Social Housing Strategy 2020 – not on the agenda but summary of progress is distributed: Social Housing Strategy 2020
Cllr O’Grady (SF): 138 unfinished estates in the county. Referred to a previous motion. There are 673 housing units empty at the moment that could be utilised. None of those has yet come to the Council. Will we take a multi-faceted and integrated approach? We should be pursuing NAMA and NARPS to fast-track these units. Almost 5,500 families looking at these unfinished estates who bought their houses in good faith, expecting to live in pleasant surroundings. They are being forgotten about as well.
[a] CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES
1. Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 11th May, 2015.
Cllr Hayes (SF): The minutes should mention all the areas, not just the contribution by Cork County Council, who organised Lusitania-related events.
[b] VOTES OF SYMPATHY
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.
The Mayor and Dan Joe Fitzgerald extended sympathies.
[c] STATUTORY BUSINESS
3. Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004: Approval of Draft Road Traffic 30kmph Special Speed Limit Bye Laws.
Cllr McGrath (FF): Thinks this is a significant step forward. There is a formal process in relation to the pilot estates. How long will this take? Have we funding set aside for erecting signage within estates and carrying out road markings, etc.? Following this pilot scheme, what kind of a review period are we looking at? There will be other estates looking for this to be introduced.
Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): Welcomes the proposal. Accepts is only a sample of estates in each Municipal District. Will funding be fully available from the government to implement blanket cover across the country? How will we achieve the expected speed reduction? With speed signs? Speed ramps?
Cllr Doyle (FF): Welcomes the draft bye-laws. In one of the estates in his area, there is a 20kph speed limit. Is this legal or is it just left by the builder?
Cllr A Moynihan (FF): Welcomes pilot scheme. Proposals for speed ramps and pedestrian crossings – will this reduction in speed affect those plans? Where does the county-wide speed limit review stand now?
CE: 30 day period once notice is published for general public to comment. Have to ask gardai for their considerations. Probably will be into September before back to Council for final set of bye-laws for adoption. Pilot scheme so needs to be monitored, perhaps through Transport SPC. Will have to monitor over at least 12 months before we consider incorporating other estates.
Speed ramps and other proposals being discussed at MD level are separate. If 30kph deals with the requirement such that speed ramps are not necessary, that needs to be taken into consideration too. In relation to wider speed limit review, we have received specific guidelines in the last few months. They are being assessed now to see what resources we may need to put into it. The guidelines are quite onerous. Will come back to Council about this.
It is not clear whether we will have any specific allocation from government for implmemneting these special speed limits but we are definitely as a Council going to support.
4. Section 128B(1)(i) of the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended): Annual Reports 2014 of North Cork, South Cork and West Cork LCDCs.
5. Section 4(2) and Sections 32-35 of the Local Community Development Committee (Section 128E) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 234 of 2014): Filling of casual vacancy on the North Cork Local Community DevelopmentCommittee
A casual vacancy has arisen on the North Cork LCDC. In accordance with the provisions of Section 4(2) and Sections 32-35 of the Local Community Development Committee (Section 128E) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 234 of 2014), the approval of the members is sought to the appointment of Ms. Ger Canning as a replacement representative for the Cork Education & Training Board on the North Cork LCDC. The previous nominee (Mr. Ted Owens) is hereby de-selected.
6. Section 134 of the Local Government Act 2001, as amended by the Local Government Reform Act 2014: Adoption of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-2019 as recommended by Corporate Policy Group.
[d] FINANCIAL BUSINESS
7. Annual Financial Statement for year ended 31st December, 2014.
Presentation from Roisin:
Page 16 is main page.
Net deficit of €545k.
Mergers of 9 Town Councils and introduction of Irish Water had significant impact on the figures.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Much concern locally – where did the money that the Town Councils had go to? The Town Councils had projects ready to go and those projects haven’t yet started. Also met Irish Water about projects for the Skibbereen area. Irish Water says they can’t do them because they don’t yet have funding from Cork County Council. Thinks transfer from Town Councils to Cork County Council went very badly. No transparency in handling funding. The Municipal Districts are not doing the same job as the Town Councils did.
We are in an ongoing process with Irish Water. Their team has looked at the figures with Cork County Council and we’ve done due diligence ourselves.
There is no formalisation as yet with Irish Water – the figure in the accounts is just a rough figure. The exercise will continue in the months ahead. But we had to put in a figure for our own audits.
Assets – what Irish Water was taking over under Ministerial Order – we are working on passing those over piecemeal.
