Council Motions and Questions

The standing orders which are detailed below outline the process by which Councillors put down motions and questions to the the Council Chief Executive

Standing Orders Final Copy 11th August 2014

Motions and questions are arranged as follows:

  • Each Member of the Council may submit an original motion relevant to the business of the Council on giving notice.
  • The agenda paper for a Council meeting shall contain not more than one question from any one Councillor, subject to the proviso that an additional question shall be allowable in lieu of motion.
  • Members of standing Area committees e.g. Swords/Balbriggan Area Committee may submit two motions and six questions for each meeting of the committee subject to the proviso that an additional question shall be allowable in lieu of a motion.

2017

Motions and Question for the October Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee requests that the timings on the traffic lights for the exit at Royal Oak in Santry are increased to reflect the volume of traffic leaving, Royal Oak, Knightswood, Oakview and the Centra Store. The current timings are wholly inadequate at peak times and are causing deep frustration among residents.”

Report:
The traffic signals at this location are managed by Dublin City Council and controlled by their SCATS system. The timings at this junction have been checked on a number of occasions, changes have not been recommended as this would reduce the flow of traffic movement through the junctions in the vicinity of the exit from Royal Oak. All the junctions in the vicinity of Royal Oak carry very large volumes of traffic at peak time with the timings optimised to maximise flow through all junctions. The Operations department will continue to monitor the junction in conjunction with DCC.

“This Committee welcomes the proposed investment into Lanesborough Park as advised by Fingal County Council in July of this Year Further this Committee would like to acknowledge the work of officials in drawing up the plan and meeting with the residents groups in the area. The committee requests an update in terms of:

a) A timetable for the works and expected completion date.

b) The funding stream that has been identified to deliver on the commitment.”

Report:
The Council is in discussions with members of the local community to prioritise works on the upgrading of Lanesborough Park. With assistance from the Council, an informal process of consultation has commenced and when this consultation is concluded in the coming months works will be procured as far as possible in line with the priority works identified and the capital funding provided for 2018.

“To ask the Chief Executive if a request from the Lanesborough Residents Association to put in a bench at Lanesborough Gardens could be approved. The full cost of this will be met by the residents?”

Reply:
Contact will be made with the Residents Association with a view to agreeing a suitable location for a bench and further how best to proceed with acquiring one.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what steps are being taken in the Balbriggan/Swords area to prevent the stockpiling of materials for Halloween Bonfires?”

Reply:
Each year staff from the three operational areas hold a number of meetings with the Gardai in relation to seasonal (Halloween) arrangements. Fingal crews and Gardai are familiar with the locations where people stockpile bonfire materials, and arrangements are made to collect these materials at the safest and most appropriate times. Fingal staff cannot collect any materials stored on private lands, and cannot enter a hostile environment.

In 2016, the Operations Department trialled an initiative at Coolmine Recycling Centre, whereby householders could dispose of combustible items which would normally incur a charge, for free for a limited period leading up to Halloween. It is hoped to have this initiative in place again at Coolmine and to extend it to Estuary Recycling Centre. Full details will be confirmed shortly. In the lead up to Halloween, each year the Environment Department’s Litter Wardens will also alert commercial premises owners to ensure that any materials likely to be taken and used for bonfires should be stored safely, or disposed of correctly prior to Halloween.

“To ask the Chief Executive to address the issue of flooding and water pooling at the entrance opposite Temple Gardens into Santry Demesne?”

Reply:
The area will be surveyed and any necessary works will be carried out.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for a cul-de-sac and speed limit sign at the entrance to St Colmcille’s Crescent in Swords?”

Reply:
Sign F350 advising motorists of a cul-de-sac will be considered as part of the 2018 works programme. St Colmcille’s Crescent is within the Swords 50km/h urban speed limit area and does not require a speed limit sign at its entrance.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise what legal steps can be taken against private Management Companies in the Balbriggan/Swords area who refuse to maintain their estates?”

Reply:
The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 (MUDs Act) came into effect on 1st April 2011. It regulates the ownership and management of the common areas of multi-unit developments, and provides for the setting up of owners’ management companies (OMCs) to manage such areas. The intention of this act is to give the power to the majority of residents who are owners of the houses who form the Board of the OMC and have complete control on who is hired and how much is charged to each property. The Council has no role under this legislation. Furthermore, as the development has not been taken in charge, it is considered to be private property.

“To ask the Chief Executive to begin the process to take Northwood Avenue in charge immediately. Representatives of Northwood Residential OMCs were advised that funding was available in 2017 and that the funding was ring-fenced for this very purpose?”

Reply:
This Development is currently in private ownership. In order to have a development considered for taking in charge, we require either a request from the Owner or a plebiscite request from the residents in accordance with Section 180 of the Planning Development Act. It would also be necessary to have as constructed drawings and a CCTV survey of the foul and surface water drainage networks so that we can carry out a detailed survey of the outstanding works.

To date the Council has not received a request to consider having any of the roads in Northwood taken in charge. In regard to the ‘National Taking in Charge Initiative’, the Council had hoped to begin using the funds allocated for Santry last year to rectify the remaining issues on the Spine Road. The council has engaged with residents and outlined the statutory process for Taking in Charge. Despite this, no request was received to Take in Charge which would have commenced the process. As such the Council was not able to draw down on the NTICI funds.

 

Question for the September Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee calls on the Executive to address traffic concerns and parking on Chapel Lane in Swords during the School term?”

Report:
Several meetings have taken place over the past number of years, with the residents, the School Authorities, the Gardai, parents of the schoolchildren and the Council, with a view to improving traffic congestion during pickup and dropoff times.

Chapel lane has extensive road markings including pay and display parking, School keep Clear, School Bus only and Double Yellow Lines. The enforcement of illegal or dangerous parking is an enforcement issue and should be dealt with by An Garda Síochána.

“That this Committee calls on the Council to formally write to Sports Campus Ireland calling on them to formulate an agreed strategy for parking at Morton Stadium in conjunction with local Gardai. This Committee notes with concern the regular occurrences of dangerous parking and blocking of paths and driveways in Santry estates as a result of poor parking during events being held in Morton Stadium.”

Report:
The Property Services Division will write to Sports Campus Ireland requesting a meeting be held for the purpose of agreeing arrangements for parking at Morton Stadium, particularly for holding large-scale events. The key stakeholders will be invited to attend and any outcomes will be notified to Councillors.

“That this Committee calls on the Chief Executive to review the management of recycling bottle banks with a view to ensuring that contracts are removed in cases where bottle banks are being repeatedly left in a poor state which is encouraging fly-tipping.”

Report:
Fingal County Council has recently renewed the contract for the collection and recycling of glass with Glassco Ltd. This contract covers the whole of the Dublin region for a four year period. The Environment Division staff routinely inspect the bottle bank locations together with the assistance of both the Litter Wardens and the Operations Department. Furthermore, the bottle bank sites contain signage which advises the public on the correct usage of the bottle banks. This signage also contains a Litter Hotline to encourage the public to report instances of littering direct to the Environment Division. All reports of littering at bottle banks made to the Council are circulated to the glass contractor, Glassco. Glassco must respond to this communication within 24 hours. CCTV cameras are also used in selected locations to target inappropriate usage of the bottle banks. Where bottle banks remain uncollected or littered, Fingal County Council can activate penalty clauses, so as to compel the contractor to remedy the matter. Should there be particular locations that are considered problematic, the Environment Division will use every available resource to bring that location up to standard.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide support for the recently formed Santry Community Games Group and to advise on possible community funding applications.”

Report:
The sport office team is willing to meet with Committee members to provide advice and support for this group.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the proposal for Charlestown in Meakstown to act as a pilot for the painting of electricity boxes?”

Reply:
Discussions with Dublin City Council are ongoing in relation to the painting of utility boxes with artistic scenes and the Councillor shall be informed when a conclusion has been reached on the matter.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to new and additional signage for Santry Park and to clarify whether the playground will have signage indicating opening and closing times?”

Reply:
All signage within parks is currently being revised and this project is being progressed by the Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise if measures have been taken to address problems with the footpath outside 7 Hilltown Way. Part of the railing on the footpath along the top of the road leading in Highfields has also come away from the footpath and is a potential health and safety issue?”

Reply:
The railing referred to in the question has been repaired and the issue of the footpaths will be added to the Area Engineers Maintenance Programme.

To ask the chief executive for further details and clarification in terms of timelines regarding a question submitted to the Area Committee in June: “To ask the Chief Executive to provide signage at the Coolock Interchange alerting traffic of the presence of pedestrians at the junction?” Reply: Vehicle activated pedestrian crossing ahead signs are being installed as part of the 2017 works programme?”

Reply:
A contractor has recently been appointed to install pedestrian crossing signs on the off ramps at the Coolock interchange. It is expected that the signs will be installed by mid-October 2017.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the laneway at the back of Royal Oak in Santry to be included in the schedule for works in advance of winter?”

Reply:
Bonfire materials and litter have been removed from this laneway, and hedges will be cut over autumn.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for daffodils to be planted under the two Lanesborough signs at the entrance to that estate in Meakstown. Flowers had been planted by residents previously but unfortunately were destroyed by accident?”

Reply:
Arrangements have been made for the daffodils to be planted over the next four weeks.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide an update on works to address parking concerns in the Carlton Court estate in Swords?”

Reply:
Carlton Court taking-in-charge is not yet completed. Once the estate is taken in charge, a scheme of Traffic/Parking Management could be drafted and put out for public consultation. Depending on the outcome of that, with the approval of the Elected Members, it could be placed on a Works Programme for future years.

Question for the July Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what the current annual budget is for grass cutting and residential estate management across the County, the numbers of staff employed to manage this work and the frequency of grass cutting in residential estates?”

Reply:
The 2017 Parks Maintenance budget across the county is €11,762,200. Grass cutting costs are not recorded separately in our accounting system but rather form part of the overall Parks Maintenance budget.

The grass growing season runs from March to Sept/October but is weather dependent. When it commences a total of 43 staff and associated machinery and supervision are deployed on a fulltime basis.

Open spaces within residential areas are generally cut on a 2 week schedule with playing pitches cut weekly throughout the playing season. Every effort is made to adhere to the standards set out but on occasion due to weather conditions, machine failure or other competing demands some deviation is experienced.

Questions and Motions for the June Council Meeting:

“That the Chief Executive notes that Residential Property Management Company Structures are now common for new housing developments. Council acknowledges the references in the Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 and
incoming Development Plan in relation to Management Companies for higher density Apartment Type Developments and recognize the need for Management Company structures for apartments. However Council calls for greater clarity and rules in relation to Management Company structures for new housing developments. Therefore Council proposes the following changes to improve transparency:
1) Membership of a Management Company should not be a precondition of purchasing a housing unit in any new development.
2) In new housing developments where planning permission is given, Management Companies must only be established after construction has completed and prior to the estate being taken in charge.
3) The principal of voluntary Management Companies be established, this would require a majority of purchasers of housing units to agree do not agree the estate is taken in charge by the Council.
4) To ensure that purchasers of housing units in new developments are fully aware of potential leasehold and financial commitments that being part of a Residential Property Management Companies entail Council proposes that as a condition of planning, developers would be obliged to state what the service charge per house would be.”

Report:

The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 came into effect on 1 April 2011. It regulates the ownership and management of the common areas of multi-unit developments, and provides for the setting up of owners’ management
companies to manage such areas. The Act provides that an owners’ management company (OMC) must be set up,
and the common areas of the development transferred to it, before the developer sells any units. For existing developments where one or more units had already been sold, the developer had 6 months from when the Act came
into effect – until 30th September 2011 – to transfer ownership of the common areas. The intention of this act is to give the power to the majority of residents who are owners of the houses who form the Board of the OMC and have
complete control over who is hired and how much is charged to each property. The procedure for the establishment and regulation of Owner Management Companies (OMCs) is laid out in the MUDS Act. Pre-conditions of purchase of a property are a matter of contract law. OMCs are essential in some cases to maintain common private areas which the Council does not do, for example within an apartment block. In addition residents may chose an OMC in order to maintain public spaces within the development to a different standard than that provided by the council. When a
development has been taken in charge, the Council provides services in public areas only, including for example road, footpath and open space maintenance. Currently the process for Taking in Charge of developments can be initiated through Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act. The Council has no role in the establishment or management of OMCs in new or existing developments within the county. On occasion the Council interacts with
OMCs in the process of taking in charge of developments, specifically when the common areas of the development have already been transferred to the OMC by the developer.

“To ask the Chief Executive if the Council have any plans to provide public sites for car charging points for electrical cars?”

Reply:
Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 has the following objectives in relation to charging points: Objective MT10 and MT11 Objective MT10
 Facilitate the provision of electricity charging infrastructure for electric vehicles both on street and in new developments in accordance with car parking standards.
 Objective MT11
 Support the growth of Electric Vehicles and EBikes, with support facilities, through a roll-out of additional electric charging points in collaboration with relevant agencies at appropriate locations.

The Council will support and facilitate relevant agencies in this regard and will ascertain plans for the Fingal Area. This information will be provided to councillors when available.

Questions and Motions for the June Area Meeting:

“This Committee proposes that Fingal County Council investigate whether the electricity boxes across the Balbriggan and Swords Areas could be used for artwork similar to Dublin City Council, and the Committee proposes that Charlestown Dublin 11 is used as a pilot as the residents association had indicated they would favour this.”

Report:
The Council is aware of the initiative that has been done in the Dublin City Council area and will make contact with them in relation to how the initiative was implemented. We will come back with further details to a future area
committee meeting.

“That the Chief Executive follow up on this issue as no response has been received to date from the ESB. Swords Tidy Towns have been in contact with the ESB regarding the replacement of the rusty street lamp posts along the Dublin Road, Main Street and North Main Street to improve the appearance of the Town for the upcoming 2017 National Tidy Towns Competition. They have compiled a list of the Street Lamp Posts on an Excel Spreadsheet showing the location and number were identifiable that they feel need to be actioned.”

Report:
Funding has been included in the 2017 Public Lighting Works Programme to carry out lighting improvements on North Street Swords. Extra funding has been allocated to extend this work to Dublin Road. The planned works include for the replacement of a number of lamp posts as indicated on the aforementioned spreadsheet. New lighting and columns have been ordered and it is hoped to commence works during the summer months.

“To ask the Chief Executive if a household material collection could be arranged by the Council for the Balbriggan/Swords Area.”

Reply:
The bulky household waste collection service was discontinued approximately seven years ago. Anyone wishing to dispose of material that is not suitable for disposal through their normal waste collection service may do so at the Estuary Recycling Centre, Swords or the Coolmine Recycling Centre, Blanchardstown. The Centres deal with a wide range of household materials. incl. bulky waste and are open on a 6 day a week basis. While there is a modest charge for bulky waste and some other materials, the costs of the Centres are heavily subsidised by the Council at a net cost of approx. €870,000 for 2017.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the process for awarding contracts for the management of recycling areas and the obligations on companies in the Balbriggan / Swords Area?”

Reply:
The current contract for the management of the glass bottle banks is awarded to Glassco. The contract was awarded following a public procurement process in 2013 and covers the bottle banks in the Dublin Region (Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire County Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council). Under the contract Glassco’s main obligations are as follows:
* Collect the bottle banks at a sufficient frequency to ensure capacity for glass to be deposited in the containers,
* Process the glass collected to a cullet (crushed glass that is ready to be remelted in a furnace during the manufacture of glass) that will then be sold to glass manufacturers in glass packaging production,
* Clean the environs of the bottle bank, at a frequency set by the local authorities (In Fingal this frequency is determined by the amount of glass recycled and the amount of littering occurring at each site),
*Assist the local authorities in developing new sites and assessing potential new sites for access.

The contract is now due for renewal and is currently out to public tender as per public procurement rules (Request for tender RFT117708 on http://www.etenders.gov.ie/)

“To ask the Chief Executive if the possibility of an all weather pitch adjacent to the playground could be considered for the Boroimhe Estate. The idea for this has come from Boroimhe residents groups, could a meeting be set up with interested parties to discuss the feasibility of the proposal?”

Reply:
The Council is available to discuss the need for and other relevant issues relating to the provision of a facility of this type with local groups in Boroimhe.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the grass to be cut and maintained at the area behind the Seagrave estate in Meakestown. While the area has not been taken in charge it is important that this
substantial area does not become overgrown?”

Reply:
The Council will investigate the legal status and ownership of this site with a view to determining the most appropriate response to this request.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the upgrade of paths on the Swords Road , Santry for consideration in the next Roads and Special Works Programme?”

Reply:
Improvement footpath works at the locations referred to in the Question will be listed for consideration in the 2018 Works Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide an additional bin between Centra and Royal Oak in Santry to address the serious problem of litter in the area?”

Reply:
An additional bin has been provided at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive if there are any plans to update the playground in the Castle off Main Street?”

Reply:
The future use of this playground will be considered in the context of the overall Masterplan for the Park. In the meantime , a new bark surface was provided last week.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide signage at the Coolock Interchange alerting traffic of the presence of pedestrians at the junction?”

Reply:
Vehicle activated pedestrian crossing ahead signs are being installed as part of the 2017 works programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide a cul-de-sac sign for the entrance to the Charlestown Estate”

Reply:
The Charlestown Estate has several roads leading off the entrance link road with the consequence that the provision of a cul-de-sac sign is not considered appropriate in this instance.

“To ask the Chief Executive to contact the management agent responsible for the Seagrave estate to ensure that they maintain this area. As I understand it this agent believes that this is Fingal’s responsibility?”

Reply:
The management company have been contacted recently and requested to maintain this area.

“To ask the Chief Executive to give the approximate timeframe for the removal of graffiti by the probation service in the Balbriggan/Swords Area. How many reported incidents are not attended to due to resources?”

Reply:
Graffiti is normally removed / treated within a period of approximately 3/4 weeks from the date reported. While , occasionally, this timeframe is extended , the Probation Service has not suggested that there is a resource issue . Delays can be for various reasons such as access or awaiting delivery of appropriate materials such as chemicals or paint.

Questions and Motions for the May Area Meeting:

“That this Committee recognises the limited budget available to Operations and the Parks Departments for the upkeep of residential estates. Furthermore the Committee acknowledges the size and population in the Balbriggan/Swords Area meaning that it is not possible to maintain estates beyond grass cutting and ensuring that vegetation and trees are maintained.

In light of this, this committee calls on the Council to consider either extending the “Adopt-A-Patch” initiative so if residents in an estate want to put in additional work such as flower beds and general improvements the Council could provide assistance be that in terms of a small grant or advice and support on what would work best.”

Report:
The Operations Department is always more than willing to meet with Residents Associations or indeed any other community based groups who wish to improve their local environment. Other than the pickers, bags, paint etc. that are provided under the adopt a patch provided by the Environment Department many other supports are offered by Operations from removing collected litter after community clean ups, mass bulb planting, preparation of planting areas for communities to plant and maintain, additional open space maintenance in advance of family fun days and community games as well as advices and recommendations. The Operations Department also meets with the TidyTowns Committees early each year to identify and agree works and improvements that have been identified in the adjudicators reports which can be taken on by the Council. Grants however are not provided by the Council to any community or sporting group. Any such organisation that wishes to improve their immediate environment should contact the Operations Department to arrange a meeting to open a dialogue.

“This Committee notes with concern the decision taken by the Gardaí with the approval of Fingal County Council to remove the double yellow lines at the entrance to the Lanesborough Estate. This Committee calls on this decision to be reversed and that a letter be sent to Garda HQ to advise them of the views of the members.”

Report:
Double yellow lines have been provided on both sides of the entrance road from the roundabout to beyond the entrance to Lanesborough Terrace and continue on the right hand side passed the residential units on Lanesborough Road. There are no plans to remove the lines from the entrance but , during an onsite meeting some time ago , local Gardai requested the Council to remove the lines along the straight stretch of Lanesborough Road from Lanesborough Terrace. An attempt was made to remove these lines but a number of local residents prevented the carrying out of this work. The removal of these double yellow lines will permit parking which also potentially serves as a form of traffic calming.

“This Committee notes with concern the increasing numbers of incidents of anti-social behaviour in a number of estates in the Swords Area, and to call on the Gardai to provide an update to Councillors in the Swords Ward as to the steps they are taken to tackle this increasing menace. “

Report:
If the motion is passed a letter will issue to the Garda Chief Superintendent of an Garda Siochána and when a reply is received the Members will be notified.

“This Committee calls on the Council to meet with the Carlton Court Residents Association to agree a workable solution for parking in the estate. A recent petition sent by the Residents Association detailed a number
of proposals regarding managing parking in the estate, these included:
1) Double yellow lines along the entrance road and on one side of the
road that runs by the green;
2) A single yellow line (nearest the houses) on the road that runs by
the green or designated resident only parking spaces.”

Report:
The Council intends to complete remediation works and bring the estate to taking in charge standard before the Council meeting in September 2017. The estate is currently privately owned and managed. When the statutory Taking in Charge process for Carlton Court is complete, then operational issues such as non-resident parking can be considered.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm the frequency of litter pick up’s in Lanesborough Park and the wider Meakstown area?”

Reply:
This area is litter picked and bins emptied twice weekly. In addition, two community clean-ups have taken place and have been collected by the council.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on progress to improve the road frontage at Santry Business Park/Sportlinks entrance. The area has been neglected for many years? (Original question tabled February 2017)”

Reply:
As reported to the February meeting, this matter has been referred to both the Environment and Planning Department for attention and reply. They will be contacted again and requested to update the Councillor directly in this regard.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide signage at the playground in Santry Park clearly identifying the opening and closing times?”

Reply:
All of the signage in Santry Demesne is currently being reviewed with a view to replacing the map-boards, finger posts and information signage with the new suite of signage bearing the corporate livery trialled in Ardgillan last year.

“To ask the Chief Executive to raise the issue of illegal parking at the entrance to the Charlestown Estate with Finglas Gardai?”

Reply:
The Operations Department have previously discussed parking issues in the Charlestown housing estate with An Garda Síochána. The Operations department will continue to liaise with An Garda Síochána in relation to parking
issues at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive if arrangements could be made for the weeds all along the fence at the Oaklands Park Lane way be removed?”

Reply:
The Area Engineer has been requested to inspect the area with a view to having any necessary works carried out as soon as possible.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the faded yellow box at the exit of Royal Oak to be relined as a matter of urgency as it is causing significant delays for residents from Oakview and the Centra store at peak times during the day. Further can the traffic light timings be adjusted to reflect how busy this area is?”

Reply:
The relining of the yellow box on the R104 at the entrance to Royal Oak will be placed on the signing and lining programme. Dublin City Council, who control the traffic signals at this junction, have on a number of occasions, at the request of The Operations Department, reviewed the timings and inspected the detector loops for the traffic signals at this junction. Dublin City Council confirmed that the detector loops are working and that the timings are optimal for this junction.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm the number of incidents of graffiti in the Balbriggan and Swords Area attended to by the Probation Service in 2017?”

Reply:
From 01 January 2017 to 30 April 2017, Fingal County Council has received 26 reports of graffiti in the Balbriggan Swords Area. These have all been referred to the Probation Service for cleaning, and a small number are outstanding at present for a variety of reasons. It should also be noted that Swords Tidy Towns submitted one report of Graffiti
to the council, and we have recorded that as one report, however it contains 7 separate locations.

Questions and Motions for the April Area Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm whether the tree replacement programme for Santry Close has progressed to the point where all trees that were felled last year were replaced meaning no decrease in the tree population?”

Reply:

During the Winter Tree Planting 2016-17, 17 suitable street tree species and 5 open space trees were planted in Santry Close. The planting will be formally inspected during the summer months to ensure successful establishment and to include on the database of street trees. It is not always possible to ensure that the same number of trees is planted as is removed within an individual estate due to planting restrictions such as public lighting, overhead services, and objections from residents. Also it is not always possible to make up for any shortfall on the nearest open space as it is necessary to keep some areas suitable for active and passive recreation. However across the area many more trees are planted annually than are removed. Furthermore, if there are any locations that it is felt might be suitable for tree planting locally, the Operations Department will arrange an inspection and if the criteria of the adopted tree policy with regard to new tree planting is met the location will be included in the next tree planting programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm when so works on the cooks road will be completed and whether the original junction will be reopened? An issue has arisen regarding drivers coming from the Naul Road onto the small roundabout and then turning right onto Cook’s Road. The increase in traffic and the blind bend to turn across means the traffic is backing up to Newtown Cottages and
back to the next roundabout?”
Reply:
The Works on Forest Road and Forest Little Road are due to be complete on the th July 2017. The Forest Little Road will be realigned and a new junction will open up out on to it connecting Forest Road to the new realigned Forest Little Road. In relation to the issue of traffic backing up from Cooks Road to the Newtown Cottages; the traffic is continuously monitored in this area to ensure that there are no adverse effects from the diversion routes that have been implemented. The Contractor has been requested to monitor the evening peak time traffic approaching the small roundabout from all directions and to provide additional measures if considered necessary. However, recently there have been further one day lane closures during the day 10am – 4pm with Stop/Go shuttle systems on both the St Margarets Bypass and the Forest Little Road for various related works. These works are short term and temporary in nature and are removed within the day of setting up.
“This Committee requests the traffic engineer examine the location of the Swords Express Bus Stop at the location referred to. The following should be noted:  At rush hour traffic is backed up from the Boroimhe Road up and around the corner to the Forest Road towards Ridgewood.  This traffic congestion is caused by the location of the the Swords Express bus stop. The bus stop is located just before the bus lane starts, it is on a bend and the queues for this bus are enormous in the mornings. Can the location of the bus stop be examined from this perspective with a view to ensuring traffic flow is minimally affected.” 
Report:
The bus stop on Boroimhe Road is located near a pedestrian crossing where the footpath is wide. It would not be feasible to relocate the bus stop eastwards into the bus lane without having a detrimental effect on the on-road cycle lane. In addition the width of the footpath would be insufficient for the number of persons waiting at this stop.
“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangement for signage to be erected warning of the dangers of feeding bread to ducks. It should be placed at lakes and other waterways where ducks are found in the Balbriggan/Swords area?”
Reply:
This proposal should ideally be considered on a countywide basis, which would involve the other two Operational areas of Castleknock/Mulhuddart and Howth/Malahide. We will discuss this issue strategically with our colleagues in the other two operational areas and also in Planning and Strategic Infrastructure.
“To ask the Chief Executive to set out the requirements for Boroimhe 3 for taking the public lighting in charge and outline the timelines for completion. Can the chief executive confirm that this is the last area in Boroimhe where the public lighting is to be taken in charge?”
Reply:
Fingal County Council has assumed responsibility for the payment of energy charges associated with lighting adjoining roads taken in charge in areas 1, 2, 4 & 5 in Boroimhe. The management company for these areas met all costs associated with the transfer of supply points. All lighting maintenance remains with the management company. In order for Boroimhe 3 to be included for energy payments the management company for the area is required to commission an electrical contractor to survey all street lighting at the location, indicating all cable runs and supply points. A site meeting can then take place with Fingal County Council lighting section identifying where new unmetered supplies can be located. The ESB Network costs associated with these new supplies shall be borne by the management company. After agreement the civil/electrical works necessary to transfer existing metered lighting supplies to unmetered shall be undertaken by the management company. On receipt of electrical certification and verified by inspection Fingal County Council can assume responsibility for the payment of the energy charges associated with the transferred lighting. Timelines very much depend on meeting the costs that will be associated with the transfer of these supply points. There are other private areas in the Boroimhe development, through archways leading into car parks along with low level bollard style lighting in privately maintained areas which will not be considered for taking in charge.
“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what regulations are in place regarding the collection of household recycling materials by private operators or individuals are permits required?”
Reply:
The collection of household recycling materials is regulated under S.I. No. 820 Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007, as amended. All private operators or individuals collecting household recycling materials are required to hold a valid Waste Collection Permit for this activity under Section 34 of the Waste Management Act, 1996 as amended. Offaly County Council, in their role as the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO), grants Waste Collection Permits under S.I. No. 820 Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007, as amended.

