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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

Minutes of Monthly Meeting
held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 27 September 2010 at
Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

Members Present: Councillor B Weld (Mayor); Councillors F Browne, K Byrne,

W Callaghan, R Daly, L Doyle, S Doyle, S Griffin, M Heydon,

P Kennedy, P Kelly, S Langan, A Lawlor, P MacNamara, P McEvoy,

J McGinley, S Moore, M Miley, C Murphy, M Nolan, T O’Donnell,

C Purcell, D Scully and M Wall.

 

Apologies:               Councillor F O’Loughlin

 

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

 

_________________________

 

1/0910

Confirmation of Minutes

 

The council considered the minutes of the annual meeting held on 25 June 2010, monthly meeting held on 26 July 2010 and special meeting of 6 September 2010, together with the progress report.

 

Councillor S Doyle expressed her dissatisfaction with the content of minute reference 17/0710 of meeting held on 26 July 2010 relating to the Kildare Town Local Area Plan.  She stated that the thrust of the motion before the Council at the meeting had been to agree the prioritisation of preparation of the Kildare Town Local Area Plan and that a strategic site, the subject of Action Area Plan 3 under the Kildare Town Local Area Plan, should not be considered in advance of preparation of a new Local Area Plan.  She said that this had not been reflected in the minutes.  The meetings administrator informed the meeting that no resolution had been passed by the members when considering the motion and the Council did not express a view in relation to the prioritisation of the Kildare Town Local Area Plan, other than to note the report presented to the meeting. 

 

Councillor Murphy raised an issue in relation to an item on the Progress Report relating to a request for the introduction of draft bye-laws for waste collection services.  She noted that this matter was being examined by the Environment Department and requested clarification as to the issues which were being investigated. 

 

The meetings administrator advised that a further report on this matter would be circulated to the members by Mr Boland during the course of the meeting.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Moore, that the minutes of the annual meeting held on 25 June 2010, the monthly meeting held on 26 July 2010 and special meeting held on 6 September 2010 be confirmed and taken as read.

 

 

2/0910

Committee Minutes

 

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

 

Athy Area – 21 June 2010

Clane Area – 8 June 2010 and 13 July 2010

Celbridge Area – 18 June 2010

Kildare – 16 June 2010 and 21 July 2010 

Naas – 15 June 2010

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Callaghan, that the minutes be noted.

 

 

3/0910

Disposal of Land

 

0.301 ha. at Collinstown, Carbury

The council considered statutory notice dated 7 September 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.301 ha of the council’s land at Collinstown, Carbury, Co Kildare to Patrick Joseph Craven, in consideration of payment of €10 and subject to all reasonable legal costs being borne by the Council.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Langan, 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.

 

0.100 ha. at Turf Bog Lane, Arthurstown, Kill

The council considered statutory notice dated 7 September 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.100 ha of the council’s land at Turf Bog Lane, Arthurstown, Kill, Co Kildare to James Cocoman, in consideration of payment of €10.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Langan, 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.

 

0.0877 ha. at Station Road, Rickardstown, Newbridge

The council considered statutory notice dated 7 September 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.0877 ha of the council’s land at Station Road, Rickardstown, Newbridge, Co Kildare to Coras Iompair Eireann, in consideration of payment of €10 subject to the following conditions:

  • Transfer of lands from Coras Iompair Eireann to Kildare County Council as identified on land transfer drawing No. L/903 – area of land is 0.1082 ha.
  • Transfer of lands from Kildare County Council to Coras Iompair Eireann as identified on land transfer drawing No. L/902 – area of land is 0.877 ha.
  • Coras Iompair Eireann and Kildare County Council to enter into a legal agreement/memorandum of understanding for the design and development of a pedestrian footbridge adjacent to the existing road overbridge on the Station Road, Newbridge.
  • Each party to be responsible for their own legal fees.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Langan, 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.

 

0.187 ha. at Mullamast, Athy

The council considered statutory notice dated 13 September 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.187 ha of the council’s land at Mullamast, Athy, Co Kildare to John and Eugene Callaghan, in consideration of payment of €10 and subject to all reasonable legal costs being borne by the Council.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Langan, 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.