The wages and salaries increase is accounted for by the amalgamation of Town Councils and bringing them back to coincide with Cork County Council finanical statements.
NPPR – road grants and some housing grants may differ during the year
Town Council amalgamation was a difficult task. We amalgamated many of their reserves and carried some losses in some cases. There was no win win situation from the Town Councils. We tidied up their accounts coming into Cork County Council to make sure any unaccounted balances were accounted for.
The resolution on the overspend was passed.
[e] REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS OF COMMITTEES
8. Corporate Policy Group: Review of Standing Orders.
Proposed and seconded.
Cllr A Moynihan (FF): Raised the issue of a new Standing Orders on live planning permissions. There are plannings that do need to be debated. Statutory types of planning do not need to be included in this Standing Orders.
Mayor: Our Standing Orders cannot overrule legislation. Legislation allows us to discuss those plannings.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Proposes amendment to No. 90. Proposes that a non-party member seat would be filled by the next not elected in the Municipal District.
Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Supports. Thinks the only democratic way to go.
Cllr T Collins (Ind): As Independents, we don’t intefere with party nominations, so why should they interefere with us?
Cllr Cullinane (Ind): From the history of the Council, there have been parties who put forward people who have not been active in politics or even party members. Only put in three names for her potential replacement recently. Only put them in when she had explained the job to the 3 people involved. It has taken a full 12 months to understand the full workings of this house. Took her responsibility fully and seriously so that those who would replace her would be fully briefed should she choose to back down or move forward.
Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): We are trying to create a situation where the parties will NOT interefere with the independent seat.
SOC: The list of nominees submitted by the independents can be changed at any time.
Cllr O’Grady asked for a vote to be taken.
For 13; 29 against; 1 abstention. (I was the only non-party member who voted for.)
Cllr Cullinane (Ind): List of members on the Council’s website is neither alphabetical nor in order of election.
Mayor: It should be on the list of how you were elected. Certainly the book that we sign is on that basis.
CE: Wasn’t aware of the issue. Will look into it.
9. Western Committee:
“That Cork County Council would request Minister Paschal Donohue, Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport and the National Roads Authority to:
- Upgrade the N71 from a National Secondary Road to a National Primary Road.
- Investigate the possibility of a laying an alternative road surface and the installation of Rumble Strips at both sides of “Chip Van Corner” at Curranure, Innishannon.”
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Ongoing issue with regard to the condition of this road. Needs substantial upgrade. Substantial number of accidents because of bends and because upgrade hasn’t happened. No national primary route in West Cork. Is all National Secondary. This route deserves to be changed. Thjis was first brought up in the Chamber 20 – 30 years ago.
There are several accidents outside the chipper on a monthly and annual basis. Need non-slip surface on the corner. Also need rumble strips on both sides. Rumble strips are noisy but there are very few residences around this location.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Supports. This was unaminously agreed at the Western Committee. The more times this road is brought up as an issue, the better. It is away below the standard it should be.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Supports. N71 stretches from Bishopstown to Beara. If we were to count the lives lost on this stretch of road we would shocked. New signs on the Chip Van Corner were knocked down by a car carrying too many people. Accidents happen there on a weekly basis.
Cllr Lombard (FG): It is up to drivers to slow down when they are approaching that unfortunate dangerous junction.
Cllr O’Donovan (FG): Much work has been done on this corner.
CE: From a tourism and community point of view, this road is a challenge. Generally National Primary Routes are designated because they link larger cities. So the request also is a challenge. On the Chip Van Corner, we have requested the NRA to re-examine the location and to revert to members with the outcome of that. There is muhc additional signage and flashing amber lights. Speed from western side of 114km/h has been recorded. Quite outstanding considering the level of warning around the junction.
(3 FF, 10 FG, 6 Ind, 7 SF, 1 Lab present in the Chamber)
Cllr K Murphy (FG): NRA is really slow to move on anything. Chip Van Corner is very scenic. We see there a piece of scrap that was the chip van. We need to remove the chip van. It is an eyesore and a blight. Perhaps we could address all those issues as soon as possible.
[f] REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF OFFICERS
10. Quarterly report of the Chief Executive on Finance.
[g] CORRESPONDENCE FROM GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS
11. Department of Social Protection: Letter dated 6th May, 2015, in response to Council’s motion of 27th April, 2015, regarding social welfare payments: Departmental response on welfare payments
[h] NOTICES OF MOTION
Cllr 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.
