4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 3rd November, 2005, at 3.45 pm in the Council Chamber, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • Councillor Queenan,
  • Councillor M. Baker,
  • Councillor I. Henry,
  • Councillor J. Leonard, 
  • Councillor C. MacManus,
  • G. Creamer,
  • F. Brannigan,
  • C. Fitzgerald


APOLOGIES:

  • Apologies were received from S. Boles

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Mr T. Caffrey, Deputy County Manager
  • Mr J. Owens, Senior Executive Engineer 
  • Mr T. Rooney, Administrative Officer
  • Ms J. Burns, Senior Staff Officer
  • MS Rhona F. McGrath, Volunteer Programme Development Officer
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 22nd SEPTEMBER 2005:

Proposed by Cllr M. Baker
Seconded by Cllr C. MacManus

AND AGREED

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 22nd September, 2005, be and are hereby approved.”

At the outset of the meeting Mr T. Caffrey, Deputy County Manager advised the members that a grant of €6.38m had been allocated by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government towards the Library Development Programme.

PRESENTATION BY SAFE-HOME PROGRAMME LTD:

Cllr J. Queenan welcomed Ms Maureen Higgins, from the Safe-Home Programme to the meeting.
Ms Higgins thanked the members for the opportunity to make them aware of the work of the Safe-Home Programme in assisting elderly Irish emigrants to return home to live out their remaining years in Ireland.

Following on from Ms Higgins presentation, Mr T. Caffrey advised that he would welcome discussions with the Safe-Home Programme.

Ms Higgins advised members that under the amendment to the Capital Assistance Scheme up to a further 25% of accommodation in a project can be made available for allocation to emigrants returning to this country from abroad.

PRESENTATION BY RHONA F. McGRATH ON SLIGO VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME:

Rhona F. McGrath gave a presentation on the Sligo Volunteer Programme to SPC 4 members.

Ms McGrath outlined the key tasks and deliverables of the Volunteer Programme Development Officer and also outlined the functions of the Volunteer Bureau.

Cllr J. Queenan thanked Ms McGrath for her presentation and complimented her on the project.

HOUSING MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME:

A report on this item was circulated to the members with the agenda. 

Mr T. Caffrey advised the members that the housing maintenance and improvement budget for 2005 is €482,000 with €387,500 being spent directly on the repair and upkeep of the Council’s stock of 833 houses.  He also indicated that the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local provides a Central Heating Grant Scheme whereby 80% funding is made available to Local Authorities and the Council funds the 20% contribution.

In response to Mr Frankie Brannigan, Mr John Owens, Senior Executive Engineer, advised that central heating had been installed in the majority of Council houses with a further 36 installations planned for next year.

In response to Cllr Chris MacManus, Mr T. Rooney, Administrative Officer, advised that the Borough Council are investigating the possibility of introducing a Planned Maintenance Programme.

In response to Cllr I. Henry, Mr T. Rooney stated that a Contractor will be appointed within the next six weeks for repair to house at Heather View.

NOMINATION TO DISABILITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE:

It was

Proposed by Cllr M. Baker
Seconded by Cllr J. Leonard

and agreed

“that Cllr Imelda Henry would sit on the Disability Consultative Committee”.

SOCIAL AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACTION PLAN 2004-2008:

Mr T. Caffrey advised members in relation to progress to date on the Action Plan.  It was also noted in relation to the Borough Council that it was proving difficult in acquiring suitable land to meet their five year objective.  However, every effort will be made in this regard.

FIX DATE FOR NEXT MEETING:

It was agreed that the next SPC 4 meeting will be held on the third or fourth week in January.


The meeting concluded at 4.55 pm


Meeting Date 03/11/2005