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                                                KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

                                                     Minutes of Monthly Meeting
                                         held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 28 January 2008 at
                          Infantry Weapons Wing, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh

Members Present: Councillor M Glennon (Mayor); Councillors P Black, F Browne,
K Byrne, W Callaghan, M Dalton, L Doyle, S Doyle, F Dukes, D Fitzpatrick, S Griffin,
R Hendy, G W Hillis, P Kelly, G McDonagh, T McEvoy, J McGinley, P MacNamara,
M Miley, M Nolan, F O’Loughlin, J J Power, K Ridge and B Weld.

Apologies:  Councillor G Conway

Also Present:  Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs J Boland, J Lahart,
P Minnock, E O’Sullivan and D Page (Directors of Services), C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

_________________________

As a mark of respect on the death of Mr Patsy Mooney, Partnership Facilitator, the Mayor adjourned the meeting for five minutes.  The members and County Manager joined the Mayor in offering their condolences to the family and friends of Mr Mooney on behalf of all the members and staff of Kildare County Council.


1/0108
Address by Brigadier General McCann

As the meeting was being kindly hosted by the Defence Forces, the Mayor asked Brigadier General Sean McCann to address the meeting.  General McCann stated that he was delighted to host a meeting of Kildare County Council on the Curragh.  It afforded him an opportunity to highlight the work done by the Defence Forces and to demonstrate the training carried out on the Curragh and also the type of equipment used by the army today.  He said that members of the Defence Forces were well trained, well educated and well led.  To mark the occasion Brigadier General McCann made a presentation to the Mayor.

The Mayor replied that it was a wonderful occasion and she was honoured to be in the position of Mayor of Co Kildare for today’s meeting.  She thanked Councillor Dukes who had initiated the visit to the Curragh.  She stated that the members of the Defence Forces whom she had met during the course of the visit had been very impressive and enthusiastic.  It was obvious that they were well trained, intelligent and committed people.  She said that the people of Kildare should be proud to have the Defence Forces stationed in the county.  The Mayor thanked the staff who had co-ordinated the visit to the Curragh.  To mark the occasion the Mayor made a presentation to Brigadier General McCann.

The members and County Manager thanked Brigadier General McCann for the invitation to visit the Curragh and for the opportunity to hold a Council meeting here.  They wished the Defence Forces well on their forthcoming mission to Chad.


2/0108
Confirmation of Minutes

The council considered the minutes of monthly meetings held on 26 November 2007 and 17 December 2007, the special meeting held on 17 December 2007 and the budget meeting held on 12 December 2007, together with the progress report arising from the monthly meeting held on 17 December 2007.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor Nolan, that the minutes be confirmed and taken as read, subject to an amendment to the minutes of special meeting of 17 December 2007 in relation to the Athgarvan Local Area Plan, requested by Councillor Dukes, as follows: 

Councillor Dukes stated that the members had been told on several occasions by the officials that planning was not an exact science, but about people, and on that basis she  seconded the proposal and referred to the  strategy in the County Development Plan in support of the proposed zonings and in particular policy statements CF4 and CF5.  She also referred to Chapter 3 in the Athgarvan LAP and particularly objectives OC1, OC3 and OAR 4 which she said made the case for the proposed re-zonings in the interests of proper planning and sustainable development.


3/0108
Committee Minutes

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

Clane Area – 13 November 2007 and 11 December 2007
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Weld, seconded by Councillor Fitzpatrick, that the minutes be noted.

Leixlip Area – 23 November 2007 and 20 December 2007
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Kelly, that the minutes be noted.

Celbridge Area – 12 October 2007 and 14 December 2007
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Ridge, seconded by Councillor Byrne, that the minutes be noted.

Naas Area – 4 December 2007
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor Callaghan, that the minutes be noted.


4/0108
Disposal of land

0.00087 hectares at Crodaun Forest Park, Celbridge
The council considered statutory notice dated 8 January 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.00087 hectares approximately of land at Crodaun Forest Park, Celbridge to Maureen Cronin in consideration of payment of €10 plus Ms Cronin to transfer to Kildare County Council the area of land, 0.0072 hectares, outlined on map L/86.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor O’Loughlin, 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.

0.0806 hectares at Boycetown, Kilcock
The council considered statutory notice dated 8 January 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.0806 hectares approximately of land at Boycetown, Kilcock to Bennett Developments Limited in consideration of payment of €126,000, and subject to all legal costs incurred by Kildare County Council to be paid by Bennett Developments Limited.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor O’Loughlin, 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.