[Deferred from Council Meeting on 11/5/15]
Motion deferred because Cllr Forde not present.
13. Councillor Pat Buckley:
“Whilst noting that Cork County Council has passed on details of its tenants to Irish Water we call on this Council not to turn into debt collectors for Irish Water in cases where tenants choose not to pay or cannot afford to pay water charges. We also condemn the Government for forcing this Council into supplying tenant’s details to Irish Water without notifying tenants firstly. We also request this Council to inform the elected members if any former Council Tenants had their details inadvertently passed onto Irish Water.”
Cllr Buckley (SF): Money from property tax went into Local Government Fund. Much of the Local Government Fund was diverted to Irish Water. That was taxpayer’s money, given whether people could afford it or not.
Has been told by Irish Water that the quality of the water in East Cork will not improve. So getting no value for money. Latest threat is that unpaid debts to Irish Water will be taken out of people’s wages. Knows a landlord who kept a deposit to pay a water bill. Asked the PRTB about this – whether it was normal practice.
Cllr K McCarthy (SF): Supports the motion. Is chairperson of Cobh Says No group. Total opposition to the concept of water charges. This group is on a canvass for the last few weeks, talking to people about their views. 76% of households that we have called to say they will not pay the bills. This supports Cllr Buckley’s motion. He is correct in everything he has pointed out. Would be concerned if the Council were involved in doing collection work for Irish Water. People are already paying for water. Water charges are payment for a second time. People have not paid and should not pay this charge. Irish Water has learned very little. His own father died 7 months ago, but a bill for water was sent to him in the last week.
CE: Legislation refers to the recovery of water charges. Hasn’t haed any formal notification on legislative changes. If local authorities have through legislation to play their part, we will have little choice.
Cllr Buckley (SF): As a public rep, I can’t say to people that we are going to be talked down to from Dublin. Most unfair that we are put in a catch-22 situation. Was surprised to see a solicitor at the Irish Water meeting on Floor 6 this morning. Clarifies that it was not a Council solicitor.
14. Councillor June Murphy:
“That this Council provide a suicide prevention officer for the North Cork area and furthermore put in place a fully funded policy that incorporates working with the different agencies that are active in this area on the ground currently.”
Cllr J Murphy: Tipperary County Council is providing a suicide prevention officer and a mental resilience forum. In 2013, there were 70% more suicides in Co. Cork than in Co. Tipperary. We have done nothing about this yet. More people killed by suicides than by deaths on roads. In response to deaths on roads, Cork County Council has an excellent mapping system, data register, visit sites of accidents. These initiatives are admirable but why cannot death by suicide be worthy of a similar response? Asks that a team from the Council may meet regularly with the suicide prevention officer. This would help maximum resources to be targeted where and when they are needed. The idea of the forum would be that these groups on the ground have expertise in dealing with these issues on a daily basis. Council would ultimately provide a suicide prevention officer. Would ultimately provide a budget to the forum.
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Seconds the proposal. Has been closely associated with suicide prevention oer a long number of years. Suicide is now sadly the leading cause of death among young males. Almost 520 people committed suicide last year, 4 out of 5 of whom are males. Remains the silent killer in our community. Various organisations are fighting an ongoing battle but the numbers tell us that more needs to be done. There is a clear need for more research and caring and preventative measures. A person when trapped can react in different ways. Must have help on hand 24 hours/day.
Cllr Doyle (FF): Would like to be associated with the proposal also. In the North Cork area, there are tremendous groups already set up. Working with people with suicidal tendancies for many many years. Would possibly be better to back up organisations that are already there. Sure that is what Cllr Murphy is saying anyway.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Supports. No dedicated suicide resource officer. Last officer was in place in 2010 and has not been replaced. There are voluntary groups in the couty, but no co-ordination of where they are and what services they provide. Lack of government funding. Huge lack of investment nationally. Close liaison with the National Office of Suicide Prevention and the HRB.
Cllr Buckley (SF): Supports. As PRO of the Suicide Prevention group knows what she is talking about. Any support that we can give to any of the NGO groups would be appreciated.
Cllr Dawson (FG): Supports but has reservations around where we go with it. Thinks we need to go to SPC. Works in medical health field. The lack of information on how to connect to services is the biggest problem.
Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Proposes that we examine what steps are being undertaken in Tipperary. Is potentially a role there for the Co. Council, just need to hone in on the correct mechanism and where it fits. But Cork County Council definitely has a role.
