Results of Awards Ceremony held Friday 28th May in County Hall..
Environment & Heritage
The newly published Sligo & Environs Development plan is arguably the most importation publication produced by the Sligo Local Authorities in recent years. The Plan was adopted by Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council on 8th December 2003 and was published earlier this month. The Plan is set out in three key sections:
Sligo County Council’s Draft Development Plan 2005-2010 is currently on display in public offices as part of a public consultation process. The Plan sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the county, and provides for ‘mini-plans’ in the villages of Ballisodare, Collooney and Grange.
The closing date for submissions on the draft plan is Friday 23rd July 2004.
A Local Area Plan for Enniscrone was adopted by Sligo Council in March 2004. It was produced in conjunction with the National Building Agency, and covers the period 2004-2010.
The plan will ‘bring a cohesive and rational structure to the development of Enniscrone. The main objectives will focus on improving the residential land supply, commercial fabric and tourism product of the town.’
The Area Plan will guide and regulate development through land use zoning measures, planning polices and development objectives.
Copies of the Sligo & Environs Plan and the Enniscrone Area Plan are available for inspection or purchase in the Planning Section, Sligo County Council
Community groups from around the county attended the Sligo Pride of Place awards in County Hall on Monday 17th May. The scheme is was administered locally by the Community and Enterprise Office, and is aimed at encouraging communities to take an active role in fostering or restoring a sense of pride in their areas.
The award winners were..
Category 1 (Population up to 1000)
Riverstown Enterprise Development (Sligo) Ltd
Category 2 (Population between 1000 and 2000)
Ballymote Family Resource Centre
Category 3 (Population between 2000 and 10,000)
Ballinode Residents Association
The awards were presented by the Cathaoirleach Councillor Joe Cawley and the Mayor Alderman Sean MacManus
April and May saw two of the projects from the Community and Enterprise section taking to the road. Sligo Connections, the Cross Border Project, and Sligo Community Forum, the community voice that works with the council, hosted a number of information evenings around the county. They visited Tubbercurry, Dromore West, Grange, Ballysadare and Sligo Town. The information evenings were very positively received and although the good weather effected the turn out the people present brought with them a very comprehensive understanding of what the two projects have to offer local communities.
Conor Fitzgerald (Cross Border Worker) and Jennifer Murphy (Policy worker with the Community Forum) designed the evening information sessions in order to let local communities know what services and work that the two projects can do for the local areas. They feel that the evenings helped the community groups within the county to better understand the role of each project and how they can support them.
The Sligo Connections Project was started in 1999 and is part of the Omagh Sligo Partnership. Its aim is to support the establishment of Cross Border links between community groups in Sligo and Northern Ireland. The Project currently has seventy plus groups from all over Northern Ireland requesting links with community groups in the Sligo area. These groups are involved in a range of activities from Active aged groups, Youth groups, Special interest groups like history, Arts and Culture, sporting groups and general community groups. The project also presented a number of awards to local people who undertook a successful training course in both Cross Border exchanges and in the training the trainers programme.
Established in 1999 Sligo County Community Forum is a representative body comprising of 17 elected representatives from the local community and voluntary sector. With a registered membership of over 380 community groups, the Forum acts as a network to enable community & voluntary sector to meet and address common issues and concerns of the sector and represent those views at a county level.
Jennifer, on behalf of the Community Forum held a very successful information evening on the Proposed Changes to Charities Legislation which is contained in the Governments Consultation paper “Establishing a Modern Statutory Framework for Charities”. Community groups from all over the county were presented with a comprehensive presentation which outlined the main proposals and the implications for the Community & Voluntary sector. Groups also had the opportunity to have their views and concerns recorded on the night and will be submitted to the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs before the consultation period ends on May 28th. The Community Forum is submitting a position paper to the Department on the proposed changes.
A reception is being held for Councillor ‘Boxer’ Conlon and Councillor Leo Conlon to mark their retirement from political life. Both Councillors were first elected to Sligo County Council in 1979, and would go on to serve terms as Cathaoirleach.