 

 

4/0910

Special Speed Limit Bye-Law 

Mylerstown Crossroads, Two Mile House, Naas

 

Mr O’Leary referred to a report dated 6 September 2010 in relation to the making of a special speed limit bye-law for Mylerstown Crossroads, Two Mile House, Naas, which had been circulated to the members.  He stated that a request had been made by the Gardai for an amendment to speed limits at this location due to the frequency of accidents.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Lawlor, Mr O’Leary stated that it would be better to deal with amendments to speed limits across the county together, however, individual locations could be considered were a special case to be made, for example by the Gardai.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor Moore, that in accordance with Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004, the special speed limit bye-law for Mylerstown Crossroads, Two Mile House, Naas, be adopted.

 

 

5/0910

Retirement of Mr Michael Fitzsimons, Chief Fire Officer

 

The Mayor welcomed Mr Fitzsimons, Chief Fire Officer, to the Chamber and informed the members that he would be retiring from his position as and from today.  The County Manager stated that Mr Fitzsimons had joined the Fire Service in 1973 and had held the position of Chief Fire Officer in the county for the last 27 years.  He acknowledged the work he had done in building up the Fire Service in Co Kildare during these years.  He said that the Fire Service in this county was one of the most challenged in the country given the road network in the county, the population growth over recent years and the industrial sector operating in the county.  He expressed his appreciation, and that of his colleagues, for the work done by Mr Fitzsimons adding that he had represented the Fire Services extremely well and would be very sadly missed.  He extended his sincere thanks to Mr Fitzsimons for his years of service and wished him and his family health and happiness for the future.

 

On behalf of the Independents, Councillor Moore stated that Mr Fitzsimons had brought honour to Naas through his work.  He also acknowledged the work of his father and grandfather in public office.  He acknowledged the work Mr Fitzsimons had done on Major Accident Plans for the county.  He wished him well for his retirement.

 

On behalf of the Fine Gael members, Councillor Griffin stated that Mr Fitzsimons is a proud Naas and Kildare man.  He acknowledged his fantastic service to the people of the county, making special reference to the Major Accident Plan.  He acknowledged the assistance provided by Mr Fitzsimons and his team during the flooding last year.  He made reference to Mr Fitzsimons’ disappointment that it had not proven possible, to date, to build a fire station in Maynooth.

 

On behalf of the Fianna Fail members, Councillor Kelly stated that Mr Fitzsimons had overseen the transformation of the Fire Service in the county.  He thanked him for his tireless work for the service over the years and wished him well for his retirement.

 

On behalf of the Labour Party members, Councillor McGinley acknowledged Mr Fitzsimons great service to the public in the county adding that the Fire Service we now had in the county was a great credit to him.  He wished him a long and healthy retirement.

 

The Mayor wished Mr Fitzsimons well for the future and noted his family’s exceptional contribution to public life in the county over many years.

 

Mr Fitzsimons thanked the members for their kind words.  He said that 27 years was a long time to be responsible for a service.  He thanked all the members of the Council over the years, especially for the funding provided to the Fire Service.  He thanked the County Managers’ who he had worked with acknowledging the confidence and trust they had placed in him and his teams to run the service.  He paid special thanks to Mr John Carrick, former County Engineer, and to the Directors of Services who had come after him.  He expressed his gratitude to all the Fire Fighters and Fire Officers who had worked for the service over the past 37 years.  He said that he had enjoyed his work as Chief Fire Officer over the last 27 years and was sad to leave the position.

 

 

6/0910

Planning and Development Act 2000

Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008 – Part VIII

(a)   To consider proposal for Traffic Management Improvement on

Kilcock Road, Maynooth, adjacent to NUI Maynooth

(b)  To consider proposal for Pedestrian Bridge at Station Road, Newbridge

 

(a)   Mr O’Leary presented a report to the members dated 15 September 2010 setting out detailed information in relation to the Part 8 proposal for traffic management improvement works on Kilcock Road, Maynooth, adjacent to NUI Maynooth.  This is a pilot National Cycle Manual project promoted by the National Transport Authority. 

