Ballymote-Tobercurry Minutes 2016

Minutes of Meeting of The Municipal District of Ballymote-Tobercurry held on Monday 15th February, 2016 at 11am in Meeting Room 1, Teach Laighne, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo


COUNCILLORS PRESENT:

  • Councillor Martin Baker
  • Councillor Michael Clarke
  • Councillor Margaret Gormley
  • Councillor Jerry Lundy
  • Councillor Dara Mulvey
  • Councillor Joe Queenan
  • Councillor Eamonn Scanlon
  • Councillor Paul Taylor (chair)

 

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Mr. Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive
  • Ms. Marie Whelan, Head of Finance
  • Ms. Margaret McConnell, Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr. Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services
  • Mr. Tom Brennan, Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr. Frank Moylan, Senior Executive Engineer
  • Ms. Lorraine Fitzgerald, Staff Officer

 

APOLOGIES:

No apologies

CATHAOIRLEACH:

The Cathaoirleach Councillor P. Taylor presided.

REPRESENTATION BY MEMBERS OF ACHONRY ACTION GROUP, Mr. Tony Hession & Fr. Paul Kivlehan

Proposed by Councillor M. Gormley
Seconded by Councillor M. Clarke

It was proposed by Cllr Gormley proposed, seconded by Cllr Clarke and agreed to suspend Standing Orders in order to hear a presentation from the Achonry Action Group regarding the proposed closure of the butter packing facility in Achonry.

Tony Hession of the Action presented a detailed background to the proposal and its likely impact on the local community. He stated that the Action Group are not enemies of Aurivo, but are friends of the Co-Op and only want the plant to further succeed. He acknowledged the huge local support the company receive in terms of sale of product and the damage that would be done to the local community and businesses in terms of fallout for shops, schools, sports clubs, etc.

Cllr Taylor thanked the representatives of the Action Group and added his view in terms of this being a very important issue and he would urge people to be at any of the public meetings that are taking place and joined with all Councillors in offering his support to the Group.

 

1. MINUTES OF MEETING OF MUNICIPAL DISTRICT OF BALLYMOTE-TOBERCURRY HELD ON 21st DECEMBER, 2015:

Proposed by Councillor E. Scanlon
Seconded by Councillor J. Lundy

AND AGREED

“To confirm the minutes of the Municipal District of Ballymote-Tobercurry dated 21st December, 2015”

2. MATTERS ARISING

In response to a query in respect of Connolly Park, Ms. Margaret McConnell undertook to research issues around completion of the estate and revert to Cllr. Gormley. Cllr Gormley called on the Minister for Housing to make the necessary funds available to complete Connolly Park Estate, Tubbercurry.

4. GARDA STATION TUBBERCURRY

Chief Superintendent Michael Clancy thanked the Members for the opportunity to attend and stated that he and Inspector Padraig Burke were delighted to be available for questions. Various issues were raised including:

  • reduced opening hours leading to an increase in the crime rate in Tubbercurry
  • reduction in personnel
  • a 24 hour presence at the Station required which would be a clear deterrent against crime
  • disappointment about the closure of other Stations, e.g. Aclare
  • residents in West Sligo feel very vulnerable, with response times being a concern
  • deployment of required resources

 

In response to the issues raised, Chief Superintendent Clancy advised the meeting to the following effect:

  • due to the moratorium on recruiting and cut-backs, manpower is an issue, however there are five new trainees coming through and when they are trained, this will release Gardai from Sligo
  • crime rates in County Sligo have decreased in numbers over the past five years and the calls currently to the Station would not merit opening on a 24 hour basis
  • at present the Station is not fit for modern purpose and there is a plan in relation to improvement works with €40,000 being made available for interim works on the building
  • In relation to the closure of Aclare Station apart from the Traffic and Regional Support Units, there have been unfortunately only been redeployments in recent years
  • regarding response times, the Gardai in Ballina have responded and given assistance to incidents in Enniscrone and West Sligo
  • filling positions made vacant by retirements is envisaged once the Gardai are available to fill them. The increase of personnel for Operation Thor will benefit the area regarding allocations in the medium to long term
  • Community policing meetings have been very positive and many problems have been dealt with at local level
  • pleased to hear positive feed-back about the text alert system
  • significant funding is being invested in Pulse and ICT
  • portacabins would only be used as accommodation in Tubbercurry while works were being carried out on the station

 

Chief Executive Ciaran Hayes thanked Michael and Padraig for their time, openness and comprehensive replies and wanted it put on record that the relationship with the County Council and Gardai be acknowledged in this forum.