1.99 acres at Rickardstown, Newbridge
The council considered statutory notice dated 16 January 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 1.99 acres approximately of land at Rickardstown, Newbridge to Goodwill Housing Co-operative Society Limited in consideration of payment of €152,533, and subject to site being used for the purpose of a capital loan and subsidy scheme of family type accommodation and no legal fees relating to the transfer of the land to accrue to Kildare County Council.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor O’Loughlin, 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.

 
25 Moneen View, The Hollands, Athy
The council considered statutory notice dated 16 January 2008 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of premises known as 25 Moneen View, The Hollands, Athy, Co Kildare to Margaret and David Kavanagh in consideration of the current value of rented equity (up to date and in line with inflation) at the date of redemption of the shared ownership loan granted in respect of the premises and in accordance with its conditions.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Black, seconded by Councillor O’Loughlin, 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.

In relation to the transfer of approximately 1.99 acres of land at Rickardstown, Newbridge to Goodwill Housing Co-operative Society Ltd, Councillor O’Loughlin informed the meeting that 26 housing units, at an average cost of €156,000, would be constructed on this land.  She paid tribute to the members of Goodwill Housing Co-operative and said that the proposed housing scheme was a great credit to them.  Councillor Black concurred with the sentiments expressed by Councillor O’Loughlin and added that it was important for Kildare County Council’s Housing Department to work closely with the Goodwill Housing Co-operative.


5/0108
Taking in Charge of Housing Estates at
Cluain Aoibhinn, Two Mile Housing, Naas and
Parson’s Hall, Maynooth

Mr Hannigan, Senior Executive Engineer, presented reports dated 17 January 2008 to the members recommending the taking-in-charge of housing estates at Cluain Aoibhinn, Two Mile House, Naas and Parson’s Hall, Maynooth.
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor Callaghan, that the housing estate known as Cluain Aoibhinn, Two Mile House, Naas, be taken-in-charge.
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Griffin, that the housing estate known as Parson’s Hall, Maynooth, be taken-in-charge.


 
6/0108
Appointment of Member to the Board of The Meath Foundation

The meetings administrator informed the members that correspondence dated 2 January 2008 had been received from The Meath Foundation, advising that the Directors nominated to the Board in 2005 were completing their three year term of office and inviting the members of Kildare County Council to nominate a member to its Board.
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Kelly, seconded by Councillor Black, with all members in favour, that Councillor Conway be nominated to the Board of The Meath Foundation for a further term.

Councillor O’Loughlin informed the meeting that Mr Gerry Brady, former member of Kildare County Council, was the Chair of The Meath Foundation, and she asked the members to acknowledge his involvement and the work he had done in this regard to date.


7/0108
Adoption of supplementary budget for 2008

Ms Millane, Acting Head of Finance, informed the members that an allocation of €27,942,368 had been received from the Local Government Fund; €377,343 higher than the €27,565,025 included in the budget as adopted by Council on the 12 December 2007.   Following discussions with the Corporate Policy Group, it was recommended that these monies be used to create a fund for leveraging matching/additional funding in community, social, economic and/or tourism areas.  The expenditure would, therefore, be included as a separate line item in Programme Group 4 Community and Enterprise.  Ms Millane advised the members that copies of the final adopted budget would be distributed in due course and would be made available on the internet.
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Hillis, seconded by Councillor Weld, with all members in favour, that the proposal outlined be adopted and that Tables A and B of the budget for 2008 be amended accordingly and that the said budget, as amended, be adopted.

8/0108
Provision of Boardwalk at Leixlip Spa Waterfall

The meetings administrator read a report from Mr T Skehan, Director of Services, dated 19 December 2007, outlining proposals for provision of a boardwalk at Leixlip Spa Waterfall.  He said that Kildare County Council had been successful in obtaining a grant of €90,140 from Failte Ireland towards the provision of the boardwalk to link the Royal Canal Way and the Waterfall on the Spa site.  The total cost of the project was estimated to be in the region of €130,000.  It was proposed to advertise for public comment and to commence the work in Spring 2008.
In welcoming the proposal for provision of a boardwalk at Leixlip Spa Waterfall, the members acknowledged the work carried out by Niall Rafferty and Simon Wallace of the Leisure Services Department.  Councillor McGinley proposed that the shortfall of funding for the project, in the region of €39,590, be funded from the monies now allocated in the budget for matching funding for projects such as this.


