Notes from the meeting of Cork County Council, 28th July 2014

1. Confirmation of Minutes of full Council meeting held on 14th July 2014

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Question on Bandon not minuted and question on Kinsale Main Drainage not answered.

CE:  Kinsale Main Drainage should have been answered at committee level.

Tenders opened for several road works schemes.

2. Votes of Sympathy:

Two from Cllr K Murphy and Cllr Mary Hegarty

3.  Disposal of Property – Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001:

a)     Disposal of 14 Barry’s Terrace, Glanworth, Co. Cork.
b)    Disposal of Carrigabrick Viaduct, Fermoy, Co. Cork.
c)     Disposal of land at Stag Park, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, to Kevin King.
d)    Disposal of land at Carrigane, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
e)    Disposal of land at Stag Park, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, to George Fenton.
f)     Disposal of land at Ballynamona, Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork.
g)    Amendment to Disposal of Site No. 7 Cloughmacsimon Industrial Park, Bandon, by the substitution of “Site No. 7 including Right of Way “279-1” in lieu of “Site No. 7” being the situation of said site and the inclusion of “Property Ref: EST 10-3 SLD 09/14.”

 Proposed and seconded.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Glanworth property – sum of €45k received for this.  Would it have been suitable for social housing?

CE:  Money received will go into the social housing fund.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  No names attached to the transfer of some property.  Why?

SO’C:  a) doesn’t say it is under the tenant purchase scheme.  If this was a social house that is being disposed of, the money has to be put back into social housing purposes.  Will check what the position was if it wasn’t a social house.

4.  Local Government Act, 2001:
a.     Section 85 Agreement with Waterford City and County Council – Munster Bridge Joint Replacement Contract 2014 – Contract 1

 b.     Section 85 Agreement with Limerick City and County Council – Munster Bridge Joint Replacement Contract 2014 – Contracts 2 & 3.


5.  Local Government Act 2001 (as amended by Section 59 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014) & Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 244/2014):

In accordance with Regulation 4 of the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014 the Corporate Policy Group nominates the following persons for appointment to the Council’s Audit Committee:

Mr. Larry O’Dwyer
Professor Ciaran Murphy
Ms. Edel Clancy
Ms. Eileen O’ Shea
Councillor Mary Rose Desmond
Councillor Susan McCarthy
Councillor Declan Hurley

 CE:  Those appointed will take the positions for the 5 years of this Council.  The Audit Committee comprises 4 external reps and 3 members of Council.  Also provision to have those agreed between the CE and the CPG.  The CPG is recommending the members above to the Audit Committee for the next 5 years.  Two of the external reps continue from the last Council for continuity.

Cllr Forde (FG):  The audit committee is a very high-powered committee.  Presume the members chosen have a certain expertise in this area.

Mayor:  All the legislation requires is gender balance.

Proposed and seconded.

6.  Establishment of 3 no. Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in Cork County

In accordance with the provisions of Section 36 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, and Sections 4(1) and 4(2) of SI No. 234 of 2014 in relation to the establishment of Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs):

 Regulation 4 (2) The list of recommended nominees to the Committee, to which section 128C(3)(a) of the Act relates, shall be submitted for resolution of the local authority no later than the first meeting of the local authority following the meeting at which the members of the local authority were nominated to the Committee.

SF nominates Cllr Rachel McCarthy instead of Cllr Paul Hayes to Western LCDC.

Udaras is active in both the South and West divisions so they will be represented on both LCDCs.

7.  Appointment of Members to the West Cork Development Partnership.

Joe Carroll (FF)
Mary Hegarty (FG)
Michael Collins (Ind)
Paul Hayes (SF)

All of the above proposed.  Using the grouping system, Cllr Carroll (FF) was elected.  A vote saw Cllr Collins (Ind) elected.  In second vote for the third place, FF proposed Cllr Murphy O’Mahony also.  When the vote was counted, Cllr Murphy O’Mahony was elected.

8.  Appointment of Members to the following Committees:-

Coastal Management Committee                  14
(From Cobh, East Cork, Bandon/
Kinsale and West Cork MDs)
County Library Committee                                    8
European Affairs Committee                              12
Rural Water Monitoring Committee                8
(1 from each MD)
Traveller Consultative Committee                     8
(1 from each MD)
CASP Policy Committee                                    12                  (Ballincollig/Carrigaline – 2; Blarney/Macroom – 2; Cobh – 2; East Cork – 2; West Cork – 1; Bandon/Kinsale – 1; Kanturk/Mallow – 1; Fermoy – 1)
Southern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force   1
County Cork Sports Partnership                                  3
Irish Public Bodies                                                                 1

Cllr D’Alton (Ind) asked why Ballincollig – Carrigaline which has 29 km of coastline was not represented on Coastal Management Committee.  Mayor says that it was decided at CPG.  Cllr McGrath said that he did not agree at CPG that Ballincollig – Carrigaline would not be represented on the Coastal Management Committee.  Mayor says the decision of the CPG can be overturned by the full Council.  Proposes to second my suggestion.

Agreement to make 15 positions available.

Coastal Management Committee:
FF: O’Sullivan, Murphy, Coleman, Murphy O’Mahony, Carroll
FG: Mary Hegarty, Barry M Hegarty O’Donovan
SF: Hayes, K McCarthy
Ind: Cullinane, Collins, D’Alton

County Library Committee:
External positions are decided by the committee itself.
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Doyle, N McCarthy …
(Missed the rest of this.)

European Affairs Committee
FF: O’Flynn, O’Keeffe, Coleman
SF:  R McCarthy, Frick Murphy
Ind: Joe Harris, JP O’Shea
FG: Dawson, Michael Hegarty
Labour:  N McCarthy

Rural Water Monitoring Committee
Need subs on this committee.
Ind: T Collins, Mary Linehan-Foley
SF:  O’Grady, Murphy, K McCarthy
FF: Moynihan, O’Keeffe, O’Donnabhain, Carroll
FG: Sheppard and 2 more

Mayor made sure that all areas of the county were covered.

Travellers Committee:
FF: Doyle, N McCarthy
SF: Mullane
Ind: Harris, (O’Shea sub)
FG:  J O’Donovan, Canty, Dawson and Lucey (subs)

Geographically distributed
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Desmond (Ryan and O’Sullivan subs)
SF: O’Laoghaire, Keohane (subs Mullane and Buckley)
Ind: Conway, D’Alton, Hurley (sub Cullinane)
FG: Collins, Forde, Barry (sub N O’Donovan, Lucey, Michael Hegarty)

Regional Drugs & Alcohol Task Forum:
Kevin O’Keeffe

Cork County Sports Partnership
FF: Ryan (sub Moynihan)
Ind: O’Shea
FG: Canty

N McCarthy (FF) elected by vote.

Cobh Heritage Trust
Cullinane (Ind), Barry (FG) and K McCarthy (SF) proposed.  Lombard proposed that it should be at MDC level.  O’Shea (Ind) and McGrath (FF) disagreed.  Cllr Cullinane was elected by vote.

National Monuments Committee being reviewed.  Presumes decision will come at September CPG.