 

Councillor Griffin stated that €1m was due to be spent on this project and, while the funding was welcomed, he added that there were other projects around the county that would be more worthy of this type of investment.  He said that the project had been agreed by the Celbridge Area Committee, subject to some amendments, as they were in the position that if the money was not used for this project it would be lost.  He proposed the Part 8 for traffic management improvements on Kilcock Road, Maynooth subject to the following amendments:

  • The left turn lane from Mill Street onto Kilcock Road to be retained.  The existing free-flow lane, controlled by a “flashing amber” signal will be amended geometrically to improve the alignment of the existing cycle track on Mill Street approaching the Moyglare Road junction and to allow for a shorter crossing time for pedestrians at this junction.  Traffic will continue to be permitted to use this left turn lane at all times.  This amendment is to facilitate improved safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists whilst mitigating against a back up of stationary traffic from this junction through the town centre, thereby increasing the risk to vulnerable road users elsewhere in the town.
  • An additional item (number 9) to be included on page 25 of the Manager’s report, proposing to close the left turn lane from Kilcock Road onto Moyglare Road, as a temporary measure for a duration of 6 months.  This will allow the monitoring process of the pilot project to confirm (or not) that the deletion of this lane will not have a significant effect on traffic safety and blocking back from this junction through the adjoining junction at the entrance to the Manor Mills Shopping Centre.  Should there be no demonstrative impact on traffic flows then the measure will be made permanent.

 

Councillor McGinley stated that this project reflected a poor spend of €1m which could be better used elsewhere.  While welcoming the safety measures proposed for the Moyglare Road, he added that it was likely that the cycle lanes and bus lanes proposed for the Kilcock Road would not be used.  In relation to the 6 months review of the measure to close the left turn lane from the Kilcock Road onto Moyglare Road he proposed that, if it is found over a shorter period that this is not working, that the decision be reversed immediately. 

 

In seconding the proposal Councillor Kelly stated that he considered the pilot project to be worthy of support.  He added that it was the first project of its kind in the country and was recognising the status of Maynooth as a University town. 

 

Councillor Murphy stated that she could not support the proposal given the very serious national funding crisis facing the country.  She acknowledged that there were positives in the proposal, but considered that a number of elements could not be justified as they would be under utilised.  She also raised a concern that agreeing to this proposal in advance of preparation of the traffic management plan for Maynooth would limit improvements that may be included in the plan to assist the better movement of traffic in the town.

 

Mr O’Leary noted the concerns of the members and agreed that the amendments would be incorporated in the proposal.  He added that this was a joint venture by Kildare County Council, the National Transport Authority and NUI Maynooth.  He considered that the proposal would provide safer interaction between traffic, cyclists and pedestrians on this route.  He agreed that the issue relating to the closure of the left turn lane from Kilcock Road onto Moyglare Road would be kept under review.  He recommended adoption of the Part 8 proposal for traffic management improvements on the Kilcock Road, Maynooth to the members.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kelly, with 16 members in favour and 3 against, that in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008, the Part VIII proposal for the traffic management improvements on Kilcock Road, Maynooth, adjacent to NUI Maynooth, be agreed, subject to the amendments outlined.

 

(b) Mr O’Leary presented a report to the members dated 15 September 2010 setting out the Part 8 proposal for a pedestrian bridge at Station Road, Newbridge.  The Plan was recommended to the members for adoption.

 

      Councillor Nolan proposed the adoption of the Part 8 proposal for a pedestrian bridge at Station Road, Newbridge, adding that this was a priority piece of infrastructure for the town which would deliver improved access to the train station, sporting facilities and the soon to open Department of Defence facility.  The proposal was seconded by Councillor Kennedy.

     

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Nolan, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, and agreed by the members, that in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008, the Part VIII proposal for a pedestrian bridge at Station Road, Newbridge be agreed.