9/0108
Vote of Sympathy

The Mayor and members expressed votes of sympathy with the following on their recent bereavements:
Relatives and friends of the late Mr Patsy Mooney, Partnership Facilitator.
Brenda Gannon, Transportation, on the death of her mother.
Christine O’Grady, Human Resources, on the death of her father.
Dennis Craul, Water Services, on the death of his mother.
Aisling Treacy, Housing Section, on the death of her mother.
Relatives and friends of the late Councillor Noel Scully, Athy Town Council
Deputy Sean O’Fearghail on the death of his father.


10/0108
Mayor’s Business

Councillor Hendy congratulated the staff of Kildare Community Network and Mr Brian Swan, Senior Architect, and his team, on their recent success in receiving two major awards at the recent LAMA Awards Ceremony.  The awards were for the kildare.ie website and the refurbishment of Castletown House.  Councillor O’Loughlin stated that as chairperson of Kildare Community Network she was very proud that the staff involved had received this award. 

Councillor Miley thanked the staff of the Council for the assistance given in relation to the problems encountered with the water supply in Athy.  He requested clarification as to whether there was a plan in place to deal with emergency situations such as this and also that the incident be reviewed and any necessary changes be made to emergency planning for the future.  Mr Boland informed the members that there was emergency planning in place to deal with incidents such as the events in Athy and confirmed that the plan had been followed in this case.  He acknowledged the work of the Fire Service and the Civil Defence and thanked the members of the Athy Area Committee and Athy Town Council for all the assistance given to staff.  He stated that the situation which had arisen in Athy was unfortunate and apologised to the people affected for the inconvenience caused.  He advised the members that he was satisfied that the right decisions had been taken to deal with the incident.  He confirmed that the link to the regional water supply was being expedited and he anticipated that this would be in place by the middle of the week.

11/0108
Correspondence

The council noted receipt of the following correspondence:

§ Letter of acknowledgement, dated 2 January 2008, received from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, confirming receipt of letter in connection with the public service embargo.

§ Letter from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, dated 22 January 2008, in response to correspondence relating to the issue of water charges for schools.

§ Letter from Revenue Commissioners, dated 16 January 2008, in response to correspondence in relation to the introduction of a system to allow customers of the council’s household refuse service avail of tax relief at source.  Councillor Ridge requested that this matter remain on the agenda for council meetings until such time as the Revenue Commissioners have completed their review of the issues.

§ Letter was received from Galway County Council advising of a resolution calling on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to introduce a ban on all detergents, powders etc containing phosphates as a result of the damage this is doing to fish, plant life and Lough Corrib in general and that this Council call on the Minister of the Environment to carry out a full investigation into what other discharges are currently going into Lough Corrib and leading to serious pollution of the water and that the investigation be completed as a matter of urgency. 
This resolution was supported by the members.


 
12/0108
Conferences

Notice was received of the following:

1-3 February 2008
Seminar for Councillors
The Local Government Planning Service
Clonea Strand Hotel, Clonea, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Cost per delegate: €759.66 approx.
Nominees: Councillors Callaghan, L Doyle and Hendy

1-3 February 2008
Cumann Merriman Winter School 2008
Hotel Westport, Westport, Co. Mayo
Cost per delegate: €767.27 approx.
Nominees: Councillors Black and Dalton

15-16 February 2008
Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland
Spring Seminar 2008
Trim Castle Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath
Cost per delegate: €459.92 approx.
Nominees: Councillors Conway, Miley, Ridge, Weld and Byrne

23 February 2008
Seminar for Councillors
Suicide Prevention: A call to Action
The City West Hotel, Dublin
Cost per delegate: €277.98 approx.
Nominees: Councillors Conway, Miley and Nolan
29 February – 2 March 2008
19th Colmcille Winter School
The Mutual Benefits of North-South Co-operation
The Colmcille Heritage Centre, Gartan, Church Hill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Cost per delegate: €959.02 approx.
Nominees: Councillors Callaghan, O’Loughlin, Ridge, Hendy and Byrne

13/0108
Committee Recommendations

Celbridge Area
That, as a matter of urgency, the ESB be asked to meet with the full council to clarify the position regarding delays in advancing projects which require electricity service.

Councillor Ridge outlined problems being encountered in the Celbridge Area resulting from the ESB not providing an appropriate service.  She suggested that each area committee draw up a list of outstanding issues in their area and that the ESB be invited to attend the next monthly meeting of council.  The meetings administrator suggested that this item be listed for the next cycle of area committee meetings.  He stated that it was important to have a detailed list prepared for presentation to the ESB and suggested that each area committee submit their respective lists to him to compile.  The County Manager suggested that the list of outstanding works be compiled and given to the ESB in advance and that perhaps they would be invited to attend the March meeting of council.  The members highlighted their concerns about outstanding ESB works at a number of locations throughout the county, but agreed to the proposal outlined.