9.  Approval of Strategic Policy Committee Scheme.

Planning SPC
FF: McGrath, O’Sullivan, Ryan B Moynihan, O’Sullivan
SF: Frick, O’Grady
Ind: D’Alton, T Collins
FG: Lombard, M Hegarty, Forde, J O’Donovan
Lab: Rasmussen

Environment SPC
FF: O’Flynn, O’Keeffe, two Moynihans
SF: Mullane, Frick Murphy
Ind: Cullinane, D’Alton
FG: J O’Donovan, Barry, Dawson, Canty, K Murphy

Economic SPC
FF: O’Flynn, Doyle, Desmond, Fitzgerald, Ryan, O’Donnabhain
SF: Murphy, McCarthy
Ind: Harris, O’Shea
FG: Forde, Lombard, Hegarty, G Murphy

Tourism SPC
FF: Coleman, O’Sullivan, Carroll, O’Keeffe, ?
SF: K McCarthy, Hayes
Ind: Cullinane, Hurley, Conway
FG: S McCarthy, Sheppard, Canty, Mary Hegarty

Housing SPC
FF: McGrath, Fitzgerald, Murphy o’Mahony, G Murphy
SF: Mullane, O’Laoghaire, R McCarthy
Ind: M Collins, O’Shea
FG: S McCarthy, N O’Donovan, G Murphy, Sheppard
Lab: McCarthy

Transportation SPC
FF: C O’Sullivan, Murphy O’Mahony (+2)
SF: K McCarthy, Hayes
Ind: Hurley, T Collins
FG: Creed, Barry, K Murphy, Lucey

Social SPC
FF: Doyle, Desmond, O’Donnabhain
SF: Murphy, Buckley, O’Grady
Ind: O’Shea, Collins, N Collins, ?
FG: Creed, Dawson, J Collins

Arts SPC
FF: Moynihan, Carroll (?)
SF: Buckley, O’Laoghaire, Keohane
Ind: Linehan Foley, Harris, ?
FG: Mary Hegarty, N O’Donovan, Canty

10.  Reports under Section 179 Planning & Development Act, 2000:
a)     Conservation of Mitchell Gaol & Shell Store, Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork
b)    Improvement Works to the Pier, Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork
c)     The Café Toilet Block (Old Gymnasium), Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork

Cllr Fitzgerald (FF):  Mallow Castle and Buttevant Town Scheme – proposes to have these included.

SO’C: 3 items on agenda.  2 items added subsequently.

All agreed.

11.  Southern Committee:

Approval of Community Fund 2014.

Proposed and seconded.

12.  Department of Health:

Letter dated 9th July, 2014, in response to Council’s letter of 11th June, 2014, regarding water fluoridation.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Very disappointed that the government intends to continue this practice.  Has been fighting this over the past 40 years.  Have failed in this mission to date but will keep trying.  Fluoride is an industrial by-product added to our water supplies for almost 50 years.  We are the most heavily fluoridated country in the world.  Most countries have banned practice.  Linked with all sorts of health issues.  Dr. Malusi estimates that many deaths in the US annually are due to fluoride.  This should surely be good enough evidence for government.  Human life is sacred.  Request that we send back the letter and request alternative.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Echoes Cllr Collins’ sentiments.  Vote in the Dail for stopping fluoridation was put forward by SF.  Is going to be followed up in the Dail again.  EU ambassadors visiting Dublin recently have been recommended not to use the tap water in Ireland and especially not to make bottled milk for babies not using tap water.  Amazing that government persists.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Echoes frustration with this issue.  Department’s letter is in response to the letter which we sent.  Hasn’t addressed fundamental issue of choice.  People should have that choice.  FG said there would be an international dimension to the review board.  Twice the Minister has responded but there has been no mention of this international dimension.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  There are a number of issues relating to water.  People are out protesting in towns around the country against water meters.  People are under financial pressure.  SF position was always underinvestment from government to maintain the water supply.  Also SF held position on issues like this about water quality.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Department’s letter says that a report done by the European Community on Health and Environmental Risk has concluded there to be no health risk from fluoridation.  This is not what the report says.  What is actually says is:

“Water fluoridation as well as topical fluoride applications (e.g. fluoridated toothpaste or varnish) appears to prevent caries, primarily on permanent dentition. No obvious advantage appears in favour of water fluoridation compared with topical prevention. The effect of continued systemic exposure of fluoride from whatever source is questionable once the permanent teeth have erupted…

…The efficacy of population-based policies, e.g. drinking water, milk or salt fluoridation, as regards the reduction of oral-health social disparities, remains insufficiently substantiated…

…Water fluoridation as well as topical fluoride applications, e.g. fluoridated toothpaste or varnish, appears to prevent caries, primarily on permanent dentition, but topical application is the more efficient measure…

…In children, a very narrow margin exists between achieving the beneficial effects of fluoride in caries prevention and the adverse effects of dental fluorosis.

Asks that we send the letter back and draw the Department’s attention to what the report actually says.  The government is introducing water charges.  It cannot expect people to pay for medicated water.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Has been working on this issue for 20 years.  Suggests we follow through what has been asked in this letter.  Give whatever proof we have against fluoridation.  Send it to the Dental Research Board and cc it to the Minister.  We have to keep pressure on.

Agreed to return the letter and say that we are not happy with it.

13.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Seamus McGrath:

“To request a written report from the CEO on the implementation of the ‘Adopt a Road Scheme’ across the County.  The report should outline the number of organisations participating in the scheme, an assessment of its success and to suggest ways of revamping the scheme to improve participation.”

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Supported the scheme when it was brought in in 2012.  The scheme has been a success overall.  Thinks the scheme supplements the Council’s role.  Important at a time of limited resources to use all the help that we can get out there and if it is a scheme like this is mutually beneficial then it is worth taking part in.  The scheme is to support iconic areas such as roundabouts.  Would like to see the scheme rolled out into roads as well.  Is put into practice at a local level.  Tidy Towns groups doing it at an informal level as well – have divided up areas between clubs, etc.  Asks that it be taken to SPC to see if we can enhance it further.

Cllr McCarthy (Lab):  Agrees.  Involvement in the scheme should be encouraged more.  People who are involved are happy with it.  When business people do get involved there should be more reference to the efforts they make.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Would like to commend Council for the efforts they are making in rolling out this scheme.  Thinks litter element could be extended.  When Council cuts hedgerows in rural areas, sometimes there is fly tipping there.  The machines cut the litter and make the problems worse.  Also think the airport roundabout should be included.  Pivotal roundabout.

Cllr Canty (FG):  Fantastic scheme.  Ballincollig was used as a benchmarking in relation to what can be done and should be done.  Good to see that businesses have adopted roundabouts around the area and it makes such a difference.  We give grants to local Tidy Towns groups.  Puts a lot of pressure on them to come up with the goods and to justify the money given.  They are undertaking work that is covering Council work and the aspects of H&S has to be considered, especially with cutting grass on roadside.   But overall thinks many more businesses would be interested in taking this scheme on.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Because it is 2 year scheme we need to watch that the ongoing maintenance afterwards is at the same standard that it started out at.

O’Flynn (FF):  V beneficial scheme.  Thinks we should be giving this scheme more publicity.  Do a PR scheme.  Moorepark roundabout.  Kildorrery also.  Tremendous potential for other County towns and villages to get involved.

Lombard (FG):  Fantastic scheme.  Real  issue is participation.  Need to push it out maybe through the Chamber of Commerce and other business community organisations.  Are pivotal roundabouts throughout the entire county that could benefit from this scheme.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Great value to the scheme but agrees with Cllr Canty – need to proceed carefully because it is not the role of the Council to outsource core work to the voluntary community sector.  So certainly a role for businesses and community groups, have to be careful of the burden we place on the community groups.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Great scheme.  Someone complained about the island at the Crows Nest.  Maybe we could write to the City and ask them to maintain.

Cllr Harris (Ind):  Concerned about impact on morale of Council workers.  Thinks we should be trying to create extra Council jobs.  No substitute for proper full time work.  Plenty of people would do this job if they could.  Are we going down the road of cheap labour?

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Agrees that we should publicise the scheme more widely.  Wasn’t aware of it and knows much of this work is done by community groups.

Agreed to send motion to SPC to work on publicity.

14.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Joe Carroll:

“That this Council provide an office (section) dedicated entirely to our coast and staffed with people with marine experience.”

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Believes Cork County Council underestimates the value of the coastline.  If more harbours had better facilities, believes these places would sustain themselves and provide reasonable employment.  Gave example of Baltimore Harbour and the need for a breakwater.  Facilities are hopeless without shelter.  A planning application was to have been lodged in 2012.  To date it has not been lodged.  Simon Coveney said he was willing to help and support but we had no planning application ready.

