resources to it. Do we want to transfer our own road grants to it? In the UK, authorities spend over €200m/annum on dealing with it. We need a national approach from state organisations to dealing with this. Thinks the County Council’s responsibility should be kept at SPC level with 6 monthly updates. NRA has got specialists to log and map knotweed. Many bodies are inputting into this because it is a cross departmental issue. The NRA’s work is due to be completed shortly. There will be a targeted eradication programme in two piloted counties. Our own staff will engage with the NRA on that. Thinks this will indicate to us the best way forward. EU Regulations are in place. They require certain actions at a national level. We wait to see how this is implemented in Irish legislation.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks the CE for his response. Glad that the NRA is doing a study and agrees that resources need to given by government for tackling this issue. But whether or not we take the advice of the NRA pilot study, we will still need to map the problem. We cannot tackle in any way if we do not know hwere it is and we cannot know where it is if people do not know what it looks like. Not asking for major expenditure here – simply part-time deployment of existing resources to mapping and awareness raising. Also asking for some of the funds remaining in the County Biodiversity Action Plan to support these actions. It is vital that we make our grounds staff aware of Japanese knotweed. Whether Council staff or contractors, it is a fact that they were flailing the knotweed on the Rochestown Road last October and a further fact that it has massively spread down the Rochestown Road this year. Again, whether or not we take the advice of the NRA pilot study, it is vital that we stop spreading it.
CE: The NRA study was to be over by the end of April. We will await the outcome of that.
12. Councillor Pat Buckley:
“That this Council provides a report on how many emergency repairs were carried out in 2014 and 2015. I also ask what constitutes emergency repairs and are roof repairs and electrical classed as emergency.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
I left the Chamber for a few minutes.
13. Councillor Michael Collins:
“I call on the Minister for Agriculture while a case against the Department of Agriculture in progress that no farm inspections take place until the case is finished. Thirty Three thousand farmers are severely affected by this single farm payment penalty and a group of farmers from Disadvantaged areas are taking a high court challenge against the cuts to farm payments based on ineligible ground. We now call for the complete cessation of all eligibility ground and aerial satellite inspections to cease immediately until the high court challenge is complete.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
(I missed Cllr Collins’ introduction to the motion.)
Cllr Conway: Seconds the motion. Given the fact that there is a High Court challenge underway, there is no point in people being penalised until the outcome of that challenge is known.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Agrees and fully supports.
Cllr McCarthy (SF): Supports Cllr Collin’s motion. Outlines in detail the plight of small farmers. Has some concerns that if we have no farm inspections the Department might use this to delay payments down the line. Asks that an independent working group be established immediately.
Cllr Creed (FG): Department of Agriculture is bound by EU Regulations. Direct payments total €1.6b each year. At the beginning of every year, the Department releases coloured maps identifying farmers’ lands. Farmers are asked to confirm that these maps are correct. Farmers take those maps to Teagasc advisor or farm planner. They were not excluding some of the land that should have been excluded. The EU is considering a penalty against the Irish govenrment of €180m. Has no problem with the motion but there has to be fair play.
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Supports the motion. Very reasonable request.
14. Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire:
“Aontaíonn an chomhairle see go gcrochfar dhá bhratach mhóra suntasach, a mbeadh de ardchaighdeáin, de forógra na poblachta, ar taobh thiar agus taobh thoir halla an chontae, I mBéarla ar taobh amháin, agus I nGaeilge ar taobh eile, le linn 2016 chun comóradh céad bliana 1916 a aithint.
That this Council agrees to hang two large prominent banners, of high quality, of the Proclamation of the Republic, on the Western and Eastern sides of County Hall, in Irish on one side and in English on the other, during 2016, in recognition of the centenary of 1916.”
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 27/4/15]
15. Councillor Des O’Grady:
“To seek a written report on vacant and unfinished housing estates in County Cork. The report to contain a list of unfinished estates and apartment blocks, the number of completed, semi completed or unstarted units in each estate/apartment block. The report to contain whether the units are in NAMA and the number of units in each estate/apartment block that Cork County Council have contractual commitments for, agreements in principal for or part V contractual commitments or interests in, where applicable.”
Cllr O’Grady: Thanks the executive for the written response but the report provided is basically three pages of statistics. There are two issues. Firstly, the number of houses for which planning permission was granted. Over 5,500 are occupied; 2,500 vacant. 45% of completed units are vacant. But 5,500 families are living in unfinished estates. Focus on the 2,500 vacant units that are in the county. With the current housing crisis, if there are that many vacant units, expect that they are ready to be occupied. None has been taken by Cork County Council so far. 79 so far in the county have been taken by approved housing bodies, none by Cork County Council. Although the County Council has been in discussion with NAMA since 2012. Knows NAMA proposes to sell on some of these houses through NARPS.
CE: Not in a position here to talk about our engagement with NAMA. It is primarily the voluntary bodies who have been taking houses. We have had a discussion about NAMA and Council engagement before and that was not indicated as being required in this motion.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Wants to ensure that the figures stack up. Points out that some don’t.
Cllr Barry (FG): What does vacant mean? Is it finished? Also numbers don’t add up.
Cllr Forde (FG): Proposes that the Minister should interact with NAMA. Very hard for the Director of Planning to complete his job.
Transpires the list is from the Department. It is very inaccurate in places and some of the figures make no sense.
16. Councillor Deirdre Forde:
(i) How much was spent during 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 on joint initiatives with Cork City Council to market Cork;.
