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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

 

Minutes of Monthly Meeting
held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 29 November 2010 at
Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

 

Members Present: Councillor B Weld (Mayor); Councillors F Browne, K Byrne, W Callaghan, L Doyle, S Doyle, S Griffin,

M Heydon, P Kennedy, P Kelly, S Langan, A Lawlor, P MacNamara, P McEvoy, J McGinley, M Miley, S Moore,

C Murphy, M Nolan, T O'Donnell, F O'Loughlin, C Purcell, D Scully and M Wall.

 

Apologies:             Councillor R Daly

 

Also Present:        Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs J Boland, J Lahart and P Minnock (Directors of Services),

Mr M O'Leary (Acting Director of Services), C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

 

_________________________

 

1/1110

Confirmation of Minutes

 

The council considered the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 18 October 2010 and adjourned meeting of 26 October 2010 together with the progress report.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Nolan, seconded by Councillor Griffin, that the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 18 October 2010 and adjourned meeting held on 26 October 2010 be confirmed and taken as read.

 

Councillor McGinley referred to the Progress Report and raised concern in relation to the number of alcohol fines issued since 2008, noting that the Council stopped prosecuting offences since 2003 due to the high costs involved.  He proposed that the matter of enforcement of alcohol bye-laws be referred to the Joint Policing Committee for consideration.  Councillor Murphy requested that this matter be considered by the appropriate strategic policy committee, as well as by the joint policing committee, and report to full council with proposals as to how the bye-laws can be enforced as was intended.  The meetings administrator suggested that, as this was an operational matter, and not related to development of policy, it would not be appropriate to refer the issue to a strategic policy committee.

 

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Purcell, that the proper enforcement of alcohol bye-laws be referred to the Joint Policing Committee for consideration and report to full Council.

 

 

2/1110

Committee Minutes

 

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

 

Athy –  20 September 2010

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Wall, that the minutes be noted.

 

Clane – 12 October 2010

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

 

Celbridge –  17 September 2010 and 19 October 2010

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

In response to a query from Councillor Murphy, the meetings administrator confirmed that, while confidential, the minutes of the closed session of the Celbridge Area Committee held on 19 October 2010 are available to the members of the committee.

 

Kildare –  15 September 2010

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

 

Naas  - 21 September 2010 and 19 October 2010

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor Moore, that the minutes be noted.

 

 

3/1110

Disposal of Land

 

0.97 ha at Fairgreen, Naas

The Council considered statutory notice dated 18 November 2010 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.97ha of the council’s land at Fairgreen, Naas, Co Kildare to the Department of Education and Skills in consideration of payment of €245,000.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Callaghan, seconded by Councillor Scully, that 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.

 

 

4/1110

Twinning Committee

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Wall, seconded by Councillor Kelly, that Councillor Daly and Councillor Purcell be appointed to the Twinning Committee.

 

 

5/1110

Speed Limit Bye-Law for R448

 

The members considered a report dated 8 November 2010 from the Transportation Department.  The meetings administrator confirmed that this matter had been considered by the Athy Area Committee.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Heydon, seconded by Councillor Wall, that the Road Traffic (Speed Limits and Special Speed Limits) (County of Kildare) Bye Law in respect of the R448 from the county boundary (Carlow/Kildare) to Kilcullen, under section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 be made.

 

 

6/1110

Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy

 

The members agreed to adopt the Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy as provided in Section 35 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009

 

 

7/1110

Community Facilities Policy

 

Ms Breda Gleeson presented a policy document on community facilities to the members, the document having been considered by the Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee.  In her presentation Ms Gleeson set out the purpose of the policy and the types of facilities included.  She gave examples of new ways of providing services, making particular reference to Clocha Rinnce library. 

 

 

In considering the community facilities policy document the members made a number of comments including limited availability of funding from development levies and restrictions imposed by central government in relation to spending, providing for major population as well as areas included in poverty index and disabilities, provision of facilities in rural communities as well as urban centres.  Members acknowledged work undertaken in conjunction with other agencies and were keen to develop linkages with agencies who could assist, particularly Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teo.  It was suggested that the members receive a presentation in relation to identifying linkages with other agencies and also in relation to the best practice approach in providing facilities, such as Clocha Rinnce Library.  Work carried out to date, particularly in relation to the provision of playgrounds, was acknowledged.  Councillor McGinley noted that the community centre/teen cafe in Maynooth was not included.  Councillor Nolan, who is Chair of the Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee, informed the members that the SPC was holding meetings in different locations throughout the county and would welcome input from members.  Ms Gleeson and Mr Minnock replied to the issues raised by the members.  The Mayor thanked Ms Gleeson for her presentation and all staff involved for the work being undertaken.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Moore, seconded by Councillor Wall, and with the agreement of all members present, the policy document on Community Facilities was adopted.