Coastal Management and Flooding – reckons that any funding coming through here would go to flooding, not to coastal management.  Accepted in West Cork that Kerry County Council has a far more proactive approach to its coastline than we do.  Pontoon sitting in Skibb with the last 6 months.  No good.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Seconds the proposal that we provide a Coastal section within the County Council.  Disagrees though that progress is slow.  In his area, progress is good.  Think harbours better off as a result of County Council takeover.  But thinks we need to ensure that everyone who has a mooring must check it, be responsible for it, etc.   There are examples right across the county where a marine section within the County Council would have relevance and reap benefits.  Had experts in-house, they are no longer with us.  Would like to set up a committee within the Coastal Management Committee to work on this.  Huge responsibility now that we have taken over Kinsale and Baltimore.  Thinks Cork County Council needs to put one or two people with expertise in such a department.  Thinks expertise is already in house.

CE:  We have a coastal management unit in place under the remit of the County Engineer.  This Is combined with flooding so it gets quite a bit of capital investment.  Looks after piers and harbours, etc. and got a good bit of money after the flooding.  South and West Cork has significant investment in coastal areas.  That we have now taken over the harbours, we will make sure that there is no change for residents or those who use the harbours.  Cork County Council put considerable investment in showers, toilet facilities, etc. in Baltimore, including investment in the sailing club.  Will continue as we are and thinks Cork County Council is well structured to prioritise the coast.  Thinks Coastal Management Committee will be an active committee and should have a sub-committee if required.

County Engineer:  Thought there was synergy between coastal management and flooding.  So he has put the 2 together.  There are now 8 engineers (increased from 2).  Dealing a great deal with storm damage.  One of the contracts being opened at today’s meeting relates to Belvelly Bridge.  €5m to be spent over two years when Cork County Council took over Baltimore and Kinsale.  Deals only with capital works, not day to day maintenance.

The Baltimore breakwater happened as the take over was also happening.  That was unfortunate.  They have to go to An Bord Pleanala.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Thanks for this.  Funding that was got when takeover happened was secured by Cllrs Murphy and J Carroll.  It was the sole intention that €2.5m would be used for providing breakwater but the Department wouldn’t allow it.  All the lovely work done in Baltimore is no use without a breakwater.  Yachts spend a fortune in Baltimore when they come in for a couple of nights.  The sooner shelter comes to Baltimore, the better for commerce in Baltimore.  The Baltimore breakwater is the backbone of his motion.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  No database and no inventory of buoys, their safety, etc.  People are being charged a fortune to lay down buoys and then have no comeback.  Have to have a certain level of expertise to know what we talking about.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  It was recommended that a Harbour Forum would be established meeting a few times a year when this takeover happened.

15.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Melissa Mullane:

“That Cork County Council gives a report of the number of houses currently vacant in Cork County – that will be refurbished under the recent funding announced by Government of EUR 1,181,000 on the 8th of July 2014.”

Cllr Mullane (SF): €15 million put in place to pay for the refurbishment.  In Cork County Council 187 houses with €1.81m value being funded to Cork County Council.  When will they be provided?  Who will do the work?  Tender guidelines?  Is €13k enough for every house and if it is not, will we get more?

O’Laoghaire (SF):  Long running issue.  Creates frustration when people are wiating on houses for a long time.  Also very much affects morale of the community.  Thinks will make a dent in the houses that are needed but remains to be seen whether it will be sufficient to sort out this significant problem.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Has been a long-term critic of long term vacancies across county.  Voids are generally over 12 months.  Unacceptable.  Had been great work in bringing this issue to the fore heretofore.  Thinks funding is not enough from a cursory viewpoint.  Need to turn around faster.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Mary Ryan issued us with a list of houses approved under this scheme.  That was issued only this morning.  Have to keep finger on pulse to see what else we can do.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Although we might feel the funding is not enough, we should be grateful for it because it is more than we have seen for a long time.  Disappointed there is no report from management.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Funding is only a drop in the ocean.  In Clonakilty, some places have been vacant for up to 10 years.  People crying on the phone to you.  We are at the coal-face.  So many houses that need work done.  If there is any hope that the Council could ease up on the refurbishment policy?  There are many people willing to do light work themselves.  Not talking about electricity, plumbing, etc.  Would ask the Council to relax its policy and permit light works to be done to speed up the process.

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Is the list we received from Mary Ryan this morning a complete list?  Also supports the motion.

CE:  Progressing as quickly as we can.  Likely that will be done by tender to get greatest efficiency.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Tender or private contractor?

CE:  We don’t have staff to do this work.  €2.2m worh of funding there.  Will progress this by way of tender.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Intend to draw down all funding by end of year?

CE: That is what we intend.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Concerned that social inclusion aspect of the monies awarded is not being acted on.

Mayor:  We have to use the money before end Nov.  Couldn’t achieve that timescale if we were to take any route other than tender.

This budget is specifically for vacant schemes.

Can use contractors working in former Town Council areas.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Can we get a commitment that the contractors in former Town Council areas actually WILL be used?  Received email from former contractor to Cobh Town Council and he is just thrown on the scrap heap.

Mayor:  Will be opened in new framework.  Whoever applies under that framework will have the same opportunity as everyone else.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  How many houses are vacant?

Mayor: 155 vacant houses to be refurbished UNDER THIS SCHEME.  Report given.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  There are lots more houses needing refurbishment than just those to be refurbished under this scheme.

CE:  The way the numbers fall, the most urgent houses are looked after first.  If the list is there, the list is fixed based on the number of houses available.

16.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Paul Hayes:

“That this Council writes to Failte Ireland asking that the route of the Wild Atlantic Way be extended to include the coastal route from Timoleague to Clonakilty.”

Cllr Hayes (SF):  The Wild Atlantic Way by-passes a very obvious headland.  Courtmacsherry has had an annual festival running for an entire week.  It has a Storytelling Festival every September.  It will celebrate the Lusitantia sinking next year.  A racetrack is plotted out on the sand when the tide goes out.  It offers kayaking, sailing, fishing, etc., cycleways and walks.  It has amazing landscape and views.  It offers bars and restaurants, including a rated restaurant in Ring village.  It has shops, guesthouses and many other rate-paying businesses.  Failte Ireland appeared slightly concerned about roads on the headland but gave the impression that this was only a small concern.  People on the headland are very upset at not being included in the Wild Atlantic Way.  This area has already been affected by post office, pub and shop closures.  It is vital that it is not left behind.

Cllr M Collins (Ind):  Supports entirely.

Cllr Hurley (Ind):  Thinks good idea to get delegation down there to see what is on offer.  Is a hidden gem.  Supports entirely.

Cllr R McCarthy (Ind):  Courtmacsherry Rowing Club held rowing club all-Irelands 2 years ago.  One of the best run events she has ever been at.

Agreed to write to Bord Failte to get the headland included in the route of the Wild Atlantic Way.

17.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Noel Collins:

“That this Council call on the Government to introduce the necessary legislation to protect the interests of small businesses who are paid considerable sums by concerns who have gone into liquidation.”

Cllr N Collins:  Small businesses are having to act as unsecured creditors.  The law is not on their side.  The banks get personal guarantees, but small businesses are last on the list to be supported.  Revenue Collectors are preferential creditors.  There must be change in relation to trade creditors and limited liability.  Small business owners struggle with accessing loans, premises, rates, etc.  Asks the manager whether any progress has been made on rates reform at government level.

Agreed and seconded.

18.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Pat Buckley:

“That this Council write to Irish Water and request that a compensation scheme be put in place for householders living in hard water areas.”