To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the whether the installation of a yellow box at the junction at the end of Northwood Avenue would improve traffic flow. The junction sometimes gets blocked preventing access to Domville Woods?”

Reply:
It is anticipated that a yellow box will be provided at this junction later this year.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for dog litter signage to be erected in Charlestown Dublin 11?”

Reply:
The Litter Warden will erect dog fouling signage in Charlestown, Dublin 11.
“This Committee calls on the Council to provide clarity and an explanation of the policy in relation to the maintenance of grass verges in front of property in the Balbriggan Swords Areas. Specifically can the Citizens Charter which refers to the following: “Protect your environment Litter · Keep our streets clean. Put litter into on-street litter bins or take it home and put in your wheelie bin. · Adopt the public footpath and grass margin in front of your home or business premises, as it is your responsibility. Sweep it clean and cut the grass on a regular basis.” Review the practicality of adopting a public footpath and grass margin. Further what legal protections have residents in relation to the maintenance of what are public spaces.”
Report:
The Fingal Citizen’s Charter was adopted by the Council at its meeting on 11th April, 2005. The extract quoted, insofar as it deals with grass margins, formalised a practise which had been in place for many, many years and predated the establishment of Fingal in 1994. The Charter applies across the entire Fingal area and while the grass margin provision is raised on occasions it is generally by new residents. Legal issues have not, to our knowledge, ever been raised.

Questions for the March County Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm how many housing developments approved in 2016 did not have a management company structure (Response to a February question indicated that 16 residential developments granted approval in 2016 included a management company structure).”

Reply:
In 2016 there were 57 decisions made to grant permission for housing development. In response to the question in February it was determined that c. 19 residential developments, which were issued with a decision to grant permission, were subject to a condition relating to management agreements. Therefore there were c. 38 residential developments issued with a decision to grant permission which were not subject to a condition
relating to management agreements.

Questions and Motions for the March Area Meeting:

“This Committee notes with concern that questions in relation to Ballymun and Finglas sub districts have not been answered at recent Joint Policing Committee meetings and this Committee requests that the Council write to the Gardai to request that arrangements are made to ensure that if members table written questions relating to areas in the Fingal administrative area within Ballymun and Finglas sub districts that they are answered.”
Report:
This matter has been looked into. It appears that possibly due to an administrative oversight three written questions were not answered at the Joint Policing Committee meeting on 2nd December 2016. This matter should properly
have been brought to the attention of the Chair of the Joint Policing Committee at that stage. The issue will be brought to the attention of the Chair of the JPC.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include provision for railings to be installed around Lanesborough Park in the Capital Programme. Notwithstanding the issues around taking the park fully in charge, the finishing off of the railings around the park would be welcomed by the community in Lanesborough?”
Reply:
The provision of appropriate boundary treatment will be considered as part of the preparation of an overall plan to enhance the amenity of the lands in question.

“To ask the Chief Executive to take action against the owners of the site for allowing the site become a dumping ground. Despite raising the issue of the site being accessible no action has been taken to secure the site. Further will the cost of continually removing rubbish be billed to the owners?”
Reply:
Further to the report issued to the October 2016 meeting, a recent inspection of this location has revealed that the site is secure from trespass and clear of rubbish. There is graffiti on the walls and it detracts from the area but as this site is for sale no action will be taken at present. It is in the interest of the receiver to maintain the site in a non-derelict condition. Rubbish removed from the site was carried out at the expense of the receiver.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the reasons why trees have been removed on the Elmwood Road in Swords. Can assurances be given that the trees will be replaced and a date for the replacement of trees be given?”
Reply:
No recent tree removals have been carried out on Elmwood Road. The last time the tree crew were in attendance was to deal with a storm damaged limb in the remnant hedgerow at the entrance from Glasmore Park. The tree policy
requires all trees that are removed to be replaced; such replacements are carried out as part of the winter tree planting programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the Beaverstown Road in the vicinity of Beaverbrook and Cois Inbhir junctions to be assessed in terms of road safety. Specifically can the junctions be examined and traffic calming measures and signage be provided to improve safety?”
Reply:
Beaverstown Road is a 50km\h speed limit area with speed limit signs at the Donabate Portrane road for motorists approaching from the south. There is also a 50km\h sign to the north of Beaverbrook and Cois Inbhir for motorists
approaching from the north. Beaverstown Road has ramps along its full length, with ramp ahead warning signs at the northern and southern end of Beaverstown Road. There is a ramp approximately 25m north of the entrance to
Beaverbrook and approximately 90m to the south of the entrance to Cois Inbhir. The entrances to Cois Inbhir and Beaverbrook have stop and yield road markings and signs respectively. Currently, there are no plans to provide additional traffic calming measures at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive to restart the task force that was set up in 2010 to improve the look of the R132 between the airport roundabout and Coolock Lane, just south of Morton Stadium in Santry?”
Reply:
It appears that a taskforce was established in 2009/ 2010 to consider means of improving the general appearance of the road between the Airport and Coolock Lane in the short term. The taskforce comprised of local elected members and representatives from various Departments of the Council, Santry Forum, D.A.A. and Chamber of Commerce. The taskforce met on a number of occasions and discussions centred on unfinished footpaths and grass verges, derelict sites, unauthorised signage, litter collection/road sweeping and boundary improvements. The issues discussed were attended to insofar as resources permitted and the subsequent upgrade of a section of the R132 also addressed many of the issues raised. The removal of unauthorised signage was pursued but limited due to the nature of the signs and the length of time they were insitu which meant their removal was at the discretion of landowners. It was then decided that further progress on this initiative would require the co-operation of land and business owners along the route. The Chamber of Commerce undertook to contact the relevant businesses in this regard but there is no record of any progression from that point. The Operations Department is happy to attempt to resolve any matters over which it has direct control, within the resources available, so if details of issues could be provided they will be examined.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the installation of traffic lights at the Melville Estate. Can a completion date be advised?”
Reply:
All works in relation to the installation of the signalised pedestrian crossing have been completed and the E.S.B. have been advised and requested to provide the required connection. They have inspected the site and included the connection in their works programme. They will be contacted again regarding expediting the connection which will enable the operation of the signals.

“To ask the Chief Executive to set out in detail the rationale for the removal of double yellow lines on the right hand of the Lanesborough Estate just after the entrance? Who ultimately took the decision and what health and safety considerations were taken into account?”
Reply:
A site meeting was held with An Garda Siochana to discuss parking/traffic issues at this location. The double yellow lines were removed following a request from the Gardai during this meeting.

 

Questions and Motions for the February Council Meeting:

“That the Chief Executive notes that Residential Property Management Company Structures are now common for new housing developments. Council acknowledges the references in the Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 and incoming Development Plan in relation to Management Companies for higher density Apartment Type Developments and recognize the need for Management Company structures for apartments. However Council calls for greater clarity and rules in relation to Management Company structures for new housing developments.
Therefore Council proposes the following changes to improve transparency:

1) Membership of a Management Company should not be a precondition of purchasing a housing unit in any new development.
2) In new housing developments where planning permission is given, Management Companies must only be established after construction has completed and prior to the estate being taken in charge.
3) The principal of voluntary Management Companies be established, this would require a majority of purchasers of housing units to agree do not agree the estate is taken in charge by the Council.
4) To ensure that purchasers of housing units in new developments are fully aware of potential leasehold and financial commitments that being part of a Residential Property Management Companies entail Council proposes that as a condition of planning, developers would be obliged to state what the service charge per house would be.”

The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 came into effect on 1 April 2011. It regulates the ownership and management of the common areas of multi-unit developments, and provides for the setting up of owners’ management companies to manage such areas.

The Act provides that an owners’ management company (OMC) must be set up, and the common areas of the development transferred to it, before the developer sells any units. For existing developments where one or more units had already been sold, the developer had 6 months from when the Act came into effect – until 30th September 2011 – to transfer ownership of the common areas. The intention of this act is to give the power to the majority of residents who are owners of the houses who form the Board of the OMC and have complete control over who is hired and how much is charged to each property. The procedure for the establishment and regulation of Owner Management Companies (OMCs) is laid out in the MUDS Act. Pre-conditions of purchase of a property are a matter of contract law.

OMCs are essential in some cases to maintain common private areas which the Council does not do, for example within an apartment block. In addition residents may chose an OMC in order to maintain public spaces within the
development to a different standard than that provided by the council. When a development has been taken in charge, the Council provides services in public areas only, including for example road, footpath and open space maintenance. Currently the process for Taking in Charge of developments can be initiated through Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act.

The Council has no role in the establishment or management of OMCs in new or existing developments within the county. On occasion the Council interacts with OMCs in the process of taking in charge of developments, specifically when the common areas of the development have already been transferred to the OMC by the developer.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide details in relation to New Residential Housing Developments in Fingal. Specifically how many Residential Housing Developments approved in 2016 will be private i.e. the Estates that will be maintained by an Owners Management Company where the common areas will not be taken in charge?”

Reply:
The Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 [page 252] states the following in relation to private management companies:
‘Management Companies and Facilities for Higher Density Apartment Type Developments
Higher density apartment type development will require a management company to maintain communal areas. Higher density apartment type development should consider the provision of common service areas such as laundry rooms, storage facilities, management offices and communal rooms for the enjoyment of all the
residents.
Objective RD21 Require properly constituted management companies in apartment type schemes are set up and necessary management structures are put in place for the benefit of the residents.
Objective RD22 Provide in high density apartment type schemes in excess of 100 units facilities for the communal use of residents as deemed appropriate by the Council.
Objective RD23 Require the provision of communal laundry rooms and storage cellars in high density apartment type developments where deemed appropriate’.

The Draft Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 includes similar provisions. Planning applications for higher density apartment type development will generally include details in respect of the areas proposed to be taken in charge by Fingal County Council and/or those areas which are proposed to be maintained by a private management company.
Where appropriate a condition with regard to this matter is attached to a decision by Fingal County Council to grant permission for example as follows:
‘That details of the Management Agreement for the maintenance and control of the site for areas to be taken in charge by Fingal County Council and those areas which shall be maintained by the management company shall be submitted and agreed with the Planning Authority prior to the commencement of development’.

Any potential buyer of a residential unit in any schemes should therefore make themselves aware of the details of the development as permitted including any Conditions attached to the permission.

In response to the above question a recent search indicated that approx.19 residential developments, which subject to a decision by FCC to grant permission in 2016, were subject to a condition relating to management agreement.

Questions and Motions for the February Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive if steps can be taken to improve the road frontage at Santry Business Park/Sportlinks entrance. The area has been neglected for many years?”

Reply:
The road frontage at the Santry Business Park/Sportlinks entrance has been examined and the issue relates to the existing hedgerow and temporary boundary fencing fronting an undeveloped site at this location. This matter will be referred to both the Environment Department and the Planning Department for attention and reply.

“To ask the Chief Executive if the problem of unauthorised signage at the Turnapin Lane / Swords Road junction can be addressed and the owners requested to remove such signage?”

Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the removal of any unauthorised signage on the public road at the location referred to in the Question.

“To ask the Chief Executive if the Swords By Pass Dual Carriageway from the Pinnockhill Roundabout to the Donabate M1 and the Malahide Roundabout be included in future road lining programmes. They are in urgent need of attention.

Reply:
A schedule of all outstanding lining works is being prepared and prioritised for completion as resources permit. The extensive area in question will be inspected and listed for consideration in this context.

“To ask the Chief Executive to examine the issue of flooding at the car park opposite Centra in Santry. The area is affected by flooding during periods of heavy rain. Can this area be included in the Annual Gully Cleaning Programme?”

Reply:
The cleaning of the gullies at the location referred to in the Question will be included in the Gully Cleaning Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to increase litter pick-ups in Santry Park. Recently the volume of litter has increased substantially?”

Reply:
Litter bin collections and litter picks within parks are carried out by the Mobile Ranger service. They have been made aware of this request and consideration to increasing the number of litter picks in Santry Park will be given, taking account of resourcing constraints. The location referred to is part of a rostered litter picking route, and is maintained regularly. The Operations Department will support any community initiatives such as Community Clean ups, An Taisce Spring Clean which are geared to creating a greater community involvement and engagement with their area.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm whether Transport Infrastructure Ireland are responsible for the removal of graffiti from Road Signs in the Swords Balbriggan Area. Further can the Chief Executive write to TII to request that they do a full audit of their signage and make arrangements for cleaning?”

Reply:
Transport Infrastructure Ireland are responsible for the removal of graffiti on Motorway and National road signs and the contents of the question will be brought to their attention. The Council is responsible for the maintenance of Regional and Local roads and, while there are no resources available to undertake a full audit of signage in the Balbriggan /Swords area, incidences of graffiti on these road signs should be reported directly to the Operations Department and they will be dealt with as resources permit.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what the litter and rubbish pick up schedule is for the various areas in the Swords/Balbriggan Ward?”

Reply:
The centres of larger towns in the Balbriggan / Swords Operational area with a high urban concentration are litter picked and bins emptied daily. Moving outside the town centres, main roads are litter picked and bins emptied 2-3 times per week, and moving outside that location, the areas are picked weekly or fortnightly.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide an update on efforts to tackle coastal erosion in Portrane?”

Reply:
The Council will undertake a coastal flooding study of Portrane to assess the potential impacts of possible further erosion of the dunes with a view to determine the need for flood defence measures and how these might be combined with coastal erosion prevention.

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide details on how planners assess traffic and traffic planning when it comes to approving new developments in the Balbriggan/Swords Area. The issue is often raised when it comes to objections to new developments so an understanding of how the Council assess traffic capacity would be helpful to members?”

Reply:
Planning applications are referred to the Transportation Planning Section within The Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department. The Transportation Planning Section reports on all transport issue associated with a proposed development [addressing inter alia traffic impact and traffic safety]. The Transportation Engineer’s report informs the overall planning assessment of the proposed development undertaken by the Planning Officer and the Planning Officer’s recommendation in respect of the proposed development [i.e. to grant / refuse permission / to request additional information]. All technical reports including inter alia, the report of Transportation Planning Section and the report of the Planning Officer are published and available on the planning file once the decision of FCC is made.

“To ask the Chief Executive how many estates are part of the Adopt the Patch Scheme in the Swords/Balbriggan Area. Can details be given as to what supports are available for communities in terms of assisting with planting and landscaping?”

Reply:
There are 70 groups registered with the Adopt-a-Patch Scheme throughout the Balbriggan/Swords Electoral Area. Registered Adopt-a- Patch groups can contact the Operations Department who will advise and provide assistance, where possible, to the group.

 

Questions and Motions for the January County Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm that commitments made under the 2016 Roads and Specials Works Programme that have not already started will be honoured in early 2017. As I understand it the delays are as a result of procurement rules and are not the fault of Fingal County Council. Can a brief summary of the issues arising be provided”?

Reply:
In common with previous years a small number of items included in the Roads and Special Works programme for one reason or another do not get delivered. For example in one case it proved impossible to identify a time slot sufficiently long in order to resurface a roadway in front of a busy distribution centre. During 2016 a number of changes were introduced in the area of procurement which significantly changed how works were procured. These changes were necessary to bring the Council into compliance with Government policy on procurement in the public sector.

The changes necessitated amendments to the existing Tender award process and the requirement for the provision of detailed Tender Documentation and the Tendering Process itself did contribute to an extended timeframe for the award and subsequent delivery of projects. However with the experience gained during 2016 the process should be smoother going forward. Additionally in 2016 some extra funding was made available to enable a series of extra works to be carried out and while it was intended that delivery of these extra works would not interfere with the works programme, inevitably there was some overlap.

Discussions will take place with our Finance Department to explore if funding is available to carry forward to 2017 in order to complete the outstanding works. This will depend on the outturn figures for 2016 which are being finalised at present.

“That the Chief Executive notes that Residential Property Management Company Structures are now common for new developments. To ensure that purchasers of residential units in new developments are fully aware of potential leasehold and financial commitments that being part of a Residential Property Management Companies entail Council proposes that as a condition of planning, developers would be obliged to publicise if a development is to have a Management Company Structure and common areas will not be taken in charge by the Local Authority. Further an indicative service charge costing per unit be also publicised”.

Report:
The Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 [page 252] states the following in relation to Management companies:
‘Management Companies And Facilities For Higher Density Apartment Type Developments Higher density apartment type development will require a management company to maintain communal areas [our emphasis]. Higher density apartment type development should consider the provision of common service areas such as laundry
rooms, storage facilities, management offices and communal rooms for the enjoyment of all the residents.

  • Objective RD21 Require properly constituted management companies in apartment type schemes are set up and necessary management structures are put in place for the benefit of the residents.
  • Objective RD22 Provide in high density apartment type schemes in excess of 100 units
    facilities for the communal use of residents as deemed appropriate by the Council.
  • Objective RD23 Require the provision of communal laundry rooms and storage cellars in high density apartment type developments where deemed appropriate’

The Draft Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 includes similar provisions. Planning applications for higher density apartment type development apartments will generally include details in respect of the areas proposed to be
taken in charge by Fingal County Council and/or those areas which are proposed to be maintained by a management company.

Questions and Motions for the January Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee calls on the Chief Executive to undertake an audit of the roads in the Balbriggan/Swords area and for an increase in the budget dedicated to relining. This Committee notes with concern the increasing number of roads in the Swords/Balbriggan area that have lining that has faded significantly. Further this Committee believes that it represents a serious road safety issue and that the budget for road lining must be increased to address the issue. While the Committee acknowledges the increasing number of financial obligations on the Council budget it believes that this issue must take priority.”

Report:
Resources are not available to carry out the audit suggested. A significant number of reports are received throughout the year from a variety of sources concerning faded road markings in addition to relining taking place following road resurfacing and patching works. Each report is examined and considered for inclusion in the lining programme. An examination is currently taking place to explore how the quantum of works undertaken annually could be increased for 2017 and beyond. While budget is important it is not the only consideration involved. The Traffic Signs Manual advises against the use of centre line road markings on roads less than 6.2m in width. The provision of centre lines can cause overrunning of the carriageway edge, particularly on bends, and can cause vehicles to cross this centre line, thus technically committing an offence under Article 25 of the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997. Some roads that fall into this category may have previously been lined and this is now fading The use of a Single Continuous Centre Line on rural roads less than 6.2m in width is not recommended, except on the approaches to Stop and Yield Lines (RRM 017 and RRM 018).

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm whether specific opening hours were included in the original planning permission for the Super Valu supermarket?”

Reply:
Planning History Reg. Ref. F04A/0929
Permission was granted under Reg. Ref. F04A/0929 on the 21st January 2005 for the development of a Local Centre comprising 7 no. retail units with associated storage and office space, a medical centre, crèche and fitness centre in a 1-3 storey development with a total gross floor area of 3.666 sq.m. and associated works. No conditions in relation to the opening/closing hours of the facility are included within the above permission.

“To ask the Chief Executive if an opening in the wall at either side of the bottom of the green can be done in Santry Close. A significant number of people from the estate walk through the green on their walks and currently have to step over the small wall?”

Reply:
The site will be inspected to ascertain if such work is feasible. If so the work will be included on the schedule of the construction crew.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm when the paths in Santry Close and Knightswood will be upgraded as indicated in the 2016 Roads and Special Works Programme?”

Reply:
The Programme Works in Knightswood have commenced and will be completed in January. Discussions will take place with our Finance Department to explore if funding is available to carry forward to 2017 in order to carry out the works at Santry Close. This will depend on the outturn figures for 2016 which are being finalised at present. Alternatively the proposed Programme Works for Santry Close will be listed for consideration in the 2017 Works Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to again examine the issue of Knocksedan Demesne remains without a safe walking route to the nearest shops 5 and schools in Swords Manor and St Cronan’s due to the absence of a footpath?” 

Reply:
The provision of a footpath link from Knocksedan to Swords Manor, which would be a major infrastructural project, is dependent on a suitable source of funding being identified. It is intended that there will be pedestrian linkages within the parklands which are due for development.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the area at the main entrance to Santry Park to be examined and for all drains to be checked. The area is affected by flooding during periods of heavy rain and at times the road is very flooded?”

Reply:
The cleaning of the drains and gullies at the location referred to in the Question will be included in the Annual Gully Cleaning Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm that projects that were listed for the Santry and Swords Areas under the 2016 programme but have not been started will be prioritised for early 2017 and that the funding earmarked for these projects in 2016 will be utilised?”

Reply:
In common with previous years a small number of items included in the Roads and Special Works programme for one reason or another do not get delivered. For example in one case it proved impossible to identify a time slot sufficiently long in order to resurface a roadway in front of a busy distribution centre. Discussions will take place with our Finance Department to explore if funding is available to carry forward to 2017 in order to complete the outstanding works. This will depend on the outturn figures for 2016 which are being finalised at present. Alternatively they will be considered for the 2017 Works Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to again write to Transport Infrastructure Ireland to press on their obligation to the residents of Santry to provide a safe crossing at this area. Their response that this is a matter for Fingal County Council is unacceptable?”

Reply:
The Council will contact the TII seeking clarification of their response, particularly with regard to the funding of a suitable and acceptable pedestrian crossing scheme at this interchange.

_______________________________________________________

2016

Questions and Motions for the December Area Committee Meeting:

“That this Committee calls on the executive to examine the ongoing issue of road safety and dangerous parking at the bend at the entrance of the estate in Lanesborough, Meakstown.” Cllr Duncan Smith Cllr Philip Lynam

Report:
Double yellow lining has been provided at the entrance to the Lanesborough estate, in consultation with An Garda Síochána. The Council has no direct role in the enforcement of traffic regulations but will continue to communicate with the Gardaí in this regard.

“That this Committee calls on the Council to publish a timetable for cleaning and road sweeping in estates in the Swords and Balbriggan areas.”

Report:
Roads and estates in the Balbriggan/Swords Operational area are swept on a 5-6 week rota (large road sweepers) and generally on either a daily/weekly or fortnightly rota (small sweepers) dependent on where the road is located. At this time of year, priority is given to keeping roads which suffer from heavy leaf fall as clear as possible. The large road sweepers may also be diverted from the rota for a number of other reasons such as a major accident/spillage, or to clean up an area following an outdoor event.

While every effort is made to adhere to the rota, we are limited to only two large road sweepers and 2 drivers for this work and any unforeseen technical or resource issues can push the rota out by a day or number of days. With the small road sweepers, any minor issue can push this sweeping out temporarily. However, as these sweepers operate on a much shorter rota, in the event that an area is missed, it will generally be reached again within 2 weeks. The question of publishing a timetable for cleaning and road sweeping has been considered on a number of occasions previously, and Operations are of the view that publishing a fixed timetable, that would not take account of unforeseen technical or resource issues, would only create an unrealistic expectation amongst residents that a road would be swept on a particular day.

“This Committee recognises the increased use of scrambler motorbikes in the Swords/Balbriggan Areas. The Committee notes with concern the lack of regulation over the use of scramblers and the problem of such bikes being used in Fingal Parks e.g. Lanesborough Park. The Committee therefore proposes that a new By-Law be added specifically banning scrambler motorbikes from all Fingal Parks and that signage be placed in each Park. This will assist the Gardai in tackling this problem.”

Report:
Section 4.6 (TRAFFIC, BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS ETC.) of the current “Regional Parks and Open Spaces Bye-Laws” prohibit the use of vehicles such as scrambler motorbikes in public parks and green areas as follows: c) No person other than authorised officials and employees of the Council shall drive or allow to be driven or be a passenger in any mechanically propelled vehicle in the park on unauthorised routes save with the permission in writing of the Council and then only in such areas as may be designated by the Council. d) No person shall drive a vehicle on the park except on authorised routes. A statutory process to revise and update these bye-laws will commence early in the New Year and consideration will be given to amending this bye-law as part of that process. The provision of appropriate signage will also be addressed as part of this process.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise when a decision will be made regarding the application by Swords Express for a bus stop at the Millers Glen estate?”

Reply:
The NTA granted Eirebus Ltd. a licence to operate a bus four times daily (Mondays to Fridays) to/from Miller’s Glen in Swords. The granting of the licence was subject to the Council approving proposed bus-stop locations along the route. In this regard, the Council had a number of safety concerns regarding the proposed locations of four new bus-stops. Following discussions and meetings with the company, these matters have now been resolved.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for CCTV to be installed on the Balheary Road in Swords as it has become an illegal dumping black spot?”

Reply:
Balheary Road in Swords will be assessed in an effort to identify a suitable location for the installation of CCTV.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the traffic lights exiting Northwood towards the Ballymun Road to be changed to reflect the volume of traffic going through the estate. The current sequences do not reflect how busy this road is?”

Reply:
Recent road-works within the estate of Northwood resulted in delays exiting the estate. In addition traffic sensors were damaged at the Ballymun Road and also at the Swords Road Junction. These sensors were repaired in late November 2016 following resurfacing works and this resulted in an improvement of traffic flow. The Ballymun Road and the Swords Roads are busy regional roads and are also bus corridors. These roads are therefore given priority over Northwood. The queuing out of Northwood over the coming weeks will be monitored to determine if further timing changes are possible.

“To ask the Chief Executive to examine the positioning of the yellow box for cars exiting Santry Close and turning right on the Swords Road. The current positioning of the box raises safety concerns and may need to be re-positioned?”

Reply:
The yellow box on the northbound carriageway will be increased in length in a northerly direction, subject to Garda approval. These works will be given consideration in the 2017 signing and lining programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the installation of double yellow lines in Santry Close?”

Reply:
The additional double yellow lining in Santry Close will be installed in 2017, subject to available funding and Garda approval.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the publication of pay and display regulations and the process for appealing parking tickets in the Balbriggan and Swords Area?”

Reply:
Arrangements are being made to update the Council Website with the Parking Bye-Laws and information on the appeals process.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate and make arrangements for the worn pathway at the back of Royal Oak which leads to the bridge and laneway to be re-laid?”

An inspection will be arranged and any necessary repairs listed for possible inclusion in the works programme for 2017.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the process and timelines for applications from members with regard to provision for new double yellow lines. Further can an estimated budget be outlined for this type of work in the Balbriggan/Swords Area?