(ii) across all departments, directorates and platforms, in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 how much money was spent on marketing and promoting Cork as a tourist destination and attracting visitors to Cork;
(iii)across all departments, directorates and platforms, in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 how much money was spent on maintaining, marketing, promoting and staffing tourist attractions in Cork;
(iv)across all departments, directorates and platforms, in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 how much money was spent on websites, broken down per website.
To be deferred. The executive needs more time to gather information.
17. Councillor Noel Collins:
“That this Council call on the Government to activate the provisions of Article 143 of the Constitution, which provides that property rights be regulated by the principles of social justice and the delimiting, by law, of such property rights for the common good, thus protecting the rights of tenants, by way of affordable accommodation.”
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Private landlords should not be allowed to charge what they like just because there are insufficient houses available.
Motion seconded by Cllr D‘Alton (Ind).
18. Councillor Aaron O’Sullivan:
“That this Council expresses its deep disappointment that Fáilte Ireland has excluded Youghal and the broader East Cork region not only from the Wild Atlantic Way but now Ireland’s Ancient East. This is an extremely short sighted and damaging decision which requires the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD to intervene forthwith”.
Cllr O’Sullivan (FF): Youghal and East Cork would have been a perfect area to incorporate into this designation. Wrote to the Minister in relation to the Wild Atlantic Way. The Minister hasn’t even afforded the courtesy of a reply. Brought it up at the Tourism Committee. Was told there is a new plan – Ireland’s Ancient East. Was aghast to see that this stops at Co. Waterford and there is no mention of East Cork. Youghal is marketing itself particularly on heritage and history. We hve the oldest surviving town walls in the country, etc. The government is funding Failte Ireland and all these designations and it is important that this issue is raised at a high level with the Minister. This is a very important issue for Youghal and the East Cork area.
Cllr Buckley (SF): Seconds the motion and is 100% behind it.
Cllr N Collins (Ind): It is a national insult to the people and town of Youghal. Youghal has many tourist attractions. Must be included in the Ancient East.
Cllr McCarthy (FG): This issue came up at Municipal District level last week. Agrees that this should be cross party co-operation. Sits on the Youghal socio-economic development group. We have had ongoing discussions with the Failte Ireland rep on this group. Youghal was never excluded, just not specifically included. On the website, the Ancient East designation goes as far as Cork City. Takes exception to the term “exclusion of Youghal”. It is not excluded. Reads letter from Failte Ireland which clearly indicates that Youghal is included and that it is largely up to Youghal to come on board and deliver the brand experience to the visitor.
Cllr Cullinane (Ind): This is not a route. It is a different product from the Wild Atlantic Way. Over to the East, it is a concept of four pillars that each town and village could work themselves into. The priority is that we get active in our own local area to get active within those pillars and benefit from the marketing going with same.
CE: Will write to Failte Ireland asking for clarification on the Ancient East and how it relates to Youghal and take it from there. There is clearly argument within the MD and this will resolve it.
19. Councillor Ian Doyle:
“That Cork County Council would grant a civic reception to RTE Radio One Broadcaster, Donnacha O’ Dunlaig, who recently announced his retirement from over 50 years of broadcasting.
Donnacha who was born in Doneraile, Co. Cork, has given his lifetime to journalism and broadcasting and also has been involved in many charitable events.”
20. Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe:
“In view of Cork County Council’s new policy to microchip all dogs, that when this procedure is being undertaken, that a swab is taken from each dog to establish a DNA database.”
This received support and it was agreed to pass the motion to the Environment SPC.
21. Dublin Airport Authority:
Letter dated 3rd February, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 12th January, 2015, regarding debt free status for Cork Airport.
22. Bus Eireann:
Letter dated 16th February, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 26th January, 2015, regarding specially adapted bus stop areas.
Link to letters from DAA and Bus Eireann here: Correspondence from other bodies
23. Health Service Executive:
(a). Letter dated 17th February, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 26th January, 2015, regarding cuts to home help hours.
(b). Letter dated 16th March, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 9th February, 2015, regarding the upgrading of Community Hospitals and Older Care facilities in Cork.
Letters link here: Correspondence from Govt Depts
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Wrote to Minister Varadkar who confirmed that money wll be made available for the upgradging of community hospitals.
Cllr A Moynihan (FF): Doesn’t get the same feeling of confidence about this that the others do. Planning has been left lapse on the hospital in Macroom. Are HIQA really as responsible as they were at the last registration?
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Proposes that we write back to the Department and ask that special funding would be given for home help hours. Because although sometimes the hours are being allocated, the resources aren’t there to carry them out.
24. Central Bank of Ireland:
Letter dated 12th March, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 23rd February, 2015, regarding capping of interest rates on loans from moneylenders.
25. National Roads Authority:
Letter dated 16th March, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 12th January, 2015, regarding the naming of the N40 Southern Link Road.
26. Grid Link Project:
Letter dated 21st April, 2015 from the Grid Link Project, regarding a review of its grid development strategy.
27. VOTES OF CONGRATULATIONS (if any)
Cllr Dawson (FG), Cllr O’Flynn (FF) and Cllr Doyle (FF): Propose a vote of congratulations for the Pallas Players and for Kevin O’Shea of Schoolyard Theatre. Asks that they would be received at a civic reception.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Bandon Soccer Club Seniors
Cllr Hayes (SF): Congratulations to Cork County Council on the Lusitania events.
28. ANY OTHER BUSINESS