Cllr Buckley (SF):  In the year 2000, the Water Framework Directive was passed to improve water quality.  There has been no improvement to date.  East Cork is suffering from bad water.  Water is so hard that in one house, 4 washing machines and 3 shower units have had to be replaced.  If it is causing this damage to appliances, what must it be doing to pipework.  It also reduces the efficiency of appliances because of scale build-up, so there are more costs on electricity.

Cllr N Collins (Ind):  Seconds and fully supports proposal.  Asks that we might also add for a compensation scheme for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.  It is proposed to reduce the size of the toilet cistern to 2.5 litres per flush.  Often with irritable bowel syndrome you have to flush again.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  Supports both proposals.  Hard water is a major problem.  Costs houseowners a lot of money in replacing appliances.  Believes some grant needs to be given to hosueholders to either replace appliances or to provide a filter.  Appropriate filters are not cheap.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony (FF):  Own town of Belgooly is in a hard water area.  Applicances have to be replaced regularly.  Suggests that reduction in charges the way to go.  Rang Irish Water this morning and was told a report is coming and that people can make submissions.

Cllr B Moynihan (FF):  Wants to raise issue of water quality in Ballydesmond.  Supports motion.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Supports motion but thinks very hard to administer.  Should be looking and requesting Irish Water to grant aid Cork County Council a water softening plant.  Would be an absolute nightmare to try to do rebates on charges.  Much easier to make sure that water would be usable at source.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Prefers individual approach.  Supports Cllr Buckley’s motion.  Have written from N Cork many time about this issue.  Is there a grant system available in a related field which could be used here?

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Very important motion.  CER key to this.  We need to be corresponding with CER as a County Council.

Cllr Dawson (FG):  Has to disagree with Cllr Murphy.  Hard water needs to be treated in the house.  The problem Is when you heat the water, it releases deposits.  (Gave a really good explanation.) So treating it at source is not good enough.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Mallow has two treatment plants.  One delivers hard water and one delivers soft.  At the moment, those on the soft water have been switched to hard and they are really noticing the difference.

Mayor: CER had a public consultation.  Thinks it would be good to write to Irish Water as well.

Cllr Buckley (SF):  We don’t have control over water or wastewater any more.  He has contacted Irish Water but cannot get a response to his questions.  They will not engage.  But they will talk all about the installation of water meters.

Agreed to write to Irish Water about the issue of hard water.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  There are two issues here.  Cllr Collins also raised the issue of those suffering from IBS.  People such as these were supposed to be a special category called vulnerable users – people who for medical reasons need more water than normal.  Those vulnerable users have never been defined.  So we need to also write and ask for definition of the medical conditions that categorise someone as being a vulnerable user and to include IBS in that category.

Agreed to write about this also.

19.  Notice of Motion: Councillor Michael Collins:

“That the Cork County Council call on the Minister for Transport to seek immediate funding for improvements to the N.71 from Cork to Glengarriff via Clonakilty/ Skibbereen/ Ballydehob for long over due improvements and also the R586 Bandon to Bantry Via Dunmanway for immediate improvements also.”

Cllr M Collins (Ind): People in West Cork pay their motor tax same as any other road in Ireland.  Would like to like to ask the Minister to come to see the condition of West Cork roads.  If he cannot come, we will send a delegation.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Improvements to this road were debated well at the last meeting.  We agreed that a deputation would go to the Minister.  How are we with setting up the deputation?  Supported motion.

Cllr Murphy (FF):  Supporting motion.  Was given good airing at last meeting.  Serious underinvestment over many years.  Joke to call it a national route.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): Supports but thinks we should just include the whole of the N71 from the Bandon roundabout all the way to West Cork.   Gives very bad image coming out of the city.

Cllr Hurley (Ind):  Thinks we should get the minister down.  All very well to go to Dublin, but the Minister needs to see the condition of the roads in West Cork.  We are losing the battle for roads in West Cork.

Cllr Lombard (FG): Any update since the last meeting?  Also thinks County Engineer should have a list of infrastructural needs that we could bring if we were going to Dublin with that deputation.

Cllr Hayes (SF):  Supporting.

Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG):  Supporting.

Mayor also supporting.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Wondering what the communication is between the NRA and the Cork County Council?

CE:  All the NRA works are done through the NRA design office which is based in Cork and staffed largely by Cork County Council personnel.  Can get someone to contact Cllr McCarthy on the issue she raised.

20.  Councillor Des O’Grady:

That Cork County Council expresses its deep concern at the ongoing violence in Gaza, in particular, it’s anger at the disproportionate use of military force by the Israeli Government and the IDF against the people of Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of over 576 persons, the overwhelming majority of them Civilians, with more than 25% of them being children, and which have included atrocities such as the attack on the Al Aqsa Hospital.

Cork County Council therefore calls on the Irish Government to expel the Israeli Ambassador as an expression of the outrage felt by the Irish people.”

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Each life lost is as important as the next.  All death is a tragedy.  But we cannot excuse Iraeli actions.  They say they have a right to defend themselves.  Do the people of Gaza not have the same right?  The people of Gaza have been under assault in some way for the last 7 years.  Israel has put the people of Gaza under siege.  This is now supported by Egypt.  Placing the health of the Gaza people under severe pressure.  Palestinaian children in Gaza suffering horrendously.  Malnourishment, stunting, etc. Increasing.  Nutritional deficiencies in children, especially due to lack of clean water.  Anaemia big issue, including in pregnant women.  Anaemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths.

The media failed to note the uneven distribution of power and suffering.  There is a Palestinian narrative that must be given equal airing.  The Israeli Prime Minister claimed that the Gaza Palestinanians one of the great injustices of the modern era.  Many have lived in refugee camps all their lives.

1.65m people living in the Gaza strip.  Refugee camps have one of the highest population density in the world.  Population also young.  Soft target for the US army.  The UN Hugh Commissioner for Human Rights said that last week that Israel may be violating international law.  Urges all parties concerned to respect their obligations under this international law.

Ireland abstained in its vote last Wednesday.  Thinks our government is not defending the civilian popuation of Gaza.  Accepts to expel the Israeli asmbassador is an unusual step but  believes it essential to send message to Israeli government that its treatment of the Palestinians is totally unacceptable.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  State terrorism.  Israeli spokespeope say Hamas are shielded behind innocent people.  We can hope it will all go away or we can back it up.

Cllr Desmond (FF):  Condemns the government’s abstaining from the vote.  It wasn’t a one-sided thing – it was to have been balanced.  It is dialogue that is needed to solve this crises and so thinks expelling the ambassador is probably not a good thing to do.  Asks that the Minsiter would be asked to officially summon the ambassador to convey the feelings of the Irish people directly to the Gaza Minister.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF):  Always two sides to every story.  Concerned about expelling.  Agree with sentiment but maybe the action is too heavy handed.

Cllr Harris (Ind):  Broadly in favour of the motion.  Wants to make sure we don’t come across as anti-Semitic.  So should be addendum that similar caution should be given to the Egyptian government.  Feels the responsibility is on Israel to exercise restraint because it is the stronger military force.  We have to include the Egyptian ambassador in that.

Cllr Doyle (FF):  Second Cllr Desmond’s proposal.  Thinks dialogue more important than sending people home.  All disgusted by atrocities.

Cllr Lombard (FG):  Very important motion.  One of the biggest worldwide issues.  1.7m people trapped into an area one eighth the size of Tipperary. Have to have great concern about it.  As a nation, we’ve seen how we can learn from the troubles in Northern Ireland.  We had the opportunity to learn from this.  Talks solved the problem.  We have always been suportive of the people in Gaza with aid, etc.  We should be talking – building bridges.  Expelling the ambassador will do nothing for the people in Gaza.