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): One of the biggest issues in our local villages and towns. We have many services. People do not always know where to go for the information.
Cllr Hayes (SF): Supports. Council ideally placed to bring these groups together under the one umbrella. Maybe Cllr Dawson’s suggestion of the SPC might be a good idea.
Cllr Linehan Foley (Ind): Cllr R McCarthy is our chairperson on the HSE forum. Could we highlight this in there? The reason June is bringing this up is because she feels the services are needed in North Cork. But the services that are there are doing the best they can do. June wouldn’t have brought this up unless she felt the existing services were not struggling. June thinks the Council can help. Fully supports.
CE: Suicide prevention is under the remit of HSE. HSE has the national office for suicide prevention. There is a new national framework for suicide prevention awaited. This does envisage a potential role for local authorities. Thinks the HSE should/could engage with the LCDCs. We don’t have a a statutory obligation in this matter but we will do whatever we an and are obliged to do out of the new national framework.
Cllr J Murphy (SF): what I outlined was not to replace what is on the ground. The intention is to bring forward an epidemic that is going on in our communities. There are fantastic organisatons on the ground. But as an elected rep, I wanted to see some forum within the Council so that we can liaise fully with these organisations on the ground and help to tackle the issue. They are ony the suicides that we know of. There are attempted suicides as well. We need to combat that too. The whole point was to bring it here today, discuss it and see going forward how we can best represent the people in our areas in tackling this scourge.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Can we send it to the SPC?
Cllr T Collins (Ind): Could be raised at the Regional Health Forum. Supports this suggestion.
(9 SF, 3 FF, 7 FG, 0 Lab, 6 Ind present in the Chamber)
15. Councillor Des O’Grady:
“To request a written report on the amounts collected in Housing Rents by Cork County Council in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The report to list the total amount collected in rent for each year and the amounts of the collected rent allocated to Housing under both current and capital spending separately.”
Maintenance of €436/house allocated for voluntary housing bodies
CE: We put an adidtional €500k into housing repairs, etc. this year. It has enabled us to advance a range of work. The figure in the AFS for rents is crude. Figure on report is net. That is why they are different.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): We don’t seem to have an ongoing budget for emergency repairs and ongoing repairs. Perhaps we need to talk about this at the SPC.
CE: Discuss it in the budget process, perhaps. Emergency repairs – we are responding to 96-97% of emergency repairs and to 60-odd% of ongoing repairs. So we are getting to them alright.
16. Councillor Seamus McGrath:
“Where planning decisions from An Bord Pleanala to grant or refuse permission differ from the recommendation of An Bord Pleanala’s Inspector, that this Council proposes section 34 (10) of the Planning & Development Act 2000 – 2014 be amended to put a more onerous requirement on the Board to provide a detailed written justification outlining why the Inspector’s recommendation was not accepted.”
Cllr McGrath (FF): Motion is self explanatory. Over last 3 years, this happens 15 – 20% of the time. Inspector makes one mrecommendation and the board decides to go against it. Inspector examines in great detaill, carries out site investigation, examines LA file. Under the relevant planning legislation, the Board does not have to provide a sufficient detailed justification for taking a different view from the Inspector. Have come across 2 cases in the recent past where this was experienced and the justification for overturning the Inspector’s report seemed very inadequate.
Several members spoke in support of the motion.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Support the concept of the motion. If one speaks to the offices of the Board, they will confirm that the only issue which continually causes grief with regard to planning decisions is the overturning of an Inspector’s recommendations. But while agree with the sentiment of the motion, disagree with amendment of Section 34(10). Think this is not the section where the problem lies. An Bord Pleanala comprises 9 members, including a chairperson and a deputy chairperson. Under Section 108(1) of the Act, the quorum for a meeting of the Board is 3. Under Section 111(3), that quorum does not have to include either the chairperson or the deputy chairperson. So when the Board convenes to consider an Inspector’s report, should it decide to overturn an Inspector’s recommendation, it does so potentially (and generally) with 3 members of the Board present. It is crazy that only 3 out of 9 members potentially not including the chair or deputy chair can overturn the detailed work of an Inspector. So that is the first issue. Then the applicant who took the case will be informed of the Board’s decision and the reason for that decision in a written determination. This determination is issued under Section 34(10) to which the motion refers. It is reasonable that the determination would be concise. Because under the applicant who took the case is perfectly entitled to request minutes of the meeting of the Board at which the Board decided to over turn the Inspector’s recommendation. The applicant does not have to even go to Freedom of Information to do this. But this is where the second issue arises. Because under Section 111(7), the Board is not required to keep minutes of a meeting. It is simply required to keep a record of its decisions at that meeting. And so the applicant who wants to know the detail of why the Inspector’s qualifications and investigation were dismissed can never do so. So those are the sections that need to be changed.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Does seem crazy that only 3 members of the Board have to be present at a meeting. Had thought it was 6. That definitely needs looking at.