 

 

7/0910

Kildare Town Action Area Plan 3 (AAP3)

 

Mr M Kenny, Senior Planner, referred to a report dated 16 September 2010 which had been circulated to the members, together with the Action Area Plan (AAP3), setting out the background and context of the proposed plan. He stated that it was an objective of the Kildare Town Local Area Plan 2002 that an AAP be prepared for a 22.7 acre site in the western part of the town. The site was designated for co-ordinated and integrated development that would enhance and enlarge Kildare Town centre and increase its vibrancy and mix of uses.  He noted that the lands within AAP3 were zoned “A – Town Centre”.  The primary objective of this zoning was “To provide for the development and improvement of appropriate town centre uses including retail, commercial, office and civic use”.  He outlined the process to date in relation to the preparation of AAP3 and gave the members an overview of its contents, adding that the plan contained a detailed development strategy for the future development of its area including a public space strategy, a movement strategy an environmental strategy and a land use strategy. 

 

In recommending the adoption of the Kildare Town Action Area Plan 3 to the members he stated that this site was identified in the Kildare Local Area Plan 2002 as being of strategic importance.  He added that the proposed AAP3 was supported by analysis in the Draft County Kildare Retail Strategy (2010) and was in accordance with the planning policies set out in section 2.7 (town centre policies) and section 2.9.3 (Action Area Plan objective) of the Kildare Local Area Plan 2002.  He said that previous planning applications had been refused by Kildare County Council and An Bord Pleanala for being premature pending the approval of an AAP for the site.

 

Councillor O’Donnell said that he was conflicted by the need to adopt an action area plan for these lands at this time given that the recommendation to do so dated back to a local area plan (LAP) prepared in 2002. He asked, given that it was likely to be 18 months before the waste water treatment plant came on line, it would not be better to prepare a new LAP for the town at this stage which would be ready in advance of the treatment plant.  He requested a brief adjournment to allow the area committee to discuss this issue with the Director of Services for Planning. The council agreed to the adjournment.  

 

On the resumption of the meeting, Councillor O’Donnell reported that the adjournment had not resulted in resolution of the issue  He stated that the members of the area committee wished to have a new Local Area Plan prepared for the town.   Part of this procedure would involve consideration of the most suitable site for a major supermarket development within the town.   Councillor S Doyle stated that she was in agreement with Councillor O’Donnell adding that, given the issues around the waste water treatment plan, a decision to prepare a new LAP for the town was unlikely to delay any development. 

 

Mr Lahart reiterated the fact that a planning application submitted for part of the site had been refused permission by An Bord Pleanala due to there not being an AAP prepared.  He added that any new application on the site was problematic in current circumstances where uncertainty prevailed.  He referred to the Kildare Local Area Plan 2002 Section 2.9 which stated that development should be in accordance with the adopted AAP.  He added that, in accordance with the terms of the LAP, the AAP was subject to the agreement of the members.

 

The Manager advised the members that the contract for the waste water treatment plan in Kildare Town was likely to be signed in October.  He noted the current zoning status of the lands within the AAP3 area as town centre, adding that landowners now had a legitimate expectation of developing their lands in accordance with this zoning.  He informed the members that local area plans could now remain in force for up to ten years and stated that the preparation of an AAP would, of course, take cognisance of the current situation within the area. 

 

Councillor Browne proposed the adoption of the Action Area Plan 3 for Kildare Town.   This proposal was seconded by Councillor McGinley.

 

This proposal was put to the members: eight members voted in favour and ten members voted against, and the proposal was deemed lost.

 

 

8/0910

Planning and Development Act 2000

Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008 – Part VIII

To consider proposal for Sallins Flood Alleviation Works, Phase 2

 

Mr Boland presented a report dated 20 September 2010 to the members in relation to the Sallins Flood Alleviation Works, Phase 2.  He informed the members that it was proposed to commence the work in November to be completed in 2011.  He added that the cost of the work is €500,000 with €450,000 funded by the OPW and the balance by Kildare County Council.  He advised the members that 5 submissions were received during the consultation period.  He recommended the Part 8 for Sallins Flood Alleviation Works, Phase 2 to the members.

