4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday 4th July 2002 at 3.00 pm in the Members Room, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo


COUNCILLORS PRESENT:

  • Councillor J. Leonard,
  • Councillor M. Barrett,
  • Councillor I. Fox,
  • Councillor J. Queenan,
  • Councillor B. Scanlon
  • Mr P. Davey, (Irish Congress of Trade Unions)
  • Ms S. Boles (Community/Voluntary/Disadvantaged)

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Mr T. Caffrey, Deputy County Manager
  • Ms M. McConnell, Acting Director of Services
  • Mr J. Gethin, Administrative Officer
  • Mr T. Rooney, Acting Administrative Officer
  • Ms R. Friel, Executive Engineer
  • Ms M. McDonagh, Public Art Co-Ordinator
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

CHAIRMAN:

  • Cllr J. Leonard presided as Chairman

CONFIRM MINUTES OF MEETING:

Proposed by Cllr I. Fox
Seconded by Cllr J. Queenan

AND AGREED

“that Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 Meeting held on 2nd April, 2002, be and are hereby approved”.

UPDATE IN RELATION TO PROPOSED NEW SLIGO BRANCH LIBRARY AND HEADQUARTERS, COUNTY SLIGO MUSEUM, NEW ARTS OFFICE AND NEW ARCHIVE:

A report in relation to update on the proposed project was circulated to the members with the agenda.  In response to queries from members Mr T. Caffrey, Deputy County Manager, indicated that purchase of  the properties necessary to secure the full site at the Mall was currently underway and the Council would be in a position to proceed to the next step when the legal transfers were completed and subject to available finances.  He also informed the members that the proposed completion date for the project is the end of 2004.  He informed the members that the S.P.C., Council and Borough Council would be kept up to date on progress.

Cllr Leonard agreed that the development was a hugely important project in terms of a “cultural corridor concept”.

Cllr J. Queenan sought clarification on the official opening of the Library in Enniscrone.  Mr T. Caffrey indicated there were outstanding issues to be resolved before the library would be opened which are expected to be resolved by October at the latest.

UPDATE IN RELATION TO DISABLED PERSONS GRANT AND ESSENTIAL REPAIR GRANT POLICIES:

A report in this matter dated 3rd July was circulated at the meeting.

Mr J. Gethin, A.O. indicated to members that the E.R. and D.P.G. policies were in place since early 2002 and were working well.  The numbers of applications for grants were increasing all the time he added.

In response to Cllr J. Queenan, Mr J. Gethin clarified that expenditure is within budget for the year.

Mr T. Caffrey indicated that borrowing to provide such grant aid is not sustainable in the long term and the grants issue will need to be addressed.

UPDATE IN RELATION TO HOUSING MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME:

A report in this matter dated 3rd July was circulated at the meeting.

Ms R. Friel, Executive Engineer, outlined the contents of the report and indicated that all works set out in the programme would be completed by the end of the year.

UPDATE IN RELATION TO HOMELESS STRATEGY:

A report in this regard dated 3rd July, 2002, was circulated to the members at the meeting. 

Cllr B. Scanlon spoke of the need to examine the measures currently in place for release of persons from prisons and other institutions, in particular, financial assistance given to them and what alternatives could be offered.  He stated that he was aware of circumstances where persons been released from Castlerea prison who were not from Sligo but had arrived in Sligo with no plans for accommodation.

Mr J. Gethin indicated that this item would be raised at the next Homeless Forum meeting.


DRAFT TENANT HANDBOOK:

The draft Tenant Handbook was circulated to the members with the agenda.

Mr T. Caffrey indicated that this item be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the S.P.C., indicating the need to talk to tenants regarding the Handbook before finalisation.

In this regard Mr Caffrey stated that Mr Damien Willis, Estate Manager, is working with a number of tenant associations in relation to issues that need to be included in the handbook.

Ms S. Boles pointed out that there was no policy on Social Inclusion Measures in the Handbook.

TO NOTE PROCESS IN RELATION TO NOMINATIONS TO THE PUBLIC ART STEERING GROUP:

Ms M. McDonagh, Public Art Co-ordinator outlined report which was circulated to the members with the agenda.

She indicated that the composition of the steering group would be as follows:

  • One member of the County Council
  • One member of the Borough Council
  • One representative from Sligo Leader Partnership
  • One representative from Directorate of Community & Enterprise
  • One artist
  • One representative from Sligo Institute of Technology Art Department
  • One representative from the Local Visual Arts Sector
  • The Borough Architect
  • One Staff Engineer
  • The Arts Office
  • The Public Arts Officer

Mr T. Caffrey indicated that no decision had to be made by the S.P.C.  in relation to the nominations to the Public Art Steering Group, it was for noting by the members and would be on the agenda for the full Council meeting on Monday, 8th July, 2002, for decision.

CORRESPONDENCE:

A letter dated 15th April, 2002, from Bernie Convey, Occupational Therapy Manager, North Western Health Board, with regard to the Disabled Persons Grant Process was circulated to the members with the agenda.

In reply to Cllr B. Scanlon, Mr Caffrey indicated that the delay in discussing the letter was due to the fact that there had not been an S.P.C. meeting since receipt of the letter.

Mr J. Gethin informed the members that the Health Board had expressed concerns about their limitations in assessing grants.

Mr T. Caffrey pointed out to the S.P.C. that there was high financial cost involved in the Health Board assessing disabled persons grants and that this issue was currently being examined.

END OF MEETING:

The meeting concluded at 4.50 p.m. and it and it was agreed that the date for the next meeting of the Committee would be fixed with the Chairman of the Committee.



Meeting Date 04/07/2002