CE: Reads from Section 34(10).
Cllr McGrath (FF): General principle appears to be agreed across the board. How to proceed? Proposed that we would communicate directly with the Minister. Takes Cllr D’Alton’s point on board. Perhaps we don’t need to be specific to the section, just refer to planning legislation. Happy to proceed on the basis we would ask the Minister to review the planning legislation governing An Bord Pleanala.
17. Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire:
“To ask for a report illustrating how much Cork County Council has spent on illegal dumping every year from 2011, if there is an increase in illegal dumping in that period, and if so, if it is possible to give any reasons for such an increase.”
Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Thanks executive for the report. Dumping is a particular problem in our Municipal District. What is illegal dumping is always an issue. Speaks of difficult access to dumped on area in Grange. Clearly limited resources and these could be put to better use. Would like to consider locating skips for white goods, etc. in designated areas. The City does this. Also thinks there is a role for national government. Fee waiver for low income households was proposed but there has been no advance on this. This Council should recommend to national government that there should be some movement on that. Contracts for collection of rubbish can cost up to €400/yearA number of groups representing the elderly are also supporting the fee waiver.
Cllr Carroll (FF): When there were major cuts in the opening hours of our Civic Amenity Sites in West Cork, that had to increase dumping. Belives Cork County Council is turning its back on its responsibility for rubbish. There is nowhere to put a bag of rubbish in Skibbereen. Has brought it up before – why can’t our bring site be ugraded to a Civic Amenity Sites. The Council will be partly to be blame when bags are thrown all over West Cork for the summer.
Cllr M Collins (Ind): Supports both speakers. Seen on the Beara peninsula an increase in illegal dumping since the opening hours of the Civic Amenity Sitewere cutback. They dump outside the gates of the Civic Amenity Siteat Derryconnell. Volunteers work so hard to keep their place clean; it is unfair not to be supporting them by having the Civic Amenity Site open.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Recent launch of fly tipping units will go a long way towards addressing the illegal dumping issue. Is a perception that if you dump, someone else will take the flak for it. Thinks we should offer more services. A free day in Civic Amenity Sites is a great idea. Used to be done in the past.
Cllr Mullane (SF): We need to be more active on the fines. Commends the environmental officer in the North Cork division. He goes to effort to see who is doing the dumping. We need to let the public know that they can’t get away with it.
Cllr Murphy (FG): Ongoing issue. If PTUs are licenced and agreed, they are fine. They need to be in a place where they are policed by a filling station or they have a camera on board.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG): Must let the public know how much it costs the Council to clear illegal dumping.
Cllr T Collins (Ind): When an area is cleared it encourages people to come and dump again. There was dumping beside the bring bank bins in his local area. Cameras were erected and they were entirely successful. Knows it is a huge expense to the Council to erect cameras but perhaps it would be better to put some of the money into cameras.
Cllr Hayes (SF): Supports. Would prefer to seee money going into the Civic Amenity Sites, not cameras. Many places in rural Ireland don’t have a waste disposal service. The truck simply cannot get down the road. Cutbacks in places like Derryconnell are foolhardy. The new trucks don’t add to our waste collection service. Theyare manned by deployed staff.
Cllr S McCarthy (FG): Commends the enforcement officers.
CE: Welcomes a discussion that raises awareness of illegal dumping. Who dumps? Many councillors seem to be criticising Cork County Council for not having adequate facilities. We have! But we do not dump. And unfotunately it is the case that no matter how mnay facilities you provide, dumping will continue. Reorganisation of Civic Amenity Sites has not led to an increase in dumping. It is not true. It gave us better utilisation of resources. Dumping is a disgusting habit. Not fair to those who are paying Local Property Tax. We get much support from Tidy Towns groups. We want to send a positive message to those. Ultimately down to a certain percentage of the population who have a mindless attitude towards the country.
Cllr O’Laoghaire: Agrees that dumping is damaging a community. Big problem in areas with large populations close to the city.
