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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL 

Minutes of Monthly Meeting

held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 22 December 2008 at

Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

 

Members Present: Councillor S Griffin (Mayor); Councillors P Black, F Browne, K Byrne,

W Callaghan, G Conway, M Dalton, L Doyle, S Doyle, F Dukes,

D Fitzpatrick, M Glennon, R Hendy, G W Hillis, P Kelly, T McEvoy,

J McGinley, P MacNamara, M Miley, C Murphy, M Nolan, F O’Loughlin, J J Power, K Ridge and B Weld.

 

Also Present:           Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs J Lahart, P Minnock,

E O’Sullivan, D Page and T Skehan (Directors of Services),

C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

 

_________________________

 

1/1208

Confirmation of Minutes

The council considered the minutes of the special meeting held on 10 November 2008.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor S Doyle, that the minutes of the special meeting held on 10 November 2008 be confirmed and taken as read.

 

The council considered the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 24 November 2008, together with the progress report.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Weld, seconded by Councillor Hillis, that the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 24 November 2008 be confirmed and taken as read.

 

 

2/1208

Committee Minutes

 

The Council considered the committee minutes which had been circulated with the agenda.

 

Athy Area – 8 September 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hendy, seconded by Councillor Hillis, that the minutes be noted.

 

Clane Area – 11 November 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Weld, seconded by Councillor L Doyle, that the minutes be noted.

 

Celbridge Area – 17 November 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Byrne, seconded by Councillor Ridge, that the minutes be noted.

 

Kildare Area – 5 November 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor S Doyle, seconded by Councillor Black, that the minutes be noted.


Leixlip Area – 17 October 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Murphy, that the minutes be noted.


Naas Area – 7 October 2008

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor Glennon, that the minutes be noted.

 

3/1208

Disposal of land


0.0325 hectares at Newbridge

The council considered statutory notice dated 28 November 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.0325 hectares at Newbridge, Co Kildare to The Newbridge Cutlery Company, by way of lease, in consideration of payment of nominal rent of €10.00 per annum and subject to the following conditions:

§                Disposal to be by way of lease in accordance with Section 211 of Planning and Development Act 2000;

§                The permitted use of the lands to be demised on foot of the lease will be a car park;

§                The term of the lease will be for a period of 4 years and 9 months at a nominal rent of €10.00 per annum.  Either party will be entitled to terminate the lease at any time during the term by way of one months notice in writing to the other party;

§                The lease will be in a format reasonably approved of by the Council in conjunction with its Law Agent;

§                Within 4 weeks from the commencement of the lease, The Newbridge Cutlery Company will re-surface the area of land shaded grey on drawing number L/952 to the Council’s satisfaction and will also erect a security fence at least 2 metres above the ground level of the car park along the boundary marked with a broken black line on the aforementioned drawing to the Council’s satisfaction, as agreed with Mr Niall O’Riordan, Kildare County Council Fire Station, Newbridge.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor Nolan, pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001, that the council consent to the disposal of the land in accordance with the terms set out in the statutory notice.


6.82 square metres at Castlefen, Sallins

The council considered statutory notice dated 11 December 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 6.82 square metres at Castlefen, Sallins, Co Kildare to the E.S.B. in consideration of payment of €10.00 and subject to the erection of an E.S.B. sub-station on 3.1m x 2.2m and a right-of-way 3.1m x 6.7m.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor Nolan, pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001, that the council consent to the disposal of the land in accordance with the terms set out in the statutory notice.


20 square metres between 682 Piercetown and Dara Park, Newbridge

The council considered statutory notice dated 11 December 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 20 square metres between 682 Piercetown and Dara Park, Newbridge, Co Kildare to Mr Jim Sexton in consideration of payment of €100.00 and subject to all legal fees, land registration fees and the cost of building the wall to be borne by Jim Sexton and any development on the site to be subject to planning permission.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor Nolan, pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001, that the council consent to the disposal of the land in accordance with the terms set out in the statutory notice.