Cllr K Murphy (FG):  Sympathy to people in Gaza.  Outrageous what is happening at the moment.  So supports the first part of the motion.  But cannot support the second.  Cannot see any benefit to expelling the Israeli ambassador.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Damning indictment of governemnt not to vote at UN last week.  Is tempting to expel the ambassador but thinks hugely important that people would be at the table to create dialogue.  Supports proposal on calling in both ambassadors.  Message is we want to keep the channel open.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Congratulates Member on putting down the motion.  Would have been more impressed if there had been an equal motion down about the atrocity in the Ukraine last week.  If we are going on a principle that we cherish and need to protect peace, is all for it.  The only way to move forward it through dialogue.  Need to give the people in Israel an opporunity to do that.  Hamas also has a responsibility here.  Hamas built those tunnels knowing there was going to be a response.

Cllr R McCarthy (SF):  Thinks we cannot support one part of the motion without the other.  Protest in Bandon last Saturday.  Some attendees were political, some were not.  Was well attended.  Is also a mass in Kinsale coming up in support of the people in Gaza.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Very significiant action to expel an anbassador.  But onus on international community to lay down  a marker.  Israel has got major funding for arms and defences.  Yes we can assist in the facilitation of dialogue but that dialogue hasn’t happened.  We have an opporunity to show that their actions have consequences.  Context is that Israel has been acting against international laws and norms.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  Asking Cllr O’Grady to have a rethink on the text of the motion.

Cllr J Murphy (SF):  One of their own ministers said that they want to specifically target women and children.  Completely supports the motion.  Need to send clear message that Ireland will not tolerate slaughter of innocent children.

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Long running dispute which has reached critical stage.  Agrees that government stance last week was highly regrettable.  Thinks the national parliament, not the local authorities should be discussing this issue.  Will be calling for the Dail to reconvene to discuss this.  Is not the only atrocity in the world today.  Exclusion does not work.

Cllr Coleman (FF):  Shocked that the Minister completely missed the mood of the Irish public.  Negotiations and discussions always seem to back the Israel side.  High time Europeans adopted their own position – not the American position.  Hopes the Parliament is recalled this week and the situation is righted.  Thinks would be a strong step to ask for the expulsion of an ambassador.

Cllr O’Grady: Will not accept the amendment.  Appreciates that most agree with the first part of the motion and thanks them all for that.  This is the 3rd time since 2007 that atrocities have arisen here.  What about Ireland having an indpendent foreign policy?  We used to.  It will not harm dialogue if the ambassador is expelled.

First part of motion agreed by everyone.  But Cllr Desmond’s amendment to the second part was voted on.  The amendment was agreed (28 – 11).


Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): – ?
Cllr Hayes (SF) – Model railway village celebrating 20 years of opening.
Cllr MF Murphy (SF) – Passage West Rowing Club on County Finals
Cllr K Murphy – Hurling


Cllr MF Murphy (SF):  Delighted to see planning notice put in for pontoon in Passage West.  Thinks down to the hard work of River Users Association.  Also doesn’t see the Passage West garda station listed in the Council Tenants Handbook.

Mayor: This is an issue for the Southern Division.

Cllr Carroll (FF):  Japanese Knotweed – Please provide a progress report with regard to its control.   It is going out of control.

Cllr Forde (FG):  Asks that the male members would not wear very strong deodorant.  Affecting her asthma and others with similar conditions.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  CE said he would revert to the value of land – from last minutes of meeting.  Also NAMA housing.

CE:  LAG – €53 million worth of debt on books.    Still working on NAMA housing.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  E Coli warning on Youghal beaches.  Shocking seeing as Youghal depends on tourism so heavily.  Is there any system in place in the summer months that water quality could be checked every 2- 3 days.  So that as soon as it clears it can be given the all clear?

CE:  As a result of a number of tests there were raised incidences of E Coli detection, Youghal being one of them.  Being tested again today.  Have 10 tests every 2 weeks for blue flag beaches.  Other beaches done 5 times in that period.  But today’s samples will go back for testing within 24 hours.

Cllr Linehan-Foley: What was the cause of the E Coli detection?

CE:  There is still raw sewage going into the harbour there, so it could possibly have come from that.

Cllr Mullane (SF):  Public submissions to motions on property tax.  Notice was published last Friday on Examiner.  Would management please get a copy of the advertisement circulated to all Members?

Community Fund Scheme 2014

The Community Fund scheme covers 2 types of support scheme:

  • Community Fund: This is aimed at local organisations who wish to undertake infrastructural projects costing €20k or more which will improve the range and/or quality of community based facilities within their area, e.g. community halls, sporting facilities, etc.
  • Community Contracts: Aimed at community groups who are willing to work with the Council in carrying out works on local projects that would enhance the area.

Applications were assessed in accordance with the electoral areas in place at the time of the closing of the date of application for the scheme (2nd May 2014).  The following allocations were recommended and approved by Members:

Link to Community Fund file …

Notes from the meeting of the Southern Committee, 21/07/2014

Present: Maurice Manning (Corporate Services), Declan Daly (Director of Services, Environment), Ted O’Leary (Senior Executive Officer)

Allocation of Community Fund 2014

Details of grants awarded under the Community Fund and Community Contracts were circulated to Members.   There were 46 applications in total, 16 of which were better for Amenity Fund scheme.  9 applications were not deemed appropriate.  There were 6 applications for community contracts.  All were successful.

The Amenity Grant Scheme will have a closing date of 30th September.

Will circulate applicants who weren’t successful.  The primary reason for not providing funding to some groups is that they just don’t have sufficient matching funding.

In response to Cllr Harris: Douglas Hall – there is already significant funding in place to enable that project to take place.

In response to Cllr McCarthy (FG): The Midleton My Place project has had significant support from CCC and Midleton TC in the past so was not supported this time.  The fire station building was belonging to CCC originally.  Midleton TC gave the project €70k.  This was well in excess of what would normally be granted through community fund.  Cllr McCarthy agreed, but said they got this funding through TC.  Also pointed out that the My Place project had to purchase the fire station building from CCC.

Cllr Buckley (SF): Is it possible for Midleton My Place to go back in for funding next year?  Once the Town Council gave all its funding, the assets all fell back to CCC.

Maurice Manning:  Any project can apply any year.

Environment Directorate Report

Ted O’Leary read through the Environment Directorate Report.

There are 53,000 registered septic tanks in County Cork.  There are probably 58,000 in total.  CCC has been allocated only 99 inspections up to the end of June because the national programme is still in pilot project phase.  When it moves from pilot, the number of inspections required will likely jump.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF):  Wants specifics on air and noise non-compliances.  What about Slatty Bridge transfer to Irish Water?  Does CCC generate any renewable energy?

Cllr Moynihan (FF): Septic tank inspection programme.  The 61% failure rate is high.  The 15 systems with the major non-compliances almost mask the other problems, eg the roof water issues will need significant sorting out.  The fact that there is only 17% addressed at this stage suggests people are struggling with the scheme.  What figures are available for grants?  Will the CCC be involved in getting figures for that?

Dog licences – lifetime licence.  Cost will be an issue for many people.  What efforts are being made to promote this?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  P5 – pH indicators telling us that there are exceedences.  In Crookstown there is lead piping from mains into the houses.  If acidic pH, this would make problems worse.

P 10 – 2 inspectors for septic tanks now.  How many more staff will be needed when the programme kicks in?  At risk areas within the zones.  Could we be informed as to where these are?

Macroom wwtp non compliances?  Talk about these.

Private wastewater treatment plant non-compliances – what about penalties?

Cllr Creed (FG): Quality of the water in Crookstown is abysmal.  Complaints come in all the time.  We have had reports saying safe but residents are still worried.  Is there any plan for putting in new system?

Septic tanks – There is a grant scheme in place for septic tanks that fail.  Fail rate may be 61% but once the desludging figures are taken out, the failure rate is much lower.  Thinks public wants to get on this scheme.

Cllr Canty (FG): People are on all the time about the taste of the water.  Trying to kill the taste with additives.  Has to be a fierce upgrading of Inniscarra.  With low level in the lake at present, you can see the growth of algae in the water.