Reply:
The provision of double yellow lines are subject to approval from An Garda Síochána. In general applications are submitted in batches containing a plan layout and schedule containing the location and regulatory road marking designation for each proposed road marking. The approved lining is then subject to a public procurement process through the Local Government Operational Procurement Centre Framework (LGOPC). The placement of the lining is generally placed when weather is favourable between April and October. In 2016 the amount spent on road markings in the Swords Balbriggan area was €2690.

Reply:
An inspection will be arranged and any necessary repairs listed for possible inclusion in the works programme for 2017.

Questions and Motions for the November Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee recognises the significant work undertaken by volunteers in the Santry Community Garden over a number of years. This Committee proposes that the Fingal Executive meet with the Community Garden Committee regarding the possibility of securing funding for a number of important projects namely:

1) Irrigation – Unfortunately there is no running water in the garden and although rainwater harvesting and pipework has been installed there is a need for investment to get the full benefits and in particular our poly tunnel needs an irrigation system. Works are costed at €3,000.

2) Lawnmower – As the garden has grown the need for a large lawnmower has become essential. Estimated cost – €1,200.

3) Education and Training – Supports for training volunteers.

4) Paths – There is a need for the paths to be upgraded with new gravel.

Finally this Committee notes the importance of the work of the volunteers in maintaining and safeguarding this historical garden?”

Report:
Arrangements will be made to meet with the committee of the Community Gardens before year end to agree a programme of supports for 2017 and to identify possible funding streams and where certain works can be carried out within existing Council resources. The Operations Department also acknowledges the work of the volunteers in this regard.

“This Committee recognises the terrible tragedy of suicide in our communities of Balbriggan and Swords and indeed across the County and in Ireland.

For many families the opportunity to remember and mark a loved ones life can help in the grieving process. For those families who feel it is a appropriate Local Representatives with the County Council could provide a means to remember those who are gone by for example the planting of a tree.

If this motion is passed Councillors and the Council should work with suicide prevention organisations to develop an appropriate mechanism for remembrance in our communities.”

“To ask the Chief Executive to examine the exit onto Coolock Lane from Centra and Royal Oak. A situation has arisen whereby cars coming from Oakview and Centra are having to wait considerable periods to allow traffic from Royal Oak?”

Reply:
There is a yellow box approximately 6m from the stop line on the exit from Royal Oak to allow traffic from Oakview enter the queue for the traffic signals. A request will be made to Dublin City Council, who control the traffic signals at
this junction, to review the timings and inspect the detector loops for the traffic signals to ensure the timings are optimal for the junction and that the detector loops are working correctly.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the road at Meakstown cottages to be assessed for traffic calming measures?”

Reply:
An assessment was carried out on the roads at Meakstown cottages, on the 2nd of November 2016. The access roads for the cottages are narrow Cul De Sac’s which due to their geometry and width are not conducive to speeding. Notwithstanding this consideration will be given in the 2017 works programme for additional traffic calming measures.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the possibility of introducing a pilot study in relation to road sweeping in the Balbriggan/Swords area. Can a road sweeping timetable be established for residential estates and then erect temporary signage indicating days where sweeping will take place. The current situation is that parked cars can prevent road sweeping?”

Reply:
There are two types of road sweeping carried out in the Balbriggan / Swords area. The large road sweepers operate on a 5-6-week rota and sweep the main roads and streets in the towns and villages in the Balbriggan / Swords area. While every effort is made to adhere to the rota, we are limited to only two vehicles and 2 drivers for this work and any unforeseen technical or resource issues can push the rota out by a day or number of days.

Separately, the small road sweepers work on the daily/weekly/fortnightly rosters in the main towns/villages and again, while every effort is made to ensure that the schedule is adhered to, any minor issue can push this out temporarily. As the smaller sweepers operate on a much shorter rota, in the event that an area is missed, it will generally be reached again within 2 weeks. In general, as sweeping takes place during working hours, most cars are not parked outside houses. At this time of the year, priority is given to keeping the roads which suffer from heavy leaf-fall as clear as possible.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for planting to be organised to replace the recently cut down trees at the entrance road to Glasmore Park in Swords. With the trees being removed the area is exposed with the unsightly corrugated fencing on top of the wall along the said road. Can suitable climbing plants be put in along the bottom of the wall that with time will cover this fencing and improve the appearance of the area?”

Reply:
There is limited rooting space available at this location. The site will be inspected and if suitable will be included in this winter’s tree planting programme.

Question for the October County Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide in tabular form the following: The number of derelict sites in the County in each Ward and the length of time on the derelict sites register. Further if it can be indicated whether legal action is being taken against the owners of these sites?”

Reply:
Ward and No of Derelict Sites
* Howth Malahide – 4
* Balbriggan Swords – 9
* Castleknock Mulhuddart – 3

As indicated above there is a total of 16 sites in the County currently classified as derelict. A further 5 sites are currently under investigation. One of these, in the Balbriggan Swords Ward has been entered onto the Derelict Sites Register. The remaining sites are currently undergoing further investigation in order to ascertain whether they should now be entered onto the Derelict Sites Register.

Questions and Motions for the October Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee recognises the terrible tragedy of suicide in our communities of Balbriggan and Swords and indeed across the County and in Ireland.

For many families the opportunity to remember and mark a loved ones life can help in the grieving process.

For those families who feel it is a appropriate Local Representatives with the County Council could provide a means to remember those who are gone by for example the planting of a tree.

If this motion is passed Councillors and the Council should work with suicide prevention organisations to develop an appropriate mechanism for remembrance in our communities.”

“That this Committee call on Fingal County Council to take the necessary steps to address the issue of providing safe crossing from Santry to the roads that connect to Coolock Lane. There is currently no safe way to cross at the M1 roundabout. With schools and other community amenities on the Coolock Lane side there are a significant number of people from the Santry Area crossing over. This Committee calls for traffic lights to be installed to ensure safe crossing”

Report:
Signalised pedestrian crossing facilities are in place on the Swords Road at both the junction of Santry Avenue and also at Coolock Lane. Coolock interchange is maintained by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and any alterations to this interchange are a matter for that body. The interchange was installed several years ago and was not designed to accommodate traffic signals. Subject to this motion being agreed, the Operations Department will bring this matter to the attention of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

“This Committee acknowledges the significant investment made in communities right across Balbriggan and Swords under the Roads and Special Works Programme.

This Committee proposes the following improvement to the roll out of the 2017 programme. Where possible for each proposed set of works in the next programme a draft timeline for works be provided for members when the
programme is launched.

This would have a very positive impact and would manage expectations amongst communities regarding the delivery of projects.”

Report:
The roll out of the specified works in the Annual Works Programme is currently notified to the elected members on a weekly basis whenever the works are due to commence and when the works are ongoing. There can be difficulties in the provision of an accurate Works Programme timeline, with issues such as procurement requirements, contractor availability, provision of unplanned works, weather conditions, re-prioritising of works, rescheduling of works to suit public events and other 3rd party operators. Given the extent of the uncontrollable issues mentioned above the current format referred to above is therefore considered to be the most effective and accurate form of communicating the necessary information with regard to the carrying out of the works in the Works Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive for a progress report on steps being taken to ensure the receivers for this property are making efforts to secure the property and removing rubbish? (Mulhalls Site – Santry)”

Reply:
Further to the report issued to the September meeting, a recent inspection of this site has revealed that works have been carried out in response to the Derelict Sites Notice. The site has been cleared of the rubbish and debris that had been spilling out onto the pathway and road. In addition, a fence has been attached to a small gate in an attempt to secure the site. The Receiver has been spoken to again and been advised that, while the site may now be cleared of rubbish and litter, the works undertaken would not be sufficient to be seen as proper securing of the property against further entry and dumping. Furthermore, the nature of the work undertaken continues to detract from the area and, in itself, would not render the site non-derelict. The Receiver has said that he will endeavour to have further works carried out as soon as possible. The Council will continue to monitor the site.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the process for dealing with privately owned sites in estates that are left derelict and overgrown in the Balbriggan and Swords Areas. Specifically can a brief summary be provided as to what would constitute a derelict or unkept site?”

Reply:
The Council is empowered to deal with derelict sites in private ownership under the Derelict Sites Act 1990. Under this Act, a derelict site is defined as “any land that detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree, from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question”. Land may cause such detraction because of:
 Structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition or
 The neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition of the land or of structures on it, or
 The presence, deposit or collection of litter, rubbish debris or waste Under the legislation, the Council may serve a Derelict Sites Notice on the owner of a property that it considers to be in a derelict state. Failure to comply with this Notice leaves the owner open to action by the local authority. In accordance with the provisions of the Act, where a Notice has not been complied with, the local authority has a number of options available to it.
It may:-
 Enter onto the lands to carry out the work itself and recover the costs from the owner or
 Take steps to compulsorily acquire the property or
 Enter the property in the Council’s Derelict Sites Register Where a property has been entered in the Register, it may levy a charge of 3% per annum of the Market Value of the property.

“To ask the Chief Executive for clarification on what action can be taken in relation to a vacant house in details supplied which is starting to look very run down. What concerns residents is the full bins at the rear of the property. Also there seems to be some water leakage from pipes at the side of the house and the area has gone green and started to affect the house it its immediate vicinity. Can clarification be provided on the following:
1) How run down does a property have to get before action can be taken by the Council?
2) Would the owner of the property be permitted to leave rubbish in bins without it being collected?
The exact location of the house was given to estate management in early August?”

Reply:
An inspection of this property has shown that the garden is overgrown and a lot of rubbish has accumulated on the site. The house appears to have been unoccupied for some time. A property search is currently taking place and as soon as the ownership is established, the owner, or relevant financial institution, will be notified of the need to take immediate action to clean up the site and to secure it appropriately in order to obviate the need for action under the Derelict Sites Act.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the following traffic related issued in the Castle Estates off Swords Main Street namely: Cars being left on double yellow lines and the pay and display being ignored in Castle Park. How many traffic wardens patrol the area and how many tickets have been issued this year?”

Reply:
One Full Time Warden patrols the Swords area over an 8 hour working period. The Castle Estate area is patrolled 2-3 times during every patrol assignment. The Traffic Warden remains near the school entrance of St. Colmcilles on Chapel Lane during drop off and collection times due to the high volume of traffic. The Wardens main priority during these periods is the safety of the children and maintaining the flow of traffic. Castle Park and Castle Drive are usually very quiet areas with a high uptake of Residents Permits. There have been 126 tickets issued from January to date this year in this area.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the entrance to Santry Park at Parklands to be examined and a solution be found for the poor drainage at this area. The front of the gate is water logged after periods of rain making it impassable?”

Reply:
The entrance will be investigated and if a solution which can be implemented within existing budgets can be identified the works will be scheduled over the winter months. If a larger scheme is required budgetary provision will be made in next year’s budget.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include provision for outdoor exercise equipment in Lanesborough Park in the 2018 Roads and Special Works Programme?”

Reply:
Consideration will be given to the inclusion of adult exercise equipment for Lanesborough Park in the Special Works Programme to be presented to this Area Committee in early 2017.

“To ask the Chief Executive to contact Gardaí for approval for the installation of double yellow lines between the Northwood exist and Ballymun road so as to prevent trucks parking?”

Reply:
An Garda Síochána will be consulted in relation to the provision of double yellow lines between the Northwood Exit and the Ballymun road. The placement of double yellow lines at this location would only be completed in conjunction with the resurfacing of the road.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the completion of railings around Lanesborough Park in the next Roads and Special Works Programme. This will help prevent anti-social behaviour and use of scrambler motorbikes in the park?”

Reply:
The completion of the railings at this location is a larger job than is usually included in the Special Works Programme and would absorb a significant amount of the available budget to the detriment of other areas. A fully
consultative master planning process is proposed for the Park at Lanesborough to be carried out by the Parks and Green Infrastructure Section of the Planning Department. It is envisaged that this process would identify such deficits and prioritise the required infrastructure improvements allowing a multi-annual capital investment programme to be brought to the Council for approval.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the installation of signage at the Oakview estate. Following problems identified at the start of the summer it was agreed that signage clearly stating that the estate is a cul-de-sac would be installed?”

Reply:
The cul-de-sac sign at the entrance to Oakview Estate was erected at the start of the summer as previously requested.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm that work will be undertaken at the end of the summer season to clear out the overgrown area at the back of the estate?”

Reply:
The area will be cut back over the winter months.

Question for the September County Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm if the review of the Council’s litter strategy will take place in 2016 and for confirmation of timelines and strategy?”

Reply:
It had been the intention that the review would have been substantially complete at this stage. However, due to a number of staff movements and other work demands it has not proved possible to meet the target. It is hoped to commence the review before the end of September with a period of consultation with a number of stakeholders such as Tidy Towns groups, Business Associations and others. Members will be afforded the opportunity to feed into the process when the first draft is available and a presentation will be made to the Environment SPC in December. The strategy hopefully will be brought to the Council for adoption early in the New Year.

Questions and Motions for the September Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the sign at Elmwood Drive to be cleaned and the graffiti removed?”

Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the cleaning and repainting of the sign at the location referred to in the question.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what the grass cutting and maintenance schedule was for the estates in Meakstown, Dublin 11 over the summer months?”

Reply:
The football pitch and the cricket square were cut weekly to keep both areas fit for purpose. Other areas of open space were cut every 2 weeks. Additional cuts were provided in advance of the cricket tournament in June and
the Community day in August.

“To ask the Chief Executive for the Executive’s view on the call for a set of pedestrian traffic lights to be installed at the bus stop at Morton Stadium and the lane way at Santry Close?”
Reply:
The R132 at this location forms part of the proposed future Dublin BRT route. There are two Pedestrian crossings close to the pedestrian entrance/exit to Santry Close, the first at the entrance to Northwood, in the vicinity of 2 bus stops, and the other at the R132/Coolock Lane junction. The Operations Department would not consider this location a priority for the provision of a Pedestrian Crossing at this time.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the sign for Cherry Avenue to be replaced?”
Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the replacement of the sign at the location referred to in the question.

“That this Committee calls on the Council Executive to contact the service provider that has been working in Northwood recently to ensure that the green area is returned to its original state. Further this Committee calls on the Council to enforce strict timelines for this work to be undertaken. The attached photos highlight the damage that has been done to the green area in Northwood.”

Report:
The installation of electricity supply ducting has been on-going in the Northwood estate for a number of months. The reinstatement works have been substantially completed but cannot be finalised until all the electric cabling is installed. The contractor has indicated that all works should be completed by the end of November, 2016. To date most of the grass area has been reinstated and the first cut of grass has been carried out prior to handover to the Council.

“To ask the Chief Executive to begin the process of legal action against the owners of this derelict site in Charlestown, Dublin 11. This issue was raised at a previous Area Committee meeting and the owners were written to by the Council. This correspondence has clearly been ignored?”

Reply:
An inspection of this site under the Derelict Sites Act 1990 revealed that the site is not being maintained. A reference of ownership has revealed that the registered Company is dissolved and as a result the Council has been in correspondence with the Office of Public Works. A recent letter issued to the Office of Public Works requiring the site to be secured from trespass, the graffiti to be removed and the site to be cleared and maintained to a good standard. A reply is awaited.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise whether waste management companies have to adhere to particular collection guidelines in the Balbriggan/Swords Area. One issue that has arisen is the collection of household waste over weekends. Some companies collect from 7am?”

Reply:
Any enquiries in relation to compliance issues should be made directly to the National Waste Permit Collection Office, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Telephone: 057 9357428

To ask the chief executive to arrange for the executive to liaise with M50 Concession in light of commitments made in 2010 by Fingal County Council to the residents in relation to bulb planting and tree planting to screen the M1 and M50. Specifically can works be co-ordinated so that the embankment planting to be undertaken by M50CL and the planting that Fingal have committed to could be undertaken this autumn, this would have the most positive impact for the residents, in that all works could be completed in the coming months.

Reply:
This planting was an agreement with M50 Concessions Limited, and the NRA (now Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)). This question will be forwarded to M50 Concessions Limited and TII and an update requested.

“This Committee calls on Fingal County Council to take legal action against the receivers for the Mulhall’s derelict site for their continued failure to secure the site, remove dumped materials and for not cleaning up the area around the house.”

Report:
Following the entering into receivership of the owner of these sites, the appointed Receiver was written to by the Council outlining works required to render this site non-derelict. The Receiver contacted the Council advising that he is in the process of securing funding for the carrying out of the necessary works. These works, he advises, will be carried out at the earliest possible date.

Question and Motion for the July County Council Meeting:

“That this Council recognises the significant number of residential estates that are still to be taken in charge in Fingal. Council welcomes the recent report of the Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department of Fingal County Council which estimates the funding required for bringing estates up to the required standard is €4.1M and the funding required for CCTV surveys is in excess of €516,000.

Therefore Council proposes:

1) The Council expedites the process of drawing down funding from bondholders and sets out a timeline for the process;

2) For the balance of funding required, provision is made in the next budget and subsequent budgets to ensure that the 75 estates that are still to be taken in charge are completed.”

Report: At the moment, Fingal County Council has 208 estates in 3 electoral areas at various stages of completion, out of which, there are 75 estates completely occupied and could be advanced towards taking in charge (TIC) should funding be made available. Out of the 75, we have 27 estates where we have received taking in charge requests, which are required in order to have access to the bonds. We consider these estates to be the active estates as far as taking in charge is concerned and we are currently in the process of working through the many issues which are particular to each individual estate in order to complete the taking in charge process.

In circumstances, where the Developer/Receiver/Liquidator has defaulted on the bond planning permission, we have initiated legal procedures to have the bond sequestered. In fact, in many of the current active TIC estates, we are dealing directly with the bondholder instead of the other stakeholders because of the non-compliance with the bond condition in the Planning Permission. The proposed funding to be provided through the NTICI Scheme will be a welcome boost to moving all the estates towards taking in charge.

The Funding allocated will allow the Council to advance the process in selected estates and subsequently seek recoupment of some or all of the expenditure from bondholders which was used to bring the estate to the required standard. The recoupment of funds will in turn advance the process for the next estate and so on until we exhaust the funds available to the Council unless further funds are allocated to the Council. Finally, it would be the Councils intention to begin with the estates that require smaller amounts of funding. Finally, the following 8 estates have IBRC bonds in place and should funding be made available from the proposed IBRC scheme, they will not require funding from this scheme: Brackenwood, Creston Park, Drynam Hall, Martello Towers, New Haven Bay, St. Olaves, Stapolin Phase 2 (Red Arches) and Stapolin Phase 1 (Myrtle).

“To ask the Chief Executive if it is possible to make provision for responding to incidents of illegal dumping and fly tipping outside the regular Council hours including weekends. As the issue of dumping is becoming more prevalent it is vital that incidents reported at weekends are dealt with as quickly as possible. If this cannot be done from within existing resources can consideration be given to using a contract for services?”

Reply:
The Council currently operates an out of hours response for events that pose a danger to the public such as fallen trees on public roads, requests for clean ups from Blue Light Services following traffic accidents, flooding posing a threat to houses (not gardens). Incidents of illegal dumping or fly tipping in the public domain are often reported to the after hours phone number and are recorded and passed on for action. Cases are then examined with the assistance of the Litter Wardens who attempt to collect evidence sufficient for a prosecution. Materials are then removed as quickly as possible within available resources. Where minor incidents occur within the towns that are covered by 6-day shift cleansing crews they endeavour to clear them as quickly as possible.

While any instance of fly tipping is regrettable it is not felt that it would warrant an out of hours immediate response at present. The Operations Department will continue to work closely with the Inspectorate Division in tackling this problem by using modern technologies where possible. The issue can be further considered in the context of the upcoming review of the Litter Management Plan.

Questions and Motions for the June Area Committee Meeting:

“That this Committee supports the great work of the Gardai in the Balbriggan and Swords Area. This Committee notes that increasing popularity of Swords as a night destination at the weekend. Therefore this Committee calls for an increase in the number of night patrols in and around the Main Street to ensure that Swords remains a vibrant and safe destination for locals and visitors alike.

Report:
If the motion is passed a letter will be forwarded the Garda Chief Superintendent and when a reply is received the members will be notified.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the dangerous trees/branches along Melville to be cut back so pedestrians can pass. When walking along the path on Melville (From Charlestown to Jamestown Road) pedestrians have to move over to “cycle lane” which is not currently “marked” as a cycle lane. This is a safety hazard for both pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of this main road?”

Reply:
The branches in question are growing from the privately maintained residential estate. The maintenance of these trees is a matter for the Management Company. This site will be investigated and if appropriate proceedings will be initiated under the provisions of the Roads Acts.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include grass cutting and litter picking in the regular schedule for the area outside Creston Estate?. The Creston Management Company state that this is Fingal County Council’s responsibility as according to the land registry it’s Fingal’s land?”

Reply:
Arrangements will be made to have a further Land Registry search undertaken. As it stands this estate has not been taken in charge and Property Services have confirmed that the area in question is not in the Council’s ownership. Accordingly, the Operations Department is not responsible for grass cutting or litter management at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the replacement of the footpaths at Centra and opposite Centra in Santry to be included in the 2017 Roads and Special Works Programme.?”

Reply:
Replacement footpaths at the location referred to in the Question will be listed for consideration in the 2017 Special Works Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive if progress has been made regarding the markings for cycle lanes in Meakstown. This issue was raised at the Deputation Meeting in January?”

Reply:
The signing and lining programme for 2016 has been fully allocated. Notwithstanding this, if additional monies become available consideration will be given to providing road markings on the cycle track in Meakstown later in the year.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for bins to be placed at bus stops in the Meakstown Area?”

Reply:
A limited budget is available annually for new and replacement litter bins. The area will be inspected and bins will be installed over the coming months at as many locations as possible within budget.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the double yellow lines at the entrance to Santry Close to be extended along the road and into the estate?”

Reply:
Consultation will be undertaken with An Garda Síochána, in relation to the extension of double yellow lines at the entrance to Santry Close. If there are no objections to the double yellow lines the placement of the double yellow lines will be included in the 2016 signing and lining programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive for the public lighting in Santry to be given a full inspection. For example the lights at Santry Stadium have not worked for some months?”

Reply:
There are a number of lights out on the R132, which includes the Santry Stadium area. Working on the R132 requires specific traffic management, and for that reason bulk repairs are carried out several times a year, depending on fault numbers. It is planned to have a repair crew working on the R132 in the next 2 weeks.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for the bins in Santry to be upgraded to the new models being rolled out across the county?”

Reply:
A limited budget is available annually for new and replacement litter bins. Because of this bins are generally upgraded on a needs basis. Bins in the Santry area will be inspected with a view to programming them for an upgrade.

“To ask the Chief Executive to consider the introduction of a enclosed space for dogs to in Santry Park. Such areas have been successful in other Dublin local authorities?”

Reply:
The proposed new Draft Parks & Open Spaces Bye-laws provide for the designation of off-leash areas or times for dogs in parks and open spaces in Fingal. The draft Bye-laws will be on public display shortly and following public consultation a report will be brought to the Full Council for approval. If this element of the revised Bye-laws is approved; arrangements will be made to designate the areas and times as described. The designation of off leash areas in Santry Demesne will be considered as part of this process.

“To ask the Chief Executive to contact the asset management company who are responsible for the site and inform them of their obligations to maintain the site. As a matter of urgency can the site be secured to prevent further illegal dumping and antisocial behaviour. Further will the cost of maintaining the site and related issued be recouped by the Council from the receiver?”

Reply:
The Asset Services Company has been contacted for the updated position in relation to the appointment of the Receiver, to date no reply has been received. As soon as details of the Receiver are to hand they will be requested to carry out the required works to render this site non-derelict and to secure the site. As this is a private site the Council are not in a position to carry out any work to secure the site in the interim.

“To ask the Chief Executive to formally request the owners of the Meakstown Castle site to take steps to secure the derelict building and ensure that it does not become a magnet for anti-social behaviour?”

Reply:
The company responsible for this site has been requested to secure the derelict building on this site and to ensure that the site is not open to antisocial behaviour.

Questions and Motions for the May Area Committee Meeting:

Motion: Councillor J. Sinnott – Lane Way Rathbeale Road, Swords
“That this Committee calls on the Gardai to increase patrols at the lane way opposite Dunnes Stores and adjacent to the hardware shop on the Rathbeale Road. A number of incidents of anti-social behaviour have been reported in recent weeks. Further the Committee requests Fingal County Council to work with the Gardai to come up with measures to address the issue.”

Report:
If the motion is passed a letter will issue to the Department of Justice and when a reply is received the members will be notified. It should be noted also that Fingal County Council, through its relevant Departments such as Housing & Community, Operations, Environment, Corporate Affairs (Events) etc., work closely with the Gardai on a range of matters, of which tackling anti-social behaviour is just one. Council Departments have an excellent bi-lateral working relationship with the local District and Regional Gardai, and engage regularly on matters of joint interest.

Motion: Councillor J. Sinnott
“That this Committee welcomes and supports Fingal County Council’s policy of replacing trees that are felled. To ensure local residents support the replacement of trees this Committee calls on the executive to consult with members and residents representatives in advance of planting trees in new areas in the Balbriggan/Swords Area. For example in recent weeks trees have been planted on the greens in Santry Close and Royal Oak without prior consultation.”

Report:
Tree planting on public open space is carried out each planting season throughout the Balbriggan Swords Area according to the objectives of the adopted tree policy. The policy document was out for public consultation for over a year before being adopted by the full council. One of these objectives that annually generate a significant quantum of open space tree planting is the requirement that trees removed from next to public lighting columns will be replaced at a suitable location nearby, which in practical terms means the nearest public open space. It is a further objective of the adopted policy that large canopy trees will be planted on open space throughout the county to compensate for the loss of canopy cover resulting from the replacement of unsuitably large street trees with smaller canopy varieties. Furthermore trees are planted in such a way as not to compromise the passive and active recreation potential of the open space including informal kick-about.

As well as approximately 200 street trees over 250 open space trees were planted across well over 50 sites in the Swords Ward last winter. Similar numbers are planted in the Balbriggan Area. Of all these trees planted one complaint was received which was investigated. The only residents that could be in any way directly impacted upon by tree planting on an open space are those whose properties adjoin the open space. The adopted policy places restrictions on where trees can be planted on any open space, in relation to the private gardens of nearby residents, to avoid such impacts.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on works to Swords Castle and plans for a Cultural Quarter – can works to be undertaken in 2016 be listed?”

Reply:
A presentation/ update will be made by the Architects Dept. under item 43 of this meeting related to Swords Cultural Quarter.

“To ask the Chief Executive if it has been established whether the footpaths at Centra and opposite Centra in Santry have been taken in charge by the Council and if the Council are obliged to do so?”

Reply:
The footpaths at Centra and opposite Centra in Santry are taken in charge. The extent of footpath taken in charge is from the kerb to the parking bays to the front of Centra and along the east side of Centra in Oakview.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether there has been any progress in establishing the ownership of (details supplied) and what the next steps are in trying to progress the issue?”

Reply:
Following further investigations in relation to site ownership, the owner contacted the Council who informed the Council that the site is now under the control of an asset management company. This company has informed the Council that the client intends appointing a receiver over the lands. The matter will be reviewed once the receiver
has been appointed.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the dangerous trees/branches along Melville to be cut back so pedestrians can pass. When walking along the path on Melville (From Charlestown to Jamestown Road) pedestrians have to move over to “cycle lane” which is not currently “marked” as a cycle lane. This is a safety hazard for both pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of this main road?”

