3 – Transportation and Infrastructure Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 3 Meeting (Planning Community and Economic Development, Arts and Culture) held at 11 am on 16th June, 2015 in the Council Chamber, City Hall, Quay Street, Sligo.


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • Councillor Sean MacManus (Chair),
  • Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady,
  • Councillor Hubert Keaney,
  • Councillor Seamus Kilgannon,
  • Councillor Sinead Maguire,
  • Councillor Marie Casserly,
  • Mr. Anthony Mc Cormack,
  • Ms. Rosaleen Doonan
  • Mr. Gerard Queenan.

 

OFFICIALS PRESENT:

  • Ms. Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services
  • Mr. John Reilly, Head of Enterprise
  • Ms. Dolores McDonagh, A/ Administrative Officer
  • Mr. Frank Moylan, A/Senior Planner
  • Ms. Janet McNamara, Administrative Officer

 

APOLOGIES:

  • Councillor Paul Taylor
  • Mr. Paul Keyes
  • Ms. Sue Mahon

 

ITEM NO 1: CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 27TH MARCH 2015

It was proposed by Mr. Anthony Mc Cormack, seconded by Mr. Gerard Queenan, and agreed, that “The minutes of the Strategic Policy Committee meeting held on 27th March, 2015, be confirmed.”

 

ITEM NO 2: MATTERS ARISING

There were no matters arising

 

ITEM NO 3: LOCAL ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY PLAN (LECP)

- Presentation and report on Economic elements of LECP

 

Councillor Sean Mc Manus complimented Ms. Clarke and staff on the amount of work undertaken in the compilation of the Draft Document and also acknowledged the input from the various groups.

Ms. Clarke in her presentation informed the members that this was the first time that there was a Strategic Economic Plan for the County which was enshrined in legislation, and which would enhance the Economy of the County going forward. She stated that the Draft document would go before the Municipal Authorities and the North Western Regional Assembly before being adopted by the full Council by December 2015.

She also stated that performance will be subject to examination and report by the National Oversight and Audit Committee (NOAC). Councillor Mac Manus acknowledged the comprehensive overview given by the Director and invited comments from the members. He then congratulated Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady on being elected the new mayor of Sligo County Council.

Councillor Sinead Maguire complimented Ms. Clarke and staff on the draft, stated she was familiar with same and put forward a proposal to adopt the draft as submitted. This was seconded by Councillor Hubert Keaney. In a response to a query from Councillor Keaney regarding the consultation process, Ms. Clarke stated that the consultation process would include the Municipal Districts.

The members conveyed their appreciation to Ms. Clarke and her team in the preparation and co-ordination of the document. Councillor Kilgannon stated that the proposed policies if implemented should be a boost to Sligo and referenced the potential for Sligo to become a centre of excellence for Technology and Precision Engineering. He emphasised the importance of the 3rd level colleges increasing their numbers in the area of skills.

Councillor O’Grady indicated that it provided a massive potential in the tourism sector and acknowledged the investment made by Sligo County Council in Knock Airport.

Mr. Queenan also referred to the lack of skills in the area of apprenticeships. He indicated that small farmers had lost financial support from Government arising from the number of obstacles put in their way to avail of grants. Mr. Antony Mc Cormack stated that focus should be placed on the area of apprenticeships and that Sligo County Council should lead the way. He acknowledged the benefits of Knock airport and the need for a fast track train from Sligo to Dublin, in order to attract foreign investment.

He recommended that the SPC adopt the Draft Plan and this was agreed by members present.

 

ITEM NO 4: APPOINTMENT OF 2 NO MEMBERS TO ADVISORY STEERING GROUP FOR LECP

Ms. Clarke indicated that the role of the steering group was to ensure that the economic and community elements of the plan are integrated and also to assist in the drafting adoption, and monitoring of the LECP.

The members were advised that Mr. Paul Keyes had indicated that he would be interested in working on the Advisory Steering Group, if agreed by the members.

It was proposed by Councillor O’ Grady and seconded by Councillor Seamus Kilgannon and agreed that Councillor Sinead Maguire be nominated to the Steering Group.

It was further proposed by Councillor Seamus Kilgannon and seconded by Councillor O’ Grady, and agreed that Mr. Paul Keys be appointed to the Steering Group.