How many crews do we have working on the ground at present in relation to repairs?  People were out for 3 days on the Model Farm Road with no available crew to sort them out.  Water will discolour when reconnected.  Are people going to have to pay for this discoloured water?

Fluoride issue has to be dealt with.

Dog licences – can something be done in the Regional Park in Ballincollig?  People open their doors and let the dogs out.  We have signs up but people are not obeying them.  Dog wardens were out there for a few mornings and then disappeared again.  People asking for permanent dog warden.

Welcomes Green Schools programme.

Cllr Harris (Ind): Domestic waste service handed to CountryClean.  The number of people falling through the cracks is getting worse and worse.  Any emergency service part of CountryClean contract?

Fluoride in water is indeed becoming a major issue.

Cllr Barry (FG): Littering and fines – are the rates the same as last year?

Horses – 53 trips where no horses were collected.  Why?  Notes €450 reimbursed from the Dept but the service is costing €710 per horse.

Cllr Conway (Ind): How often are inspections carried out in municipal wastewater treatment plants?

Cllr Forde (FG):  Clean up jobs – do we have a cost of those?  Knows very difficult to catch these dumpers so fines income not great in this area.  People need to be made aware of what this costs.  People who are dumping are costing each and every one of us money.

Public drinking water – fluoridation – review due before end of year.  Guidelines say that we MAY have fluoridation.  What is the current position in relation to CCC on that

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  In 2009 the DoE asked that all local authorities make water quality data available on their websites.  To be current to within a month.  Most recent on CCC website is Nov/Dec 2013.  Will this be a CCC responsibility going forward or will it be transferred to Irish Water?

Explain why 5 Blue Flags were lost on South Cork beaches last year, even though weather was good?

How does the CCC Agricultural Inspection Programme dovetail with that of the Department of Agriculture?

Private wastewater discharge licences – clear that not all visits involve sampling.  Also high % of non-compliances.  What parameters are generally non-compliant?

Civic amenity sites – would like figures for tonnages going back 12 years.  Believes charging structure at civic amenity site gates may have affected their popularity and is contributing to fly tipping.  Would like to investigate.

Horses – how many spaces do you have for horses in the pound?  How long are they kept alive?

Cllr Buckley (FG):  Al indicator in Midleton.  Al tastes bad.  How does Al get into the system?

Cllr McCarthy (FG): Recyclables – there are a few bring sites in the area that are run by CCC but Whitegate doesn’t appear to have those facilities.  Have tried to get in contact with Liam Singleton but he doesn’t seem to do the phone.  Maybe email?
Answers (Ted O’Leary)

David Keane (County Engineer) is in charge of water services directorate.  The environment directorate is involved in monitoring only.  So the questions on crews, fluoride, etc. must be answered by the water services directorate.

To Cllr O’Laoghaire: Noise and air pollution – licences issued under the Air Pollution Act relate to emissions from chimney stacks.  Also includes certain industries who are licensed for the purposes of noise.  Main involvement in relation to noise is generally responding to noise pollution complaints.

Doesn’t know if CCC generates electricity.  Will ask Pat Farrell, SEE of the Energy Unit to reply directly to Cllr O’Laoghaire.

To Cllr Moynihan: Non-compliances are not straightforward for householders to deal with but the timescale given to householders to address the problem is quite long.  Relatively early days – inspection programme started only in the latter half of last year.  Usually 12 months allowed to address issues raised.

Is grants scheme available to people who have been inspected and registered?  Yes, to a max of €4.5k.  CCC processes applications but doesn’t have data on what is awarded.  Will include this in reports going forward if required.

Dog licences – not aware that lifetime licence is promoted over the annual licence.

To Cllr O’Grady: Septic tanks – there are more than 2 staff doing inspections.  It is being undertaken by staff in agricultural team.  The director will have to see how many staff it will need when the full programme kicks in.  Currently we have had teams of 6 people going out.  It will be a slow and person-intensive process.  Takes on average half a day to do an inspection.

High risk zones – we are guided by EPA guidance documents.  This document is on public record.

Macroom wwtp – cannot comment on operational specifics.

Taste issues and repair crews – for David Keane.

In response to Cllr Canty: Dog fouling in Regional Park – dog wardens have been assigned to the area for periods in the past.  Will take it up with the veterinary dept to see can it be patrolled in the short-term.

In response to Cllr Harris: There was a transitionary waiver scheme in place in the initial phase of the tranfer of waste collection to County Clean.  That is no longer available.  The waste collection business was actually sold to Country Clean, not outsourced.  Company said that they would honour waivers for 2 years.  This is long gone.

In response to Cllr Barry: No information to hand on number of litter fines.

In response to Cllrs Barry and D’Alton on horses – vet safety dept who oversee this legislation.  Recession has had impact on horses collected.  Numbers this year are up over last year so remains a problem.

Number of spaces in horse pound – does not know but has sufficient capacity to deal with problem at present.  Finance does come into this because subvention from Dept of Agriculture does not cover.  Doesn’t know specific time period for keeping horses.  Relates to whether people reclaim them or rehome them.

In response to Cllr Forde: Clean up figures not to hand.

Declan Daly: Last Council passed a motion saying they didn’t want fluoridation.  Wrote to Dept of Health.  The Dept of Health wrote back saying that the national national position had not changed and so the CCC went on fluoridating.

CCC operates as agents to Irish Water.  If we get an instruction from Irish Water to add fluoride, we have to.

In response to Cllr D’Alton: 5 Blue Flags lost – criteria relating to beaches has tightened up.  Last year although the weather was good, the non-compliances were caused by heavy rainfall earlier in the year.  Some of the Blue Flags were lost because of municipal wastewater treatment plants in the area.  These issues take time to address.  Also need longer clean period now before you can requalify.  Need 12 months or more before you get Blue Flag status back.

Private wastewater treatment plants – sizes of commercial activity vary and parameters are specific to activity undertaken.  Monitor by reference to programme that we set out at the start of the year and communicate programme and results to the EPA.  LIcence holders frequently required to do their own monitoring as well.  Will give more details on private wwtps next time round.

Civic Amenity Sites – tonnage figures are available, although they have been somewhat effected by the economic downturn.

Irish Water will make information available about public water quality.  Not CCC any more.

In response to Cllr Buckley: Al is added in salt form to purify the water.  The coagulant settles out so this is where Al in the water may be coming from.
Supplementary Questions

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Noise questions asked were specifically in relation to Ringaskiddy.  Also Slatty Bridge?

Cllr Moynihan (FF): Very low rate of 17% where people have been able to do work on their septic tanks.  These are surely the quick fix.  People are finding it difficult to find the several hundred euro to get the desludging done.  Why are we only getting a half year figure?  Rate of septic tank inspections seems to be going down, not up.

Cllr Barry (FG):  Litter fines – rates?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  35 non-compliant samples – is there a penalty involved?

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Previous minutes indicated Guidance Document on Septic Tank National Inspection Plan was distributed to Members.  Can new members have this?  Also how long before septic tanks needing addressing are rechecked?

Also explain interaction between CCC Farm Inspection Programme and Dept of Agriculture programme?

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind):  How many litter wardens are in East Cork and County?  There are major issues with fly tipping.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind):  Confirms a letter went from this Council on fluoridation.  We made a decision to send that letter back again to say that we weren’t happy.  Understood from the water briefing that we still have role to play.  European Food Safety Authority is putting pressure on at moment.  Quality of Irish exported food is paramount.  It will be affected by fluoridation.  We need to keep the pressure on.   Need to clarify exactly what our role is as CCC.

Answers (Ted O’Leary)
In response to Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Have to check about Slatty Bridge with Pat Farrell.

In response to Cllr Moynihan:  Wasn’t suggesting that people didn’t find dealing with septic tank programme difficult but was showing that people are being given time to deal with any issues raised.

In response to Cllr Barry:  Rates of litter fines are set under the Litter Acts.  There is a range of minimum and maximum fines depending on the offence.