Reply:
The branches in question are growing from the privately maintained residential estate. The maintenance of these trees is a matter for the Management Company. This site will be investigated and if appropriate proceedings will be initiated under the provisions of the Roads Acts.

“To ask the Chief Executive to contact Sports Campus Ireland and arrange for the foliage to be cut back from the wall at Morton Stadium. The overgrown foliage is a safety hazard as it is blocking the pathways?”

Reply:
This site will be investigated and if appropriate proceedings will be initiated under the provisions of the Roads Acts.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the traffic light timings at the exit of the Ridgewood Estate to be checked. Specifically have the sensors for traffic to change the lights to green been altered? “

Reply:
The timings and sensors at the traffic signals at the junction of Forrest Road/Ridgewood were examined recently and found to be working correctly. The junction will be monitored to determine if alteration to the timings is necessary.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make arrangements for a meeting between Turnapin and residents and the executive to agree new planting works in the estate and the area separating the road from the industrial park?”

Reply:
The Operations Department is in regular contact with the residents’ association in Turnapin. The failed shrubbery along this boundary which was dominated by briars was removed at the request of the residents to allow for litter removal and the planting of flowering plants around the trees. A meeting is scheduled for later in the summer to explore further planting options throughout the estate for the coming planting season.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm that the green area managed by Fingal County Council in Northwood will be reseeded and brought back to the same standard as before. The area has been dug up for works in the area?”

Reply:
It is a condition of all such way leave agreements that the grounds must be reinstated to the Council’s satisfaction upon the completion of the works. The area will be monitored to ensure that this condition is met.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm whether the Council will be a net beneficiary in cash terms as a result of allowing the ESB cables to be laid on Council lands in Northwood, Santry?”

Reply:
It is not the practice for the Council to charge service providers to lay services within grassed verges at the side of the road. If however a service is being laid across an open space where it has an effect on the space a scale of charges apply.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the provision of new and better lighting at the laneway at the back of Royal Oak, Santry, Dublin 9. Can this be considered for inclusion under the 2017 Roads and Special Works Programme? “

Reply:
The upgrading of the lighting on the laneway to the rear of Royal Oak in Santry will be considered for inclusion in the 2017 Programme of Works.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the tree stump removal in Santry. The work was estimated to take place within six weeks of the removal of trees however this time frame has now passed?”

Reply:
It had been the expectation that the time frame could be realised however when quotations were sought early in the year from suitably qualified and experienced contractors the prices quoted were considered to be very expensive and did not represent good value. This may have been attributable to the demand for such services following storm damage etc. Quotations are again being sought from the market and it is envisaged that prices will be more competitive at this time of year.

 

Question for the May Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline if any new initiatives are being considered to aid the improvement and support the development of business in towns such as Swords. For example have successful schemes in other local authorities been examined?”

Reply:
The Council is currently investigating a range of options for business support within towns across the county. The phase of analysis draws on initiatives trialled by other local authorities. A proposed approach is being developed
which will be piloted on an initial basis in Balbriggan. The pilot will be evaluated in order to inform a decision as to whether to roll-out to other locations in the County, having regard for the effectiveness of the scheme and availability of funding.

In addition a wide range of business supports are available through Fingal LEO.  Along with a substantial programme of training and management development initiatives, funding of more than €750,000 was made available in 2016. Finally, Swords has been benefiting from the Purple Flag initiative which has been in operation since 2015 and further adds to the attractiveness of the town as a business location.

Motion and Question for the April Council Meeting:

“That this Council notes the ongoing problem of litter and illegal dumping across Fingal. The Council calls on the Executive to develop an action plan to deal with this problem. While Council recognises the work done to date there is an urgent need to develop a new approach to tackling the problem. Finally Council
requests the Executive to examine how other local authorities in Ireland are approaching the issue.”

Report:

The Litter Management Plan 2012-2015 was developed following a period of public consultation and engagement with relevant organisations and members of the public. The 2012-2015 Plan was adopted by Fingal County Council on the 10th December 2012 and was due for review by the end of 2015. It is under review at present and the Draft Litter Management Plan 2016-2019 will be presented to the Elected Members shortly. The review process will involve a period of public consultation, contact with relevant stakeholders, relevant staff and elected members. The consultation can include liaison with other local authorities as proposed in the Motion.

The Litter Management Plan is structured around three pillars: “Awareness, Enforcement and Operations” and is implemented on a day-to-day basis by the Operations and Environment and Water Services Department. The overarching goal is “Keeping Fingal Clean”, and this is achieved through a variety of measures such as Customer Relationship Management to track complaints, Data Analysis of complaints, Litter Prevention and Litter Management, Awareness and Education, Community CoOperation Initiatives, Recycling Initiatives and Seasonal Campaigns, and Enforcement Measures to prevent and control Litter.

All elements of the Litter Management Plan are underpinned by the relevant legislation.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline what the legal position would be if Fingal County Council were to propose a system of differential commercial rates. Specifically could the Council make decisions on rates depending on company size or must any cut or increase in commercial rates be applied to all commercial entities regardless of size?”

Reply:

The Commissioner of Valuation is responsible for the implementation and interpretation of the Valuation Act 2001 in relation to the determination of rateable valuations.

Local Authorities are obliged to assess commercial rates on the basis of the rateable valuations of properties as determined by the Commissioner of Valuation and on the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) as determined by the Elected Members at the Annual Budget Meeting. The Annual Rate on Valuation adopted by the Members applies to all rateable properties in the administrative area and accordingly any increase or decrease therein will apply to all rate accounts.

 

Motions and Questions for the March Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the putting in place of dog fouling signage in the Charlestown estate, Dublin 11?”

Reply:
The Litter Warden will inspect the Chalestown estate, Dublin 11 and erect dog fouling signs at suitable locations.

“This Committee supports the provision of a Naíonra at Gaelscoil Bhrian Bóroimhe, Applewood in Swords and calls on the Department
of Education and Skills to approve this development.”

Report:
If the motion is passed a letter will issue to the Department of Education and Skills and when a reply is received the members will be notified.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate if there is a way to improve the drainage at the pathway at the back of Royal Oak as it is prone to flooding during
heavy rain?”

Reply:
The site will be investigated to ascertain if there is a practical and cost effective solution that can be affected within existing resources.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the footpaths at the Centra in Santry to be inspected and for remedial work to be included in future works
programmes?”

Reply:
The footpaths fronting the Centra shop, Santry are not in charge of the Council.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for an assessment of the footpath and the drainage at the parking area at Centra?”

Reply:
The parking area immediately fronting the Centra shop, Santry is not in charge of the Council. Arrangements have been made for the cleaning of the drainage gullies on the public road area fronting the Centra shop, Santry.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the overgrown area outside Mulhalls to be cleared as it is blocking the pathway?”

Reply:
The site will be investigated and if the vegetation is coming from private property and interfering with a public footpath a hedgecutting notice under the roads act
will be issued.

“To ask the Chief Executive to increase the monitoring and collection of litter in Santry Park?”

Reply:
This location is part of a rostered litter picking route, and is maintained regularly. At present, resource constraints do not allow us to increase the rosters.
The Operations Department will support any community initiatives such as Community Clean ups, An Taisce Spring Clean which are geared to creating a
greater community involvement and engagement with their area.

“To ask the Chief Executive, to arrange for the meadow area, in Royal Oak, to be moved back so that it starts at the Oak Rise signage. This is to allow, the front
green, to be used by children in the summer. Its current location means, that children, are playing close to the road. This is also in response to the new trees
that have been planted at the front of the green?”

Reply:
The layout of the meadow and cut areas had been agreed with the residents association. Over the last few years the layout has been modified on a number
of occasions at the request of the residents association to suit various objectives. The Operations Department is more than happy to further modify the layout to
suit the residents’ wishes.

“To ask the Chief Executive when the work in the Knightstood Estate will be completed, as the front and the back of the estate still require finishing and to
thank the Chief Executive for the work thus far?”

Reply:
Works have now been completed.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate, whether it is cost effective, to purchase a tree stump grinder for removal of tree stumps?”

Reply:
This has been looked at on a number of occasions. Fingal County Council simply does not fell enough trees on an annual basis to justify the expense of purchase
and maintenance of such a machine.

Motions for the February Council Meeting:

“Council notes the significant role that up to date road lining and clear road markings in road safety. Council calls on the executive to undertake an audit of
roads in Fingal to establish a repository of areas that are in need of investment. Further Council requests that the executive set out a multi annual plan to ensure
that the entire County has adequate road lining and road markings.”

Report:
Roads in the County are constantly assessed and monitored in consideration of areas that require improvement. Representations from Elected members and members of the public form part of the consideration process. Compilation of a multi annual programme could be explored as part of the ongoing assessment.

 

Motions and Questions for the February Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee calls on the Council to undertake the following work as a matter of priority, which were agreed following a meeting with officials in July
2015:

(a) The entrance to the estate would be cleared of weeds;
(b) The area under the trees cleared;
(c) The area at the back of the estate cleared out.

Work at the front of the estate was scheduled as part of the winter works list. It  was agreed that wood chip mulch would be deposited under the trees for the
residents to spread which would help supress weeds. This was supposed to be delivered when the tree crew were next in the area carrying out essential tree
works. The area to the rear of the estate under the trees was to be cut back as part of the winter shrubbery programme. Unfortunately none of the works have
occurred to date.”

Report:
The Operations Department is still fully engaged in the Winter Works Programme. Pruning and tidying works commenced at this site last week and
will be completed in the coming week or so.

“That the Chief Executive arrange an on-site meeting with the residents of Boroimhe Aspen and Boroimhe Blackthorn to investigate and agree a strategy to
address road safety and traffic management concerns of residents in these estates.”

Report:
The Operations Department can meet with the residents of Boroimhe Aspen and Boroimhe Blackthorn to discuss traffic management concerns.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update, on addressing the oil discharge, from surface water outlet at Airways Industrial Estate,
which was impacting on the Royal Oak estate in Santry in November 2015?”

Reply:
Following reports of oil in the Santry River at the Airways Industrial Estate, Santry, in mid-November, the Council inspected outfalls in the area but
were unable to ascertain the source of the oil. The discharge subsequently stopped. A follow up visit to the river has revealed that a low level discharge of oil
has resumed and investigations of the surface water network within the industrial estate have isolated the location of the oil leak to one section of the Industrial Estate. Water Pollution Control are currently investigating to establish the source of the leak. Oil absorbent booms and pads have been placed at the outfall of the
surface water pipe to the Santry River to mitigate against any further pollution of the river downstream at the Royal Oak Estate.

“To ask the Chief Executive would it be possible, to consider an alternative exit for the Boroimhe Shopping Centre, directly onto to the Forest Road or Boroimhe
Distributor Road, in order to relieve traffic concerns at Boroimhe Blackthorn and Boroimhe Rowan?”

Reply:
The entrance and exit for the Boroimhe Shopping Centre was constructed in accordance with the grant of planning permission as part of the shopping centre
development. Any change to the entrance/exit could not be initiated by Fingal County Council and would require a planning application by the owners or management company for the shopping centre.

“To ask the Chief Executive to pass on my thanks, to the Council staff and area engineer, for their work, addressing the recent significant flooding in Northwood. Can work begin on a long-term plan to address the issue?”

Reply:
Remedial measures were recently carried out to the surface water attenuation.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for all public lighting to be operational, in the recently developed Elms estate in Ridgewood?”

Reply:
There are no outstanding lighting issues with the development referred to in the question, all certified lights have been connected to the network and are
operational. As future phases of this development are completed, lights will be connected as soon all compliance documentation and connection fees have been submitted.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the repair of the grassy area that was damaged, following the recent Athletics Ireland event. This area is part of Fingal and not under the control of the estate management company?”

Reply:
The damage cannot be repaired until the weather improves somewhat and the area has drained sufficiently to allow repairs to be affected. Grass seed if
required cannot be sown until risk of frost has subsided. Any attempts to repair the ground in current conditions would result in further damage. The
Operations Department will continue to monitor the situation and as soon as ground conditions allow the area will be repaired.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the excess litter to be removed from the vicinity of the bus stop at Santry Close and the Royal oak lane way. The area
has seen a spike in litter recently?”

Reply:
This area has recently been cleaned up and the litter removed.

“To ask the Chief Executive to establish a timetable for the replacement of the trees recently felled on the Swords Road Santry?”

Reply:
All trees felled in 2016 will be listed for replacement as part of next winter’s planting programme. If residents have any suggestions or comments as to the
type of replanting they would like to see near their homes they can contact the Operations Department by email on BalSwoOpArea@fingal.ie

 

Motions and Questions for the January Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to estimate the cost of relaying road lining and road markings each calendar year. Further what would the estimated cost be of completing all requested works in a calendar year?”

Reply:
The amount included in the 2016 Budget for Signing and Lining is €148,100. Due to the volume and nature of requests from Elected Representatives and members of the public and the fact that not all such requests are deemed necessary it is not possible to assess an estimated cost of provision.

“Council notes the significant role that up to date road lining and clear road markings in road safety. Council calls on the executive to undertake an audit of roads in Fingal to establish a repository of areas that are in need of investment. Further Council requests that the executive set out a multi annual plan to ensure that the entire County has adequate road lining and road markings.”

Report:
Roads in the County are constantly assessed and monitored in consideration of areas that require improvement. Representations from Elected members and members of the public form part of the consideration process. Compilation of a multi annual programme could be explored as part of the ongoing assessment.

Motions and Questions for the January Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive approximately how long it takes on average for a graffiti removal request to be acted on in the Balbriggan/Swords area?”

Reply:
The Operations Department can list instances of graffiti for removal by the Probation Service as and when they are reported by members of the public. Delays may be experienced to this process due to matters outside the control of
the Council, such as;

  • A delay in the return of a fully completed waiver form by a resident.
  • The availability of the Probation Service to provide the service

At present, there are also delays being experienced in obtaining the specific chemical the Probation Service use to remove graffiti, other brands are currently being trialled in other Local Authorities. The Probation Service can also arrange to paint over instances of graffiti, where appropriate. This work can be listed to be carried out once a completed waiver form is received.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the examination of drainage at the main entrance to Santry Park. The area has been prone to flooding and at times has limited the driving ability of cars on the Swords Road?”

Reply:
Remedial measures to the road drainage system at Santry Park have recently been carried out.

“To ask the Chief Executive to assess the drainage system in the Northwood estate, Santry Dublin 9, to ensure that flood prevention measures are adequate?”

Reply:
The surface water drainage system in Northwood Estate, Santry, which is not in the charge of the Council, discharges into the adjoining lakes in Santry Demense. At present, the upper lake is at an elevated level. Arrangements have been put in place for remedial measures to be carried out to alleviate this situation.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate road safety issues at Boroimhe Aspen in Swords. Residents are particularly concerned about a 150 metre stretch of straight road that runs alongside a green area where children regularly play. Cars parked in front of adjacent houses leave no safe areas for children to cross from the path onto the green area. Cars frequently drive into the Aspen from Boroimhe Blackthorn at a slower speed of around 20km/h then accelerate down the straight reaching speeds in access of 50km/h. I know the area has been evaluated by a traffic engineer previously is it possible to get a copy of the traffic engineer’s reports?”

Reply:
The road layout within the Boroimhe housing development contains low radii right/left hand turns, bends in the roads, traffic calming tables and children at play signage that has been provided to reduce speeding. The inclusion of further ramps or tables is not considered to be an effective measure due to the road layout and existing traffic calming measures and that the road use is primarily by residents of Boroimhe. The provision of traffic calming ramps would require the removal of between 6 and 12 parking bays. The Boroimhe Development has been adopted for inclusion in the 30kph pilot speed limit scheme. It is expected that the 30kph speed limit signs will be installed by the end of March 2016.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the water logged corner at Coachmans/National Show centre roundabout at Cloghran?”

Reply:
Remedial measures to alleviate the flooding at the Coachman’s roundabout have been included in the Gully Cleaning Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the ownership of the attached property on Swords Main Street and to take action to force the owner to clean the property up?”

Reply:
A reference of ownership was carried out to establish the ownership of this property and a letter issued on 9th November 2015 to the company. The company is disputing the ownership of this property and that all correspondence should be sent to a named solicitor. Following the issue of the letter on the 9th November 2015 the property at ground floor level was secured. A small fire occurred at this location and following a further inspection it was deemed not to be dangerous. A further letter issued on 11th December 2015 in relation to the fire and to the fact that the site remains open to trespass and the storage of rubbish. On the 29th December 2015 a letter issued to the named solicitor and a reply is awaited.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on vermin control in the Royal Oak Estate in Santry. The estate has been badly affected by an increase in rats and as I understand it the issue was passed on to the HSE?”

Reply:
The Health Service, Pest Control Department dealt with two complaints of rodent infestation in this area of Santry during 2015. The most recent complaint was made in November 2015 and this matter has now be successfully resolved. Members of the public can contact the Pest Control Department directly with regard to rat infestations at 01 8605860. This is a free service for domestic householders.

“This Committee supports a tendering process being undertaken to provide a mobile coffee shop licence adjacent to the playground in Santry Park. The process should be completed in time for the start of summer 2016. The Committee notes and thanks officials for their preliminary work on this last summer.”

Report:
The Council is currently revising the Parks Bye-laws in relation to this and other issues. A detailed proposal in respect of concessions at suitable locations will be brought to the full Council early in 2016 with a view to advancing a procurement process for this service in advance of next year’s Summer season.

Motion for the December County Council Meeting:

“Council notes with concern proposals to exempt developers from paying development levies. The proposal is seen as a measure to address the housing crisis.

Council reiterates the importance of levies for providing the essential infrastructure like sewerage, roads, lighting and paths.

Council cannot support such a measure until funding and resources are identified by the Department of Environment and Local Government to replace what would be a significant loss of income. Council opposes using existing income streams Fingal i.e. commercial rate and property tax revenue to make up the shortfall.”

Report:
A Development Contribution Rebate Scheme has been announced by the Government but the details has not been finalised yet. It is proposed, under the Scheme, to provide for a 100% rebate of levies in respect of dwellings with a confirmed sale price of up to €275,000 and 80% for dwellings with a sale price of €275,000 – €300,000.

In order to qualify the development must comprise at least 50 units and must be completed and sold by end 2017. The Developer must also have paid all the development levies associated with the development to the planning authority.

When the planning authority is satisfied that 50 units have been built and sold within the price thresholds referred to, and the appropriate development contributions have been paid, a rebate to the Developer can be processed. The Council will recoup any refunds due from the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government and then forward it on to developers. It is not envisaged that the Scheme, as proposed, will result in any financial loss to the Council.

Question for the December County Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to estimate the cost of exempting developers from paying development levies in a calendar year?”

Reply:
It is estimated that the cost of exempting developers from paying levies, in respect of residential units sold at less than €300,000, would result in a refund to developers of circa €1 million based on 2015 payment trends. It should be noted that the Development Contribution Rebate Scheme provides for the continued payment of levies by developers to the Council, which will be refunded provided they meet certain criteria. The Council will recoup any refunds due from the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government and then forward it on to developers.

Motions for the December Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee recognises and notes the work undertaken in the Swords Ward with regard to trees in residential estates. We further note that the policy objective is aimed at improving and maintaining the tree stock in residential estates. To further enhance this work this Committee proposes that where a tree is felled a replacement tree with a timetable for work is established as a policy of the Council.”

Report: The adopted tree policy requires that at least 1 tree is replanted for each tree that is removed. Each year Balbriggan Swords Operations orders and plants many more trees than are felled as part of scheduled works. While every effort is made to replant replacement trees in the next planting season difficulties often arise when large trees are removed from suburban verges. Due to the presence of large roots it is not always possible to plant in the same spot for a couple of years. In these cases a tree will be planted nearby and the exact location monitored until suitable for planting.

“This Committee supports a tendering process being undertaken to provide a mobile coffee shop licence adjacent to the playground in Santry Park. The process should be completed in time for the start of summer 2016. The Committee notes and thanks officials for their preliminary work on this last summer.”

Report:
The Council is currently revising the Parks Bye-laws in relation to this and other issues. A detailed proposal in respect of concessions at suitable locations will be brought to the full Council early in 2016 with a view to advancing a procurement process for this service in advance of next year’s Summer season.

“This Committee supports the provision of a further education facility in Swords to serve both Swords and surrounding areas.
To begin the process this Committee proposes that:

1) The Chief Executive writes to the Minister for Education and Skills requesting a Scoping Study being undertaken on delivering a further
education facility.
2) The vision of a further education facility is included in the forthcoming County Development Plan.

The Committee notes that although Swords is one of the largest urban centres in Ireland facilities to further both upskilling and lifelong learning are lacking. The provision of a further education facility will do much to address this imbalance.”

Report:
If the motion is passed the matter of engagement with the DoES regarding a Scoping Study/Assessment of Needs can be addressed by the Executive of FCC.
Local Objective No. 271 of the FCP 2011-2017 seeks to promote post second level educational facilities on lands within the northern area of Swords at Lissenhall. It states ‘Promote the development of a third or fourth level educational facility and hospital as an integral part of the ‘Future Lissenhall Strategic Study Area’
The Executive will address this matter also in the context of the preparation of the new FCP 2017-2023.

Questions for the December Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for a general clean up of the area between Royal Oak and the industrial estate in Santry, Dublin 9?”

Reply:
The location referred to in the question will be examined and appropriate action will be included in the Winter Clean Up schedule.

“To ask the Chief Executive to put in place a traffic management plan in consultation with the Gardai for large athletics events held at Morton stadium. A
large event held on 22nd November meant that cars were forced to park on the grass area of Northwood and caused considerable damage. Relating to this can the Chief Executive provide clarification regarding the €10 charge in Santry Park on that day?”

Reply:
The National Cross Country Championships were held in Santry Park on Sunday 22nd November. The organisers, Athletics Ireland and Clonliffe Harriers
submitted a comprehensive Event Management Plan which included both traffic management and parking arrangements. Adequate parking for both participants and spectators was secured at Gullivers Retail Park. This car park was not full, however, some people took it upon themselves to park on the grass area beside the park.

The following morning Fingal County Council met with representatives of the event organising committee to discuss the parking issue and to put in place a
plan to deal with these issues going forward. Assurances were given that this was a one off occurrence and it caught the organisers completely off guard.
Plans were confirmed that this area would be cordoned off for any future events and additional stewards would be assigned to the area.

There was a €10 entry fee levied by Athletics Ireland to attendees of the Cross Country event. No approach for this fee was made to other users of the park on
the day.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the taking in charge of public lighting in the Boroimhe estate and timelines for completion of transfer
and details in relation to meetings between the management company and the Council?”

Reply:
The civil/electrical works identified in the joint site survey with the management company and their contractor on the 22nd April, are necessary to transfer existing metered lighting supplies to unmetered. Once verified by inspection, Fingal County Council will assume responsibility for the payment of the energy charges associated with the transferred lighting. The management company RFPM has informed the Public Lighting Section that these works will commence mid to late January 2016, and be completed within 5 to 6 weeks.

“To ask the Chief Executive what the current position is in relation to the Mayeston Estate, Meakestown, Dublin 11 regarding the taking in
charge of the roads and public lighting?”

Reply:
The Council have not received a request for taking in charge of this estate. The Council will contact the developer to ask if his intention is to request taking in charge of this estate.

 

Motions for the November Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee supports the installation of traffic lights for the Melville estate in Meakestown Dublin 11 and proposes that it be included in the 2016 Roads and Special Works Programme. The Committee notes that no projects will be included for the Meakestown area in the 2015 Roads and Special Works Programme.”

Report:
The provision of a signalised pedestrian crossing near the junction will be considered in the preparation of the 2016 works programme of works.

“This Committee notes with concern the ongoing traffic and road safety issues at Boroimhe Blackthorn in Swords. To address these issues this Committee proposes the following:

  • The Yield signage at the Super Valu car park exit is replaced with a stop sign.
  • Improvements are made to the existing speed hump. It is currently a lengthy hump which unfortunately impacts on its usefulness. Splitting it in two would
    encourage cars to slow down.
  • The manager of the supermarket is contacted to arrange for additional signage
    within the car part to encourage drivers to slow down and take care.
  • An alternative exit onto the Forest Road be investigated and assessed.
  • Improvements funded through the 2016 Roads and Special Works
    Programme

Report:

  • The carpark area and exit from Supevalu is not in the charge of Fingal County Council. The management of Supervalu will be contacted
    requesting them to change the ‘yield’ sign to a ‘stop’ sign.
  • The provision of speed tables at junctions is a common traffic calming measure and is listed as a traffic calming feature in the Traffic
    Management Guidelines manual. Due to the proximity of entrances and parking bays splitting the ramp and providing 2 ramps would prove difficult.
  • The carpark area and exit from Supevalu is not in the charge of Fingal County Council.
  • The provision of an alternative exit onto the Forest road would remove the green area at the western end of Boroimhe Blackkthorn and would encourage the use of Boroimhe Blackthorn as a rat-run by drivers wishing to avoid the traffic lights on Forest Road. The provision of an alternative exit onto the Forest Road would not be considered desirable.

“That this Committee supports the development of a Community Centre for the Meakestown Area in Dublin 11 and proposes its inclusion in any future capital programme.”

Report:
The Community Development Office is currently working very closely with a community group in the Meakstown Area. The work with this group is at a very early stage. It is anticipated that the establishment of a community facility for the area will form a large part of the groups work plan going forward. We will be in a better position to add a community facility for this area to the Capital Programme on completion of research on community need,
identification of an optimal site for the community and scale and cost of any future facility.

“That the Council invoke Articles 14 and 15 of the Derelict Sites Act 1990 in order to Compulsory Purchase the derelict site near the entrance to Oakview in Santry, beside the Centra.”

Report:
Efforts remain on-going to contact the registered owner of lands at Oakview, Santry – also known as Mulhalls and Dun Mhuire. Until the legal situation has been clarified, the Council is not in a position to proceed with enforcement action.

Questions for the November Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive if a reply was received from the management company for Lanesborough Square following correspondence from Fingal regarding the persistent breaches of road safety and illegal parking?”

Reply:
Fingal County Council have written to the management company for Lanesborough Square on 2 occasions, March 2015 and April 2015 and have not received a response. A further email has been sent to the management company and we await their response.

“To ask the Chief Executive who is responsible for maintaining and cleaning the area in and around the Meakestown Shopping Centre and whether Fingal have any role?”

Reply:
Fisher Property is the management company responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the area referred to in the question. The Council has no role at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive if a timeline has been established for the installation of traffic calming and associated works in the Royal Oak estate. This was approved in the 2015 Roads and Special Works Programme?”

Reply:
Fingal County Council is presently in the process of procuring a contractor for the construction of ramps. Tenders are due for return on the 5th of November with and advised completion date of mid December 2015.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the cutting back of the meadow area in Royal Oak for the winter season. This was undertaken last year and was greatly appreciated by residents?”

Reply:
The annual cutting of this meadow is scheduled for this week.