 

The members thanked the staff in the Water Services and other departments for the good work carried out on flood alleviation to date.  The members raised a number of issues including the tie-in of flood alleviation works being carried out by the council with works to be undertaken by the developer in The Waterways and completion date for works on railway culvert.  The members acknowledged that a good working relationship had been established with all agencies involved and thanked the Manager for his assistance in this regard.  Mr Willoughby, Mr Lahart and Mr Boland replied to the queries raised by the members.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor MacNamara, and agreed by the members, that in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008, the Part VIII proposal for Sallins Flood Alleviation Works, Phase 2, be agreed.

 

 

9/0910

Promotion of study of Science, Technology, Engineering

and Mathematics (STEM)

 

The Mayor welcomed Mr John McGinnity, Admissions Officer, NUI Maynooth to the Chamber, to give a presentation on the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Mr Whelan, Economic Development, introduced the presentation and informed the members that the Economic Advisory Group had noted the difficulties arising for industry as a result of a lack of quality graduates in the area of science and mathematics.  The Council had come together with NUI Maynooth to set up a pilot project to promote the study of science and mathematics to leaving certificate and to encourage students to take honours in these subjects. 


The project is called the Kildare STEM Project to promote of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  The project was launched on 7 September 2010 by the Mayor at NUI Maynooth.  A scholarship scheme to study certain degree programmes at NUI Maynooth has also been developed and funded in partnership between the Council, NUI Maynooth and a number of Kildare based industries.

 

Mr McGinnity said that this project had provided a unique opportunity for NUI Maynooth to work closely with the Council.  He outlined some of the current STEM activities at NUI Maynooth including leaving certificate practicals in January, Young Scientist project assistance and in-service support for science teachers.  He outlined details of the project to date making particular reference to a DVD which has been commissioned for use in classrooms and at parent teacher meetings.  The target audience for the DVD is pre-Junior certificate and transition year students.  A copy has been supplied to all secondary schools in the county and is also available on line at www.careersportal.ie.   In conclusion he outlined details of the scholarship programme available to students under the terms of the project. 

 

The members thanked Mr McGinnity for his presentation remarking that this was a tremendous initiative which warranted support.  They welcomed the DVD which they considered to be a very useful tool in promoting the study of science and mathematics.

 

The County Manager said that the Council recognised the importance of NUI Maynooth to the county and stated that this was one of a number of issues being worked on with the college. 

 

The Mayor thanked Mr McGinnity and Mr Whelan for a very informative presentation.

 

 

10/0910

Mayor’s Business

 

The Mayor congratulated the National Ploughing Association on holding yet another successful Ploughing Championships in Athy.  He welcomed confirmation that the Championships would be held in Athy again next year.  He acknowledged the role played by Kildare County Council both in assisting with the organisation and attendance at the event.  He asked that a letter be sent to the National Ploughing Association acknowledging a successful event this year and congratulating them on securing the event for Athy for next year.  The Manager joined in the congratulations to the NPA and thanked the council staff who attended the event and the other agencies, including the Gardai, who assisted the organisers.  The members of the Athy area committee noted the success of the event this year and welcomed the holding of the event in Athy again next year.


 

11/0910

Votes of Sympathy

 

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

 

The family of the late Paddy Doherty, Water Caretaker, Athy Town Council.

 

 

12/0910

Housing Report

 

Mr Minnock presented the housing report setting out the funding allocations for the main construction/acquisition programme, capital assistance scheme, capital loans and subsidy scheme and traveller accommodation.  He informed the members that the capital assistance scheme allocation had been reduced from €7m to €4m.  In relation to the traveller accommodation allocation he considered it unlikely that the full allocation would be spent this year.  In relation to the remedial works programme in St Patrick’s Park, Rathangan he stated that this was a 3-5 year project.  He updated the members in relation to the retrofitting works, the RAS Scheme and the grants.  The members raised a number of issues including a request for confirmation as to where houses have been purchased, a suggestion that staff time relating to the RAS Scheme be analysed to determine actual cost of staff for this work, requesting for information in relation to leasing scheme, clarification in relation to spending of grant monies, report requested in relation to number of people on housing waiting list in the county categorised by need, completion date for remedial works in St Patrick’s Park, Rathangan, vacant traveller accommodation in Blacklion.  Mr Minnock replied to the queries raised.