In response to Cllr O’Grady:  Non-compliant samples – don’t have specifics on the 35 non-compliances.  They are followed up by way of enforcement.  Will provide more detail on the nature of the non-compliances for the next report.

In response to Cllr D’Alton: Agricultural programme – there has been a lot of interaction between the Dept of Ag and the CCC to ensure sure that there is no duplication.  Is a protocol in place to ensure communications place between the two agencies.  Dept of Ag try to structure their programme to match that of CCC.  We had to reduce our Farm Inspection Programme to support the Septic Tank system.

In response to Cllr Linehan-Foley:  There are 3 litter wardens across the entire county.  But the old Town Councils would have had litter wardens who performed traffic warden duty also.  These personnel are being retained, although their jurisdictions have been expanded.  All the traffic wardens are assigned functions under the Litter Pollution Act.

In response to Cllr O’Laoghaire: Noise – By and large for staff resource reasons we stay out of residential to residential complaints.  That is in keeping with EPA guidance.  Predominantly complaints we deal with relate to commercial undertakings.  We try to leave enforcement as being the very last option.  We try to substantiate the claim.  Take it up with the alleged offender.  We find in general that the majority of offenders take steps to address/mitigate the issue.  Noise is a very subjective thing.  No specific limits.  The law of nuisance applies.  To prove a nuisance, you have to have a householder prepared to stand up in court.  Householders do not always want to do this.

In response to Cllr D’Alton: Environment Directorate has scientist with expertise in noise monitoring.  Have taken in consultants on occasion to do independent monitoring.  Didn’t check the Ringaskiddy record before we came out.  Haven’t had a significant number of complaints about noise from Ringaskiddy.


by Councillor Noel Collins

(i) “Council report on what powers, if any, are in place to take action where houses in residential areas are left unoccupied for years and cause and great nuisance and dampness to neighbours, in view of the fact that the derelict sites legislation cannot be currently used if the house is basically intact.”

(ii) “Resulting from the major increase in population figures in the Midleton region, Council report if the capacity of the Reservoir in Broomfield is adequate to meet the demand and what proposals, if any, are envisaged to expand the Reservoir. ”

Maurice Manning: In relation to motion 2, CCC recognises the importance of extending the water main to Midleton.  Determined to have this reincluded in the capital programme.  This will be required for Midleton development.  CCC has contacted Irish Water to make sure it goes on their programme.

Notes from the Ballincollig – Carrigaline Municipal District meeting, 21st July 2014

Present: Kevin O’Regan (Municipal District Officer), Maurice Manning (Director of Services), Madeline Healy (Area Engineer, Carrigaline Area Roads Office)

Chair: Cllr Deirdre Forde

Report on Douglas Woollen Mills Car Park

Cork County Council has notified the owner of the site that they will be terminating the lease.  The lighting, CCTV, kiosk, etc are to be removed in an orderly way.  The site was unsuccessful as a car park.

Cllr O’Laoghaire: Some business owners said that they were afraid to use the car park.

Cllr Collins: That particular car park wouldn’t have been used even if the car parking was for nothing.  The area was a problem.  The fact that it was paid parking meant that it was even less attractive.  The distance from the main street in Douglas was also a huge problem.

Cllr Forde: Such a pity it wasn’t a success.  People did not want to walk.  Accept may have felt unsafe at nighttime.  Entrance wasn’t ideal.  The trial is a cost to be borne – we must accept that.

Cllr D’Alton: It is such a shame that this didn’t work.  There clearly is a demand for long-term parking in Douglas.  The roads closer to the city are destroyed with cars during the day from people parking to get the bus.

Maurice Manning: The need for long term parking was identified as one of a package of measures for control of parking in Douglas.  Demand for long-stay was identified.  Believes the demand is still there and if a suitable alternative can be found, they are happy to look at it.  There is no penalty for getting out of the lease.

Cllr Harris:  Is there any commercial benefit to the publicans in the area for taking it over?

Cllr Forde: Has spoken to publicans.  Trouble is, it’s owned by someone else so we can’t very well offer it to anyone else.  CCC is only a tenant.  People just didn’t want to use it.  When the bridge into the city is erected (to Kinsale Road) it might have come into its own a little more.

Kevin O’Regan: Will ask Peter O’Donoghue to get figures on how much has been spent.

To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of Cllr. Seamus McGrath:

“To seek approval from the committee to instigate the formal process for amending the Douglas Pay Parking Bye Laws as follows:
a) To introduce a system whereby the first hour of parking is free of charge.
b) To allow residents within the Douglas pay parking area to park within the same time limit zone as their property is located, by virtue of their parking permit”.
c) That parking charges would not apply after 6pm as opposed to 6.30pm.

Cllr McGrath: How do we go about amending the bye-laws.  Traders and business people have a huge problem with the system of pay parking currently in Douglas.  It is a deterrent for people going into the area.  Traders are competing with shopping centres which are providing free parking.

Cllr Desmond.  Lives in Douglas.  Sees the effect it is having on the businesses.  Douglas is paying the price for what was badly handled day one. This issue of pay parking went to the SPC 7 months ago now for deliberation.  There has been no progress.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  We spoke to businesses locally.  Very concerned with the impact on them.  Also concern in terms of how it is being managed.  Also spoke in support of people being able to park outside their own homes.

Cllr D’Alton:  Supports very strongly what the previous members have said.  Also from Douglas and can speak personally of how impossible the pay parking makes doing business in the village.  Reads from the Local Government Reform Act which states the powers of the municipal districts (MDs).  Clearly states that pay parking is something the MD can decide for itself.  So can see no reason why the CE wants us to wait while the SPC works up a countywide policy.

Cllr Collins: 3 different situations in 3 different urban areas of this MD.  Carrigaline has no pay parking, Ballincollig has more leniency and Douglas has a very strict regime.  Suggests that we need an overall approach and thinks we need to agree a strategy for all the 3 towns.  Some people look on pay parking positively because they believe that the money collected returns services to their towns as it did in the days of Town Councils.

Cllr Canty: In Ballincollig, there is 1 hour free on the main street, 3 hours free in the car park.  Have traffic warden.  Will have to look at it right across the municipal authority area.  Then we have to go to the Council with it once we have decided amongst ourselves.  Some of the money is supposed to go back to the area it was raised.  Traffic warden is brilliant.  Ballincollig is happy the way things are.  Only problem is, the regime tends to drive long term parkers off into the estates.

Cllr Harris: Very well thought out motion.  Totally disagrees with Canty and Collins that we have to do a pay parking scheme across the board.  Douglas is like living in a police state.  Fines are a joke.  €60 of a fine off people on €200/week.  Mothers trying to drop off kids, drop back stuff.  Fine increases if you don’t pay.  No point in having a money spinner if it is going to cause that pressure on people.  The fining system doesn’t define who has income and who doesn’t.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Residents are now being prosecuted for contravention of the bye-laws.  Have to address this.

Cllr Forde: Big issue around Douglas has been a period of free grace.  Has no issue with the 3 points that Cllr McGrath has raised.  Don’t know whether we can decide today.  St Columba’s terrace is happy – they can access their houses.  So it is bringing some benefits.

Maurice Manning: Members are familiar with all of the reports that have been given about pay parking.  Unanimous view amongst the members that how it operates in Douglas needs to be reviewed.  CE asked about where the responsibility lay.  Legislation is very clear.  If pay parking bye-laws are to be amended, Cllr D’Alton is correct and the Act says it will be the MD who will do it.  But the DoE has brought in Regulations since to support the Act and CE thinks that pay parking would be one of those issues to which the Regulations refers which gives rise to inconsistencies.  If we want to send it to CPG we can or else we can wait.

Cllr Desmond: Where is the consistency element starting and ending?  Within our own MD, we have inconsistencies?  Does Douglas have to pay the price whilst we wait to iron it out?  If something is not working as in the case of the Woollen Mills, we pull out.  This is not working either.  People already affected by flooding and got no rebate on rates.