“To ask the Chief Executive to assess the possibility of installing a pedestrian crossing at the existing traffic lights, at the entrance to Royal Oak and Oakpark/Domville?”

Reply:
The provision of a pedestrian crossing at this location would not be considered a priority as there are pedestrian crossing facilities approximately 120m to the west of this entrance at the R104 Coolock Lane, R132 Swords Road Junction. There is presently no funding for the provision of a pedestrian crossing at the entrance to Royal Oak and Oakpark/Domville.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the proposed work for the Knightswood estate. Following a meeting in July it was agreed that the entrance would be cleared of weeds, the area under the trees cleared and the area at the back of the estate cleared out. A timetable for works and work plan would be appreciated?”

Reply:
The work to the front of the estate has been scheduled as part of the winter works list which takes place when grass cutting has ceased for the season. The late autumn has delayed this somewhat. It was agreed that wood chip mulch would be deposited under the trees for the residents to spread which would help supress weeds. This will be delivered when the tree crew are next in the area carrying out essential tree works. The area to the rear of the estate under the trees will be cut back as part of the winter shrubbery programme. All of these works should take place over the next month or so weather permitting.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the unused land opposite Turnapin Grove. In January 2015 Council indicated that an application had been received from Starlights GAA Club in relation to using the balance of the land in Council ownership opposite Turnapin Grove for training pitch/facilities. As I understand it the ESB substation was an issue but that has now been resolved. Can a meeting be arranged with the Club to progress the issue and provision be made for this in the Capital Programme?”

Reply:
Property Services Division will arrange a meeting with the Starlights GAA Club.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise when the large green area at the back of Seagrave in Meakstown will be taken in charge and what part of this process is the Council currently at?”

Reply:
The developers of the residences that generated this and another area of public open space completed agreed works in preparation for progressing the taking in charge process some time ago. However, the registered owner of the land refused to sign the Deeds of Dedication to give effect to the transfer to Fingal County Council. There appears to be no legal mechanism to progress matters. If the owner fails to maintain the area to a satisfactory level enforcement action will be initiated against him.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the impact of developing additional residential units in Northwood. The issue of flooding from Northwood Lake onto the Swords Road and into Santry Close is an issue of particular concern and further residential development could be an issue.”

Reply:
Any new development must restrict surface water runoff to the greenfield (pre-development) runoff rate. As such, any new development in Northwood will not adversely impact the Northwood Lake.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the provision of signage options at the key feeding sites in the County, particularly the Skerries Mill Pond, Northwood Lake and the Swan feeding site at the Malahide Estuary?”

Reply:
Signage has recently been developed for trails in parks and urban areas around the County. The signage for the swan feeding sites and other similar situations will now be addressed.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate an open pipe situated at the bottom of the field area in Royal Oak, Santry at the bottom of Oak Avenue as it turns left onto Oak Rise. The area has a strong smelling substance coming from the pipe. It has been very bad recently and may be pooling on top of the water in places where the flow is slow?”

Reply:
An inspection of this location has indicated visible signs of diesel oil pollution. The pollution is currently being controlled with a boom and some collection pads while the origin or source of the material being discharged is identified. The catchment area feeding this outfall is significant and as such considerable resources are required in the identification of possible sources. This investigation is being carried out in conjunction with the Environment Section.

Motion for the October Council Meeting:

“That the Council proposes that following the 2016 budgetary process an estimate of expenditure per head be published by Fingal County Council and used in published reports, including the annual report. As an illustration of this, If we were to use the 2015 budget and latest census data this would be as follows:

Housing and Building – €156.26
Road Transport and Safety – €90.18
Water Services – €84.33
Development Management – €65.71
Environmental Services – €159.91
Recreation and Amenities – €138
Agriculture, Health, Welfare and Education – €6.94
Miscellaneous Services – €52.57
Overall Total – €753.89

Presenting and communicating the budget in this manner would give people a greater understanding and insight into how funding is allocated by the County Council. A positive reply was received from officials when it was listed as a question for the September Council meeting”

REPORT:
As indicated in our reply to the question for the September Council Meeting, it is our intention to publicize budgetary information, including the type of statistics and analysis referred to by the Councillor, following the budget process. The 2016 Annual Budget process is currently underway and the Statutory Annual Budget Meeting is scheduled for 3rd November 2015. There are a number of tables in the Budget Book which are a statutory requirement. Local Authorities may however include additional data and tables to the statutory tables and it is our policy to provide a significant level of additional information – refer the Chief Executives commentary and the Financial Analysis in the current budget document. Our focus each year is to enhance the content and quality of information provided in order to ensure transparency in relation to budgetary matters. The Budget book is always available on the Councils website and financial information is included in the Annual Report. The content of financial information provided in the Annual Report will be reviewed and the suggestions made by the Councillor will be taken on board.

Question for the October Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive if he could provide a cost estimate in relation to the total number of requests received from members for projects that would come under the Roads and Special Works Programme budget?”

Reply
The Roads and Special Works Programme is compiled annually from a variety of sources, including but not limited to, phased works over a number of years, works identified by the Area Engineer, works requested by other council departments, works identified by other public or statutory bodies, requests from Elected representatives and requests from members of the public. It will take some time to extract and cost the works specifically requested by members, and a reply will be forwarded to the members when the costing estimates required have been assimilated.

Questions for the October Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to flood prevention works for Santry Close and Northwood included in the 2015 Roads and Special Works
programme and a timetable for work?”

Reply
A contractor has recently been appointed to carry out flood remedial works in the Santry Area. These works are expected to commence by early November.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise whether the large green area at the back of Seagrave in Meakstown has been designated as meadow. If this is the case can consideration be given to having some of the area maintained and mowed?”

Reply
This area has not been taken in charge of the County Council.

“To ask the Chief Executive to prioritise the cleaning of graffiti from the entrances to Lanesborough Park. Currently all the entrances have some graffiti
of various description?”

Reply:
This area has been listed for inspection by the Probation Service and subsequent removal of graffiti if possible.

“To ask the chief executive to outline what the grass cutting schedule was for the Meakestown area over the summer and for the rest of the year. Can the area
that are covered also be listed?”

Reply:
Grass cutting for all areas in the Balbriggan Swords area is carried out on a rota system. The rota is in line with the open space strategy, which gives priority to sports pitches first, then areas within the central public realm of a town or village and last in priority will be the open spaces within housing estates. Sports pitches must be cut every 10-14 days to keep them playable, areas of public realm at the centres of towns and villages are cut approximately every 2 weeks and public open spaces within housing estates are cut approximately on a 3 week rota. We need to manage our grass maintenance this way due to the enormous areas that we have in our charge with the limited staff resources available. It should be noted that all cutting schedules are very weather dependent.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether the installation of traffic lights for the Melville estate in Meakestown will be considered in the 2016 Roads and Special
Works programme?”

Reply:
In recognition of the need for a signalised pedestrian crossing near the entrance to The Melville Estate, the Council submitted an application to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for funding in December 2014. The NTA have indicated that there is no funding for these pedestrian signals. The Council will not be able to proceed with the erection of traffic signals at the entrance to the Melville Estate until a source of funding can be found.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for signage to be installed in appropriate locations to indicate that the area is “Meakestown” It should be noted that there is no signage in Meakestown to indicate that the area is in fact Meakestown?”

Reply:
The townland area referred to in the question has been significantly developed in recent years and individual developments have been given unique place names and signage to this effect is already in place. It is therefore not considered necessary to provide townland signage as this could lead to confusion.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the repair and upgrading of the Rathingle Playground in Swords?”

Reply:
A Framework tender for the supply of playground equipment throughout the County was carried out under the Office of Government Procurement procedures. Responses have been received but it will take some considerable time to analyse the complex submissions. An appropriately qualified adjudication panel will be assembled to score each submission in respect to the award criteria. Once the analysis has been completed and all the tenderers contacted and the statutory stand-still time has been observed a mini-tender for the Rathingle Playground can be carried out.

“To ask the Chief Executive if the road safety issues identified at the triangle at Church Road, Swords will be addressed? Can the necessary safety measures be funded through the 2016 Roads and Special Works Programme?”

Reply:
Consideration will be given to the management of traffic and pedestrians at the triangle on Church Road in Swords. A traffic management scheme will be prepared and will take account of the Ardrium development with road frontage onto the triangle that has planning permission for a nursing home, and the identification of a source of funding.

“To ask the Chief Executive if guidelines are given on tree planting and the types of trees allowable when planning permission is given to a developer. The issue of inappropriate trees in estates is common and increasing both the workload on staff as well as cost on the Council?”

Reply:
On an ongoing basis advice and guidance on tree planting is being provided to developers and their consultants as part of the Planning Process. The Forest of Fingal Tree Strategy adopted by the Council in 2010 outlines comprehensive requirements relating to tree selection, location of tree planting and tree pit specifications. These requirements are further emphasised in the recently published Draft Open Space Strategy for Fingal.

“To ask the Chief Executive to undertake a scoping study on using the successful Fingal Schools Model for the Meakstown Area in Dublin 11?”

Reply:
It is the Community Office’s intention to work in partnership with the newly formed local community group to commission a study to look at possible synergies. In addition the study will assess community needs and site options and explore funding opportunities for the development and sustainability of a community facility in the area.

“To ask the Chief Executive to clarify whether the original local area plan covering the Northwood area put a cap on the number of residential units for the estate and recommended a specific balance between residential and retail?

Reply:
The initial planning permission for the Northwood area, Register Reference F98A/1328 (An Bord Pleanála Ref PL.06F.112730) was not subject to a Local Area Plan. Consequently, there is no cap placed on the number of residential units which may be provided nor is there a defined ratio of residential units to retail provision. Planning applications for residential developments are assessed against the relevant land use zoning criteria now applying to the site, the requirements of the Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 and normal site development standards being complied with.

Motion for the September Council Meeting:

“Council acknowledges the vital service provided by nursing homes, Council believes that they should not be seen as the first choice or only choice of care for our older population. Council calls on government to work towards provide a range of options that are cost effective and preferable to the older person, their families and medical professionals.

Strategies that need investment should include:

  • Increased Home Help and Care packages
  • Housing Aid and Housing Adaptation Grant increases
  • The utilisation of improvements in technology and improving healthcare to support older people to age at home
  • The development of extra-care housing models
  • Increases in funding to be focussed on supporting people to age at home
  • Nursing homes to concentrate on high and maximum care needs”

Question for the September Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to consider following the 2016 budgetary process publishing estimated County Council expenditure per head of population in Fingal?

If we were to use the 2015 budget and latest census data this would be as follows:

  • Housing and Building – €156.26
  • Road Transport and Safety – €90.18
  • Water Services – €84.33
  • Development Management – €65.71
  • Environmental Services – €159.91
  • Recreation and Amenities – €138
  • Agriculture, Health, Welfare and Education – €6.94
  • Miscellaneous Services – €52.57

Overall Total – €753.89”

Presenting and communicating the budget in this manner would give people a greater understanding and insight into how funding is allocated by the County Council.”

REPLY:
The 2016 Annual Budget process is currently underway and the Statutory Annual Budget Meeting is scheduled for 3 rd November 2015. There are a number of tables in the Budget Book which are statutorily required. Local Authorities may however include additional data and tables to the statutory tables and it is our policy to provide a significant level of additional information – refer the Chief Executives commentary and the Financial Analysis in the current budget document. The Councillors suggestion is welcome and has merit. We will incorporate further analysis along the lines suggested in the Budget book and look at additional mechanisms for communicating key budgetary information to stakeholders and citizens of Fingal.

Motions for the September Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee notes with concern the number of derelict sites in the Balbriggan/Swords Area and in particular the situation where many have become dumping grounds. The Committee welcomes moves by the Government to address issues in relation to derelict sites and strengthen legislation in this area. On the specific issue of dumping and fly tipping this committee proposes that Local Authorities are given more powers in relation to forcing owners to take responsibility for dumping on their derelict sites, including larger monetary sanctions.”

“This Committee proposes that the County Council take steps under Section 15 of the Derelict Sites Act and begin the process of taking the site adjacent to Centra and Oakview in Santry (the derelict house and lands known as details supplied) into Council ownership by a compulsory purchase order. The Committee acknowledges the work done by Council to ascertain the legal owner of the land and recognise that the Council cannot initiate enforcement under the Litter Pollution Act.”

Report:
Efforts remain on-going to contact the registered owner of lands at Oakview, Santry – also known as Mulhalls and Dun Mhuire. Until the legal situation has been clarified, the Council is not in a position to proceed with enforcement action.

Questions for the September Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the chief executive to arrange for the wall adjacent to Morton Stadium near Northwood in Santry Dublin 9 to be examined. It looks structurally unsound and may be a health and safety risk?”

Reply:
The wall was examined recently by a qualified craftsman (stone-mason) in the Operations Department and he confirms that the wall is stable at present. The Operations Department will continue to monitor this wall.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate and assess the need for either traffic lights or a zebra crossing between the entrance to the lane-way of the Santry Close estate and bus stop opposite at Morton Stadium in Santry?”

Reply:
There is occasional demand for a pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of Morton Stadium. There are pedestrian crossing facilities on the Swords Road at the exit from Northwood and also at the junction with Coolock Lane. These junctions are signalised which results in frequent gaps in the flow of traffic which allow a pedestrian to cross. The installation of a pedestrian crossing will however be considered in the preparation of a future programme of works.

“To ask the chief executive to arrange for the entrance to the Knightswood Estate and beside the estate’s green to be cleared of weeds and for mulch to be used in the area to prevent it becoming overgrown again?”

Reply:
The site has been inspected and will be included in the Autumn schedule once grass cutting has ceased for the season.

“To ask the Chief Executive for a report on the formal inspection of the street trees in Santry Court, Knightswood and Royal Oak as advised by the Executive Parks Superintendent in July?”

Reply:
The surveying of these estates and the street trees on the main road is underway at the moment. Once complete the finalised report will be forwarded to the elected members for the area.

“To ask the Chief Executive for a report outlining the reason for delay in repairing the toilets adjacent to the playground in Santry Park. The toilets were vandalised and left out of order for a significant part of the summer?”

Reply:
The toilets were taken out of service due to extensive and extreme damage to the internal fabric of the toilets structure. The internal walls were damaged beyond repair with multiple large holes punched between the male and female toilets. Fittings and locks were also damaged. However it was difficult to carry out all of the required repairs in a timely manner. The toilets are now open to the public once more.

“To ask the chief Executive if progress has been made in relation to providing for a mobile coffee unit beside the playground in Santry Park?”

Reply:
The site has been examined and a number of accommodation works identified which will need to be carried out to make the site suitable and safe for this usage. The site will have to be developed in such a way that can be made safe and secure when the vendor is not in attendance. Currently under the Parks Bye-Laws trading or other commercial activities in any park are not permitted without the permission of the Council. The draft Open Space Strategy currently under public consultation does not propose any changes to these Bye-Laws.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the taking in charge of public lighting in the Boroimhe estate and timelines for completion if transfer?

Reply:
Works have still to be carried out by the management company to facilitate the transfer of the lighting energy account for Boroimhe estate to Fingal County Council.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for a review of the meadow area in the Royal Oak Estate in Santry. A significant proportion of the green area has been given over to meadow. While residents are happy to support biodiversity in the County it is felt that the front of the green should be kept mowed and the back of the green down to the lake can kept as a meadow area?”

Reply:
The meadow area in Royal Oak is species rich and of great ecological value. The current layout of mown and meadow areas came about through negotiation and agreement with the residents association and has been modified on a number of occasions over the last few years to accommodate local needs for kickabout football and family fun days. Fingal County Council Operations Department is more than happy to discuss the matter further with the residents association.

“To ask the Chief Executive if signage could be placed at lakes and waterways across the County where wildlife use as their habitat. The signage would advise people about the effects of feeding of swans, ducks and other wildlife as foods like bread are not suitable and affect the delicate eco-systems. Uneaten bread causes algal blooms, allows bacteria to breed and attracts rats and other vermin. However there are foods that can be used and the public should be made aware of them?”

Reply:
The Operations Department with the assistance of the Biodiversity Officer, will assess signage options at the key feeding sites in the County, particularly the Skerries Mill Pond, Northwood lake and the Swan feeding site at the Malahide Estuary.

“To ask the Chief Executive to indicate whether a planning application has been received for the development of houses on the Seatown Road, St Colmcille’s Drive and Chapel Lane. As I understood it a 20 sites have been purchased recently?”

Reply:
No recent large scale applications have been received in relation to Seatown Road, St. Colmcille’s Drive or Chapel Lane Swords.

Motion for the July Council Meeting:

“Council notes the ongoing consultation process and work under way in developing the 2017 – 2023 Fingal Development Plan. Council further notes and acknowledges the significant work already undertaken by Council Officials. Council proposes that consideration be given, where possible, to providing an estimated cost for each proposed local objective. Detailing the funding that will be required to deliver on local objectives should be an important consideration. Further it would also show communities in Fingal how much investment is being earmarked for their areas over the lifetime of the plan.”

Report:
Many of the Development Plan objectives are strategic, high level objectives that can be solely, or partly, the responsibility of other statutory bodies or stakeholders. Many of them are aspirational and the likely timeframe for their achievement extends beyond the lifetime of the Plan. It is considered that there is not generally a level of detail in the Development Plan to inform a sufficiently accurate assessment of likely cost. It would also be a significant additional administrative burden.

It should be noted that cost does not form part of the formal process of the consideration of a new Development Plan and it is not legally required. The 3 year Capital Programme, the Annual Budget and the Works Programmes remain the most accurate and reliable sources of information for members of the public who wish to ascertain the level of investment by Fingal in their areas.

Question for the July Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to seek clarification from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to the proposed signage for the roll out of 30kph speed limits in residential estates. As I understand it the Minister has proposed the use of signage which includes pictograms which have the specific meaning of “residential area” in international traffic law. However the use of this sign in Irish Local Authorities may cause confusion as it has never been used before and does not include any reference to the speed limit?”

Reply:
The Guidelines for setting and managing speed limits in Ireland were published by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport in March 2015. The use of these guidelines is mandatory in setting speed limits. DTTAS have encouraged the use of 30km/h sings in residential estates where the layout of the estate is suitable for such. The combination type sign which is a variation of the standard 30km/h sign includes a pictogram in addition to a 30km/h roundel to highlight the sign.

Motion for the June Council Meeting:

Councillor J. Sinnott – Conferences

“That this Council notes that the cost of Conferences and Training for members in 2013 was in the region of €31,000. Council further notes that a Conference report is included in the agenda for each County Council Meeting. To improve transparency and to ensure Conferences and Training are providing Value for Money Council proposes the following improvements:

  1. The total cost of each training event or conference is included in each Conference Report. This should be done per member.
  1. Reports to be submitted within one month of attending the Conference or Training event and be made available on the Fingal County Council website.
  1. A report template be developed and agreed by members at the next Organisation and Procedures meeting.”

It was agreed by Councillors that a proposal on the above be submitted for consideration at the next Organisation and Procedures meeting.

Question for the June Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive whether a review and evaluation of the Fingal development Plan 2011-2017 will be undertaken, particularly in relation to the stated local objectives and whether they were delivered on?”

Reply:
The Fingal Development Plan 2011 – 2017 was formally made on the 23rd March 2011 and came into effect on the 20th April 2011. In accordance with the requirements of Section 15(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), a Progress Report was published in April 2013, setting out the progress made in realising the objectives of the Development Plan since the Plan came into operation after the two year review period.

The legislation provides no guidance with regard to the scope of the Report required under Section 15(2) of the 2000 Act. It is apparent however that a targeted approach is required in the interest of feasibility, coherence and accessibility. To this end it was decided to focus on the county-wide objectives included in the Development Plan Written Statement, which effectively constitute the actions designed to implement the major strategies and policies of the Plan.

The structure of the progress report follows Chapters I to 9 of the Development Plan Written Statement, with their individual sections. Under each Chapter, the Report gives an overview of the context and progress in relation of the key objectives in the Plan. The 655 local objectives on the Development Plan Maps and the 29 further map-based GI objectives are not individually assessed in the Report. However, the policy context within which they are set is directly addressed through the objectives in the Written Statement, and progress outlined in the Report.

The Progress Report is attached for the information of Councillor Sinnott and other Members. A further or separate review at this stage is not feasible. The statutory review of the Development Plan has commenced and a review of the existing Plan will form part of this process which will help inform Members in their deliberations in the preparation of the new Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023.

Item 10 – 1 – Two_Year_Progress_Report

Motions for the June Area Committee Meeting:

“That this Committee proposes the development of a “Shop Front Improvement Scheme” to improve the overall appearance of shop fronts and commercial properties that front onto public streets within the Swords and Balbriggan areas.”

Report:
A Shop Front Improvement Scheme was carried out in Balbriggan in 2012 -2013. This was primarily a shopfront painting improvement scheme and was a collaboration between County Council Officials and representatives of Balbriggan Town Council with advice from an exterior painting consultant. Shop Front Improvement Schemes can be very useful and worthwhile tools for improving the quality of public realm in our towns and villages. A critical factor in their success is the participation by business and other stakeholders. Consequently, it is important that the initiative in the first instance is taken by those stakeholders. The appropriate Council staff will be made available to advise and assist those stakeholders who organise to work collectively on the development of such Schemes.

“This Committee notes with concern the number of derelict sites in the Balbriggan/Swords Area and in particular the situation where many have become dumping grounds. The Committee welcomes moves by the Government to address issues in relation to derelict sites and strengthen legislation in this area. On the specific issue of dumping and fly tipping this committee proposes that Local Authorities are given more powers in relation to forcing owners to take responsibility for dumping on their derelict sites, including larger monetary sanctions.”

“That this Committee acknowledges the great work done by Council officials in tackling the ongoing problem of graffiti in the Balbriggan/Swords Area. The committee recognises that such is the level of graffiti in the area that it does take time to address all reported incidents. However in recognition of the importance of street and road signage this committee requests that the Council make the removing of graffiti from road and street signage a priority?”

Report:
The removal of graffiti on street and road signage is carried out by the staff from the Operations Department. Any instances of such graffiti should be reported to the Operations Staff and the work will be put on the Area Engineer’ Works Programme. It should be noted that maintenance of street and road signage can be subject to significant health and safety requirements due to their road side positioning. The Area Engineer will prioritise any graffiti removal on signage which has been rendered unreadable and therefore unsafe due to the presence of the graffiti.

“This Committee acknowledges the limited budget that is available under the Roads and Special Works Programme. This Committee welcomes the funding that was made available in 2015 and the improvements it will make across the Balbriggan and Swords areas. However to ensure that there is a geographical spread of projects across Balbriggan and Swords this Committee proposes that a full list of funding requests made by members that would come under the Roads and Special Works Programme be prepared and costed accordingly. In the event of funding being made available following each budget process it is agreed that a timetable for delivering on the full list of projects over the lifetime of the Council be then agreed by the members. By spreading projects over the next four years it may result in most projects being delivered on.”

Report:
The Special Works Programme and the Roads Resurfacing Programme 2015 for the Balbriggan/Swords Area were presented to the Councillors at the February 2015 Area Committee Meeting. The Special Works Programme included a distribution of projects across the geographical area and its contents were accepted by the Councillors present as being fair and no alterations to the Special Works Programme were proposed. The Roads Resurfacing Programme was prepared in consultation with the Department of Transport and was based on road pavement management assessments. While every effort is made for an even distribution of road projects across the Balbriggan /Swords Area, this is not always possible. Requests for projects in both Programmes are received on an ongoing basis and such requests are listed for consideration during preparation of the Special Works and Road Resurfacing Programmes.

Requests are received on an ongoing and continuous basis and the cost of these requests far exceeds the funding available. Given the dynamic nature of the requests and the need to prioritise the various works throughout the Balbriggan / Swords Area it is not considered an effective utilisation of existing resources to prepare a costing for every request received.

Questions for the June Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to take steps under Section 15 of the Derelict Sites Act and begin the process of taking the site adjacent to Centra and Oakview in Santry in charge. Council officials have worked very hard to ascertain the legal owner of the land and cannot initiate enforcement under the Litter Pollution Act. The derelict building and lands are a blight on the area and this needs to be addressed?”

Reply:
Efforts remain on-going to contact the registered owner of lands at Oakview, Santry – also known as Mulhalls and Dun Mhuire. Until the legal situation has been clarified, the Council is not in a position to proceed with enforcement action.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate whether excessive noise is emanating from Morton Stadium and Santry Demesne during athletics meeting?”

Reply:
Fingal County Council received only one complaint regarding excessive noise from Morton Stadium in May 2013. Investigating officers contacted the management of Morton stadium on the issue and received assurances that steps would be taken to reduce noise levels. To date no further noise complaints have been received from the public relating to the stadium.

“To ask the Chief Executive what is the status of local objective 456 in the 2011 – 2014 Fingal Development Plan – “Facilitate provision of a direct access route from Old Ballymun Road through Northwood Development enhancing connectivity to Northwood Metro Stop?”

Reply:
The purpose of the Objective is to provide connectivity between the Ballymun lands to the west of Ballymun Road and the Northwood lands to the east through a new road under the Ballymun Road. This was particularly important for pedestrians/cyclists in the context of the proposed Metro stop in Northwood. The NTA are currently carrying out the North Dublin Fingal Transport Study to identify the preferred transport solution to serve Swords and the Airport. The Objective will be reviewed as part of the Development Plan review process, in the context of the outcome of the Study.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the derelict houses in the Seatown Road, Swords and whether there are plans for re-development. In an answer to a previous question it was advised that the Inspectorate Division would continue to monitor the properties to ensure they are safe and secure?”

Reply:
The Council is not aware of any proposals to re-develop the residential properties along Seatown Road. The properties remain secure and no further action is recommended at this stage.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate whether improvements can be made to the chain links that are on Bridge Street in Swords. They are there to prevent cars from parking outside the park. Previously there was a pedestrian gap opposite the gate into the park. If a person is crossing the road to enter the park they either have to step over the chain links or walk around them. It may cause difficulties for people with buggies or who are disabled?”

Reply:
This is a very busy road and it would not be recommended to cross the road at the point directly opposite the park entrance as there is the added danger from cars exiting from the Castle Shopping Centre behind the pedestrian. There is a dedicated signalised crossing point 60m to the east of the entrance to the park which is the safest location to cross this road for all pedestrians including those with buggies or who have mobility difficulties. As the chains extend for only 10m or so each side of the entrance gates a pedestrian determined to cross the road at this dangerous location can do so without having to step over one of the decorative chains with only the slightest adjustment to the point of departure to the east or west.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate whether speed reading signage powered by solar energy could be provided on the Swords Road, Santry, Dublin 9 just after Morton Stadium and if an application could be made to the NRA for funding?”

Reply:
There are numerous traffic control measures in the form of traffic lights along the Swords Road (R132), in the vicinity of the Morton Stadium. These traffic lights act as speed control measures. The R132 in the vicinity of the Morton Stadium would not be considered suitable for the provision of a traffic actuated speed reader.

“To ask the Chief Executive to consider the introduction of a paint scheme for residents associations similar to the scheme operated by Dublin City Council. The scheme involves providing paint to communities to address areas that are continually hit with graffiti?”