 

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

13/0910

Correspondence

 

The council noted receipt of the following correspondence:

▪         Letter from Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, in reply to our correspondence regarding insurance companies encouraging their customers to leave taps running during freezing weather conditions.  Noted.

▪         Letter from Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, acknowledging receipt of our letter requesting that the Data Protection Act be amended to allow for the publishing of names and addresses of private individuals fined or convicted as a result of littering.  Noted.

▪         Letter from Minister for Health and Children, acknowledging receipt of our letter requesting that the Health Service Executive be disbanded.  Noted.

 

 

14/0910

Conferences

 

The administrator confirmed that the following list of upcoming Conferences had been considered by the Group Leaders in the Chamber and found to be suitable for attendance:

 

 

1 October 2010

Exploring the future for recreational trails in Ireland

Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Approximate cost per delegate: €350

 

5 October 2010

Youth Employment Conference

Croke Park, Dublin 3

Approximate cost per delegate: €350

 

8 -  9 October 2010

LAMA Autumn Seminar

Local Government Efficiency and Financing

Listowel Arms Hotel, Listowel, Co Kerry

Approximate cost per delegate: €800

Nominees: Councillors Nolan and O’Loughlin

 

15 - 16 October 2010

Dr Douglas Hyde Conference 2010

Abbeyfield Hotel, Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon

Approximate cost per delegate: € 550

 

22 - 24 October 2010

Alternative Energy Competing with the Rest of Europe

The Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co KIldare

Approximate cost per delegate: €350

 

25 - 27 November 2010

Achieving World Class Tourism

Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Co Clare

Approximate cost per delegate: €900

Nominatee: Councillor Callaghan, Councillor Purcell, Councillor Kennedy

 

15/0910

New Signage on Motorways

 

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor O’Donnell:

That the Council request a report from the NRA explaining the need for the new signage currently being erected on the county's motorways, the number of signs being erected in Kildare and the cost of this project.

 

The administrator informed the members that the Transportation Department would write to the NRA in relation to the replacement of signage on motorways if the members wished.  Councillor O’Donnell stressed that it was the replacement of what seem to be perfectly good signs that was of concern.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor O’Donnell, seconded by Councillor Heydon, that a letter be sent to the NRA requesting clarification as to the need for new signage to be erected in place of what seem to be perfectly good signs, the number of signs being erected and the cost of this project.

 

 

16/0910

St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy

 

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

That Kildare County Council calls on the Minister for Health to reinstate the beds which have recently been lost in St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy, to prevent all future loss of beds      and to ensure that St Vincent’s Hospital is available as a choice location for patients requiring step down facilities from Naas General Hospital.

 

Councillor Daly proposed that the Minister for Health be called upon to reinstate the beds which have been lost in St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy and that no further beds be closed.  He stated this facility was used by people from across the county for step down and respite care.  Having recently been removed from the list for step down care he noted that the hospital had been added back on to the list last week. 

 

An action group has been set up to stem the loss of beds in the hospital and the group has met with Minister Áine Brady.  It is not just the need to ensure that no further beds are closed that is at issue, but also the need to reinstate beds already closed.  Councillor Daly added that this motion had already been passed by Athy Town Council and called for support from his colleagues in the Chamber. 

 

A number of members spoke in favour of the proposal which was seconded by Councillor Heydon.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Daly, seconded by Councillor Heydon, and agreed by the members, that the Minister for Health be called upon to reinstate the beds which have recently been lost in St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy, to prevent all future loss of beds    and to ensure that St Vincent’s Hospital is available as a choice location for patients requiring step down facilities from Naas General Hospital.

.