14/0108
Motion – Councillor McGinley

That Kildare County Council hereby resolves not to charge National Schools for water
supply until such time as the Government decide how and when this issue is to be handled and funded. Furthermore that the Council asks the Minister of the Environment to provide grants so that schools can provide rainwater storage facilities so that they can get 95% of their water requirements (all except drinking water) from this source.

The meetings administrator read a report from Ms Millane, Acting Head of Finance, outlining the current position with regard to water charges for schools.  The report confirmed that the Council has implemented EU and National policy with regard to charging the non-domestic customer for water.  Transitional arrangements for non-fee paying recognised schools were outlined.  Where actual usage, recorded by meter, produces a lower charge than the flat rate, then the lower bill will apply for the transition period.  He advised the members that, subject to their agreement, a letter would be sent to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, requesting the introduction of grants for schools for the provision of rainwater storage facilities. 

 
Councillor McGinley informed the meeting that he had submitted the motion following the receipt of numerous representations from concerned parents.  He stated that it was the duty of the Government to provide primary education and to provide for the cost of running schools, including the supply of running water.  Councillor Ridge criticised the Government for not providing funding for local authorities to cover the costs of introducing the proposed scheme for water charges and stated that it was disgraceful that parents were having to fundraise to cover the costs incurred by schools in this regard.  Councillor Power stated that users of water should have to pay the cost involved in providing the supply and that Kildare County Council should not have to subsidise the cost incurred by schools.  Councillor Kelly stated that it was unsustainable not to charge for water and noted that the usage of water in this country was far higher than was necessary.  He noted that the proposed scheme would not result in any school paying more than the metered water amount currently charged.  He agreed with the proposal to request the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to introduce grants for schools towards the cost of providing rainwater storage facilities.  Councillor Griffin stated that Kildare County Council was not being asked to subsidise the costs incurred by schools, but that the Government should be providing adequate funding for schools to cover running costs.  He was of the opinion that the introduction of the new system of charging schools for water would result in increased costs being incurred by schools. 

The meetings administrator advised the members that the Council had no option but to implement the Government directive in relation to water charges for schools.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Black, that a letter be sent to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government requesting the introduction of a grant scheme to assist schools in the provision of rainwater storage facilities.


15/0108
Motion – Councillors Dukes, Griffin, Hendy, Hillis, Nolan, Ridge and Weld

That Kildare County Council hereby calls on the Minister for the Department of Education and Science to increase funding immediately to enable (voluntary) schools to pay for water conservation measures and the new water charges.

This motion was discussed in conjunction with the previous motion from Councillor McGinley.

The meetings administrator informed the members that, if they wished, a letter could be sent to the Minister for Education and Science.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Ridge, seconded by Councillor Hillis, that a letter be sent to the Minister for Education and Science, calling on him to increase funding immediately to (voluntary) schools to pay for water conservation measures and water charges.


16/0108
Motion – Councillor McGinley

That the 2 + 2 Domestic Refuse collection be introduced immediately and that the   public be advised of this improved service by letter to each household in order to counteract the confusion caused by the introduction of the increased tag rate in late December and the 2008 Bin Sticker which shows monthly collection of the recycling
bin.

Councillor McGinley stated that he had raised concerns at the budget meeting in relation to getting information to customers about the Council’s refuse collection service.  He was concerned that, while the cost of tags had been increased almost immediately, no move had been made to change to fortnightly collections.

Mr Boland, Director of Services, assured the members that the waiver scheme had been retained for 2008 and stated that the purpose of the price increase for tags was to fund this.  He informed the members that the Environment Department was currently working on the change to fortnightly collections and he anticipated that the new arrangements would be in place during March.


17/0108
Motion – Councillor Nolan

That Kildare County Council convert loading bays throughout the county to auxiliary taxi ranks from the hours of 7pm to 7am seven days a week.

The meetings administrator informed the members that the Transportation Department were aware that this idea has been successfully implemented in other local authorities and the suggestion would be actively pursued in all considerations on the location of future taxi ranks.  Mr Page, Director of Services, stated that, while not every loading bay would be suitable for such an arrangement, the Transportation Department was working on this issue.  Councillor Byrne informed the meeting that this matter had been discussed by the Transportation Strategic Planning Committee and consideration was being given to piloting the idea in Newbridge. 
Resolved that this issue be pursued further by the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee and the Transportation Department.


The meeting then concluded.