Reply:
The “Adopt a Patch” scheme was started in 2012 to improve the sense of community and encourage citizens to take ownership of public areas. Any group of residents, business or community group members in an area can propose a site to the Council’s Environment Division and can agree on a maintenance programme for collecting litter or painting over graffiti. Clean-up materials are provided to the group and after the clean-up has taken place, the Council’s Operations Department arranges for the bags of litter to be collected. As it stands, the scheme is intended to support Council clean-up efforts in areas with litter or graffiti problems and is implemented in public areas which are in local authority ownership or where the local authority is maintaining the area. All applications, including applications from private estates, are considered on a case by case basis.

Questions for the May Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive whether the information booklets on the Fingal Development Plan were distributed in Santry and Meakestown?”

Reply:
Approximately one hundred thousand Development Plan information booklets were circulated across the administrative area of Fingal, including Santry and Meakstown. Because of the large numbers involved, a recognised distribution company was used to circulate the booklets. The company confirmed that a small number of apartment complexes were inaccessible due to locked gates or post boxes located behind locked doors. The Council has been provided with satellite image maps showing the routes and stop off points of the delivery vans which verifies the circulation of the booklets around Fingal. It should also be noted that advertisements were placed in local and national newspapers informing members of the public of the review process, together with information on the Councils Website, regular Facebook updates and tweets. Public meetings were also held in four locations throughout Fingal, the locations and time of which were also advertised in local media, on the Council’s website, Facebook and Twitter account.

“To ask the Chief Executive to make the provision of road safety signage a priority for the Forest Estate in Swords. Can ‘children at play’, ‘slow’ as well as speed limit signage be provided. Currently there is no signage from Forest View through Forest Drive , Forest Green, Forest Avenue to Forest Walk. The Council have advised previously that the estate is not suitable for traffic calming measures so signage is urgently required?”

Reply:
The Holy Family school Rivervalley is located in the Forest Estate area and signage for the school is already in place and additional signage at this location will only conflict with the existing school warning signage. However, Forest View is considered a suitable location for the erection of “Children at Play” signage and arrangements have been made for this work to be carried out.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the Royal Oak estate in Santry in upcoming tree maintenance schedules. The trees on Oak Drive are particularly large and in need of ongoing maintenance. I would appreciate a timetable for said works?”

Reply:
The trees in the Royal Oak estate are due for a full inspection later this summer. All works deemed necessary which comply with the adopted tree policy will be scheduled and carried out when the tree crew are next in the area carrying out essential works. This will not be until late 2015.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the Estate signage at Oak Rise in Santry to be replaced. It must be acknowledged that the Council have made great progress in tackling graffiti in Santry. Some of it however is so bad that the signage will need to be replaced as is the case with Oak Rise?”

Reply:
A free standing name plate sign for Oak Rise has recently been installed at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the replacement of the Estate signage and the fixing of the kerb at the entrance to Oaklands Park in Swords?

Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the repair of the damaged nameplate for Oakland’s Park. The damaged kerb will also be repaired as part of the footpath upgrade works being carried out.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the substantial amount of litter at the bottom of the Longlands Estate in Swords to be removed. The area adjacent to the bus stop is particularly affected?”

Reply:
The issue of ongoing littering is managed very effectively by the litter crew in Swords. The location referred to in the question is picked at least once a week. On foot of this question the location was inspected and a small amount of litter was removed.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm what the policy regarding logging trees in the Santry Demense. If trees are being logged can the number of trees logged be
outlined and circumstances around the logging of trees?”

Reply:
No permission is given to any persons to carry out tree works in Santry Demesne. The Operations Department is not aware of any such activity taking place.

“To ask the Chief Executive to raise the issue of illegal parking at Station Court Donabate with the local Gardai. Cars are parking on the double yellow lines and on both sides of the street, blocking both lanes leaving a single row to pass. Cars on occasion are also blocking the driveway to Station Court?”

Reply:
Station Court, Donabate is a private development of 14 residential units, accessed beside the junction of Main Street and New Road, Donabate. Private parking is available to residents on site. Parking restrictions in the form of double yellow lines are in place on the public road immediately outside the development.
The Gardai have been contacted in relation to recent parking problems and traffic congestion at this location, specifically in the immediate vicinity of the ice cream parlour and take away. The Traffic Engineer is considering the extension of the existing double yellow lines in the area subject to agreement with the Gardai. Discussions with the proprietors of the commercial premises in question are also due to take place in an effort to reduce the incidences of parking problems at this location.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for ‘Children at Play’ signage leading to the green at Oaklands Avenue. I recognise that re-lining in the estate has been undertaken however I do have concerns regarding the road directly adjacent to the open green?”

Reply:
A Children at Play sign is already in place at the entrance to Oaklands Avenue. The provision of additional signage is not considered appropriate.

 

Question for the May Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the process for putting together the 2016 budget and advise how members can input into this process in particular in relation to proposing specific items or measures?”

Reply:
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides the legislative basis for the budget process supplemented by the provisions set out in the Local Government (Financial & Audit Procedures) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 226 of 2014) which came into effect on the 1st June 2014. The legislation requires that the budget is developed in a phased process involving input from the Chief Executive and the Corporate Policy Group. The adoption of the budget is a reserved function of the Elected Members. The budgetary process is outlined below:

Budget Preparation:

It is expected that preliminary work will commence on Budget 2016 (and outturn 2015) in late August/early September this year. An important element of budgetary preparation involves a series of meetings between the Finance Department and the Directors/Budget Holders in each Department of the Council. These meetings are provisionally scheduled for the first week in September.

Consultation with Corporate Policy Group (CPG):

The Annual Budget process requires extensive consultation with the Corporate Policy Group. In this respect, specific items or measures which Councillors wish to have considered as part of the budgetary process, should, where possible, be directed through the Corporate Policy Group.

Consider financial impact of LPT:

Variation Under Section 20 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 as amended, the Council may as a reserved function resolve to vary the basis rate of the LPT within its functional area by a maximum of +/- 15%. A decision to vary the basic rate of the LPT must be taken by 30th September 2015.

Budget Meeting:

The period for the holding of a budget meeting is specified by the Minister for the Environment, Community and local Government each year. The dates for the holding of the budget meetings are not yet known but it is expected that they will be in the period 1st November, 2015 to 24th November, 2015. The timeframe during which a local authority must conclude its budget for the forthcoming financial year is 14 days from the date of the initial Budget Meeting.

The Annual Budget must be considered by the elected members in the prescribed format and requires the following resolutions:

  • Adopt the Budget as prepared by the Chief Executive’s Budget or
  • Amend and adopt the amended Chief Executive’s Budget;
  • Determine an Annual Rate on Valuation;
  • Determine to vary or not the LPT and if to vary, the value of variation and direction;
  • Determine the vacancy refund rate in each of the electoral areas.

It must be emphasised that the issue of Circular Fin. 03/09 clearly states that there can be no deficits in local authority budgets. As a general rule, items which Members have passed motions on during the year and where the Chief Executive has given a commitment for works to be undertaken/services to be provided, are prioritised when discretionary funding is available.

Question for the April Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive if there are plans to develop a new or updated communications strategy for Fingal County Council. Can officials examine the possibility of developing a Citizens Service Charter so as to build on the excellent work and achievements already in this area?”

Reply:
Fingal County Council has a strong competence in communications and a very public presence on social media. To assess how we can strengthen and improve on this we have recently engaged Consultants to carry out a review of the Council’s Communications Section to determine its future structure and areas of responsibilities. This review comprises the areas of internal & external communications and online & social media as well as evaluating how to more strongly market the Council.

The elected members will be kept informed of progress on this review through the monthly Chief Executive report. Fingal County Council has a Citizens Charter in place. This charter is in place so that each citizen is clear on the quality of service they can expect from the Council and how they as citizens can exercise their responsibility in improving quality of life in Fingal.

Motion for the April Area Committee Meeting:

“This Committee proposes that a new by-law be put in place to ensure that properties fronting the Main Street in Swords must be maintained to agreed and acceptable standards.”

Report:
Part 19 of the Local Government Act, 2001 provides a framework for the introduction of bye-laws. A local authority may make a bye-law for or in relation to the use, operation, protection, regulation or management of any land, services, or any other matter provided by or under the control or management of the local authority. A local authority may also make a bye-law where in its opinion it is desirable in the interests of common good of the local community that any activity or other matter should be regulated or controlled by bye-law, or that any nuisance should be controlled or suppressed by bye-law. To ensure that a bye-law achieves the purpose for which it is made, a bye-law should include provisions for its effective application, operation and enforcement. The Motion, as drafted, lacks specificity in relation to the purpose that it is intended to achieve. In such circumstances, it is not proposed to introduce a new bye-law in relation to the maintenance of properties fronting the Main Street in Swords.

Questions for the April Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the process for the 2016 programme, specifically how members can propose projects for consideration under the programme. The allocations under the Roads and Special Works Programme 2015 were very welcome and represent significant investment in the County?”

Reply:
The draft Roads and Special Works Programme 2016 will be presented to the elected members in early 2016. The content in the programme will be largely dependent on representations made by the elected members, residents and community associations, liaison committees, members of the public and on the ongoing assessments and evaluations carried out throughout the county by Operations Department staff. The financial resources available to the Operations Department to deliver schemes and improvement works will also determine the content of the programme. The Operations Department welcomes input from the elected members in the preparation and planning of the 2016 Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the deep hole at the bend of the Oak Rise estate in Royal Oak and Santry to be repaired?”

Reply:
The location referred to in the question was examined and the road reinstatement failure has been notified to the relevant utility body for repair.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether a response has been received from the management agents of Lanesborough Square, Dublin 11 in relation to the continued parking violations. At the February area meeting it was indicated that the agents would be contacted?”

Reply:
A letter has been sent to the management company of Lanesborough Square in relation to parking and we await their response.

“To ask the chief executive when a bin and bench as agreed to previously will be installed on the Northwood side of the lake?”

Reply:
The installation of the bench and bin is scheduled for the second quarter of 2015 to be in place for the summer months. The site has been inspected and the most suitable location is on the east side of the lake next to the existing path.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline when the summer grass cutting and maintenance schedule begins and the average schedule per month is for a standard estate?”

Reply:

Grass cutting has already commenced at most locations other than areas that are too wet or soft for larger machinery. Class 2 open spaces within estates are cut in strict rotation. Many factors can act to affect the length of this rotation such as the weather and the growth rate during the spring growth surge but on average it would be expected that the grass would be cut every 4 to 6 weeks.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the traffic lights leading to and out of Royal Oak in Santry to be assessed in particular to see if filter lights are required?”

Reply:
The traffic signals at the location referred to in the question are controlled by the Dublin City Council SCATS system. The traffic signal system for the R104 Coolock Lane, the R132 Swords Road, Santry Avenue, Oak Park Avenue ,Oak Avenue and Royal Oak have been optimised to maximise traffic movements at all of the above locations. The proximity of the above locations to each other means that any changes to timings on any one of the above junctions can have significant effects on the remaining junctions. The signals in question have traffic control loops that calls the green light when a vehicle passes over the loop. Observations at the junction show that once a vehicle passes over the traffic loop a green light will be activated within 10 seconds if there are low traffic volumes on the R104 and 35-40 seconds when the traffic volumes are higher. Filter lights are not considered necessary at this location, however, the Operations Department will continue to monitor the location while also liaising with Dublin City Council.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise whether the drains in Royal Oak Santry require improvements work. Recently many of the drains have been backed up and needed to be flushed out. Is there a significant issue that needs to be addressed?”

Reply:
The road gullies in Royal Oak, Santry were cleaned at the end of March 2015. The area will be monitored to identify if any further remedial measures may be required.

“To ask the Chief Executive to confirm whether Lanesborough Park, Dublin 11 has now been fully taken in charge?”

Reply:
Only some of the public open space at this location has been taken in charge. The area was the result of three separate contributions from different developers. Two areas have been taken in charge, the balance remains outstanding.

“To ask the Chief Executive if the Council will be pursuing the current owners/receivers for compensation once the site which is currently for sale is sold. The Council has spent money making the site secure as well as addressing illegal dumping on the site?”

Reply:
All costs associated with the works carried out on the site have been borne by the Receiver.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether a response to a letter of 19th February from the Fingal Litter Warden has been received by the Council? The warden had inspected the site under the Litter Pollution Act and issued a Warning Notice?”

Reply:
Efforts are still ongoing to contact the registered owner of lands at Oak View Santry – also known as Mulhalls & Dunn Mhuire. Until the legal situation has been clarified the Council is not in a position to proceed with enforcement on these sites under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 -2009.

 

Question for the March Council Meeting:

My Council and Area Committee motions and questions will be recorded on this page.

To ask the Chief Executive to outline what green energy initiatives have been undertaken by Fingal County Council and whether plans similar to Dublin City
Council i.e. to install solar panels on Council properties has been explored?

Reply:
Fingal County Council has undertaken many green energy initiatives over the years with the aim of improving our energy efficiency and reducing our energy
consumption. These initiatives have included variable speed pumping at water and wastewater treatment works, changing the type of lights on public lighting columns, more efficient systems in the area of fleet management, refurbishment of Council houses including insulation, boilers and double glazing, and improving the energy performance in public buildings. Fingal County Council, along with Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council, supports the work of Codema, Dublin’s Energy Agency. The installation of solar panels on Council properties will be listed for consideration in future work programmes.

Motions for the March Area Committee Meeting:

Development Levies: “That this Committee notes with concern the proposed reduction in development levies envisaged under the Construction 2020 Plan. Therefore this Committee proposes that a letter be sent from the Chief Executive to the Minister of the Environment to request clarification on where the alternative source of funding will be found to make up the balance that would be lost through the reduction in levies. With construction activity in the Balbriggan/Swords Areas increasing the reduction in funding through levies would have consequences for the provision of vital infrastructure and services.”

Report:
The relevant extract from Construction 2020, launched in May 2014, is set out below for the information of Members:- “Development Contribution Schemes New development often requires infrastructural investment and that investment has to be paid for. Development contributions have played, and will continue to play, an important role in enabling capital investment by local authorities in transport, community facilities, amenities and cultural facilities.

The changed economic circumstances of recent years have already been reflected in contribution rates. Reductions in capital and construction costs, as well as a general scaling back of capital investment requirements driven by more realistic assessments of future development needs, led to the issue of revised guidelines on development contributions in 2013. These have delivered substantial reductions in development contributions, with Dublin local authorities, for example, reducing their contributions for new planning applications by 26%.

However, it has not thus far been possible for the holders of existing planning permissions to avail of these reduced contribution levies without revisiting the planning process. We will therefore ensure that current arrangements are amended so that lower rates of contributions can have retrospective effect for existing planning permissions that have yet to be activated and will legislate to this effect.”

It is clear from the extract that the intention is not to waive levies or necessarily to further reduce levies, but to allow existing permissions which have not commenced avail of the lower levy rates following the reduction in same by 26% in 2012. The planning authority is supportive of this proposal in the context of supporting economic recovery and increasing construction output, particularly in the residential sector. It may be of interest to Members that when the previous review of the levy rate took place in 2012, the planning authority, with the general support of Members, did examine in detail if the reduced levies could be applied automatically to existing permissions where appropriate but were unable to do so because of the limitations of existing legislation.

The General Scheme of Planning and Development (No. 2) Bill 2014 has recently been published and provides in relation to development levies:- “Ensure that developers can avail of reduced development contributions for existing planning permissions that have yet to be activated and legislate to this effect.” This legislative change if ultimately passed would appear to provide for a mechanism that was supported by the planning authority and Members in 2012.

Derelict Sites: “The Committee notes with concern the number of derelict sites in the Balbriggan/Swords Area and in particular the situation where many have become dumping grounds. The Committee welcomes moves by the Government to address issues in relation to derelict sites and strengthen legislation in this area. On the specific issue of dumping and fly tipping this Committee proposes that Local Authorities are given more powers in relation to forcing owners to take responsibility for dumping on their derelict sites, including larger monetary sanctions.”

“This committee welcomes the funding allocated under the 2015 Roads and Special Works Programme. However the committee notes that the Meakestown Area in Dublin 11 did not feature in the works programme. The Committee therefore proposes that this area be prioritised for the next Roads and Special Works Programme”

Report:
The allocation of funding in 2016 will be a matter for the Elected Members as part of the Annual Council Budget process. Specific allocations for the Special Works Programme will be presented to the Elected Members for consideration subject to provision being included in the 2016 Budget.

 

Questions for the March Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline a timetable for the installation of signage at the Boroimhe estates?”

Reply:
The installation of the requested signage for the Boroimhe distributer road will be carried out when the signage has been delivered (minimum six weeks delivery).

“To ask the Chief Executive to give consideration to the relining of the road leading to Royal Oak in Santry. I note that €17,000 has been allocated under the Roads and Special Works Programme 2015 and some of this funding could be used for this purpose?”

Reply:
Proposals for the lining at the Junction of Royal Oak and the ramps along Oak Avenue will be presented to the next area committee meeting. Ramps and lining will require Garda approval with the ramps also requiring public consultation.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the pruning back of trees that have grown over the walls at Santry Demense on to the pathways on Santry Avenue?”

Reply:
Significant pruning works were carried out on these trees last year to cut them back from road signage and traffic lights. The trees will be examined and any minor trimming to prevent them interfering with the public footpath will be scheduled when the tree crew are next in the area carrying out essential works.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include improvements and repair of the footpath (Fingal County Council side) on Santry Avenue from opposite the IDA park to the entrance of Northwood on Santry Avenue. The paths are badly in need of upgrading works?”

Reply:
On Santry Avenue the County Boundary runs along the centre line of the road and under a bilateral agreement between Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council, the maintenance and repair of the road and footpath on Santry Avenue is the responsibility of Dublin City Council. The request for improvements and repair on Santry Avenue has been forwarded to Dublin City Council for consideration.

“To ask the Chief Executive to consider addressing the ongoing issues of parking at the entrance to Oakview and opposite the Centra outlet in Santry. The road leading into the Oakview estate is very worn and cars are being parked all along it. The main car park area in front of the shop is also very worn and lacks any lining?”

Reply:
The area leading into the Oakview estate and in the vicinity of the business outlets at the entrance to Oakview will be reviewed with a view to addressing parking. Any proposals determined as part of this review would require Garda approval and a source of funding.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an estimate of what is owed to Fingal County Council in respect of development levies and related construction charges in the Balbriggan and Swords Area ?”

Reply:
A sum of €45 million in development levies is recorded as outstanding in relation to development/proposed development in the Balbriggan/Swords Electoral Area.  This relates to the actual amount invoiced due to the Council’s policy of invoicing in respect of the entire proposed development on receipt of Commencement Notice.  A total of €2.3m of this sum is considered to the “in arrears” of which €520,000 has been secured by Judgement/ Judgement Mortgage and the remainder is at various stages of the legal process.

“To ask the Chief Executive for clarification regarding the management of the Turvey Allotments?” Specifically
* Has the section within the Council responsible for their management been changed?
* Have additional fees been introduced and are these subject to VAT.
* Have the terms of the licence been amended for those who use the allotments, specifically what personal information is requested from members of the allotment scheme.
* Finally do the fees collected in Turvey remain and investment in that set of allotments or do they go into a common pot?”

Reply:
With effect from last August 2014, administration and management of the 4 council allotment schemes at Powerstown, Skerries, Balbriggan and Turvey, moved from Parks and Heritage to the Operations Department. We undertook an assessment of the procedures in place, and with guidance from the adopted Fingal Allotments Strategy 2012, made a decision to introduce some changes to the day-to-day management of the allotment schemes in order to ensure that they could continue to function. We wrote to all 700+ plot holders in October 2014 outlining our proposals and followed that with some meetings with committee members. At these meetings we clarified any queries any committee members had, and ensured that as much information as possible was available to them at all stages.

The renewal period for 3 of the schemes (Powerstown, Skerries and Balbriggan) was 02 Jan – 30 Jan 2015. The renewal period for Turvey was a little longer (up to 20th February) as we undertook to send more detailed correspondence to the Turvey plot-holders on foot of questions the committee posed, and it took a little longer to send out the renewal correspondence. In addition to that, we responded in full to any query from any plot-holder, either by email or telephone call. An Allotment Association Membership fee of €10 per annum per plot-holder was introduced. This is not subject to VAT. The Allotment Association Fees for each scheme will be transferred to the Association Committee in full once they are properly constituted and have bank accounts set up. The personal information collected from the plot holders has not changed – we always looked for Name, Address, Email address, Telephone No and Plot No.

All allotment fees paid across all four allotment schemes are held in a capital budget, and about 50% of that budget is transferred and divided into Revenue budgets for each of the four schemes to cover utility bills, pest control, portaloo hire, contractors etc. The remaining 50% in the capital budget is used to fund capital and infrastructure works on a rolling basis. This is set out clearly in the adopted Fingal Allotments Strategy 2012 Policy 5: “Fingal County Council provides resources to maintain and administer it’s publically provided allotments. This will be done on a cost-neutral basis with income from allotment letting being used to offset the costs of maintaining and further developing publically provided allotments in the Fingal area.” The strategy is available online at http://www.fingal.ie/environment/allotments/

“To ask the Chief Executive if he can outline at this stage when the public lighting will be taken in charge in the Boroimhe estate. As I understand it the private management company have sent drawings to the Council outlining the possible locations for the unmetered supplies to be installed in Boroimhe?”

Reply:
The Council has received drawings from the Management Company for Phases 1, 2, 4 and 5 which will be used as the basis for a joint review by Public Lighting staff and the Management Company contractor on site to determine and agree the scale of modification required to establish independent unmetered supply points for street lights. Satisfactory completion of the supply modifications will allow transfer of billing for public lighting electricity to the Council’s account.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an estimate of the number of buildings on the Derelict Sites Register in the Balbriggan/Swords Area?”

Reply:
There are currently no sites on the Derelict Sites Register in the Fingal Area.

“To ask the chief executive to confirm that the estates of Santry Close, Dublin 9 and Lanesborough, Dublin 11 are included in the weekly works schedule carried out in the Swords area. This question is asked with reference to the schedule that was sent out by the operations department for the period 1st January to 4th February. Providing the schedule to members has been a very welcome initiative?”

Reply:
Santry Close and Lanesborough, Dublin 11 are included on the schedule for sweeping, litter picking/bins and open space litter picking. Santry Close is reported as Santry General and Lanesborough estate is covered under Meakstown. The details supplied on the Weekly Works Schedules will be added to over time.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether any programme exists to ensure there is a balance between red and grey squirrels in Fingal parks in the Balbriggan/Swords area?”

Reply:
The last viable population of Red Squirrel is located on the Howth Peninsula. The Red Squirrel has disappeared elsewhere in the County, most likely as a result of the competition with Grey Squirrels and habitat loss. The Council is focussing its resources on saving the Red Squirrel population in Howth. Accordingly no programme exists to control Grey Squirrels in Balbriggan/Swords area.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether planning permission has been granted to any developer in the Balbriggan/Swords Area that still owes outstanding development levies to Fingal County Council?”

Reply:
It is Council policy to invoice the total levy payable in respect of each planning permission on receipt of Commencement Notice. Therefore, development levies are recorded as outstanding from prior to commencement up to completion stage in many cases. Levy accounts are considered to be “in arrears” when the level of buildings on site that are completed and occupied exceeds the level of levies paid on a pro rata basis. Accordingly, while it is not unusual that planning permission would be granted where levies are outstanding, the Planning Department is not aware of any cases where Developers that are in arrears in levies have been granted planning permission.

Question for the February Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline if Fingal County Council, Industry, SMEs and Higher Education Institutions are engaging or plan to engage in collaborations to secure competitive European funding. Recently Glen Dimplex who are situated in Fingal secured an investment of €12M under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 fund. There may be opportunities for the Council to work towards drawing down this type of European funding. For example Dublin City Council are working towards a bid for Horizon 2020 funding under the ‘Smart Cities’ strand?”

Reply:
The Economic Development Services department plan to accelerate further collaboration across our local and international network partners on a number of EU funding initiatives including, although not limited to, the €80 Billion 2020 Horizon Programme. The three overarching themes of the Horizon Programme are Better Society, Competitive Industries and Excellent Science and the Programme seeks to adopt a more open, business–minded approach and is less technical than previous programmes.

Locally, Fingal has attended information seminars in Enterprise Ireland, DCU and ITB in this area. Internationally, we also liaise with the Irish Regions Network (IEN) in Brussels and through our long standing membership of the European Edge Cities Network. We have recently completed a small piece of desk research looking at EU Programmes that ‘better fit’ the day–to–day role and core activities of member Local Authorities including enterprise services such as COSME. In addition, the Fingal Local Enterprise Office is also rolling out a new SME Programme in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and the Europe Network on the COSME Programme in Fingal.

Overall, we are constantly tracking relevant funding initiatives, acquiring reports and have retrained staff in this significant yet complex funding area. In relation to the Quantum Project, which was developed by Glen Dimplex, this was piloted in Fingal and Dublin City social housing stock and this yielded significant enhanced heating performance results for the promoters and various project stakeholders. Glen Dimplex has successfully tendered for EU funding via the Horizon 2020 Programme.

Motions for the February Area Committee Meeting:

“That this Committee proposes that Fingal County Council in consultation with the Gardaí, develop a joint strategy to tackle the ongoing issue of illegal parking at the entrance to the Lanesborough Estate. Despite the presence of double yellow lines, the issuing of tickets and fines by the Gardaí the road leading into Lanesborough still has cars parking illegally. This road is very narrow and was not designed for parking.”

Report:
Extensive double yellow lining has been provided by the Council, in consultation with the Gardaí, at the entrance to Lanesborough estate and at appropriate locations throughout the estate. The Council has written to the Gardaí on a number of occasions in relation to the enforcement of traffic regulations in the estate. The Gardaí indicated in recent correspondence on this matter that additional attention will be given to parking issues at this location. The Council has no direct role in the enforcement of traffic regulations in Lanesborough but will continue to communicate with the Gardaí in this regard.

“That this committee calls upon Fingal County Council to develop a strategic plan for Swords Main Street and its surrounding environs. This plan should include:
1) Encouraging new businesses to locate in the town including the possibility of ‘pop up’ shops and support for new SMEs and artisan producers.
2) Traffic Management & Parking Plan for the town involving consultation with the various stakeholders including the citizens of Swords.
3) The upgrading of paving and road surfaces. Encouraging existing retail premises to upgrade their frontage. The possibility of small grants and a competitive process to encourage the upgrading of shop fronts should be considered.
4) Tree management on the main street. The committee notes and welcomes the work of the Council in the regeneration plans of Swords Castle. The Castle should become the focus of the town and consideration should be given to the lighting of the castle at night time.”
Report:
A review of the Main Street has recently been undertaken to identify improvements that can be delivered in the short term. It is intended to make a detailed presentation of these at the March Area Committee Meeting. Many of the issues raised in the above Motion can be elaborated on, and discussed
at this presentation. In the meantime, Members may wish to note the reports below relating to some of the other issues raised.