Cllr Taylor thanked the speakers for their contribution to a very important discussion.

5. TO NOTE UPDATE ON INCOME TASK FORCE

Marie Whelan gave a full and detailed presentation of her report on revenue collection percentages for housing loans, housing rents and commercial rates to the end of 2015.

Ms. Whelan went through the various initiatives and strategies that have been introduced nationally and our responses to same, including the establishment of our Income Task Force. It was explained the background and situation in relation to arrears and the loss of Revenue Collectors has proved an added difficulty in this area. Sligo County Council has been successful in 2015 in relation to our rates collection and all breakdowns are contained within the report. 

The Chief Executive stated that for a number of years, Sligo’s collection rate has been coming to the attention of national Government for all of the wrong reasons. Our collections were the lowest nationally in a lot of cases and due to the hard work of the staff involved, we have now turned the percentage of collection around. Where there has been a loss, we have turned this around with a workforce that is 35% down in staff numbers and this gives an indication of just what really has been achieved.

Councillors acknowledged the excellent work being carried out by Marie Whelan and her team 

The Chief Executive informed the meeting that the staff numbers are down by 34% at present and will be down by 265 which is 42% in 2019. Every section will be different across the board and this is the basis of the financial plan. We are looking at every possibility to increase our productivity and we have 35 more staff about to go.

Councillors queried the pressure on indoor and outdoor staff to maintain a level of service with fewer resources. The Chief Executive made the point that the staff have taken on more responsibility.

Cllr Taylor thanked Marie Whelan and acknowledged the work being done by the staff.

17. WORK ON MOUNTAIN ROAD CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REDZ

With the agreement of the Members, The Cathaoirleach proceeded to take agenda item No. 17 at this point:

Proposed by Councillor J. Lundy
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“That the Council to work in partnership with the REDZ Committee to have the Children’s playground on the Mountain Road in Tubbercurry reopened as a matter of urgency, as it is falling into total disrepair and
is an eyesore in the community 

In response Ms. Margaret McConnell informed the meeting that the REDZ Programme is implemented by way of a Steering Committee with representatives from SCC and Tubbercurry Chamber of Commerce. The REDZ Steering Committee itself as a non corporate entity would not be the appropriate vehicle to provide or maintain playgrounds.

The Council no longer gets involved in the provision of new playgrounds or the taking over of existing playgrounds. Tubbercurry Playground was provided and maintained by Family Resource Centre and they may best be able to advise on future operation, management and maintenance. The primary objective of the REDZ project is economic development with a particular focus on the creation of local employment; the REDZ Steering Committee was established with the remit of rolling out a specific programme which was tailored toward these objectives. The 
REDZ project, which is currently underway, has expended the entirety of its capital funding allocation.

 

5. SURFACE WATER ON ROAD L-6804-0 AT ROCKFIELD, COOLANEY

Proposed by Councillor D. Mulvey
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“To ask Sligo County Council to address the issue of surface water on road L-6804-0 at Rockfield, Coolaney, as residents are having difficulty accessing their homes with the large volume of water lodging on this section of road.”

In response Mr. Tom Kilfeather advised the meeting that the Area Engineer will inspect this location and report on the situation.

6. FUNDING TO DEAL WITH STORM DAMAGE TO LOCAL COUNTY ROADS

Proposed by Councillor E. Scanlon
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“To ensure that Sligo County Council apply to the Department of the Environment for sufficient funds to ensure that there is ample funding to deal with the serious damage that has been caused by recent storms to our local county road”

Mr. Kilfeather advised the meeting that There has been serious damage done to the road network due to the
severe weather encountered since December, 2015. Sligo County Council was allocated a grant of €297,000 by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government in respect of clean up costs relating to the severe weather before Christmas 2015.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have allocated €106m for the country for road repair works following the recent storm and flood damage. Sligo County Council made an initial application for funding on 5th February, 2016 and a further application for additional funding was made on 10th February, 2016.

