eContact March 2005
Over 7000 contacts made with Customer Service Desk
7725 contacts have been made with Sligo County Council’s Customer Service Desk since 5th April 2004. The main contacts were made in connection with the following services:
An analysis of the ‘Response types’ reveals that the majority of contacts (37%) are face to face, while 22% of contacts are made by phone.
Customer Service Staff are also working with the Communications Office and IT staff in updating the Council’s website. They have requested the staff in each section to monitor the information relating to their area of the site, particularly in relation to contact names and application forms.
Sligo County Council features again in Excellence Through People Awards
With the award of the Excellence through People accolade to the Infrastructure Directorate in December 2004, each Directorate within Sligo County Council has now achieved this coveted national standard for Human Resource Development.
The Directorate of Housing, Corporate and Emergency Services achieved the award in October 2003 and the Planning, Environment, Community and Enterprise, Arts and Finance Directorate achieved their award in October 2004.
A presentation of the award to the individual Directorates that achieved the award in 2004 will take place in the Radisson Hotel, Ballincar on the 11th March 2005, and the awards ceremony will be featured in the Spring issue of Contact.
Sligo chooses its Dáil na nÓg representatives
At the Comhairle na nÓg hosted by Sligo County Development Board in St Anne’s Youth Centre earlier this month, four representatives were chosen to sit on the National Dáil na nÓg 2005. Fergal Kilcullen - Convent of Jesus & Mary Enniscrone, Jamie Grehan - Summerhill College, David Tansey -Sligo Grammar School and Cathal Sheridan - Ransboro Youth Group were elected by their peers to be their voice next March in Croke Park.
On the day approximately 70 participants representing Sligo secondary schools and youth groups took part in Comhairle na nÓg with a view to electing representatives to Dáil na nÓg. The Dail convenes once a year under the auspices of the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Children. Proceedings started off with a visit to Sligo County Hall, where the participants were welcomed by Cathaoirleach Councillor Margaret Gormley. They were invited into the Council Chamber, where they listened to addresses by the Cathaoirleach, Mr. Pat Ford, North Connaught Youth Services and Ms. Dorothy Clarke, Director of Community, Enterprise and the Arts.
Cllr. Gormley welcomed all the students to County Hall and she encouraged them to take the opportunity to let their voices be heard. She also stressed that young people can inject a different way of thinking and provide a fresh pair of eyes to the manner in which issues or problems are viewed. Pat Ford echoed the words of the Cathaoirleach and he spoke of the important value that initiatives such as Dáil na nÓg provide and how young peoples views are seriously considered at Oireachtas level.
Director of Services Dorothy Clarke thanked all schools and youth groups who took part, and said she was very encouraged to see so many willing participants. She also acknowledged the contribution of the Sligo County Development Board for their running of the event and invited those who were to be elected on the day to attend a meeting of the Board. She also expressed the possibility that one day some of the attendees would be back in the Chamber as elected members of the Council.
From County Hall, the next step led to St Anne’s Youth Centre where the group were split into four groups and each attended a workshop based on four topics: Sports, Drugs / Alcohol, New Communities and Education. The workshop included a talk from an expert on a chosen topic and an opportunity for discussion. The groups were then invited to provide feedback to the whole group on the results and recommendations from their workshops.
The final phase of the day was the elections. Each workshop group voted a member to go forward to Dáil na nÓg. Those elected now look forward to Croke Park in March.
Increase in NCT test fees
The Minister for Transport, Mr Martin Cullen TD has announced changes to the driving test. All candidates taking the driving test on or after 14th February 2005 will be expected to be familiar with basic technical checks on their vehicle, such as how oil levels should be checked. The second change applies to the type of vehicle that may be presented for the driving test and applies to trucks, buses and cars with trailers.
The Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Mr Ivor Callely TD announced increase NCT test fees. The revised fees apply from 1st March 2005. It will now cost €49 for a full NCT, €27.50 for a retest requiring the use of test equipment and €90 for a taxi suitability test.
N15 Public Consultation
Over 800 people attended the first series of public consultation meetings in October 2004, and over 250 submissions were received. Having examined the submissions, and considered the specialist environmental studies, Sligo County Council and the National Roads Authority are now proposing an ‘Emerging Preferred Route’. The new proposal is a combination of the four routes shown at the previous consultation.
Public consultation meetings are being held this week in Grange, Rathcormack and Cliffoney this week, and submissions will be accepted up to Friday 8th April 2005.
Proposed Improvements to Mullaghmore
Sligo County Council proposes to carry out improvements at Mullaghmore.
Drawings and documentation relating to the proposed works are available for inspection during office hours at Sligo County Council, Project Management, Kempten House, Kempten Promenade, Bridge Street, Sligo from Thursday 10th February 2005 - 11th March 2005.
The closing date for submissions and observations was 25th February 2005.
Sligo Pride of Place Competition 2005
This initiative is all about people working together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about the community and environment in which they live.
Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council have come together for the second year to reward and honour any community/area involved in projects which foster awareness and enhancement in the locale, promote civic pride and encourage community participation.