Pop-Up Shops : The Council did rent a unit in The Plaza to operate as a “pop-up” shop on a pilot basis for a period of 6 months starting in February 2012. It may be of interest to Members to note that significant efforts were made to engage with the owners of vacant shops along Main Street but these efforts were not successful for various reasons. Tenants were found for the “pop-up” shop but it is not clear that any of these subsequently moved to establish a retail premises of their own. Overall the pilot demonstrated that there was not a sufficient demand to justify its continuation.

Business Promotion Grants:  The Economic Development Services Department considered a number of options to support businesses in towns around the County including the introduction of a scheme to upgrade shopfronts. Following examination of a number of schemes introduced by other local authorities and discussions with other local authorities regarding the success of such grant schemes, it was agreed by the Council that a Business Promotion Grant should be introduced in Fingal in 2014. The total fund is €100,000 per annum, €20,000 per electoral area. The grant can cover any initiative aimed at promoting, generating or sustaining business in an area such as:
• Initiatives to market or promote a business area or category
• Events that showcase products/services in an area
• Minor environmental improvements or initiatives in a district or area.
Overall Aims:
• Grants will be provided to initiatives that fulfil the following objectives:
• To help generate and sustain business activity by delivering tangible
outputs such as increased footfall.
• To encourage businesses/retailers in an area to work collaboratively
and collectively to promote and sustain business activity in their area.

Purple Flag: The Economic Development Services Department has entered a programme with the Association of Town & City Management to be awarded a Purple Flag for Swords Main Street as a pilot initiative for Fingal. A Purple Flag is awarded to town centres that prove they are vibrant, safe and well managed
in the evening and at night-time with a view to promoting a quality evening and night-time economy offer to local, regional, national and international visitors. In the UK Purple Flag towns are seeing an increased footfall of up to 10% and a significant reduction in crime (up to 60%). A kickstart meeting relating to this initiative is planned for the 4th March, 2015.

Christmas Business Event: At the request of some traders on Main Street, the Council hosted a Christmas Carol Service and market in the atrium of the County Hall in the run-up to Christmas. It is hoped to make this an annual event and increase the number of businesses participating in the future.

Swords Castle: €3m has been provided in the Council’s Capital Programme from 2015-2017 to undertake appropriate civic and public realm works to the Swords Castle Area. The Council has engaged consultants to prepare a Swords Castle Architectural Master Plan with the aim of proposing works and measures
which will, over time, regenerate Swords Castle and its environs. The study area for this project includes the northern part of Main Street, the southern end of North Street, east end of Bridge Street and west ends of Chapel Lane and Seatown Road. Once the Draft Architectural MP is finalised it will be presented to the Members for their consideration. It is intended that Swords Castle grounds will be opened to the public from St. Patrick’s Day. The works required to open the grounds include a number of surveys being carried out including an assessment of electrical services. This assessment has identified a number of inoperative lights which currently prevent external lighting of the castle and this issue is currently being addressed.

Questions for the February Area Committee Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to install a cul-de-sac sign at the entrance to Oakview in Santry. Further, the entrance into the estate has deteriorated and the road needs to be re-laid. Can this be included in future works as a priority?”

Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the installation of a cul – de – sac sign at the location referred to in the question. The resurfacing of the road will be listed for consideration in future Road Resurfacing Programmes.

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the application to the NRA for traffic lights to be installed opposite the Melville Estate (city side), Meakestown, Dublin 11?”

Reply:
In recognition of the need for a signalised pedestrian crossing near the entrance to Melville Estate, the Council submitted an application to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for funding in December 2014. Early indications are that the NTA will not fund this project in 2015. If this is confirmed, the Council will not be able to proceed with the erection of traffic signals at the entrance to Melville Estate unless an alternative source of funding can be found.

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the re-lining of road markings on the St Margaret’s Road from the Jamestown Road to the junction of Charlestown Shopping Centre, Meakestown, Dublin 11 as a priority for future works. They are in a poor state and non existent in parts and this represents a serious road safety issue?”

Reply:
The re- lining of the road at the location referred to in the question will be included in the Signing and Lining Programme.

“To ask the Chief Executive to set out the process for elected members to get projects or proposals (community based) in the Balbriggan/Swords
areas on to the capital works programme?”

Reply:
The Capital Programme sets out the proposed major infrastructural projects to be undertaken, subject to funding being available, over a 3 year rolling programme. In October 2014, the Capital Programme 2015-2017 was presented to and noted by the Members. The Capital Programme 2015 – 2017 identifies 147 individual anticipated projects with an estimated capital spend of €92.97m of which approx. €6.2m is Libraries, Community , Culture and Sports (approx. €3.4m in Balbriggan/Swords area).

In recent years large scale costly community centre projects have been linked with the construction of new schools in various areas. The older standalone
facilities were provided in a variety of ways such as locally funded through fund raising in communities perhaps with land donated by the Council or others or in some cases limited financial support provided to established community groups. The need for such facilities is generally established by carrying out a needs analysis in an area identifying existing facilities, groups etc. Sustainability of centres is also considered as there is a huge commitment required from local groups to keep centres viable. Apart from the 3 year Capital programme there are a number of revenue supported works programmes which are brought to the Members. There are always competing demands for scarce resources. The Operations Department’s work programme was before the Members at today’s meeting.

“To ask the chief executive for an update in relation to the formation of a Street Naming Committee?”

Reply:
The Council’s policy for naming/numbering of new residential developments, only, requires the use of meaningful local names relating to local history and
physical environment. To facilitate this policy it is a condition of all relevant residential planning permissions that an acceptable street naming and house numbering scheme be submitted for approval. Naming and Numbering Committees were established, circa 2002, comprising local elected members
and representations of Historical Societies to discuss and consider all submissions made in this regard. These Committees met quarterly but have not taken place in recent years as development activity ceased.

There is currently a return and anticipated increase in development activity. Utility companies and Emergency Services have amended their procedures regarding confirmation of approved names for residential developments to the extent that quarterly or even monthly meetings will not be sufficient to meet their requirements with the result that developments could be delayed in many instances. Consequently, a revised policy has been put in place to ensure compliance
with the Council’s objectives regarding residential naming and numbering issues. All submissions are examined to avoid duplication or any potential
confusion for utility companies, emergency services or the general public. The suggested name and supporting documentation is then referred to the Heritage Officer for confirmation that the objectives referred to above have been complied with. If the proposal is considered to be inappropriate or unacceptable the Heritage Officer will research and recommend an alternative and agreement is reached in this manner. This policy has proven to be successful and efficient in meeting the required objectives and time.

“To ask the Chief Executive to outline the steps that can be taken to tackle the issue of excessive noise coming from Ice-Cream vans in the Balbriggan/Swords areas. Can they be compelled to lower their decibel levels and the length they can play their musical chimes for?”

Reply:
There are no legal limits for noise in Ireland. There are no regulations with regard to the levels, times or duration for which music may be played from a van or otherwise.

“To ask the Chief Executive whether any further action has been taken by Fingal County Council to tackle the issue of the derelict shops at the top
of Swords Main Street?”

Reply:
The shops fronts along Swords Main Street are not considered to fall under the definition of a derelict site as provided for in the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 and, as such, it is not considered appropriate to deal with these premises under the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act. Ongoing meetings that take place from time to time with the owners and groups will continue. Particular focussed meetings will be scheduled in Q1 2015 associated with the Swords Cultural Quarter project with all the stakeholders in Swords with an interest in the project. The Council recently launched a Business Promotion Grant scheme which may assist also with this issue. A grant of up to €20,000 in each area is available to fund a range of initiatives aimed at promoting, generating or sustaining business in an area, including streetscape improvements, signage, street furniture etc. that improve the space in the area or make a business area seasonally attractive to customers.

“To ask the Chief Executive to advise members what the position is in relation to Private Estates who do not wish to have their entire estate taken in charge? I am aware that residents in the Knocksedan, Swords are discussing whether the option to manage the landscaping in their development privately is open to them. Is that option available i.e. the roads and lighting and other essential services are taken in charge but the landscaping continues to be maintained privately?”

Reply:
The normal process of taking in charge of public open space in housing developments involves the transfer of these lands to the Council by way of Deed of Dedication. The Deed of Dedication process affords future protection and preservation of the lands as public open space. There are no current plans to alter the mode or process of taking in charge. There is a provision in the Planning Acts that would require the Council to take the estate in charge after a plebiscite of residents. As it is not clear how representative of the residents’ wishes this request not to have the estate taken in charge is, there might be a case for holding a plebiscite at this time. The delegation of responsibility for the management and maintenance of open spaces may expose the Council to unacceptable insurance-related risks. The Council has on occasion entered into License Agreements with accredited sports clubs in relation to facilities such as all-weather pitches. It may be useful to examine the possibility of a similar facility in this instance. It should however be noted that the terms of any such agreement would require indemnification for the Council against any action arising from the management of the open spaces, routine Risk Assessment and safety documentation, an appropriate organizational set up as well as record keeping including notification to statutory authorities where required.

“To ask the Chief Executive to write to Dublin City Council and request that they immediately remove their Dublin City waste bags from the derelict site in Santry, Dublin 9 that is beside Oakview and Centra?”

Reply:
Warning letters under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 – 2009 were issued to the registered owners of the land in question, giving them 5 days to remove the
waste bags. If this request is not complied with, litter fines will be issued.

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Motions for the January Area Committee Meeting:

1) Turnapin Grove
“This Committee believes that the unused land opposite Turnapin Grove in Santry should be developed as an amenity for the residents of Turnapin. This Committee notes that Starlights GAA Club have a 99 year lease with the Council in respect of this land.

The Committee further notes that the club has contacted the Council with a view to using the balance of the land in this area for training pitch/facilities and that this proposal is currently under consideration. This Committee supports the development of this land both as a community amenity and as a sporting amenity and requests that the Council draw up plans to deliver this and includes it as part of the Capital Programme.”

Report:
An application has been received from Starlights GAA Club in relation to using the balance of the land in Council ownership opposite Turnapin Grove for training pitch/facilities. The ESB are currently transferring land, formerly a 38kv Substation, to the Council at this location. Following completion of this transfer, further consideration will be given to the GAA Club’s application. An early meeting will be scheduled to ascertain the Club’s plans in this regard. There is no provision in the Capital Programme for works at this location.

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2) “That this Committee supports the provision of permanent signage for the Boroimhe estate. Further this Committee agrees that the signage should be situated at the area where the temporary developer signage has been.”

Report:
Arrangements will be made for the provision of name plates at either end of Boroimhe Road.

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3) “That this Committee proposes that any repairs to public lighting in the Swords Balbriggan Area should be completed within 10 working days unless there is legitimate and stated reasons for delays.”

Report:
The Council has 30,400 lights taken in charge within the County located on residential roads, urban/rural traffic routes and distributor roads, bus lanes/cycleways/ pedestrian routes and villages. Motorway and National route lighting is managed directly by NRA through their own contractor. Following open public tendering earlier this year the Council appointed Airtricity Utility Solutions as lighting maintenance contractor for a two-year period from the 1st July 2014 to 30th June 2016. Transitioning from the incumbent contractor to Airtricity took place between July and September 2014.

The general range of Maintenance Works includes:
• Night Patrols
• Routine Repairs
• Major Fault Repairs
• Modifications/Alterations
• Electrical and Structural Inspections and Surveys
• Emergency Attendances

The bulk of maintenance work involves night patrols carried out along agreed routes to a fortnightly schedule agreed with the Public Lighting Section and arranged to ensure that all lights are observed once per fortnight, with follow up attendance and repair to outages within 5 working days of observation. This target is expected to be achieved for all routine repairs, such as component or lantern replacement or adjustment. However where it is discovered more extensive work is required, e.g. column or supply pillar replacement, cable faults, a requirement for major traffic management or attendance by ESB networks, such repairs may be deferred and scheduled for completion at the earliest opportunity following consultation between Public Lighting Section and the Contractor. The target for completion of these non-routine repairs is 10 working days.

The Council utilises ‘DeadSure’, a computerised Public Lighting Asset Management System to assist in controlling lighting maintenance work. This system holds technical data, maps, maintenance task and material pricing information, patrol and repair reports for all lighting in Fingal and is the basis of an essentially ‘paperless’ system for management of the Contract by the Council. The Contractor has remote access to the system allowing him to log patrol and repair reports in ‘real time’ on the database using handheld tablets. In addition to night patrol observations, the Council receives reports from the public and their representatives which are cross referenced against patrol information and logged into ‘DeadSure’ for inclusion in the contractor’s routine work schedules. It is occasionally the case that such public reports arrive in the ‘lull’ period between successive night patrol/repair visits and such faults are then dealt with as part of the next repair visit to that area, generally within 10 days.

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Questions for the January Area Committee Meeting:

1) “To ask the Chief Executive to write to the ESB and request that they arrange the cleaning up of graffiti from their property at Santry Close?”

Reply:
The services referred to in the question are currently being inspected to ascertain ownership. The relevant telecommunications company will be contacted requesting them to remove any graffiti.

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2) “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for permanent signage for the Boroimhe estate. The removal of the temporary developer signs are very welcome that site may be considered appropriate for permanent signage. Related to this is the lack of road signage leading from the entrance opposite Airside to the top of the road towards River Valley?”

Reply:
Arrangements will be made for the provision of name plates at either end of Boroimhe Road.

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3) “To ask the Chief Executive if a timeline is available for taking the public lighting in charge in Boroimhe. I note the ongoing work undertaken by Fingal in this regard but I would appreciate advice on possible completion?”

Reply:
The management company, RFPM have advised the Public Lighting Section that they have a contractor on site working on transferring the energy to unmetered supplies. When this work is completed in accordance with the Council’s requirements, the energy account can be transferred to Fingal County Council.

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4) “To ask the Chief Executive to add the main green in Oaklands Avenue, Swords Village in any re-lining works in 2015?”

Reply:
The provision of double yellow lines in residential areas often proves difficult to enforce and can result in displacing the parking problem elsewhere. Under Section 36 (2) of the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations (SI 332 2012) An Garda Síochána have powers of enforcement which do not require the installation of statutory signage or road markings. While the situation will be monitored it is the opinion of the Operations Department that double yellow lines are not required at this location.

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5) “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for a traffic assessment of St Cronan’s Avenue in the St Cronan’s Estate, Swords to assess its suitability for traffic calming measures in particular speed bumps?”

Reply:
Traffic Calming, in the form of ramps are normally installed in residential areas that are “rat runs” and lead through from one place to another. Their purpose is to deter traffic from outside the residential area using the route as a “rat run” and/or to reduce traffic speeds within the residential area to an acceptable and safe level. The through road in St Cronan’s Estate is not a “rat run” or destination route, with just the residents themselves and morning and evening school traffic using the road. There are a large number of requests for ramps in residential estates which will be considered as part of the small works programme presented to Councillors at the February Area Committee Meeting. Schemes will be prioritised primarily on the basis of volume of traffic, road safety benefit and accident reduction. It should be noted that this location would not be deemed a priority at present.

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6) “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the public lighting that is currently broken in Mayeston, Dublin 11 to be fixed. The lights have been out since November and were first reported on 23rd November?”

Reply:
Seven lights in Mayeston, numbers 1, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 and 20, were repaired by the Council’s lighting contractor on 4/12/2014. Subsequently light no. 19 was logged out of order on 22/12/2014 and repaired on 24/12/2014.

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7) “To ask the Chief Executive what the official policy is in relation to signage in private estate. For example in the Boroimhe Aspen/Blackthorn estates in Swords ‘children at play’ signage was put in place by the private management company. However it is not to the standard and size found in estates where signage has been erected by Fingal County Council. Residents have requested that the standard Fingal signage be put in place and feel they are being denied this because there is the private signage?”

Reply:
Signage in a private estate is a matter for the residents and the estate management company. With regard to Boroimhe Aspen/Blackthorn the roads and services are in charge but the footpaths, parking spaces and green spaces are not in charge. At the entrance to this area off the Boroimhe Road there is a standard “children at play” sign in place. Additional signage is not considered appropriate. It is important to note that the estate area already has engineering traffic calming measures in place.

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8) “To ask the Chief Executive if Northwood Avenue which connects the Swords Road with the Ballymun Road in Santry could ever be taken in charge?”

Reply:
This road is currently in private ownership. A survey of the road corridor and services has identified a number of items that need to be addressed including surfacing, footpaths, signage, traffic calming, public lighting etc. It would also be necessary to have as constructed drawings and a CCTV survey of the foul and surface water drainage networks. To date the Council has not been requested by the developer to have the road taken in charge. Should such a request be forthcoming and the above items attended to, the Inspectorate Division may then be in a position to recommend to the Elected Members that the road be taken into charge.

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Motion for the January Council Meeting:

“That this Council notes that the cost of Conferences and Training for members in 2013 was in the region of €31,000. Council further notes that a Conference report is included in the agenda for each County Council Meeting. To improve transparency and to ensure Conferences and Training are providing Value for Money Council proposes the following improvements:

1. The total cost of each training event or conference is included in each Conference Report. This should be done per member.

2. Reports to be submitted within one month of attending the Conference or Training event and be made available on the Fingal County Council website.

3. A report template be developed and agreed by members at the next Organisation and Procedures meeting.”

Update – Meeting ended before motion was dealt with.

Motion will be resubmitted for the February meeting.

Question for the January Council Meeting:

Commercial Rates in the Early Childhood Care & Education Sector. “To ask the Chief Executive to initiate a review of commercial rates in the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) sector so that a more equitable valuation system for ECCE services is put in place and takes into account both the importance and nature of early education needs?”

The means of valuation and rating of early childhood care and education facilities are causing financial difficulties and making many of these services unsustainable. The valuation of these services is based on the square footage of the building they occupy. The problem is that owners are being assessed on areas of their buildings that no income is derived from. Much of the additional space is a requirement under preschool and childcare regulations and are an essential element for quality provision.

Reply:

The Commissioner of Valuation is responsible for the implementation and interpretation of the Valuation Act 2001 in relation to the determination of rateable valuations on which the Local Authority is obliged to assess commercial rates.

ECCE sessional services which are funded wholly from Exchequer funds are exempt from commercial rates provided they are solely and exclusively used for the provision of educational services which are available to the general public. This does not include services which are mainly funded from parental fees. If a facility considers that it meets the relevant criteria the ratepayer can make an application in writing to the Commissioner of Valuation seeking an exemption from rates. In the absence of an exemption being
granted to a facility the Council is obliged to assess rates on the basis of the valuation provided by the Commissioner of Valuation.

It should also be noted that there is a provision in the Valuation Bill 2012, as passed by Seanad Eireann, and now with the Dail, dealing with the exemption from rates of certain aspects relating to early
childhood care and education facilities.

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2014

Questions and Motions for the December Area Committee Meeting

Motion 1: “Over the lifetime of this Council it is expected that planning applications and construction will increase substantially. In many cases this will mean the building of new houses in existing residential areas. That this Committee therefore proposes that in cases such as these a proportion of the development levies collected be used to improve roads, lining and other amenities in these particular areas where construction takes place.”

Report:
Section 48 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2012 provides for the application of development levies to finance the provision of public infrastructure and facilities to support development in the area of the planning authority. Levies are applied and collected on a county wide basis and the Council’s Scheme provides for a charge in respect of three classes of public infrastructure, as follows:-
1) Roads infrastructure and facilities.
2) Community and Parks facilities and amenities.
3) Surface Water
It is a requirement of the legislation that all funds collected can only be applied “as capital for public infrastructure and facilities”. The works referred to in the motion appear to be of a revenue/current nature which are precluded legally from being funded by development levies. All funds collected are transferred to the appropriate Department of the Council with responsibility for the classes of infrastructure outlined above.

Motion 2: Introduction of Tax Relief
“That this committee supports the introduction of tax relief for households that are required to pay private management or estate fees.”

Report:
If the motion is passed a letter will issue to the Minister for Finance and when a reply is received the Members for the Local Electoral Area will be notified.

Motion 3: “This Committee supports the provision of a footpath for the Knocksedan Estate, Swords to the adjoining
pathway at Swords Manor. This Committee proposes that this project should be included in the programme for
future capital works.”

Report:
There are no current proposals and no funding provision has been made to deliver the more than a kilometre of
footpath that would be required to provide the pedestrian link between Knocksedan and Swords Manor. It is
envisaged that infrastructure of this scale would be provided in the context of future development and planning
permissions in the area.

There is a long term objective of providing a footpath link from the woodland at Knocksedsan to the existing path
network in the Ward River Valley. There is however a tranche of land between the woodland at Knocksedan and
the Ward River Valley Park containing the site of the Brackenstown Mill which is not in the charge of the County
Council.

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“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the area in and around the bus stop at Santry Close heading
Southbound be checked and cleaned up where necessary?”

Reply:
The location referred to in the question was cleaned and tidied in the last two weeks.

“To ask the Chief Executive to examine two sets of traffic lights in Santry, Dublin 9: 1) Those that lead out of Oak
Avenue/Royal Oak to the main road 2) The main traffic lights between Quick Fit and the gates of Santry Demesne
heading south bound. Can the timings be checked to see if they are in working order?”

Reply:
The traffic lights at the above locations are controlled by the Dublin City Council SCATS system. A request will be
placed with the Traffic Department of Dublin City Council to check the timings of the lights.

“To ask the Chief Executive to undertake a traffic assessment for Santry Close, Santry, Dublin 9 and report back
its suitability for traffic calming measures?”

Reply:
Traffic Calming, in the form of ramps, is normally installed in residential cells and the priority would be on roads
that are “rat runs” and lead through from one place to another. Their purpose is to deter traffic from outside a
residential area from entering and, if it does enter to reduce traffic speeds within the residential area to an
acceptable and safe level. Cul de sacs are not normally provided with ramps as there is no through traffic with
just the residents themselves using the road. Traffic calming ramps are, however, installed on the main access
roads into the larger estates.

Having regard to the above, Santry Close would not be deemed a priority for traffic calming. However, the area
will be kept under review. There is no funding in 2014, for installation of ramps at any location in Fingal and
there has not been funding for ramps over the last few years. There are a large number of requests each year from
residential estates which we keep on record for whenever funding does become available. Accordingly, schemes
are prioritised primarily on the basis of volume of traffic, road safety benefit and accident reduction.

“To ask the Chief Executive if there is a list of works for the Balbriggan/Swords area with respect to traffic
calming measures?”

Reply:
A list of proposed works, including traffic calming measures, to be undertaken in 2015 will be completed and
presented to the Elected Members early in the New Year.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for road safety and children at play signage to be installed in Santry Close,
Dublin 9. The only signage currently is at the entrance of the estate which is covered by trees in the summer. The
attached photos show the location where residents would like additional signage. The green at the centre of the
estate is used by children therefore this signage is essential?”

Reply:
Arrangements have been made for the relocation of the “Children at Play” sign from the entrance of the estate to
the location referred to in the question.

“To ask the Chief Executive what steps are being taken to address illegal parking on the Church Road in Swords and whether Council officials have liaised with the Gardaí on this matter?”

Reply:
The Operations Department has placed bollards at this location and has liaised with An Garda Siochana on
numerous occasions in relation to the enforcement of parking on this road. The Gardaí have informed us that they have issued many fines, but problems with illegal parking persist. Church Road is currently outside the area covered by the Pay and Display parking scheme which operates in Swords. Therefore it is the sole responsibility of the Gardai to enforce traffic regulations and the Rules of the Road at this location. However, Operations Department is carrying out a review of the Swords Pay and Display scheme, with a view to extending the scheme to include some additional areas off Main Street. Church Road will be included in this review.

“To ask the Chief Executive to investigate the cause of flooding at the bus stop opposite Morton Stadium in
Santry, Dublin 9. During heavy rainfall this area is very affected and can render the bus stop inoperable?”

Reply:
A number of site inspections have been carried out at this location and arrangements have been made to further
investigate the flooding referred to in the question in order to identify the remedial measures needed to alleviate
the problem.

“To ask the Chief Executive to install barriers at the pedestrian entrances to the Creston Estate in Meakestown,
Dublin 11. The three entrances open on to a very busy road and the installation of barriers would be a significant
addition to road safety?”

Reply:
The pedestrian entrances from Creston estate open onto a footpath, cycleway and grass verge on the St Margaret’s Road. Given the distance/width between the opening and the road edge, the installation of pedestrian barriers is not considered necessary at the location referred to.

“To ask the Chief Executive what steps are being taken to force the Developer to remove advertising hoardings at the Boroimhe estate, Swords. Despite being legally obliged to remove these hoardings they still remain in place?”

Reply:
The hoarding has been removed and the matter is now closed.

“To ask the Chief Executive what action is being taken by the Council to address the ongoing problem of the derelict houses in the Seatown Road, Swords?”

Reply:
Following a recent fire at one of the houses along Seatown Road, works were carried out to secure the property. As a result of these works, the property is not deemed to be a Dangerous Structure. All of the properties are secure and are not deemed to fall within the definition of a derelict site. The Inspectorate Division will continue to monitor the properties to ensure they are safe and secure.

“To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the Meakestown Castle Pub site to be secured as a matter of priority. The building remains both a fire and health hazard and needs to blocked up and made secure?”

Reply:
The Inspectorate Division are currently considering the various options available to them in order to have the issues affecting this site resolved. This may result in the blocking up of the existing building if viable or the demolition of the entire structure.

 

Questions and Motions for the November Area Committee Meeting

Motion 1: “That this Committee supports the introduction of tax relief for households in the Balbriggan/Swords area that are required to pay private management or estate fees.”

Motion 2: “Over the lifetime of this Council it is expected that planning applications and construction will increase substantially in the Balbriggan/Swords area. In many cases this will mean the building of new houses in existing residential areas. That this Committee therefore proposes that in cases such as these a proportion of the development levies collected be used to improve roads, lining and other amenities in these particular areas where construction takes place.”

Unfortunately the meeting ended before they could be debated and voted on but they will be on the agenda at the December meeting.

_________________________
“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on fly tipping and dumping on the St Margaret’s Road and Meakestown area. A significant amount of work was undertaken by officials over the summer and great progress was made. An update would be appreciated?”

Reply:
A number of measures have been taken by Fingal County Council in recent months to deal with fly tipping and other littering offences in the Meakstown/St. Margarets Road area. 1. A joint initiative by Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council involving an extensive clean-up and rearrangement of access to and from a dumping black spot near Musgraves, at a joint cost of €165,000 to both Councils, has resulted in a significant reduction of illegal activity in the area. 2. A site on the St. Margaret’s Road where dumping was taking place on a regular basis has recently been cleared out and secured by the Operations Department, thereby eliminating the fly-tipping and associated problems. 3. The Operations Department has met and reached agreement with the management company of Seagrave in relation to the ongoing maintenance of the open space/grass verge along the public road at this development. 4. The Operations Department has included additional grass verge and open space areas along the St. Margaret’s Road in its maintenance schedule. 5. Regular litter picking and clean-up of the general area continues to be carried out by the Operations Department and the area is monitored regularly.

___________________________

“To ask the Chief Executive to include the road from Centra into the Royal Oak estate in Santry for re-lining in 2015?”

