Below is a list of issues I have worked on since 2014
As issues arise I will be updating my Facebook page on areas of interest and work in specific areas
Litter and fly-tipping on St Margaret’s Road:
This is a big issue in the area and an absolute priority for me. Litter and dumping on this road is out of control and I have had to report incidents time and time again. I have formally requested the installation of CCTV and increased monitoring from the Council. One issue is responsibility between the Council and the various private management companies . A task force was established in the summer of 2014 made up of representatives from Fingal County Council (Operations & Enforcement) and Dublin City Council. One of the first decisions made was the partial closure of road at Musgraves. The initiative by Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council involved 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 and has resulted in a significant reduction of illegal activity in the area. A site on the St. Margaret’s Road where dumping was taking place on a regular basis was cleared out and secured by the Operations Department, thereby eliminating the fly-tipping and associated problems. 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. The Operations Department has included additional grass verge and open space areas along the St. Margaret’s Road in its maintenance schedule. 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.
Traffic calming and road safety in Lanesborough:
A major concern for all residents is dangerous parking and safety on the roads. We need a plan to deal with traffic in the area that respects all residents. I have been pushing for more measures to be taken as the current situation is not acceptable. The issue is complicated as you have a private management company responsible for parking and the Council pointing to them as responsible. There are real safety issues and I’m looking to liaise with the fire service and get their opinion on whether fire trucks would be able to access the estate at all times. The entrance of Lanesborough estate was 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. A motion was passed at the February Area Committee Meeting requesting that the Council liaise with the Gardai and develop a strategy to tackle this ongoing issue.
Melville Traffic Lights:
The traffic lights will be finally delivered as part of the 2016 Roads and Special Works Programme.
After months of lobbying for action on the Meakstown Castle pub site work finally begun recently with the clearing out of litter and dumped rubbish as well as securing the building so it cannot be accessed. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of my colleagues on the Council on this. Cllr Duncan Smith and Cllr Philip Lynam have also shared my concerns and we are committed to seeing this site being cleaned up. This is just the start. Although the land is now for sale the Receiver for the site, KPMG, have been instructed by the Council to submit a schedule of works to ensure the site is adequately secured to prevent further instances of illegal trespass onto the lands and to take responsibility for any neglect and unsightly condition of the land. They are also responsible for the removal of any rubbish from the land.
Road and Street Names:
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. Apart from frustration for residents it may also affect emergency services and council administration.
I have requested that the re-lining of road markings on the St Margaret’s Road from the Jamestown Road to the junction of Charlestown Shopping Centre be undertaken as a priority. The Council have made a commitment that this will now be included in the Signing and Lining Programme.
Graffiti in estates:
I have reported numerous examples of graffiti and requested that they be tackled immediately. In cases where graffiti is on a wall and part of a house I need to arrange for the home-owner to sign a waiver and agree to the Council removing the graffiti.
Public Lighting in Mayeston:
Problems with public lighting in Mayeston still continue. I am grateful to residents for bringing them to my attention. There is a particular issue in the estate, namely that it is still to be taken in charge by the Council in other words the developer is still to hand over the lighting and roads to the Council. Another issue is the developer has not sent the full list of lights that are in Mayeston. So the Council know there are a certain number but there are other lights that I have reported that simply are not recorded as being in existence! That said the Council have said they will follow up with the developer and ask for the final full set of public lighting in the estate.
Roads and Special Works Programme for 2015 and 2016:
I was delighted with the allocations for Santry under the Roads and Special Works Programme for 2015. As part of the budget process late last year I called for the greater spread on investment across the County. I made the case that over the years that Santry has gotten less than its fair share. The allocations for 2015 were a good start to addressing this. Specifically the following amounts were allocated:
• €40,000 for drainage and flood prevention works on the Swords Road. This is something that is long overdue.
• €17,000 on traffic and road safety, road improvements and upgrading in Royal Oak. Please note that any proposals for ramps will be put out to a public consultation process.
• €10,000 invested in outdoor exercise equipment in Santry Park.
Under the 2016 Programme footpaths in Santry Close and Knightswood will be upgraded.
Traffic Lights in Santry:
I received a number of requests for the timings on the pedestrian lights at Santry Demense to be checked. The green lights are often broken by cars and this may because of the timings being off or out of sync with the other traffic lights. The traffic lights are controlled by the Dublin City Council SCATS system. A request has being placed by Fingal County Council with the Traffic Department of Dublin City Council to check the timings of the lights.
Derelict Building adjacent to Centra/Oakview:
I continue to work with the Council to see this issue is finally resolved.
Following the representations I have made over the last few months arrangements are being made for the installation a cul-de-sac sign at the entrance to Oakview in Santry. The resurfacing of the road was also undertaken following my request.