 

17/0910

Kildare Vocational Education Committee

 

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

That Kildare County Council congratulates the work of Kildare VEC on proactively developing education campuses in Naas and Athy, being to the fore in establishing one of Ireland’s first Community Primary Schools and attracting the IVEA Headquarters to the county

 

Councillor Daly acknowledged the significant projects which had been carried out by Kildare VEC across the county in recent times.  In particular he made reference to new education campuses and a community primary school.  The VEC is a large employer in the county and has approximately 5,000 second level students in schools throughout the county.  He added that the VEC needs the future support of the members in relation to zoning of land, granting of planning permission, provision of infrastructure and delivery of broadband.

 

Councillor Miley proposed that a letter be sent to the Minister for Education and Skills thanking her for supporting the VEC in Co Kildare to improve facilities in the county.  This proposal was not agreed by the members.

 

 

18/0910

Access to Playgrounds

 

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

That Kildare County Council investigate the costs and feasibility of installing card holder access to public playgrounds. This would require registration for use by relevant parties and should help in eliminating vandalism and use of facilities by inappropriate groups or unsupervised children.

 

The administrator read a report from the Senior Executive Parks Superintendent indicating that the feasibility of implementing a scheme with card holders present a number of issues. Firstly the resources to finance it and the logistics of issuing these cards and the resulting administration would not be feasible with the resources available and may reduce the number of people using the playgrounds because of the difficulties in accessing them.  In addition it may have no effect on the vandalism which is caused by only a small percentage of individuals. Therefore it is not proposed to advance this suggestion any further at present.

The preference for trying to curb antisocial activity is to choose a visible location for the playground in close proximity to other community facilities to provide supervision and/or to have local keyholders who can open and close the playground. 

 

Councillor S Doyle noted the content of the report, however, she suggested that it may be worthwhile carrying out a cost benefit analysis of the proposal.  Some members suggested that the introduction of access cards to playgrounds may prove cumbersome and may, in some instances, put people off using the facility.  Councillor Murphy proposed that issues relating to the operation of playgrounds around the county be referred to the Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee for further investigation.  This proposal was seconded by Councillor O’Donnell.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Murphy, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, and agreed by the members, that the Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee consider issues relating to the operation of playgrounds around the county.

 

 

19/0910

Government Sell Off of Valuable State Assets

 

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

That this Council rejects the Government’s proposal to sell off valuable state assets, like the ESB and Bord Gais, and that we demand that the Minister for Finance to retain them in public ownership.

 

Councillor McGinley referred to a review group set up by the Government whose terms of reference included drawing up a list of assets for disposal.  He stated that the Government should learn from the sale of Eircom and ensure that valuable assets are retained in State ownership.  He called on his colleagues in the Chamber to support his proposal that we demand that the Minister for Finance retains valuable State assets in public ownership.  Councillor MacNamara seconded the motion.  Councillor Griffin proposed an amendment to the motion to read “that this Council supports the retention of the generation facilities in the country and rejects the Government’s proposal to sell off valuable state assets, like the ESB and Bord Gais, and that we demand that the Minister for Finance retain them in public ownership”.  Councillor McGinley agreed the proposed amendment.  Councillor Kelly stated that there was no proposal, at present, to sell off state assets. 


 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor MacNamara, and agreed by the members, that this Council supports the retention of the generation facilities in the country and rejects the Government’s proposal to sell off valuable state assets, like the ESB and Bord Gais, and that we demand that the Minister for Finance retain them in public ownership.

 

 

20/0910

Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010

 

The council considered the following motion in the names of Councillors Murphy, McEvoy, Moore and Kennedy:

That Kildare County Council arrange an in-house training seminar on the 2010 Planning and Development (Amendment) Act and that the council arrange for members to be notified of policy circulars/ planning guidelines etc. and that these should then be archived on the Council intranet.

 

The Mayor noted that the Planning department had agreed to arrange an in-house training seminar for the members within the next few weeks.  He stated that it was intended to commence the meeting schedule for the consideration of the County Development Plan on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 3pm, however, this date clashes with a meeting of the VEC.  The date for the meeting will be reviewed and the members will be informed.

 

Resolved that the report be noted and that a revised meeting date for commencement of consideration of the County Development Plan be notified to the members.