 

 

8/1110

Policy Documents on

(a) Access Through Housing Estates

(b) Naming of New Housing Estates and appropriate Irish translation

 

The meetings administrator referred to policy documents on access through housing estates and naming of new housing estates and appropriate Irish translation, which had been considered by the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee.  Councillor Scully, Chair of the Planning and Economic Development policy committee, advised the members that some amendments had been included in the documents.  With regard to access through housing estates, he stated that clarity in relation to prospects for future development was needed.  Recommendations for naming of new housing estates and appropriate Irish translation will be referred to local area committees for approval.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor L Doyle, that the policy documents on Access Through Housing Estates and Naming of New Housing Estates and appropriate Irish translation be adopted and that the policy on access through housing estates be incorporated in the County Development Plan.

 

9/1110

Meetings Calendar 2011

 

The meetings administrator informed the members that the calendar of meetings for 2011 had been circulated, following consideration by the Corporate Policy Group.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Murphy, seconded by Councillor Murphy, that the meetings calendar for 2011 be approved.

 

 

10/1110

Mayor's Business

 

The Mayor stated that, further to representations, he had agreed to allow the following emergency motions to be considered:

 

Motion from Councillor Scully that this council agree to the findings of the independent statement from SKM Environs that raises serious health and safety concerns regarding the Kerdiffstown dump and that Kildare County Council immediately call on the EPA to carry out an extensive and satisfactory clean up of the dump as to avoid possible serious consequences for the people of Naas and its environs.

 

Motion from the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee that:

  • we seek a report from the Environment Section of Kildare County Council with regard to water quality in the vicinity of Kerdiffstown;
  • we seek a breakdown of the issues that will be discussed between the EPA and KCC; we are informed as to the date of the meeting that is scheduled to take place; how matters discussed at that meeting will be reported to the Council and in what timeframe;
  • we seek from the Environment Section a list of all sites and facilities that are subject to an EPA licence.  In addition we are informed as to what monitoring measures are in place for each of these sites and facilities;
  • we invite the EPA to address a meeting of Kildare County Council.

 

Mr Boland referred to a report from Mr Holligan, Senior Engineer, which had been circulated to the members, setting out the position with regard to ongoing arrangements for surface water monitoring of the landfill site at Kerdiffstown.  A list of EPA licensed facilities in 2010 was also circulated to the members, as requested.  He informed the members that, together with Mr Holligan and a representative from the Planning Department, he would be meeting with the EPA on 3 December 2010.  He advised that he would raise the concerns of the members at this meeting.


 

Councillor Scully stated that the content of a recent report raised serious concerns, adding that this former landfill site was now a huge environmental issue for the county.  He referred to the results of recent water sampling which he stated were of great concern.  He also referred to the risk of explosion from gases on the site.  He stated that it was an urgent priority that the EPA commence a clean up of this site.  While welcoming the forthcoming meeting with representatives from the EPA, he requested that the members of the Naas Area Committee attend the meeting.  He asked that houses in the vicinity of the site be issued with gas detectors and that water be tested on a weekly basis.

 

Councillor Murphy stated that the motion from the Water and Environmental Services policy committee had been submitted following discussion on this matter at a meeting of the committee.  While the committee understood that the EPA was the body with the primary role in resolving this matter, the council is responsible for any issue with water quality.  She called for physical action to be taken on the ground to deal with the issues.  Councillor Murphy referred to a source of funding that is available from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to assist in cleaning up such sites and proposed that a letter be sent to the Department requesting that funds be made available to the EPA.  Councillor McEvoy seconded this proposal.

 

Councillor Lawlor raised concerns that the feeder stream into the canal was not being monitored.  He added that air quality monitoring was also needed.  He agreed that funding should be requested to reinstate the site back to properly engineered landfill. 

 

Councillors Callaghan and Moore reiterated calls to allow the members of the Naas area committee attend the meeting with the EPA. 

 

Mr Boland stated that the environmental oversight of major landfills in the county rests with the EPA.  He acknowledged that the council is responsible for monitoring surface water and added that this information is shared with the EPA.  He advised that the council liaises with the HSE with regard to the public drinking water supply.  He stated that if there is a private well in the area of the landfill he will arrange for the HSE to carry out an inspection.  Mr Boland stated that he would circulate the agenda for Friday's meeting with the EPA.  He also stated the he would ask the EPA if the members of the Naas Area Committee could attend the meeting on 3rd December.  Notwithstanding the outcome of this request, he will revert to the members with a detailed account of the meeting.

 

Resolved that the EPA be requested to allow the Naas area members attend the meeting arranged for 3 December 2010, that a letter be sent to the EPA requesting that they address the members of the Council and that a report be prepared for the next meeting of the Naas area committee and the next full Council meeting and that a letter be sent to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government requesting that funds be made available to the EPA from the landfill levy to assist with the clean up of the site.