Turnapin: The closed off field opposite Turnapin Grove continues to be a source of frustration for the residents of Turnapin. Promises were made by the Council to residents that this field would be developed for recreational purposes. I will request an update on plans for this field. I am strongly of the view that this should be developed as a recreational amenity. 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 was accepted.
Parking at Morton Stadium:
Concern has been raised by local residents that parking in the area when an event is taking place is uncontrolled. I will be following this issue up with the Gardai who are responsible for enforcement.
Parking Issues in Estates:
After litter and graffiti this has been the main issue that has been raised by people on the doorsteps. As parking spaces are extremely limited the issue has grown. There is no easy solution to this with disc parking expensive to operate. However a strategy must be put in place to deal with the issue and the Council need to discuss possible solutions with local residents.
Northwood Avenue and Estate:
The issue of the main road that cuts through Northwood remains unsettled. This is officially a private road, and all apartment owners as part of their estate charge obligations pay for the maintenance of this road. However the road could not be considered private in any way, and at peak times it resembles a busy public road. I and the other Residents Committees in Northwood have been working to resolve this situation for a number of years. Other changes that have been made to the estate, such as the installation of ramps on Northwood Avenue, were undertaken without any consultation with residents. We are also expected to pay towards security, which is a significant cost, yet we have no involvement in tendering or ensuring we are getting value for money. Residents must be given a say in the running of the estate, as it is we who pay for the upkeep of the estate. I will be lobbying for changes to the Multi Unit Development Act so estate management companies like the one in Northwood are properly regulated, and residents are given a say in the management of the estate.
Coolock Interchange Roundabout:
I have raised the issue of the road markings on the M1/Coolock interchange as they are completely worn away and inadequate. Improvements were made for pedestrians in 2010 and this included the provision of road markings to narrow the road, on the north side of the roundabout, as you exit the roundabout. However this part of the roundabout has since been partially resurfaced and so the road narrowing markings no longer exist, returning the exit to a dangerous road for pedestrians to cross. I have requested Fingal to address this issue immediately. This is important for pedestrians and for children who use it as a route to school in Gaelscoil Cholmcille on the Oscar Traynor Road.
There is still a lot of graffiti in and around Santry. Slowly but surely I have been able to arrange removal from signage and other public property. The work is undertaken in conjunction with the probation service. Recently the ESB removed graffiti from its substation at the Santry Close laneway. In cases where the graffiti is on a wall adjacent to private property I can arrange waivers so that Fingal can clean it off. Please get in touch with me if your property has been affected, I will call in with the waiver.
The 2015 budget allocated €3m to the Council’s Capital Programme for 2015-2017. This funding will complete the civic and public works to the Swords Castle Area. This is something Councillors for the area pushed for after our election and was certainly one of the reasons I voted for this year’s budget. At the end of 2014 the Council engaged consultants to prepare a Swords Castle Architectural Master Plan with the aim of proposing works and measures which will regenerate Swords Castle and its environs. The study area for this project included 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.
Swords Main Street:
Tackling the Main Street has been a priority for all Councillors in Swords. In March, the Council presented a list of proposed works for the Main Street including new signage, street furniture, information points, tree management and new planting. I have also proposed the development of a strategic plan for the Main Street. The plan would encouraging new businesses to locate in the town including the possibility of ‘pop up’ shops as well as support for small enterprises and artisan producers. What is also required is a well-designed traffic management & parking plan for the town which would involve consultation with the various stakeholders including the citizens of Swords. There also needs to be a scheme that would encourage 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.
Swords Main Street – Purple Flag Initiative:
Fingal County Council, in partnership with Fingal Dublin Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders, are working on a pilot scheme to develop Swords Town Centre as a Purple Flag Town. The Purple Flag is the “gold standard” for town centres at night and is the highest internationally recognised award for the evening and night-time economy in Europe. Town centres meeting the standard can fly the flag to the benefit of businesses, consumers and the wider economy. It brings increased footfall and strong recognition to the town centre as a dynamic, safe, clean and fun place to be at night and is a fantastic tool for promoting a quality evening and night-time economy offering to local, regional, national and international visitors.
Development Levies and Construction Charges:
At a Council meeting in March I put a formal question to the Chief Executive requesting 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. In response I was advised that €45m is recorded as outstanding in relation to development/proposed development. This amount relates to the total amount invoiced: the Council has a policy of invoicing for the entire proposed development on receipt of the Commencement Notice. A total of €2.3m of this sum is considered to be “in arrears”, of which €520,000 has been secured through the courts and the remainder is at various stages of the legal process.
Road safety on Forest Avenue – Provision of speed humps:
The road through the estate is used by motorists to drop children to school. However legitimate concerns were raised with me during May regarding speeding through the estate and road safety. There are a lot of children in the estate and there is a real fear that speeding cars could cause an accident. I fully support the proposal to install and speed hump. One of the requirements for installing speed humps in an estate is for a period of public consultation. I would like to get the process started as soon as possible. The Council have advised me that 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.