 

0.83 acres at Timahoe

The council considered statutory notice dated 11 December 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.83 acres at Timahoe, Co Kildare to Timahoe Community Development Council in consideration of payment of €100.00 and subject to all legal fees to be borne by Timahoe Community Development Council, any development on the site to be subject to planning permission and conditions as set out in the lease agreement to be strictly adhered to.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor Nolan, pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001, that the council consent to the disposal of the land in accordance with the terms set out in the statutory notice.



4/1208

Taking in Charge of Housing Estates


The meetings administrator referred to report from Mr Hannigan, Senior Executive Engineer, dated 19 December 2008 recommending the taking-in-charge of the following housing estates:

·        Louisa Valley, Leixlip

·        Great Southern, Newbridge

·        College Farm, Newbridge

·        Rinawade, Leixlip

·        Dun Cullinn, Cutbush

·        The Elms, Cutbush

Further to a question from Councillor Weld, Mr Hannigan clarified that outstanding works at Grattan Park, Derrinturn, had not yet been completed, but he was hopeful that this estate would be listed for taking-in-charge at the January meeting of the Council.  The Mayor and members thanked Mr Hannigan and his staff for the progress made in having estates taken in charge by the Council.


Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Kelly, seconded by Councillor McGinley, that the housing estates listed above be taken-in-charge.



5/1208

Material Contravention of the Celbridge Local Area Plan 2002


The council noted that a planning application from Dara Residential Ltd (register no 08/1178) would, if successful, result in a material contravention of the Celbridge Local Area Plan 2002.


The development would consist of a change of use from residential to office use including internal alterations, with the provision of 2 number rooflights to front and rear at number 36 and 36A Maynooth Road, Celbridge.


The development would contravene materially Section 3.15 (B) existing residential/infill zone: to protect and improve the amenities of existing residential areas, of the Celbridge Local Area Plan 2002, which states “Within this zoning category the improved quality of residential areas will be the council’s priority.  Such areas, particularly where bordering the commercial town centre, will be protected from the pressures of higher order uses such as retail and office development.  Where appropriate infill housing/apartment development will be permitted in this area.  Infill housing will not be permitted in public open spaces in estates not in charge of Kildare County Council”.



The Council also considered a report from the County Manager, which had been circulated to the members.  Mr Lahart, Director of Services, stated that, while two submissions had been made during the initial five week period of the application raising issues regarding zoning, noise, traffic and hours of operation, no submissions had been received during the four week observation period for the material contravention.  He informed the members that the application related to the use of the building for the administration function of the organisation.  He stated that the property was within walking distance of the Main Street and that the site was zoned for residential and infill development.  He stated that the proposed development was considered acceptable and in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and recommended the material contravention to the members.


Councillor Ridge stated that, while the applicant provided a valuable community care service, she could not support the material contravention due to the location of the proposed development within a residential area, which is protected from retail and office development in the Local Area Plan.  She also stated that the proposed entrance to the development was unsatisfactory and that the site was located on the safe route to schools.  She raised concerns with regard to the proposed rooflights to the front of the premises.  Councillor Byrne stated that he could not support the proposed material contravention as he considered that the car park provision was insufficient.  Councillor Conway stated that while she commended the work of the organisation, she was not in a position to support the material contravention due to the location of the property in a residential area and the fact that there was alternative suitable accommodation available in Celbridge.


Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Ridge, seconded by Councillor Byrne, with 20 members voting against and 3 members abstaining, that planning permission not be granted in this case.



6/1208

Home Choice Loans

 

Mr Minnock, Director of Services, briefed the members in relation to the new Home Choice Loans.  He referred to information that had been circulated to the members setting out the criteria for qualification for the loan.  He stated that the Home Choice Loan was an interim arrangement by the Government to ensure that first time buyers, who were not in a position to secure funding from banks, could get money to purchase a house.  He informed the members that a list of brokers will be made available early in the New Year.  The scheme will be administered by four local authorities; Dublin City Council, Kilkenny County Council, Cork City Council and Galway County Council. 


While welcoming the introduction of the scheme the members raised a number of issues, including why the loans related to new build only and the availability of houses meeting the criteria with the county.  Mr Minnock replied to the issues raised by the members.