Mr. Kilfeather advised the meeting that the most recent focus of the Area Engineers has been in relation to submissions made to the Department of Transport for funding for repair, planning and flood drainage. A submission has been made for €4.3million and a further €347k in relation to national roads. It is also planned to make another
submission for €3.5million to fund local and regional roads and it is hoped that an early allocation of the monies will be given to Local Authorities. A huge amount of energy had had to go into making these submissions since the beginning of December in the hope of getting as much funding as possible from the allocations. These monies would not form part of the 2016 Roads Programme monies.

Regarding the Ballymote area, the meeting was informed that we are trying to move staff on a temporary basis to alleviate the current shortage. Staff in all areas are trying to do the best they can but the numbers are simply not there at the moment.

In relation to the velocity patcher, the cost of the machine is €250k and if we were in a position to acquire another one we would do so. 

Mr Kilfeather told the meeting that it is planned that the Road Works Programme be adopted and agreed by the week of the 15th March. The Department have asked for comprehensive details and when we get the amount of allocation we will see what we can accomplish with it and can then fight about it.

The Chief Executive advised that a date would be agreed the week of the 21st March.

Cllr Gormley thanked Mr. Kilfeather for the report.

7. DEVELOPMENT IN CAR-PARK OF THE DIAMOND COAST HOTEL, ENNISCRONE

Proposed by Councillor J. Queenan
Seconded by Councillor M. Clarke

AND AGREED

“To ask the Enforcement Staff of Sligo County Council if they are satisfied that development in the car-park of the Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone complies with all Planning Regulations”. 

An Enforcement Notice was served on the reputed owners of the land at the car park of the Diamond Coast Hotel in respect of the erection of wooden fencing at a height that is not exempted development. We have requested the reputed owners to remove the fencing and to restore the land to the condition it was in prior to the erection of the
fencing. A period of four weeks has been given to comply with the notice. We understand that the fence may relate to an on-going dispute between landowners and the receiver of the Diamond Coast Hotel.

Mr. Frank Moylan, Senior Executive Planner stated that the Enforcement Section is dealing with this matter.

8. OUTLINE OF FUNDING ALLOCATED BY DEPARTMENT TOWARDS ROADS FOR 2016

Proposed by Councillor J. Queenan
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“That improvement works be carried out on bridge at the junction of road 429/429A Moylough”.

Sligo County Council has received a total 2016 grant allocation towards Non-National Roads of €7,809,145.

The main grant categories for the strengthening, repair and maintenance of non-national roads are as follows:

Restoration Improvement €4,015,676
Restoration Maintenance €1,130,327
Discretionary Grant €1,864,642

These grants total €7,010,645 and the Department of Transport insist that at least 15% of the RI and RM Grants is spent on Regional Roads leaving approximately €5,960,000 for Class 1, 2 & 3 local roads in County Sligo. Note that there are approximately 2,500km of local roads in County Sligo.

The proposed allocation and distribution of these roads funds will be presented to Municipal District members for approval as part of the 2016 Schedule of Municipal District Works.

9. FUNDING TO RAISE HEIGHT OF WALL ON CLIFF ROAD, ENNISCRONE

Proposed by Councillor J. Queenan
Seconded by Councillor M. Clarke

AND AGREED

“Ask the Director of Services to allocate funding for raising the height of wall along the sea front where new footpath was constructed on Cliff Road, Enniscrone.”

Mr. Tom Kilfeather Director of Services advised that Sligo County Council recently secured a Department of Environment grant of €90,000 to carry out repairs to this wall due to damage caused by the severe storms of January and February 2014. It is envisaged that adjustments to the height of this wall can be incorporated
into these repair works and also in conjunction with the completion of the new footpath works which commenced in 2015.

Cllr. Queenan thanked Mr. Kilfeather for his report.

