4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development
Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Wednesday, 5th December, 2012 at 11.00am in The Training Room, Sligo County Council, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo
- Councillor G. Mullaney,
- Councillor M. Fleming
- J. McDonagh,
- H. Rochford Brennan,
- T. McDaid
OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:
- Ms. D. Clarke, Director of Services
- Ms. O. Campbell, A/Housing Officer
- Ms. S. Malone, Asst. Staff Officer
- J. Leonard, J. Queenan
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 6 SEPTEMBER 2012:
Proposed by Councillor Michael Fleming
Seconded by Joe Mc Donagh
“That minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 6th September 2012, be and are hereby approved.
MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES:
Mr Trevor McDaid requested an update on the proposal for the new Library facility. The Director of Services advised that no response had yet been received from An Chomhairle Leabharlanna following Sligo County Council’s submission in August.
ANNUAL REPORT FOR DISABILITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE:
A Report was circulated on this item with the agenda. Mr Joe McDonagh stated that a number of changes had occurred in the membership of the Committee during the year. Ms Helen Rochford Brennan indicated that Mr Marcus Hufsky, Irish Wheelchair Association would be an asset to the Committee and Mr McDonagh concurred with this.
APPROVAL OF DISABILITY CONSULATIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Proposed by Helen Rochford Brennan
Seconded by Joe McDonagh
“To note the minutes of the Disability Consultative Committee minutes dated 12th July, 2012”.
TUBBERCURRY COMMUNITY LIBRARY EURO DIRECT INFO CENTRE:
A report on this item was circulated to the Members with the agenda. The Director of Services advised Members that Sligo County Council put forward an application for a Euro Direct Information Centre which would cover the counties of Sligo Mayo and Leitrim and their application had been successful.
The funding for the EDIC will be €25,000 for a period of four years from 2013 to 2017. This funding allows for staff costs and the provision of a programme of events and activities to promote the EU in the region. The location for this Centre is the One Shop Shop in Tubbercurry.
Councillor Fleming welcomed this Centre for the One Stop Shop in Tubbercurry and complimented the County Librarian for achieving this Centre.
Mr McDonagh stated he had read and was upset to hear that there would be no book allocation for next year. In reply the Director of Services advised that no decision had been made on this as the Budget 2013 had not been passed at this stage, she further stated that Sligo County Council were in a very difficult financial position.
The Director advised Members that due to structural damage to the Central Library it was necessary to close the building due to Health and Safety reasons. She further stated that moves were afoot to limit the length of time it would be closed.
Mr McDonagh complimented the staff in the Library as he was due to attend the Library on Tuesday morning and was rang promptly in the morning to state it would not be open.
CORRESPONDENCE LETTER FROM ASH IRELAND:
A copy of this letter was circulated with the agenda.
The Director advised that at present there is no policy regarding smoking in playgrounds as there were very few Council owned playgrounds the majority were community owned.
Councillor Fleming that it would be difficult to enforce this and to appeal for people’s co-operation not to smoke. Ms Rochford Brennan stated that signage asking people not to smoke would be helpful.
UPDATE ON HOMELESSNESS:
The Director advised Members that as they were aware that Sligo County Council was appointed by the Minister as “lead authority” for the North West Region and was tasked with the co-ordination and establishment of the Management Group and North West Joint Homelessness Consultative
Forum in concurrence with the Council’s of Donegal and Leitrim. She advised that at the request of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government the North West Regional has commissioned the carrying out of an independent review of its homeless services. She further advised that the Department has proposed that the management and responsibility for the homeless budget will be devolved locally to lead authorities. In this regard, Sligo County Council would have overall responsibility for the delegated homeless budget for the North West Region and would be responsible for ensuring in year management of same. The details of this delegated mechanism for funding homelessness in the region have yet to be discussed and clarified with the Department with a view to implementation during 2013.
Mr McDonagh stated that the Simon Community NW were shocked at the number of people using their services and asked if there was any way that homeless persons could be sought out if they would not come forward for help. In reply the Acting Housing Officer stated that Housing would not actively seek out homeless persons, but if they presented themselves they would be accommodated.
STRATEGY FOR SEVERE WEATHER:
A report on this item was circulated with the agenda. In response to Mr McDonagh, the Director advised that strategy for severe weather does include flooding. Mr McDonagh advised that he had particular concern with regard to maintenance of storm drains, they were in severe danger of flooding on Chapel Street. Mr McDonagh forwarded report on this matter to the Director who would contact the relevant person in this regard.
TENANT PURCHASE SCHEME:
The Acting Housing Officer outlined the changes to the Tenant Purchase Scheme and advised members that under the 1995 Tenant Purchase Scheme, the last day for applying for this scheme is 31st December, 2012. This also applies to the 2011 Tenant Purchase Scheme. The Acting Housing Officer also advised that a new Incremental Purchase Scheme was to be put in place and this was expected to start in mid 2013.
The Director of Services advised Members that the offices were closing for Christmas at 5 pm on Friday 21st December, 2012 and re-opening at 9 am on 31st December, 2012.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Ms Helen Rochford Brennan advised members that she was resigning from the SPC 4 Committee on health grounds. She thanked the Committee for their support over the years. The Committee members wished her every success in the future.
Following a query from Councillor Fleming, the Director of Services advised that a meeting was held in November regarding Connolly Park with the Department and another submission is currently being prepared and the proposal was to ensure that Connolly Park was finished off properly.
The meeting concluded at 12.50 pm
Meeting Date 05/12/2012