 


7/1208

To consider raising of loan for the Central Heating Programme

 

Mr Minnock referred to a report dated 17 December 2008 and advised the members that the central heating programme had been funded 80% by the Government and 20% from the Council’s own resources.  He stated that it had been intended to meet this cost from internal capital receipts, however, due to the decrease in the amount of income received during 2008 it was necessary to raise a loan in the sum of €2.75 million to meet the Council’s element of the funding for the project.  It was intended that the loan would be repaid from internal capital receipts and claw-back funds over the next 3-5 years.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Power, seconded by Councillor McGinley, that the council approve the raising of a loan in the sum of €2.75 million to meet the cost of Kildare County Council’s 20% of the capital cost of the central heating programme to be redeemed from internal capital receipts and/or income under the affordable claw-back system over the next 3-5 years.


 

8/1208

Vote of Sympathy


The Mayor and members expressed votes of sympathy with the following on their recent bereavements:

The family and friends of Eric Wallace former employee of Kildare County Council

Karen Honan of Leixlip Town Council on the death of her mother Elizabeth Shiels.

Bernie Walsh of Water Services on the death of her father Sean Walsh.

Johnny Carey of Water Services on the death of his father Sean Carey.

Yvonne Allen of Internal Audit on the death of her father Michael Fitzpatrick.

 


9/1208

Mayor’s Business


The Mayor reminded the members that a special council meeting was scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 7 January 2009 at 2pm to consider the Kilcock and Castledermot Local Area Plans and a material contravention.

 

The Mayor informed the members that he had recently met the Croatian Ambassador at a function and he would like to make a presentation to the members at the January Council meeting in relation to a connection between Co Kildare and Croatia.  This was agreed.


Councillor Weld raised concerns about the possibility that schools might not be able to use the new swimming pool in Naas.  Mr O’Sullivan, Director of Services, stated that all schools who use the pools had been contacted by the new company.  He added that some changes to previous arrangements may be necessary as the new company needed to run the pools on a commercial basis.


 

10/1208

County Manager’s Business


The County Manager informed the members that, due to the timeframe set-down, it would be necessary for them to confirm their nominations to the Joint Policing Committee at the January meeting.  He referred to a report, which had been circulated, setting out the criteria for nomination to the Committee.  The Mayor suggested that this item be listed for discussion at the special meeting of Council on 7 January 2009 and this was agreed by the members.


As it was related to this issue it was agreed to consider the following motion from the Celbridge Area Committee:

That the proposed Joint Policing Committee (JPC) for Leixlip (Town Council) area be reconfigured to take cognisance of the fact that Leixlip and Maynooth will be incorporated into the new Celbridge Electoral Area and that any proposed JPC should be representative of the new Celbridge Electoral Area.

 

Councillor Ridge stated that, following the recent presentation from An Garda Siochana regarding Joint Policing Committees, she had considered the position regarding Celbridge.  As Celbridge did not have a town council it would appear that the town would not be adequately served by a Joint Policing Committee, given that the population was bigger than Leixlip and Maynooth and the three towns would form part of the same electoral area after June.  She added that the possibility of setting up a sub-committee to report to the full Council was unsatisfactory to serve the needs of Celbridge.  The members discussed the issue and, while some agreed that there were flaws in the legislation, it was considered that the initiation of Joint Policing Committees in the county was positive.  Based on discussions with An Garda Siochana it was considered that they would be as inclusive and co-operative as possible and that there was room for flexibility in the operation of the committees.



11/1208

Correspondence

 

The council noted receipt of the following correspondence:


·        Letter from South Tipperary County Council advising of a resolution calling on the Government to implement the school vaccination programme for all twelve year old girls as announced by the Minister for Health last August.  Agreed.

 

·        Letter from Health Service Executive acknowledging receipt of letter sent following the November meeting of council regarding the undergrounding of high voltage electricity cabling.  Noted.


·        Letter from the Minister for Finance acknowledge receipt of letter sent following the November meting of council regarding cuts in education funding announced in the Budget.  Noted.