10. IMPROVEMENT WORKS TO BATTLEFIELD ROAD, CULFADDA.

Proposed by Councillor M. Gormley
Seconded by Councillor P. Taylor

AND AGREED

“Due to the dangerous condition of the Battlefield road, Culfadda where part of it has slipped in I am calling on the Council to have improvement works carried out to it at the earliest possible time in the interest of safety”.

Cllr Taylor added his support to this motion stating that the road is in a very dangerous condition at the moment.

Mr. Kilfeather read the report of the Senior Engineer which stated that a submission for funding to allow this repair works to be undertaken has been made to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport under the Severe Weather Allocation as announced in late January 2106. Sligo County Council hopes this application will be successful. With the co-operation of the adjoining landowner and the completion of a detailed design, it is envisaged works will commence in late April or early May subject to funding being available.

11. CLEANING OF AMBER LIGHTS IN TUBBERCURRY

Proposed by Councillor D. Mulvey
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“To ask Sligo County Council to arrange to get amber flashing lights cleaned at the pedestrian crossing Main Street, Tubbercurry in the interest of safety as they are not visible to motorists”. 

Mr. Tom Kilfeather informed the meeting that the location will be inspected by the Local Area Engineer and any maintenance works required will be undertaken.

12. UPDATE ON TRAFFIC EXITING ONTO L1502 FROM COLAISTE MUIRE SECONDARY SCHOOL, BALLYMOTE

Proposed by Councillor D. Mulvey
Seconded by Councillor E. Scanlon

AND AGREED

“To ask Sligo County Council has there been any update on the issue of safety for traffic exiting on to L1502 from Colaiste Muire Secondary School, Ballymote”.

Mr. Tom Kilfeather advised the meeting that this matter will be investigated by the Area Engineer.

13. UPDATE ON REPLACEMENT OF CAST IRON PIPE SERVISE HOUSES IN THE KEASH AREA

Proposed by Councillor M. Gormley
Seconded by Councillor E. Scanlon

AND AGREED

“To ask for the up-to-date position on when the replacement of the cast iron pipe serving 23 houses which are on a boiled notice since last May in the Keash area( Ardsallagh to Feenaghroe) will be replaced”

Mr. Tom Kilfeather informed the meeting that the Council is still awaiting a response back from Irish Water, adding that he does not see why there is a delay and will issue the response as soon as it is available.

15. CALL ON EIR TO REMOVE/RELOCATE ALL DANGEROUS EIRCOM POLES IN COUNTY SLIGO

With the agreement of the meeting, this item was deferred until the next meeting.

16. TAKING IN CHARGE OF MEADOWBROOK ESTATE, TUBBERCURRY

With the agreement of the meeting, this item was deferred until the next meeting.

18. REPAIRS TO SURFACE WATER DRAINS AT MONASTERADEN AND ROAD REPAIRS AT TAWNYMULAGH

Proposed by Councillor P. Taylor
Seconded by Councillor M. Gormley

AND AGREED

“To ask Sligo Co. Council to carry out repairs to surface water drains at Monasteraden. Also to carry out repairs to road at Tawnymucklagh due to damage caused by blockage in said drains.

This is fast becoming a health & safety issue as the entrance to the road is collapsing due to blockage in drains”.
Mr. Kilfeather informed the meeting that this matter will be investigated but unfortunately the repair to this private road is a matter for the user / residents.

Cllr Taylor understood that it is a private road, but there are 8 houses on the road and three are children walking to school using the road. There is about 80 metres to be resurfaced and the issue is that as the cause of the collapse is to do with drains, perhaps it could be looked at.

19. CORRESPONDENCE

a) Letter dated 23rd October, 2015 from the Department of Justice
and Equality
b) Letter dated 6th January, 2016 from the Office of the Taoiseach
c) Letter dated 18th January, 2016 from the Department of Justice
and Equality

20. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Councillors were asked to let Donal Tinney know which schools they were giving their banners to.

 

In conclusion, the Cathaoirleach thanked all for attending. The business of the meeting ended at 2.30 pm.

Download  Minutes of Municipal District Ballymote-Tobercurry 15th February 2016 (PDF) - 142 kbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Meeting Date 15/02/2016