18. Councillor Marcia D’Alton:
“That this Council acknowledges that those recognised as disabled under the Disability Act 2005 living within our community may have special needs which may be affected by adjacent planning decisions. Consequently this Council asks that government would amend standard planning guidelines to include consideration of those special needs when they are supported by medical expertise”.
Text of my introduction to the motion posted separately.
Cllr O’Shea seconds. Hopes that we can communicate this to the Department going forward.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Trained with Brothers of Charity. Dealing with a lot of families with chidlren with autism. Bulk of work was writing to the local authority asking for adaptations. A lot of sensory needs. Supports motion.
Cllr Forde (FG): Supports. Belives that the planning policy unit should have a role in relation to drawing up planning guidelines. Spoke of case in Togher. This matter has gone to the Ombudsman. This is a big area and we need to be debating it widely. This is not an isolated incident.
Mayor: Supports also. Also aware of similar case. Motion has the support of the chamber.
19. Councillor Michael Collins:-
“I call on the Council to allow the extra funding agreed at a recent council meeting for LCDC companies if they were successful in tendering for the leader programme be extended to all companies who apply and are successful in this tendering in the interest of fairness to all.
Cllr M Collins (Ind): Welcomes the additional money proposed but thinks it is fair that we extend that funding offer to all groups who are successful in the tendering.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Seconds.
CE: Position is very clear. There was a reduction in LEADER funding. That presented a significant challenge to LDCs. We said we would support national policy. National policy is written in such a manner that it suppports LCDCs as being the lead companies in delivering LEADER. The principle underpinning the money is that it would give best opportunity to maximise the money available to the LDCs and the Council through LEADER. Each of the 3 LCDCs has made an application to become a LAG. That process needs to be allowed to continue. In N Cork, there was an agreement that the 3 development companies would become the implementers of the LEADER programme. Very mature and positive decision. Urges Council not to support the motion but to allow the process to continue s0 that we can get proper co-operative arrangements in place for the future of the county Will enable us to reach the most cost-effective way of using LEADER funds.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): Fully agree that the Council did a tremendous job at its last meeting by agreeing to increase the LEADER funding by 25%. Based on the Council’s decision the last day, the LDCs in North Cork came to an amicable conclusion. The LCDC would be the LAG. There were hgue advantages in this approach. They were going to be the implementers, get the LEADER funding, get the 25%, would save many jobs. The organisation’s prime objective is to serve the community. They clearly saw that this was the best way they could do this. Confident that the other LDCs will reach the same type of agreement as was reached in North Cork.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Broadly supportive. Has a problem with national policy. LEADER was suupposed to be about rural communities. Thinks the LCDCs have a top-town approach. Private companies can now tender for the money. Would have a problem with this.
Cllr Doyle (FF): Thought the 25% top up was conditional on the LDC being the actor on the ground. Backs up the CE in this scenario.
Cllr Murphy (FF): We are propping up a lack of government funding, which is regrettable under every circumstance.
Cllr Hegarty (FG): Every member is entitled to put down a motion, but we debated this a few weeks back. If we support this today we would be going against what we already decided. Questions the judgement of the Mayor in allowing this to be debated at all.
Cllr Hayes (SF): Generally agrees with the motion. LCDCs are pittted against the LDCs. The decision by the Council to pick up the slack left to us by the government leaves the process seriously in favour of the LCDCs rather than the very successful LDCs.
CE: Fairness – development companies who have not reached agreeement with their LDCs need to talk to them. Agreement allows them to be part and parcel of the bottom up approach. Surprised that those LDCs who haven’t reached agreement with the LCDCs yet, but is sure they will because it makes sense.
Mayor: The CCC doesn’t control the LCDC. In fact, the Council is on a minority around the LCDC table. Apropriate that an all-encompassing body like that should be seeking the LAG status. We want to preserve our development companies. Without this money they would collapse. Thinks LCDC is a community-based organisation within the structure of the Council. The €3.5m over 7 years including the money we put into communities over that time means we are giving as much to community development as the LEADER programme.
Cllr M Collins (Ind): We needed more time to take this decision when the proposal for the 25% extra was made.
Mayor: Felt that it was important that this issue was ventilated again today.
(3 FF, 13 FG, 7 Ind, 0 Lab, 8 SF in the Chamber now)
A decision was taken that this shouldn’t be on the agenda because Standing Orders say that to revisit a decision of the Chamber, you need one third of the members of the Chamber to write in support of bringing the motion.
Rest of the motions deferred until the next full Council meeting.