Reply:
The relining at the location referred to in the question will be included in the 2015 Signing and Lining Programme.

__________________________

“To ask the Chief Executive to consider the installation of bollards on the right hand side of the entrance to the Lanesborough estate. Specifically the area at the bend in the road. Bollards were installed at the road leading to the Turnapin estate in Santry some months back and have proved very successful. A similar measure in Lanesborough would be positive in terms of road safety?”

Reply:
The entrance of Lanesborough estate was recently inspected by the Area Traffic Engineer. Double yellow lines are in place at the bend and the installation of bollards may lead to the parking problem being moved elsewhere. The Garda Dublin Metropolitan Region Traffic Corps, Dublin Castle were written to in relation illegal parking at this location and responded that they are providing additional attention to the area outside Traffic Warden hours.

____________________________

“To ask the Chief Executive what the legal position is in relation to signage that is erected by residents in residential areas. Specifically if a Residents Committee wishes to pay for and erect signage what is the process for approval?”

Reply:
The erection and maintenance of all signage on public roads (roads which have been taken in charge by the Council) is the responsibility of the Operations Department. Regulatory/statutory signage is provided at appropriate locations, usually in consultation with the Gardai. Other non-statutory signage may be provided at the discretion of the Operations Department. Requests for signage of any description should be made to the Operations Department. Any signage which is erected without the permission of the Operations Department will be removed.

____________________________

“To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the issue of taking the public lighting in Boroimhe in charge. When is the process expected to be completed?”

Reply:
The Public Lighting Section arranged a further meeting with the management company RFPM at the Civic Offices, Blanchardstown on the 23rd September 2014, where Fingal’s lighting requirements were discussed in detail. It was understood that RFPM would submit proposals for approval prior to engaging a contractor to carry out the necessary work to allow the transfer of the energy account to the Council. RFPM have advised that ESBN supply pillars have been identified and that they expect to submit a lighting layout shortly.

__________________________

“To ask the Chief Executive to take the necessary steps to ensure the derelict building in Santry which is adjacent to the Oakview estate and beside Centra shops is made safe. The building and surrounding wall are in a very poor condition. Can it be put on the derelict sites register?”

Reply:
The company who owned this land has been dissolved. In such situations the land is normally vested in the State and the process administered by the Office of Public Works (OPW). The Council have notified the OPW of the Councillors concern. An inspection was carried out on the wall and it is structurally stable. There has been some dislodgement to a block pier with a brick facing. Operations Department have agreed to repoint this pier which will prevent any loose blocks or bricks from falling off. Operations will then seek to recoup the costs from the OPW. The properties are blocked up at the entrance and a masonry wall encloses the perimeter. The buildings are not very visible from the road and are therefore not deemed derelict under the meaning of the Act.

_______________________________

“To ask the chief executive whether any meetings have taken place with business owners or groups representing business owners on Swords Main Street with Council officials on plans to regenerate the main street in Swords?”

Reply:
Ongoing meetings that take place from time to time with the owners and groups will continue. Particular focussed meetings will be scheduled in Q1 2015 associated with the Swords Cultural Quarter project with all the stakeholders in Swords with an interest in the project.

_______________________________

“To ask the chief executive for an update on progress in relation to the conservation plan for Swords Castle.?”

Reply:
The Conservation Plan for Swords Castle has recently been published – this document identifies policies and actions to take the castle onwards into the future ensuring its conservation and accessibility to the public. A number of projects have been continued/ initiated as a result
• The stabilisation of the gatehouse has been completed and post excavation work is continuing.
• A safety audit is been carried out in order to identify works that can be undertaken in the short term to allow the public to safely access the castle in advance of any major projects.
• New interpretation panels will be designed for the castle
• The conservation plan team had some geophysical surveys carried out as part of their work. These surveys identified some sub surface anomalies in the central area that are worthy of excavation and models for further excavation are being explored at the moment. It is planned that whatever excavation work takes place there will be public interaction with the process.
• A design team is being procured in order to start design work
associated with the reconstruction of the vault over the main entrance in the meantime the crash deck under the broken vault will remain in place.
• A programme of ivy removal will start this winter in the east range walls of the castle. When this is complete the walls will be surveyed and a programme of consolidation devised.

In addition to the above, Consultants have been retained to carry out a separate project to devise an architectural masterplan for the area around the castle to be known as Swords Cultural quarter.

 

Question for the October Council Meeting:

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide an estimate of the cost of delivering on requested traffic calming and road safety measures in the County for 2014. In note that not all proposals would be approved by engineers so can the estimate be for proposals that could be approved?. (This question is asked as a supplement to Motion 55)”

Reply:

It is not possible to enumerate all requests received to implement traffic calming and road safety measures throughout the County. So far this year, some €500,000 has been spent on such measures. This sum is exclusive of overheads, payroll and related costs.

Motion for October Council Meeting

Ring Fencing Income from NPPR Charge “This Council notes that the 2014 annual budget estimated the income from the Non Principal Private Residents (NPPR) charge at €250,000. However the actual income generated from this charge is likely to be in excess of €1,250,000. In light of this, Council supports the ring-fencing of this additional income for road safety, traffic calming and other related measures throughout the County”.

Report: 

Income from the Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) charge will come in substantially ahead of the budgeted figure of €250,000. The latest estimate, based on receipts to date, is that the outturn figure will be close to the €4m mark. The reason for the substantial increase is primarily due to the work undertaken by the Council and the Revenue Commissioners in identifying potential non-payers of the NPPR charge by comparing the LPT and NPPR databases. Notifications to potential liable persons ahead of the 31st August deadline, and following an amnesty period, when the charges and penalties increased from €4,220 to €7,230 elicited a massive response. Over 4,000 contacts were made with the Council over a 3 week period and an amount of €1.5m was collected for the period 31st July to 1st September 2014. The Councillor’s request to have elements of this income ring fenced for specific purposes is noted. The matter however, has to be considered in the overall context of budgetary outturn figures. The budget process is ongoing, and the outturn figures will be considered and reviewed by the Corporate Policy Group ahead of the draft Budget being circulated to all Members later this month.

 

Questions and Motions for the October Area Committee Meeting

Question 1 “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for a bin and seating at the Northwood Avenue side of the Northwood Lake
in Santry, Dublin 9?”

Reply: 

While the proposal seems to have considerable merit and the location eminently suitable for the installation of seating and a bin no funding is available at this time in the area. Provision will be made in the Santry Demesne budget for 2015 to install seating at this location.

Question 2 “To ask the Chief Executive if the funding of €12,000 allocated for roads and footpaths in Santry Close and Royal Oak has been utilised. This funding was part of the Works Programme for 2014?”

Reply:

The footpath repairs in Santry Close/Royal Oak are due to be carried out before the end of 2014 as part of the Special Works Programme.

Question 3 “To ask the Chief Executive to erect a cul-de-sac sign at the entrance of the Boroimhe Blackthorn estate, Swords?”

Reply:

The erection of a ‘Cul de Sac’ sign at the location referred to in the question is not considered appropriate.

Question 4 “To ask the Chief Executive to consider raising the wall at the Longlands estate off Swords village. While the issue of cost has been an understandable barrier to previous requests, can the Chief Executive examine alternatives to prevent anti-social behaviour and littering in this area?”

Reply:

To raise the wall at this location would require the complete rebuilding of the wall on greatly strengthened foundations which is prohibitively expensive. Alternatives have been previously examined such as installing a fence behind the wall which would require significant excavations amongst the roots of these important and mature amenity trees. Any such excavations could compromise the stability of the trees or introduce decay fungi into the root systems. The wall itself is not sufficiently robust to support or attach fencing or railings. Also considered was the planting of hedging beneath the trees but it would be unlikely to establish and grow as required due to the shading and competition from the existing mature trees. The issue of ongoing littering is managed very effectively by the litter crew in the town. The site is picked at least once a week and was found to be litter free when inspected on foot of this question. No reports of anti-social behaviour have been received in relation to these bus-stops.

Question 5 “To ask the Chief Executive to include the Oakview estate in Santry for any future re-laying and re-lining works?”

Reply:

Road resurfacing and road lining at the location referred to in the question will be listed for consideration in future road resurfacing and lining programmes.

Question 6 “To ask the Chief Executive to include the provision of lighting at the park in Rivermeade, St Margarets in any future capital investment?”

Reply:

Public lighting is not normally provided on public open space unless there is a recognised transport link to shops or bus stops or similar.

Question 7 “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the advertisement hoardings at junction of Dublin Road and Boroimhe. What actions are being taken against the developer to ensure they abide by the enforcement notice?”

Reply:

As the requirements of the Enforcement Notice dated 21st August have not been complied with, it is the Council’s intention to instigate legal proceedings.

Question 8 “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the derelict house behind the Boroimhe Willows estate. As I understand it the owners/receiver were requested to secure the site as a matter of urgency?”

Reply:

The property which was the subject of a recent arson attack was demolished and removed from the lands during the month of September and a gate has been erected to secure the front of the site from the public road. The Receiver has also appointed a security company to monitor the site.

Question 9 Meakstown Castle Site – Derelict Sites Register “That the Chief Executive give an update on the health and safety issue with the Meakstown Castle site, have the necessary steps been taken to place it on the Derelict Sites Register. Further have steps been taken steps under the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act, 1964.”

Reply:

An up to date reference of the lands has revealed that the company that owns the site is now dissolved. Once a company has been dissolved, the assets of the dissolved company become State property. The Office of Public Works is now handling all issues in relation to assets of dissolved companies. The Council has written to the OPW advising of its intention to place the site on the Derelict Sites Register and to confirm their position in relation to the said site. Furthermore, the Inspectorate Division are currently seeking quotes for making the site secure.

Question 10 “To ask the Chief Executive if options for the closed off field opposite Turnapin Grove in Santry have been progressed. As I understand it the issue is with the property section and previously residents were led to understand that the field could be used for community purposes?”

Reply:

Starlights GAA Club have a 99 year lease with the Council in respect of land at Turnapin. The club has contacted the Council with a view to using the balance of the land in this area for training pitch/facilities. This proposal is currently under consideration.

Question 11 “To ask the Chief Executive to consider the issue of management fees and estate charges for future planning and any Local Area Plan. Specifically for the Council to consider limiting management fee obligations to apartment developments for any future housing developments. This is in light of the obligation on all households to pay property tax?”

Reply:

Current planning legislation and regulations do not provide for the regulation of such issues as part of planning applications and local area plans. It should also be borne in mind that notwithstanding the liability for property tax, the residents of some estates may choose to have their common areas privately managed.

Question for September Council Meeting:

Motion: Justin Sinnott

Reform of Councillor Expenses

“From 14th July 2014 the following changes will apply to expenses paid to elected members of Fingal County Council:

  • Expenses for chairing the six Special Purpose Committees will be reduced from their current rate of €6,000 per annum to a ceiling of €500.
  • Expenses for Councillors serving on the Audit Committee will be limited to vouched expenses only. “

Update – Meeting ended before motion was dealt with.

Motion will be resubmitted for the October meeting.

Question: Justin Sinnott

To ask the Chief Executive if the Council maintains a list or database of developers who the Council have had previous difficulties with, be they legal issues or in relation to poor planning or construction. Further, in cases where a developer has left the Council with legacy issues, is this taken into account when planning permission is sought?

Reply

The Council does not maintain a centralised list or database of developers who the  Council have had previous difficulties with. Many of these difficulties are ultimately resolved through continued interaction, and the exercise of statutory powers.  Section 35 of the Planning & Development Act does provide that planning authorities  can refuse planning permission where the applicant has not complied with a previous  permission, or has carried out substantial unauthorised development, or has been  convicted of an office under the Act, where there is a real and substantial risk that the development in respect of which permission has been sought would not be completed in a accordance with the permission, or a condition of the permission, if granted. Previous failures to comply must be of a substantial nature. The Council has not refused any permissions to date using Section 35. The Council  is not aware of any other planning authority that has used Section 35. 

Questions and Motions for the September Area Committee Meeting

 Motions: Justin Sinnott

1) “This Committee feels that the Traffic Impact Assessment carried out in preparation for the Ridgewood Local Area Plan last year, was not independent and was slanted in favour of the developer(s) and did not fairly address the concerns of residents submissions. This Committee calls for a new, independent TIA which will fully and fairly address the current and future concerns of Ridgewood residents and help to alleviate the safety concerns and traffic congestion issues.”

Report:

It is a common practice for individuals, companies, or groups to promote Local Area Plans for lands in their ownership. This is explicitly allowed for in the Planning and Development Acts (Section 18 (6)): (6) A planning authority may enter into an arrangement with any suitably qualified person or local community group for the preparation, or the carrying out of any aspect of the preparation, of a
local area plan.

Clearly, in such circumstances, it is the duty of the Council and its officials to critically examine any inputs from interested parties. In this case, the landowners commissioned Transport Insights (a specialist transport planning and traffic engineering consultancy) to prepare a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA). The TIA report (which runs to 53 pages plus appendices) clearly sets out the data and the assumptions which underlie the TIA.

The Transportation Planning Section of the Council liaised with Transport Insights via numerous telephone calls, emails, and meetings to ensure that the assumptions were reasonable and that the conclusions were logical. The TIA Report went through eight drafts to ensure that the Transportation Planning Section was satisfied. The Transportation Planning Section is satisfied that the TIA produced by Transport Insights is a fair and accurate assessment of the traffic impacts of the LAP and that a new traffic study would come to the same conclusions. Regarding traffic safety, it should be noted that the LAP has a clear objective as follows:

“Objective TM 6 Additional traffic calming shall be provided within the Ridgewood development and particularly along Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood Place and Cedar Park, prior to the occupation of any houses within the LAP lands.” The Operations Department of the Council is currently seeking approval for traffic calming along Ridgewood Avenue. The proposed measures are
currently on display as part of a public consultation process. The proposed traffic calming will more than compensate for any increased risk as a result of increased traffic flows. 

2) “In advance of the annual budgetary process this Committee requests a breakdown of capital spend in the County by area for the last five years. The breakdown should identify projects firstly by local electoral area and then by population centres e.g. Swords Ward – Swords, Donabate, Santry, Meakestown.”

Report:

Expenditure is not captured on a Local Area basis. Information on Capital Expenditure for the years 2009 to 2013 will be compiled and forwarded to the Members within the next fortnight. 

Questions: Justin Sinnott

Question 1: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to applications for traffic calming measures in Boroimhe Aspen and Forest Avenue in Swords. Can he confirm if the process has begun and at what stage we are at”

Reply:

Fingal County Council makes application annually to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for funding for traffic  management schemes in the county. The emphasis in making NTA funding application has been on the promotion of walking, cycling and accessibility to public transport, as these are the type of applications most likely to be successful. Funding is also available from the National Roads Authority (NRA) for low cost safety  schemes such as speed readers and junction improvements.

The majority of the speed ramps provided in Fingal in the past were funded by development levies or were provided as part of new housing developments. In recent years, applications by Fingal County Council to the  NRA for funding for speed ramps have been unsuccessful. Boroimhe Aspen is within a housing estate and mostly the people using the road live on the road. It is not
considered a rat run as vehicles are not coming from another estate into it. There is already one ramp/platform at the beginning of the green. The Management Company is responsible for some of the area and they have put up many Children at Play signs to warn motorists that there are children playing in the area. This is not a priority location for the installation of ramps.

Forest Avenue is also a road within an estate. The busiest roads in this estate in the location (where people cut through from one side of the Estate by the School to the other side) are Forest Park to Forest Avenue (top end only) to Forest Dale. There are ramps on Forest Park up to the intersection with Forest Avenue and on Forest Dale. The length of Forest Avenue is not a priority location for the installation of ramps.

Question 2: “To ask the Chief Executive to review road signage in the Dublin 11 area. Specifically the roads from the Charlestown Place shopping centre to Poppintree Park Road West, Melville Estate and the Meakstown Commercial Centre, Mygan Park and Century Business Park. The roads appear to be unnamed. Apart from frustration for residents it may also affect emergency services and council administration.”

Reply:

The provision of nameplates for Melville Estate and Meakestown Commercial Centre is a matter for the management companies concerned as these locations are not in charge of the Council.
The provision of nameplates for Mygan Park and Century Business Park is a matter between the management companies and Dublin City Council. The distributor link road from Charlestown Shopping Centre to Poppintree Park Road West is currently unnamed. 

A Naming & Numbering Committee in the Planning Department previously processed requests for naming roads etc. This Committee no longer exists. It is recommended that a group comprising of elected representatives and relevant Council staff be established to develop a protocol to process this and other similar requests as they arise. Recommendations on proposed name changes from this group should then be referred to the Council for adoption.

A recommendation to establish a Naming & Numbering Committee will be submitted to the next Council meeting for approval.

Question 3: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation the almost derelict houses on the Seatown Road. They are in an exceptionally poor condition and in addition there are bags of waste behind the building on the corner of the Seatown Road and St Colmiclle’s drive.”

Reply:

The Built Inspectorate Division awaits a response to correspondence issued on 6th August 2014 to the Receiver appointed over the properties. The notice detailed works required to ensure the sites do not fall into a state of disrepair.

Question 4: ““To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to flood prevention in the area and road between Morton Stadium and Northwood Lake, Santry. This area was to be addressed by ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the existing surface water systems in the area. While gully cleaning occurred in August the issue of a single blocked drain remains a problem and a concern for residents.”

Reply:

Arrangements have been made for remedial works to be carried out to the surface water system at the location referred to in the question.

Question 5: “To ask the Chief Executive to provide a copy of the original planning permission, including all obligations on the developer and estate management company, for the Northwood estate in Santry Dublin 9.”

Reply:

The details were provided to me separately.

Question 6: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the transfer of public lighting in Boroimhe, Swords and what steps the Council have taken to progress this matter.”

Reply:

The requirements for the transfer of the energy billing for the Boroimhe lighting was detailed at the July meeting. Further contact has been made with the management company RFPM who have undertaken to forward the required information. The Public Lighting Section awaits their response.

 

Agenda for the  July Area Committee and Council Meetings below

July Balbriggan Swords Area Committee

Questions and Motions for the July Area Committee Meeting

 Motions: Justin Sinnott

1) “That in light of the continued littering and dumping on the St Margaret’s Road, Meakestown provision is made for CCTV to be installed on this road to tackle the blight on the area.”

Report:

Fingal County Council has worked closely with Dublin City Council to address the issue of littering on the old St. Margaret’s Road. A major clean-up was carried out by both authorities and a section of the road which was a flytipping blackspot has now been permanently closed to traffic. CCTV is currently being installed by the City Council to monitor the area for any further littering.

Separately, Council Officials have met over recent weeks with the management company for the Seagrave development and agreement has been reached in relation to future cleaning and maintenance of the grass verge along the boundary of this development and St. Margaret’s Road. In addition, arrangements are in place to clear out and secure the unsightly site adjacent to the Meakstown Traveller Accommodation Unit and it is hoped that works in this regard will commence in the coming weeks.

2) “Council supports the installation of traffic lights at the entrance of the Melville estate, Meakestown. This highly populated area built during the boom currently has no safe means to exit and enter the estate.”

Report:

The installation of a pedestrian crossing at Melville estate will be considered for the 2015 programme of works when funding is applied for from the National Transport Authority (NTA).

3) “Council supports provision of a footpath for the Knoksedan estate, Swords to the adjoining pathway towards Swords Manor. Knocksedan residents remain isolated from the rest of Swords and the provision of a footpath is an absolute necessity.”

Report:

There is no funding in place at this time to provide further footpaths in the vicinity of Knocksedan. There are proposals for road improvements in the area, linked to the Oldtown -Mooretown Local Area Plan lands which have development commencing on them at present. The provision of additional roads is linked to the phasing construction. The road proposals for the Knocksedan area are required as part of the final phase as set out within the Local Area Plan. This is likely to be ten or twelve years hence.

4) “Council supports the provision of public lighting in Boroimhe, Swords and the transfer from it being privately maintained to it being publically maintained is done so as soon as possible.”

Report:

There are 5 Phases to the Boroimhe housing development with one management company for Phase 3 and a second for Phases 1, 2, 4 and 5. In Phase 2 the Council has taken some 59 lights in charge where lighting was installed by the developers in accordance with the plan provided by the Council’s Public Lighting Section. The lighting infrastructure provided
by the developers in the rest of Phase 2 and the other phases is of a non-standard nature in that columns and lanterns installed were of a type selected by the developer without reference to the Council. Installation details and cable routes are unknown to the Council and electricity supply has been taken from landlord meters as opposed to the required stand-alone unmetered public lighting supplies taken directly from ESB sources. A further complication regarding taking public lighting in charge here, is that various footpaths, parking areas and some green spaces where lights are located have not been taken in charge. In engaging with the management companies/residents, the Council has pointed out these issues and asked for plans of the existing lighting installation so that we might advise on appropriate modifications. To date no plans have been received.

Questions: Justin Sinnott

Question 1: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update in relation to the dilapidated Meakstown Castle site. The issue has been unresolved for many years and local residents have raised legitimate, health and safety concerns. The site is also an eyesore and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.”

Reply:

The Built Inspectorate Section is in the process of carrying out an up to date land registry search in order to progress the entry of the site onto the Derelict Sites Register.

Question 2: “To ask the Chief Executive to make representations to An Garda Síochána to enforce public parking rules in the Lanesborough estate, Meakestown. Further, I wish to request that Fingal officials write formally to the Management Companies in the Lanesborough estate detailing their legal obligations to residents“

Reply:

The Garda Dublin Metropolitan Region Traffic Corps, Dublin Castle has been written to in relation to this matter.

Question 3: “To ask the Chief Executive to take immediate steps to ensure provision for public lighting in Mayeston, Meakestown is made. Residents have expressed understandable frustration at lights being in a state of disrepair for many months. Further, to ask the Chief Executive if he would outline what statutory responsibilities does the private management company responsible for Mayeston have in relation to lighting in private estates.”

Reply:

The public lighting plan for the full development at Mayestown indicated a total of 67 lights for the completed estate. 42 columns have been erected by the developer, certified and connected to ESB supply. The estate is not taken in charge. Faults reported to the Council in relation to certified lights are repaired by the Council’s contractor. No outstanding faults are logged on our system.

Question 4: “To ask the Chief Executive to outline what steps are being taken in relation to flood prevention in the area and road between Morton Stadium and Northwood Lake, Santry. Further if a timetable for cleaning drains on this road could be outlined it would give residents confidence that the matter is taken seriously by the Council.”

Reply:

Flood mitigation in the area referred to in the question is being addressed by ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the existing surface water systems in the area. With regard to the cleaning of the road gullies, this location has been included in the gully cleaning programme for August/September.

Question 5: “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for road markings on the M1/Coolock interchange in Santry be redone as they are currently worn away and inadequate. The exit is potentially dangerous for pedestrians to cross. It is used it as a route to school in Gaelscoil Cholmcille on the Oscar Traynor Road.

Reply:

The request for renewal of the road markings on the M1/Coolock interchange in Santry has been referred to the National Roads Authority for comment and we await their response.

Question 6: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on where repairs to the damaged wall at Oak Avenue, Royal Oak, Santry currently are. I am aware that this is a matter for the National Roads Authority however residents are completely in the dark as to what progress has been made and what the time lines are for fixing the wall.”

Reply:

The repair of the wall at the location referred to in the question has been raised with the National Roads Authority last week and we await their response.

Question 7: “To ask the Chief Executive to investigate whether the field opposite Turnapin Grove can be developed for recreational purposes.”

Reply:

Various proposals have been examined over the years in respect of the land adjacent to Turnapin Grove. The Council’s Operational Department will be requested to re-examine whether the land in question has any potential recreational use.

Question 8: “To ask the Chief Executive to arrange for the road entrance to Oakview estate in Santry to be re-laid, that additional signage be installed including a ‘Cul De Sac’ sign at the entrance and the double yellow are extended.”

Reply:

Arrangements will be made for the provision of a ‘Cul de Sac’ sign at this location. The Operations Department will include this location for discussions with An Garda Siochana in relation to the provision of a ‘Stop’ sign and the extension of double yellow lines at this location. The resurfacing of the road can only be carried out when the necessary funding for such work is identified and in this regard it will be listed for consideration in future Road Resurfacing Programmes.

Question 9: “To ask the Chief Executive to remove the barriers on the pathway from the back of the Royal Oak estate, Santry which leads to the main Swords Road. The barriers currently prevent disabled access.”

Reply:

Following representations from the local residents barriers were put in place at this location to prevent motorcycle access. Arrangements will now be made to remove these barriers on accessibility grounds and the situation will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Question 10: “To ask the Chief Executive to raise the issue of the derelict building behind Boroimhe Willows, Swords with the Derelict Sites Section.”

Reply:

Following correspondence being issued by the Council in relation to the derelict nature of the lands to the rear of Boroimhe Willows, the Council was advised that an Administrator had been appointed over the estate and arrangements had been made to have the required works completed in order to render the site non-derelict. A re-inspection of the site has been requested to establish if these works have been completed to the satisfaction of the Council.

 

Agenda July County Council Meeting

Motion: Justin Sinnott

Reform of Councillor Expenses

“From 14th July 2014 the following changes will apply to expenses paid to elected members of Fingal County Council:

  • Expenses for chairing the six Special Purpose Committees will be reduced from their current rate of €6,000 per annum to a ceiling of €500.
  • Expenses for Councillors serving on the Audit Committee will be limited to vouched expenses only. “

Update – Meeting ended before motion was dealt with.

Motion will be resubmitted for the September meeting.

Questions: Justin Sinnott

1)      To ask the Chief Executive to extend the “Adopt a Patch” initiative to all private estates. Recently Mayeston in Meakestown was denied the opportunity to participate in the initiative as it is a private estate. Can the system be amended so that applications from private estates can be considered on a case by cases basis?

Reply:

The “Adopt a Patch” scheme was started in 2012 to improve the sense of community and encourage citizens to take ownership of public areas. Any group of residents, business or community group members in an area can propose a site to the Council’s Environment Division and can agree on a maintenance programme for collecting litter or painting over graffiti. Clean-up materials are provided to the group and after the clean-up has taken place, the Council’s Operations Department arranges for the bags of litter to be collected. A request was recently received from residents in Mayeston to sign up for “Adopt a Patch” but it could not be granted on the basis that a management company is responsible for maintaining the estate. As it stands, the scheme is intended to support Council clean-up efforts in areas with litter or graffiti problems and is implemented in public areas which are in local authority ownership or where the local authority is maintaining the area. All applications, including applications from private estates, are considered on a case by case basis.

2)      To ask the Manager to outline the number of private estate and residential management companies in Fingal and whether a register of said companies is kept by the Council.

Reply:

The Council does not keep records of the number or details of private estate and residential management companies.

3)      To ask the Chief Executive to consider provision being made for specific road safety measures including speed bumps in next year’s budget.

Reply:

The Operations Department will be applying to the NRA low cost safety fund and also to the NTA for funding for a variety of schemes including traffic calming in advance of the 2015 programme of works. The focus of the council’s resources has been on the repair of ramps damaged as a result of the severe winter in 2010. It is hoped to have the programme completed by the end of the 2015 budget subject to the availability of funding.