12/1208

Conferences

The council received notice of the following conferences:


2 – 4 January 2009

Irish Language Course for Councillors

Connemara Coast Hotel, Furbo, Co. Galway

Cost per delegate:  €924.14 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Katie Ridge, Geraldine Conway and Martin Miley.


9 January 2009 

The Greening of Irish Agriculture: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change

Dublin Castle

Cost per delegate:  €332.60 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Fiona O’Loughlin and Geraldine Conway.


16-18 January 2009

Effective Communications for Councillors

Day’s Hotel, 1 Merchants Quay, Waterford

Cost per delegate:  €751.08 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Micheál Nolan, Katie Ridge, Kevin Byrne, Geraldine Conway and Mark Dalton.



19 January 2009

A Practical Update on Corporate Governance in the Public Sector

Public Affairs Ireland, 25 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

Cost per delegate:  €489.32 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Pat Black and Daragh Fitzpatrick.

 

20 January 2009

UCC 27th Annual Business Conference

Clarion Hotel, Cork

Cost per delegate: €469.31 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Micheál Nolan, Rainsford Hendy, Francis Browne, Pat Black and Liam Doyle.


23 – 25 January 2009

The Local Government Planning Service

The Granville Hotel, Waterford

Cost per delegate: €751.08 approx.

Nominees:  Councillor Fionnuala Dukes, Billy Hillis, Francis Browne, Geraldine Conway and Daragh Fitzpatrick.


28 January 2009

Conference on the State and the Law

Conrad Hotel, Dublin 2

Cost per delegate:  €389.32 approx.

Nominees:  Councillors Martin Miley and Liam Doyle.



13/1208

Fullers Court, Ballitore


The members considered the following motion from the Athy Area Committee:

To remove property known as Fullers Court, Ballitore, from the list of protected structures.


The meetings administrator read a report from the Planning Department dated 22 December 2008.  The report made reference to Section 54 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 which allows for the deletion of a structure from the record of protected structures where the protection is no longer warranted.  Following an assessment of the structure by the Architectural Conservation Officer it was recommended to Council that the property be retained on the Record of Protected Structure for the reasons specified in the report. 


Councilor Dalton advised the meeting that this matter had been discussed at a meeting of the Athy Area Committee and it had been unanimously agreed that this property be removed from the record of protected structures in order to progress an opportunity for commercial development in Ballitore.  Councillor Dalton proposed that this structure be removed from the record of protected structures.  This proposal was seconded by Councillor Hendy.  Some members raised concerns about agreeing to the removal of a property with which they were not familiar from the record of protected structures.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Murphy, that this item be listed for consideration at the January meeting of the Council.

 

 

14/1208

Taking in Charge of Parsonstown Group Water Scheme


The members considered the following motion from the Clane Area Committee:

That the Parsonstown Group Water Scheme be taken in charge.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Weld, seconded by Councillor Fitzpatrick, that the Parsonstown Group Water Scheme be taken in charge by the Council.


 

15/1208

Payment of Grants


The members considered the following motion from the Naas Area Committee:

(a)       To note the recommendation of the Naas Area Committee that a grant of €4,000 be made to the Ballymore Historical Society to assist in the production of a book on the history of Ballymore Eustace.

(b)       To note the recommendation of the Naas Area Committee that a grant of €2,000 be made to the Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns Committee to assist in the installation of street signage in the village.


The meetings administrator informed the members that the grants referred to arose from a levy attaching to a planning permission in Ballymore Eustace for the rehabilitation of a site used for sand and gravel extraction. 

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Callaghan, seconded by Councillor Hillis, that a grant in the sum of €4,000 be made to the Ballymore Historical Society and a grant in the sum of €2,000 be made to the Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns Committee.




16/1208

Permanent Directional Signage for Motorway Routes

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor S Doyle:

That Kildare County Council make a request to the NRA to have permanent directional signage placed on the motorway routes within County Kildare, similar to those that exist on the motorway between Dublin and Dundalk.