Ms. Marie Casserly indicated that she wished to be considered for nomination. The members agreed that the nomination of an additional representative from the SPC would be put before the Advisory Steering Group for their consideration, and referred back to the next SPC meeting.

 

ITEM NO 5: BRIEF UPDATE ON LEO DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Reilly updated the members with regard to the Competitive Fund. He stated that Sligo was making two applications for funding under this scheme one under the food sector in association with Donegal and one with Mayo to help get small businesses exporting to USA.

The LEO is also heavily involved with colleagues in the border area LEOs in seeking funding for a programme for small businesses. He informed them that the LEO is also involved in a number of applications in education technology, ICT, manufacturing, green economy and tourism. Mr. Reilly stated that they were working with Ms. Gail Mc Gibbon and the city traders in helping to develop the Business Improvement District Scheme (BIDS) and were providing mentoring for the project. He also indicated that the European Enterprise Network will be operated by the LEOs. The network’s aim is to encourage business - to - business partnership throughout Europe.

A prize fund of up to €50,000 for Sligo’s Best Young Entrepreneur will also be available this year with the finalist going forward to the National Competitions. He also informed the members that he is working with Siro which aims to provide high speed broadband for Sligo.

Sligo has been included in one of the first ten towns to be provided with the infrastructure.

 

ITEM NO 6: TO NOTE THE COMMENCEMENT OF COUNTY DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW PROCESS

Mr. Moylan informed the members of the commencement of the County Development Plan Review Process. In response to a query from Councillor Hubert Keaney as to whether there would be many changes required to the existing plan, Mr. Moylan agreed that many of the existing policies and objectives remained relevant. However, the new plan would have to take into consideration any new department guidance introduced since the adoption of the last plan in 2010 including a possible new national planning framework to be introduced later this year which will replace the existing national spatial strategy. The new plan will also have to be consistent with the provisions of the LECP currently being prepared.

Mr. Moylan updated the members with regard to the Tubbercurry Local Area Plan. He indicated that 15 no submissions were received with regard to the Draft plan. The First Chief’s Executive report has been prepared, and will be placed on the Agenda for the July Meeting of the Municipal District of Ballymote / Tubbercurry.

He stated that on foot of submissions received, amendments are likely to be required which in some instances may include material alterations of the plan. This would therefore necessitate a further stage of public consultation.

 

ITEM NO 7: SLIGO AGE FRIENDLY PROGRAMME

Ms. Mc Donagh briefed the members with regard to the Sligo Age Friendly Programme. She stated that Sligo County Council was the lead organisation in the Age Friendly Alliance which was launched in February 2015. A series of public consultations were held throughout the county during February and March and it was anticipated that the process would be finalised by October when all the information would be recorded and compiled into a report for the Sligo Age Friendly Alliance. She informed them of the various aged friendly themes attached to the programme e.g. Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme, events held for Play Day and the Memories of the Dancehall project co-ordinated by Sligo Library Service. Ms. Mc Donagh indicated that during 2015 the Sligo Age Friendly Strategy will be developed together with the establishment of an Older Persons Council.

The members complimented Ms. Mc Donagh for the work she had put in to the programme and indicated that she had engaged very well with the agencies and groups visited. It was agreed by the members that everything developed should be age proofed.

Ms. Mc Donagh stated that from the feedback received, there was an issue with the Rural Lift Scheme. Mr. Queenan expressed surprise and he undertook to relay the message and consult with the Rural Lift Committee at its meeting. In discussions on the issue both Councillor O Grady and Ms. Dorothy Clarke were of the opinion that there was a lack of awareness about the scheme. Councillor O Grady indicated that while a Bus service is provided to Strandhill on the hour not all areas are covered by this service.

Members also discussed a programme in Co. Roscommon where the local community groups provide assistance to the emergency services through the use of GPS coordinates. Ms. Mc Donagh stated the Eircode may help in identifying particular addresses. Councillor Casserly informed members of the mentoring scheme available between Secondary schools and retired personnel in parts of Donegal under the Age Friendly Programme.

 

ITEM NO 8: TO FIX MEETING DATES

It was agreed that the next SPC3 Meeting would be held on Tuesday 8th September 2015.

 

ITEM NO 9: ANY OTHER BUSINESS

No other business

 

 

 


Meeting Date 16/06/2015