The reception will be held in Niall McDermott’s, Riverstown on Tuesday 15th June. Staff wishing to attend should contact the Communications Office for details @ 071-9156624
A letter to the Irish Times this month from a Dublin reader is generous in its praise for the Vogler Spring Festival. Under the heading ‘Vogler Spring Festival scores again in Sligo’ the writer notes ‘There is not in this wide world a music festival to compare with the Vogler Spring Festival at St. Columba’s Church in Drumcliffe. Here, at the foot of Benbulben, renowned musicians present chamber music for four days. We had day and evening performances in piano, wind and stringed instruments. Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all concerned for a sumptuous feat of music.’
Bordertrek is now established as one of the most popular and well-organised events in the Irish cycling calendar. It is scheduled to take part on the 26th and 27th of June this year. This event is co-ordinated by co-operation Ireland with assistance from six Local Authorities, two regional tourism organisations and also secures support from the Sports Council for Northern Ireland.
Bordertrek success in raising funds in support of peace building programmes for young people is remarkable. The cycle, which covers 200 miles over 2 days, has attracted over 7000 participants to the North West
“Your participation and the funds you raise from your friends and family, make these activities possible” Tony Kennedy, Chief Executive, Co-operation Ireland
A Coffee Morning was held in Kempten House on Thursday 13th May, 2004 in aid of People in Need. It was very well supported and the sum of €330.00 was raised
The Chief Executive of the National Roads Authority Michael Tobin claims that roads funding will ‘take off’ in the BMW Region in the current year. Mr Tobin acknowledged that the mid-term review of the National Development Plan revealed that funding for roads in the BMW Region was behind target, but noted that ‘redress’ would begin with €300 million being spent on 17 road programmes. In addition to the Sligo Inner Relief Road, other major Roads Programmes in the BMW Region are the Dundalk dual carriageway, phase one of the Monaghan Town bypass and the bypass of Cavan Town.
The Director-General of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Mary Kelly, said its new Office of Environmental Enforcement will tackle the problem of the illegal cross-border waste trade. Dr Kelly maintains that the new office will also take action against ‘illegal dumpers’ in other parts of the country.
Other issues that were discussed at the launch of EPA’s ‘Third review of the environment’ were -
Water charges… the EPA feels that the reintroduction of domestic water charges would be a ‘powerful tool’ to reduce our high consumption of water. Figures produced by the EPA show that per capita water consumption in Ireland is 370 litres per day, compared to an EU average of 200 litres per day.
Septic tanks.. Ireland has an estimated 400,000 septic tanks dealing with 50 million gallons of effluent every day and the EPA warn that they represent ‘a huge threat to groundwater’ - they stress the need to ensure all septic tanks are properly installed and maintained.
Vehicle pollution. The EPA’s review identifies pollution from road traffic as ‘the primary threat to the quality of air in Ireland, and jeopardise our prospects of meeting our commitment to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
This regular article will bring you news and events from Local Authorities from around the Country.
In an update on the voting scandal in Carlow, Garda have visited all those improperly registered to vote for the 2004 elections.
In recent months it came to light that some people were improperly registered in the Carlow area with a view to voting for certain candidates.
If those who are improperly registered have not removed their names before the deadline they could face prosecution, this can carry a six month prison sentence.
More than 30 housing applicants will be refused planning permission after the majority of councillors ignored a request to return to the County Council’s monthly meeting to debate their Section 140 applications.
There was a total of 36 applicants scheduled to be dealt with. Of these only three were finalised before an adjournment for lunch, with councillors being told that the remaining 33 would be debated in the afternoon session.
To be passed a Section 140 must be supported by two-thirds majority of the Council, which means that at least 20 members must be present while it is being discussed.
However, in the afternoon, there were rarely any more that 10 councillors present at any one time, with a mere six public representatives remaining in the chamber at one point, leading to the meeting concluding without the Sections 140’s being discussed.
With all of he 33 Section 40 applications expected to be heard before June 3rd, and the first meeting of the new post-election council scheduled for June 25th, a decision on the planning applications will be taken with out their merits having been debated in the chamber.