Anti-Social Behaviour in Lanesborough Park

I was contacted by residents concerned by anti-social behaviour at Lanesborough Park recently.

I was in touch with Gardai in Finglas who have committed to giving the area extra attention over the Summer months particularly with Mountain Bikes patrols under Operation Irene which targets this type of activity.

Also, there are plans to get the EFFORT mobile youth club bus which had been placed at Charlestown Shopping Centre on Tuesday’s & Thursday during 2014 back. The Gardai and the Local Drugs Task Force are looking at setting up that facility again.

Northwood Lake – Santry

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Fingal County Council have put in a large mat as seen in the picture here to try and prevent the growth of algae. The algae comes back in the warm weather and covers the lake. I have been working with the Council to try and come up with a way to reduce the growth. In addition an environmentally friendly chemical has also been sourced from the UK and this prevents the development of blanket weed when the first signs of an algal bloom is observed.

National Transport Authority – 2015 Grants Programme

Greater Dublin: Sustainable Transport Measures Grant Programme 2015 Summary

The link below summarizes and outlines projects funded by the National Transport Authority since 2011. It lists every projects funded in Fingal.

STMG Documentation

Fingal County Council Projects Below
1
Royal Canal Cycle Route (12th Lock-KCC) (CN2)
Planning and design of cycle route on Royal Canal towpath, from 12th Lock to the county boundary with KCC (including ‘deep sinking’ section)
€100,000
2
Blanchardstown Sustainable Transport improvements
Design, planning and subsequent implementation of key elements such as pedestrian movement improvements (pedestrian crossings, footpath widening etc.), cycle network development, bus support measures. May include elements of traffic management necessary to support such measures.
€80,000
3
Swords Sustainable Transport Improvements
Design, planning and subsequent implementation of key elements such as pedestrian movement improvements (pedestrian crossings, footpath widening etc.), cycle network development, bus support measures. May include elements of traffic management necessary to support such measures.
€100,000
4
Ballbriggan Sustainable Transport improvements
Design, planning and subsequent implementation of key elements such as pedestrian movement improvements (pedestrian crossings, footpath widening etc.), cycle network development, bus support measures. May include elements of traffic management necessary to support such measures.
€80,000
5
Grove Road cycle route (GDACN route 5A Blanchardtown Centre to Diswellstown Road)
Design and planning of strategic cycle route 5A from Blanchardstown to Diswellstown Road including approaches and linkages to surrounding areas
€75,000
6
Swords to Malahide (R106)
Planning and design of a cycle route on the R106 between Swords (junction with R132) and Malahide (DART station / The Hill)
€100,000
7
Holywell Distributor Road
Final payment for completion of missing section of distributor road and roundabout that will link up the two existing sections of the distributor road to the north of and west of Holywell housing development in Swords. The provision of this road will complete the road network in the Holywell area, remove traffic from the residential core of the neighbourhood, provide more appropriate routing for bus service and enable traffic improvements measures in the vicinity of the school/local shops.
€700,000
8
Ongar Cycle Network
Completion of Cycle Network in Ongar-Castaheany area – Final Payments
€78,000
9
Contractual commitments
Finishing out design or construction already committed
€43,855
S2S Extension Sutton to Malahide Feasibility €20,000
Carrickbrack Road, Howth, footpath €5,000
St Mochta’s School footpath and ramp €5,000
Tara Court, Balbriggan, accessibility ramp €5,000
Donabate Station to Malahide Station €8,855

Total: €1,356,855

Fingal County Council – Budget 2015

On Tuesday 4th November we agreed the Fingal County Council budget for 2015.   While there were aspects I would have liked changed overall I felt it was a progressive budget so I supported and voted for it.

The process really began from the time we were elected in May until our meeting on Tuesday evening. Discussions up to this point had included the debate and the adjustment of the Local Property Tax rate in Fingal.  In September we voted to reduce property tax by 15%. Property tax revenue makes up roughly 13% of the overall income for the Council.

The 2015 budget was helped by significant extra income,f €2m from additional commercial rates, €2m additional income from the Local Property Tax and €1m extra income from Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) arrears, as well as savings in spending of €2.1m 2014. Commercial rates which make up 50% of Fingal’s income remain as they were. Commercial rates were cut right through the recession and Fingal rates are still the most favourable in Dublin.

Budget 2015 provides for the following additional funding:

  • €3m extra spending on Housing & Building
  • €1.75m additional investment directly on housing
  • €1.25m extra funding for traffic Calming, local roads, parks & pitches
  • €1m for Swords Castle and development of a cultural quarter Swords
  • €500,000 upgrade works for Malahide and Newbridge Demesnes
  • €500,000 for better public lighting
  • €300,000 for better community facilities
  • €175,000 for extra events including a St Patricks Day Parade for Dublin 15
  • An increase of €900,000 for Homeless services.

I have lobbied for a number of months for an agreed budget for traffic calming and  road safety measures and I identified the huge increase in NPPR income as a potential source. There was no budget for traffic calming measures in 2014. The funding will now mean that existing ramps that have been damaged will now be fixed and a total of €400,000 will be made available for road safety and traffic calming throughout the County.

Budgets for recreation and amenities have also increased with an additional €1,280,000 budgeted for parks, pitches and open spaces. An increase of €1,000,000 for recreational development and an additional 1,500,000 for heritage including Swords Castle.