Road safety concerns in Ridegewood:
The residents of Ridgewood have raised safety concerns with Fingal County Council and the developer responsible for new construction in their area. Traffic volumes are dangerously high and hundreds of residents have signed a petition to force the Council to take steps to ensure road safety measures are put in place. I am working with my fellow Councillors on this and we both support the residents call for the immediate provision of traffic calming measures on Ridgewood Avenue. They need to be made a priority so as to ensure residents and their children living in the area are safe.
Public Lighting in Boroimhe:
Responsibility for public lights is a common issue in new estates with disputes between residents and local authorities frequently occurring. There had been an understanding that responsibility for street lighting would pass to the Council and I am pressing for this to happen. 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.
Damaged Wall in Longlands adjacent to the road opposite The Pavilions:
The area has become a dumping ground as well as a magnet for anti-social behaviour. I’m supporting residents in their request to have the wall raised so that people cannot jump over it, it stops being used as a dumping ground and the trees are protected. As the wall is beside a bus stop the situation will continue unless action is taken. It would make sense from a purely economic perspective to get the wall heightened as the wall in its current guise will continue to be damaged and Council will have to keep coming back to clean up the rubbish being left there.
Knocksedan residents remain isolated from the rest of Swords and the provision of a footpath is an absolute necessity. I will be pushing this as a priority and treated as such when it comes to capital projects. I succeeded in getting a motion passed at the December Area Committee meeting which means that this may now be included in the long term capital works programme.
Oaklands Avenue, Swords Village
I requested that the area around the Main Green be included in any re-lining works in 2015. Reply from Council Officials: 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.
St Cronan’s Estate:
I requested 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 from Council Officials: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.
Cianlea Estate – Taking in Charge:
I sought clarification as to the status of the Cianlea Estate in Swords and when it will be taken in charge fully. The Council have been in touch and confirmed that Phase 1 of Cianlea estate, which comprises houses 1 – 85 is now in charge and is being maintained by the Operations Department of Fingal County Council. The remainder of Cianlea (Phase 2) is not yet in charge. I have requested timelines for taking the rest of the estate in charge.
Traffic calming measures: Brackenstown Road:
I have made representations to the Council regarding traffic calming on the Brackenstown Road in Swords adjacent to the new children’s playground. Residents are seeking the completion of the traffic calming measures on this road. They have indicated to me that the existing traffic calming measures (speed ramps) do not address the traffic coming from the Swords Manor direction. Some motorists are travelling at very high speeds down the road until they meet the first speed ramp, this effectively means they are at their fastest speed as they pass many houses on the road. Essentially what is being requested is traffic calming measures outside the 20 or so houses that have none currently. Since the opening of the new children’s playground the volume of pedestrian traffic has increased on the road.
Derelict Houses on the Seatown Road:
I have put a formal question for the Fingal Chief Executive for the July Area Committee Meeting. I have requested 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.
Rivermeade, St Margaret’s
Park and Playground:
I have requested the Council consider the installation of lights in the park. This is an important amenity for Rivermeade and lighting would mean the community could use it during the winter months.
Metal railings opposite Toberburr Avenue:
I have made representations to the Council and requested that the planting of trees be considered along the railings. It would be a very positive addition to the area and also ensure children are prevented from climbing the railings and potentially injuring themselves.
Local Issues that have been dealt with and are now closed
(1) Advertising Hoardings at Boroimhe Swords: The developer complied with a legal order in December 2014
(2) Derelict Building in Boroimhe Swords: 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. (November 2014)
(3) Damaged wall at Oak Avenue – Royal Oak Santry: I had been lobbying the Council to address safety concerns regarding the bend on Oak Avenue. The wall was damaged since the beginning of the year and as I understood it, the issue was with the National Roads Authority. The wall has now been repaired.
(4) Disabled Access at the bottom of the Royal Oak estate in Santry: I succeeded in getting the Council to ensure that there is a wheelchair friendly entrance to the parkland that leads from the bottom of Royal Oak to the main road entrance opposite Little Venice.
(5) Public Lighting in Mayeston: I had been working on this issue from February 2014 and was delighted that the public lighting issues has been resolved and the lights are working again.
(6) Children at Play Signage in Santry Close: I requested the Council to arrange for road safety and children at play signage to be installed in Santry Close, Dublin 9.
(7) Flood Prevention Santry: The area between Morton Stadium and Northwood Lake needed extensive works. Heavy rain always brought the possibility of flooding. I have requested Fingal County Council put in place proper measures to prevent flooding. Issues with the drains opposite Morton Stadium have also been raised, they are blocked and the potential for flooding if there is heavy rain is obvious. This work was completed at the end of 2014.
(8) Signage on main road in Boroimhe:
Arrangements were made for the provision of name plates at either end of Boroimhe Road.