Cllr McGrath: This is a test of the MD.  We were told that parking bye-laws were one of the key issues.  Propose that we instigate the formal process.  Thinks overall county wide review is a flawed process anyway.  Thinks would be impossible to get a solution that fits all situations.  Not inconsistent at all.  We’re trying to relax the Douglas parking situation, thereby creating consistency.

Cllr Harris:  Doesn’t understand the CE’s opinion.  Would not try to second guess people in Ballincollig.  Why would they try to do the same to people of Douglas.  There is an atmosphere of intimidation in Douglas, it is a no go area.

Cllr Collins: Agrees with Cllr McGrath.  Have to force the issue.  Maybe by putting it before the SPC in September, we are forcing the CE’s hand.  It’s not just because of pay parking that places are closing down.  It is economic reality as well.

Cllr Canty: I proposed way back that it would go to SPC.  What Cllr McGrath has suggested is just rational.  Will be January by the time it comes onto the agenda.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Too much is being made of consistency.  Nobody mentioned Passage and Togher when they were listing out the towns in the MD.  There are different needs across all three areas.

Maurice Manning: The SPC was asked to develop a set of guidelines across the County.  It will be back on their agenda when they meet in September.  It is a separate issue as to where the guidelines will be implemented.  The guidance that is being developed is about where pay parking is at present.

Cllr Harris: Why should we refer it to the CPG?

Maurice Mannning:  CE saw it on the agenda and said it would be inconsistent if we passed it here.  Accept or refer to CPG.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Motion refers to what is current and happening.

Cllr D’Alton:  Cannot understand how when bottom up approach has been recognised all over Europe as being the most sustainable approach to local decision making that we have to wait for policy to come to us from the top.  Better to decide what our agreed policy is and present it to the CE, not wait for the SPC.

Cllr Collins agrees we should put it on the agenda.

Maurice Manning:  If we pass the motion today, it goes to the CPG.  The CPG adjudicates and reports back to the MD members.  IF the CPG accepts what we say, then it comes back to us for decision.  If the CPG agrees with the CE, then we’ll have to wait for a  countywide policy.  It is true that pay parking is a MD function but the Act has been developed by the Regulations.  But pay parking cannot be introduced in any towns unless the MD introduces it.

Cllr O’Donnabhain: Motion looks to modify an existing situation.  What are the CE’s powers to veto a motion passed here?

Agreement that it would go to the CPG.

(ii) “This committee requests that contact be made with Utility Companies to remove disused poles in Shanbally Village”.

Madeline Healy: Doesn’t think there is any issue with that.  MD Committee will write.

(iii) “Given that residents in Douglas affected by the 2012 flooding incident are now paying significantly higher Insurance premiums, to request a written report from the Council in response to this unjustified situation”.

Cllr McGrath: Has been contacted by residents in St Columba’s Terrace.  Their insurance premiums are significantly higher this year than before the flood event.

Maurice Manning: There is a study of the Ballybrack Catchment underway.  If there are proposals arising out of that, CCC will convey the details to insurance companies.

Cllr Forde: Insurance premiums fall due at different times and this is one of the problems.  CE says that if an insurance premium jumps dramatically, to refer it to him.  While there are court cases ongoing as a result of the flooding, reports cannot be accessed.  Manager said at the time that CCC would contact the Insurance Federation if it was necessary.  He said he would also give assurance of ongoing flood management measures and maintenance by CCC.  Manager did advise that the Douglas flooding was a one-off event.

Suggested CCC would renew contact with the insurance federation to try to reduce premiums.

Picnic tables in Passage West

Cllr Murphy: A proposal to install three picnic tables was passed by Passage West Town Council.  Then we agreed after the residents complained that we would settle for two.  What is happening?

Kevin O’Regan: One resident quite vociferous and says would be willing to take legal action should the picnic tables go in opposite their residence.  Some residents opposite the second location have concerns there too.  If we go ahead it could end up costing the Council a lot of money in defending a court action.

Cllr O’Laoghaire: This location is the best asset Passage has.  Thinks we shouldn’t be overriding the decision of Passage West Town Council.  We need to endorse the decision taken by the Town Council.

There was a great deal of discussion on this issue because it has been contentious locally.  The decision taken by the Town Council was taken in good faith and it was believed that the picnic tables would enhance the area.  But when residents heard of the proposal, they became very concerned and made these concerns known.  The Town Council decided to go ahead with the proposal anyway.

Although Cllrs D’Alton, McGrath and Forde suggested caution and going through a process of consultation on the issue because of the concerns raised by local residents about potential anti-social behaviour, because Cllr Murphy proposed that the tables should be installed and Cllr O’Laoghaire seconded, the meeting concluded that the picnic tables will go ahead.

Marmullane Tennis Club site, Passage West

Cllr Murphy asked what was happening to this site.  It is becoming overgrown again.  There were supposed to have been grand plans drawn up.  So where are they at?

Cllr D’Alton explained that the plans are still there but that the County Council had applied for Sports Capital Funding to obtain sufficient money to go ahead. Cllr Forde said that the site had not been granted funding – the allocations have been made.  Maurice Manning said that none of the Cork County Council projects were awarded funding this year.

Cllr D’Alton said that Cork County Council had taken this project away from the community.  It was a landmark project and they said they wanted to run it.  The community has asked several times could we even run it together in the hope of getting it off the ground but the answer has always been no.

Maurice Manning: Cork County Council is still committed to the project, it is just that funding is the problem.

Derelict sites

Cllr D’Alton asked about derelict sites.  A report on these will be presented to the MD quarterly.


Maurice Manning:  Note that any proposals for economic development should come through the MD.  As the council is currently structured, Economic Development is a county-wide budget.  Whether that will develop to funding streams for specific MDs will have to be seen in Budget 2015.  There is a provision for general allocation for MDs.  If these isn’t a specific budget at local level, that is not to say that there isn’t a similar budget for each MD at a county wide level.  The members will determine what system of funding in this area comes to MDs after the budget.  There will be some discretionary spend at local level.

Cllr Forde recommends that all councillors should think about how we would like to see the MDs evolving.   There is scope within the Act to develop them more.  Thinks MD can be quite powerful.  Good time to press the importance of the Municipal District when we are having our individual meetings with the CE.

Madeline Healy introduces Don O’Sullivan, the chief engineer in the Ballincollig Area.









Port of Cork planning application discussed at full Council meeting

The County Council Chief Executive’s assessment of the Port of Cork’s planning application was circulated to all Members on Wednesday of last week.  It was disappointingly but unsurprisingly in full support of the planning application.

I was particularly disappointed that the CE’s report did not, in my opinion, reflect any concern for the effect the proposed development at the port in Ringaskiddy might have on the other multi-faceted benefits that Cork Harbour offers.  It is acclaimed as one of the potential tourism jewels in the county, marine-based recreation continues to grow ever more in popularity, it is surrounded by designated scenic routes, it has a highly sensitive landscape of designated national importance and this area of the Lower Harbour is home to some 30,000 people.  The report spoke of the economic benefits of the Port’s move as presented in the planning application, but it did not mention the socio-economic benefits of all the other uses which the Harbour offers and is developing.

I prepared an assessment for the Members to highlight what I perceived to be important topics for consideration that remained unaddressed by the CE’s report.  I did not suggest that the Port should not move to the Lower Harbour, but merely that we, as Members, had a duty to alert An Bord Pleanala to the fact that we believed the report to be incomplete in the context of assessment of the impacts of the proposed development.  The debate in the  Chamber was recorded as part of the Strategic Infrastructure Process for the benefit of An Bord Pleanala.

I was very grateful and relieved when the Members agreed to append my report to that of the CE for sending to An Bord Pleanala as a reflection of the Members concerns for full and just impact assessment.