 

 

Fingal Business Promotion Scheme – December 2014

Fingal County Council has launched its Business Promotion Grant scheme. The grant can fund initiatives aimed at promoting, generating or sustaining business in an area, like:

  • Marketing or promoting a business area or category (including online campaigns)
  • Events that showcase products or services in an area, or that attract customers to a business area: showcases for products or services, musical performances, public art exhibitions and other forms of performance,
  • Small scale civic or public space projects including streetscape improvements, signage, street furniture etc. that improve the space in the area or make a business area seasonally attractive to customers

The closing date is Friday 5th December 2014.

The aim of the grant is to:

  • Help generate and sustain business activity by delivering tangible outputs such as increased footfall
  • Encourage businesses/retailers in an area to work collaboratively and collectively to promote and sustain business activity in their area
  • Encourage the Business Community in Fingal to work with Fingal County Council and other public agencies

Fund

  • €20,000 euros in each Fingal Electoral area, will be available (€100,000 total fund)
  • The grant will fund up to 75% of costs once the applicant provides a funding contribution of 25% of the cost of the proposed initiative.
  • 100% funding may be provided in exceptional circumstances i.e. if a proposal for a project of exceptional merit is submitted and no other source of funding is available to the applicant.

 

The full details of the scheme, together with an application form are in the links below:

FCC Business Grant App Form.final

businesssupportgrant.flyer.final

FCC Business Support.guidelines.final

Full details of the scheme and an application form are also available on the Business and Economy pages at www.fingal.ie or contact Rachel Lindsay, Fingal County Council, Economic Development Services, County Hall, Main Street, Swords, County Dublin or e-mail rachel.lindsay@fingal.ie for an application form.

 

Speed limits of 30k to be considered in built up residential areas

This issue was raised at the October Council meeting. The following report was given by Council officials:

“The Road Traffic Act 2004 provides the legislative basis for the application of special speed limits through the making of bye-laws. Under the Act, it is a reserved function of the elected members to make such bye-laws following a period of public consultation and relevant engagement with the Gardaí/NRA. Default speed limits already apply on roads throughout the state depending on the nature/location of the road in question, i.e. roads in built-up areas, on motorways, rural national roads and rural regional and local roads. These limits range from 50km/h in built-up areas to 120 km/h on sections of motorways and are set out pursuant to the Road Traffic Act 2004. Guidelines for the Application of Special Speed Limits were most recently published by the Department of Transport in 2011 and set out, inter alia, the criteria to be considered by the elected members prior to any decision being made to alter the default speed limit by the introduction of a special speed limit, and the procedure to be followed by the Council in the consideration and making of any bye-laws in this regard. The Guidelines state, from a general perspective, that the introduction of a speed limit that is lower than the default speed limit should not be the immediate response to road safety issues at particular locations and that engineering initiatives should always be investigated first. The Guidelines also state that it has been clearly established that the introduction of a 30km/h speed limit without associated speed reduction measures will not succeed. Insofar as the introduction of a 30km/h special speed limit within a residential estate is concerned, the Guidelines stipulate as follows:
• The application of a special speed limit of 30km/h must be in accordance with the relevant criteria set down in the Guidelines.

• A 30km/h special speed limit should only be considered on roads/streets where the needs of vulnerable road users are deemed to take precedence over those of motorists but where access is allowed for vehicles.

• A 30km/h special speed limit should only be considered on roads/streets where the mean speed does not exceed 40km/h. If it exceeds this speed then environmental/engineering measures must be provided to reach this target before the new limit is applied.

• In determining suitable locations for the consideration of a 30km/h special speed limit, the elected members must first have reference to the level of concentration of vulnerable road users, especially children, as well as the evidence of road collisions in which vulnerable road
users were involved.

• A distributor road in a residential area should not be considered for a permanent 30km/h special speed limit. The Road Traffic Act 2004 also provides for the application of a special speed limit at selected, restricted times. In this regard the Council is considering the introduction, as part of the 2013 Speed Limit Review, of a pilot 30km/h special speed limit – to apply at school times only – at Carrickhill Road, Portmarnock and, subject to final approval from the elected members, it is hoped to launch this pilot scheme in the coming months.”

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The issue of speed limits in residential estates was again discussed at the November Council last night. Two motions were tabled by members to see the 30 kph speed limits rolled out throughout Fingal. The response from officials is outlined below:

“Circular RSD 01/2014, on the Control of Vehicle Speeds in Housing Estates, recently issued by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport requires local authorities, inter alia, to undertake a review process of speed limits in housing estates, with a view to introducing 30km/h speed limits in appropriate estates. In this regard, the Minister states in the Circular that his Department is currently updating the Speed Limit Guidelines, which he expects to publish within the next 6-8 weeks.

Fingal County Council intends to conduct its review of speed limits in consultation with the elected members and the general public and to have regard to the new Speed Limit Guidelines, as well as existing relevant national guidelines, namely the Traffic Management Guidelines 2003, the Traffic Signs Manual 2010 and the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets 2013.

In addition to the introduction of 30km/h speed limits, alternative or complementary options including new signage and other traffic calming measures (e.g. speed ramps) will be considered as part of the overall review process. The adoption of bye-laws, following a statutory public consultation process and relevant engagement with the Gardaí and the NRA, will be required for any new 30km/h limits.”

We talked though how long this process will take and we are looking at somewhere between 6 months and a year before it is fully rolled out across the County. The Council will look to pilot some areas and get the consultation process started as quickly as possible.