In order to ensure maximum participation in the competition three prize categories have been developed:
One entry per population category will be selected from Sligo for entry into the Co-operation Ireland National Pride of Place Competition.
The closing date for completed application forms was 1st March, 2005.
An Environmental Project entitled ‘Compost Doctors' was launched in February. The initiative is being run by Sligo County Council in conjunction with the Organic Centre, Rossinver and five secondary schools registered with the Green Schools Programme. Students representing St. Mary's College Ballisodare, Jesus & Mary Secondary School Enniscrone, Coola Vocational School, Colaiste Iascaigh and Corran College are becoming acquainted with the many benefits of composting. Over several sessions hosted in the Organic Centre, the aim is to provide the students with a comprehensive knowledge of the science of composting, different techniques, problem solving, and effective methods of sharing the information acquired.
New Playground on the way for Dromore-West
The Contract for Dromore West Playgroup will be signed on Monday next 7th March. The contract was awarded to Path Gate Ltd (Cavanagh Street Furniture), Co Tipperary and it is hoped the project will be completed by April 2005.
Children from West Sligo came together at Dromore West Community Centre last September and their ideas along with local play needs were incorporated into the design of this new playground.
Three Local Developers are offering their services voluntary and the local community made land available for the development of this facility which will be managed and operated by Sligo County Council.
This project is a model of best practice of partnership between the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government under the National Children’s Office Playground Grant Scheme, Sligo County Council and Local Community.
Works Continue on Sligo’s €4.7m Broadband Project
A €4.7m contract to provide 25km of broadband network around Sligo and immediate environs is well underway. The main works contractor, Morricom, commenced work on the project in November 2004, but confined their initial work to outlying areas of the city to avoid the pre-Christmas rush and new year sales period.
The Sligo Broadband Project consists of the construction of a modern metropolitan area telecommunications network (MAN) around Sligo City and its environs. This project represents an essential step in the ongoing long-term strategy to create a sustainable telecommunications infrastructure in the region. The project involves the construction of metropolitan dark fibre and ducting ring networks that will incorporate the city centre, all of the main business and technology parks, government buildings, as well as community sites such as educational institutions, hospitals and libraries.
The construction of the Sligo Broadband Network has reached a stage in the programme where works have commenced on certain streets in the City Centre. This stage of the construction will install the network in close proximity to the major business streets and individual buildings in the Sligo City.
Working hours and days in the city centre have been restricted in order to minimise disruption to the public, to business and to traffic flow. The major excavation works will generally be carried out between the hours of 6.30pm to 2.30am on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week. There will be diversions and lane restrictions in force to ensure the works are carried out in a safe and efficient manner.
2005 Cathaoirleach’s Awards Scheme
Cathaoirleach Councillor Margaret Gormley and the members of her committee will formally launch the 2005 Cathaoirleach’s Awards Scheme on Monday next, 7th March.
The scheme was devised to reward the many unsung heroes who have given special service to their community.
Joining Councillor Gormley on the committee are: Councillor Mary Barrett, Councillor Veronica Cawley, Councillor Sean MacManus, Councillor John Sherlock, Fergus MacNabb, Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council.
The scheme has proved very popular in recent years, and the Awards ceremony in County Hall has been very well attended. One feature of the scheme is that every person nominated for an award is presented with a special commemorative scroll at the ceremony.
The award categories are: Arts, Community, Environment, Schools, Sports. The Cathaoirleach noted that ‘The award categories encompass a wide area of voluntary activity, and I feel that there are many people throughout county Sligo who are fully deserving of an award. I would encourage people who hold someone in the community in high regard, to take ten minutes to complete a form and nominate them for an award.’
One change the committee has introduced to the current year’s scheme is that while awards will be made in the designated categories, there will be no ‘overall’ winner selected from the individual category winners.
The closing date for receipt of nominations is Friday 6th May 2005 and the Awards ceremony will be held in County Hall on Friday 27th May 2005.
Nomination forms and scheme details are available from: The Communications Office, Sligo County Council, Ph: 071 9156624 and will also be available on-line from the Council’s website at http://www.sligococo.ie
Ballymote Local Area Plan
There was a sizeable turnout in the Loftus Hall, Ballymote on Thursday last for a public consultation meeting on a Local Area Plan for Ballymote. It is hoped that the local community will take an active role in the preparation of the plan, and that interested groups and individuals will make submissions by the closing date of Wednesday, 9th March.
National Tree Week
To celebrate National Tree Week (6th-12th March 2005) Sligo County Council in conjunction with the Tree Council of Ireland, is making young native trees sapling available FREE to Community Groups for planting in public open spaces. Group must undertake to plant these saplings in a suitable public location, in their own locality during National Tree Week. Groups should contact the Environment Section, Sligo County Council at Tel: 071 9157443 to register their interest. Trees will be made available on a first come first serve basis.
This year, Sligo County Council would like to display photographs of your planting events. Please send the following information to Alice Reynolds, Unit 9 Cleveragh Business Park, Cleveragh, Sligo:
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