The meetings administrator read a report dated 22 December 2008 from the Transportation Department advising that a contract for the review, replacement and standardisation of road and directional signage on all motorways has been placed by the NRA.  The contract will be monitored to ensure that Co Kildare benefits as suggested in Councillor Doyle’s motion. 


Councillor Doyle stated that she was referring specifically to signage which was in use on the Belfast route.  Mr Page stated that he had not taken this interpretation from the motion, but understood that the signage referred to by Councillor Doyle was being used on a pilot basis.  He undertook to check the matter further and report back to Council.


Resolved that Mr Page report back to Council with further information.

 


17/1208

Planning Conditions for Off-Licence Premises

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor S Doyle:

That all planning permission for off-licence premises be conditioned with the provision of a bring centre or the upgrading of current bring centre within the town that they are seeking to locate.

 

The meetings administrator read a report from the Planning Department which set out the policy as contained in the County Development Plan 2005-2011 regarding the provision of recycling facilities.  The report raised concerns regarding the content of the motion including the possibility that off-licences would not always be suitable locations for siting recycling banks and made reference to a prohibition contained within the Planning Act that recycling facilities not be placed within 50 metres of residential property.  The report cited an objective which was currently being included in Local Area Plans regarding the provision of recycling facilities.

 

In proposing her motion Councillor Doyle stated that she did not agree with the report, adding that she understood that it would not always be practicable for such premises to provide a recycling facility on site, however, following the polluter pays principle, they should be contributing to such a facility.  In seconding Councillor Doyle’s motion, Councillor Kelly stated that, given the difficulties encountered in retro-fitting sites for recycling purposes, adopting the motion would allow the Council to get involved in the provision of recycling facilities at the planning permission stage.


Following discussion and, as this matter had already been considered by the Environment and Services Strategic Policy Committee, the County Manager agreed that details with regard to the implementation of the motion would be given further consideration and the matter would be listed again for the January or February meeting of Council.

 

Resolved that the matter be listed for further consideration at the January or February meeting of the Council.

 


18/1208

Local Government Fund

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Murphy:

That Kildare County Council condemn the continued unfair block grant received by the County from the Local Government Fund.

 

In proposing her motion Councillor Murphy raised serious concerns regarding the percentage share of the Local Government Fund allocated to Co Kildare.  She stated that, of the 26 counties, Kildare was the fourth most populated, but all the counties with a higher population have a city core.  She added that Co Kildare receives the fourth lowest per capita level of funding and that there was no rationale as to how the funds were allocated.  Councillor Glennon seconded the motion.  Councillor Kelly argued that basing funding on population was simplistic and that other issues such as rate base and quality of infrastructure must also be considered.  The County Manager informed the members that the issue of local authority funding was currently being considered by the Commission on Taxation and he added that the City and County Managers’ Association had made a submission.


Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Murphy seconded by Councillor Glennon, with 12 members voting in favour and 8 members voting against, that Kildare County Council condemn the continued unfair block grant received by the County from the Local Government Fund.

 


19/1208

Kildare County Council Standing Orders

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Murphy:

We agree to amend section 28 of Kildare Standing Orders as follows:

A casual vacancy in the membership of the Council shall be filled in accordance with Section 19 of the Act.  A vacancy caused by cessor of a non-party candidate’s membership shall be filled  (delete by agreement of the members) and add:

(a)       Where the retiring member nominates his/her successor such person so nominated shall be co-opted.

(b)       Where the retiring member does not nominate his/her successor, the vacancy shall be filled by the co-option of a person nominated by other members of the Council who were non-party candidates at their election to the Council.

 

The Mayor recommended that this matter be referred to the Protocol Committee for consideration.  Councillor Murphy agreed subject to its being dealt with during the term of the current Council.


Resolved that the motion be referred to the Protocol Committee for consideration.



The Mayor thanked the members and staff for their courtesy and helpfulness throughout the year and wished everybody the compliments of the season.  The members wished the Mayor, County Manager and staff good wishes for the season and the year ahead.  The Manager thanked the members for their comments and wished them and staff a happy Christmas and asked everybody to be conscious of road safety over the festive period.


____


The meeting concluded.