 

 

21/0910

Water Meters for Schools

 

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

We are provided with information in relation to the number of schools where water meters are installed, the number where water meters are due to be installed, who does the installation and do the Council require such installation.   The amount charged by those schools for water in 2009 together with the amount paid by them for that year.   For those schools where no water meter is in place how is the water charge applied.   Under the polluter pays principle what exceptions if any are provided for.  

 

The administrator read a report from the Water Services Department which stated that there are 120 schools in the county where meters are required.  93 schools presently are metered and Water Services are in the process of installing meters in the remaining 27 schools.  He also read a report from the Finance Department which set out the position in relation to the guidelines set down under the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government circular WSP1/08 (Water Services Pricing Policy Implementation Water Charges/Water Conservation for Schools), whereby schools were charged based on the lower of the flat rate per pupil or the local authority’s actual volumetric rate.  Up to 2007 Kildare County Council operated a local arrangement whereby schools were billed at 50% of the standard/volumetric rate.  This was superseded by Government policy.  The report noted that, to date, the amount paid by schools in respect of 2009 is €50,626.75.  Where no water meter was in place the lower of the fixed charge (€416 for 2009) and the flat rate per pupil applies.  No exemptions are provided under the polluter pays principal and/or Departmental guidelines.  However, in line with our policy for charities and other non-profit making organisations, Kildare County Council is issuing, as and from 1 January 2010, each school with an annual discount equivalent to one domestic allowance (€265.22 in 2010) irrespective of size. 

 

Councillor Murphy noted the content of the report and added that concern was being raised about potential increases for water charges for schools.  She stated that it is not possible to compare Irish schools to their counterpart EU schools which are fully funded.  She acknowledged that the council had taken a reasonable approach to this issue.  She stated, however, that the polluter pays principal is being inappropriately applied to schools. 

 

Councillor McGinley referred to a similar motion which had been discussed previously and Councillor Griffin stated that the response from the Minister to that motion was to point out that there was no derogation for schools.  He welcomed the work of the Council under the Green Schools Initiative which had been of some assistance to schools in the area of water conservation. 

 

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Griffin, that standing orders be suspended for 10 minutes to enable the meeting to continue until 6.10pm.

 

 

22/0710

Support for Alzheimer’s Patients

 

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

Given the current lack of facilities to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients in the county that this council does what it can to support all organizations and institutions addressing the issue of providing a proper service for the people affected throughout the county.


 

In introducing this motion Councillor Nolan stated that there are currently 1,300 diagnosed Alzheimer patients in the county with a further 200-300 people awaiting diagnosis.  He stated that he has been working with the Alzheimer’s Association in an effort to secure a premises for a day care centre in the county.  He has been in consultation with the Department of Defence on the Curragh who are willing to allow part of a premises to be rented by the association.  Councillor Nolan proposed that a letter be sent to the Minister for Defence requesting agreement to allow the use of a premises on the Curragh as a day care centre by the Alzheimer’s Association.  This proposal was seconded by Councillor Miley.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Nolan, seconded by Councillor Miley, that a letter be sent to the Minister for Defence requesting agreement to allow a premises on the Curragh to be used as a day care centre by the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

 

23/0910

Billboard Advertising Signage

 

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillors Miley and S Doyle:

In an effort to afford Co. Kildare's small and medium enterprises some competitive advantage in adverse economic conditions, and in turn protect vulnerable jobs for citizens, that Kildare County Council develop reasonable policies that facilitate the use of billboard advertising signage in strategic locations throughout the County.

 

The administrator read a report from Mr Whelan, Economic Development, stating that the Planning Department, in consultation with the Transportation Department, will develop a draft policy for signage/advertising on public roads.  The draft policy will be brought to the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee for discussion and recommendation to full Council for implementation.

 

In reply to questions raised by the members, the County Manager advised that issues relating to policy on motorways is a matter for the NRA.  He stated that it was hoped to develop a pilot project, in conjunction with the NRA, whereby signage could be allowed.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, that the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee consider preparation of a draft policy for signage/advertising on public roads.

 

 

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The meeting concluded.