 

Councillor Lawlor raised concerns in relation to the quality of grit purchased by the NRA for allocation to local authorities.  He noted that when the grit gets wet it becomes a putty like substance and gets blocked in the machine.  The meetings administrator advised that it is mostly white salt that is being used at the moment.  He noted that brown salt does tend to cake and cause blockages in the gritters unless stored in certain conditions.  He added that the council is responding to issues arising from the weather conditions, but stated that it was not possible to salt all roads and that people need to drive with caution and care. 

 

The Mayor reminded members that the briefing on the Budget is due to be held on Friday, 3 December 2010 at 2pm.

 

The Mayor and members wished Kathleen Cassidy well on her recent retirement.

 

 

11/1110

Votes of Sympathy

 

The Mayor and members expressed sympathy with the following:

 

Brigid Keane, Internal Audit, on the death of her husband

Linda Phelan, Finance, on the death of her mother

The family of the late John O'Donoghue, former Kildare goalkeeper.

 

 

12/1110

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:

 

3- 4 December 2010

Public Finances 2011

Carlton Millrace Hotel, Bunclody, Co Wexford

Approximate cost per delegate €550

Nominations:

 

 

6 December 2010

The Key Role of Local Government in Promoting Disability Inclusion-Ireland and the World

Venue: G Hotel, Galway

Approximate cost per delegate €500

Nominations:

 

 

28–29 January 2011

The Role of State Institutions and Law Reform in Promoting Ireland’s Economic Future

Venue: Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick

Approximate cost per delegate: €650

Nominations:

 

 

 

13/1110

Correspondence

 

 

The council noted receipt of the following correspondence:

 

  • Letter from the Minister for Defence in response to request that a premises be made available on the Curragh for use as a day-care centre by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  Noted.
  • Letter from Donegal County Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Government and HSE to make Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia a national health priority and to meet the growing needs of families affected by dementia by advancing the Action Plan for Dementia in a manner consistent with the Dementia Manifesto 2007-09 published by the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, until a more permanent Strategy can be determined.  Agreed.
  • Letter from Donegal County Council requesting support for resolution opposing the Government's introduction of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy on electricity bills that will increase the cost of electricity to householders and businesses by an average of 5%.  Noted.
  • Letter from Minister for Finance in response to letter concerning the sale of State assets.  Noted.

 

 

14/1110

Arthurstown Landfill Community Grant Scheme

 

The council considered the following from the Naas area committee:

To approve grants under Arthurstown Landfill Community Grant Scheme

 

The members considered a report from the Planning Department dated 4 November 2010

relating to payment of grants arising from a levy attaching to a planning permission for the

Arthurstown landfill facility as follows:

 

Rathgorragh and District Residents Association              -           €20,000

Hartwell House & Farm Residents Association                -           €21,000

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor Moore, that the grants outlined above be paid.

 

 

15/1110

Celbridge Local Area Plan

 

The council considered the following motion from the Celbridge Area Committee:

That we amend the matrix for the Celbridge area plan so as to accommodate the provision of a cinema at the entrance to Celbridge from the M4.

 

The meetings administrator read a report dated 29 November 2010 advising that the motion calls for an action that cannot be effected without significant amendment of the Celbridge Local Area Plan 2010.  Such action could only be taken after public notice and consultation and a consequent resolution of the council based on that.  The council cannot, therefore, resolve merely on the basis of the motion to amend the matrix.  In addition, the motion has a direct bearing on an appeal which is currently before An Bord Pleanala and consideration of the motion would amount to an improper intervention in the appeal process and an undermining of the Board’s role.

 

Councillor Griffin stated, that further to discussions in relation to consideration of the County Development Plan, it seemed likely that the Celbridge Local Area Plan will need to be reviewed and, in this regard, he was willing to accept the spirit of the report.  Councillor Murphy objected to the comment that it was not possible for the members to debate the motion because of an appeal being before An Bord Pleanla.

 

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

16/1110

Garda Personnel Numbers in Kildare

 

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


 

That the council write to the Minister for Justice to request that Garda personnel numbers be substantially increased in the Kildare division to redress the seriously disproportionate ratio to the county population and the sub-critical level of resources.

 

In proposing the motion Councillor McEvoy stated that Kildare was the lowest county in the table nationally for allocation of Gardai and the allocation of resources does not have regard to population.  Councillor Moore seconded the proposal.  Concerns were raised by members that citizens were not reporting incidents of crime to the Gardai because they believed that nothing would be done.  It was noted that meetings of the Joint Policing Committee were dominated by issues relating to anti-social behaviour.  Councillor Kelly suggested that the request for additional resources should be directed to the Garda Commissioner, as opposed to the Minister for Justice.  The amendment was seconded by Councillor S Doyle and agreed by the members.

 

Resolved that a letter be sent to the Garda Commissioner requesting that Garda personnel numbers be substantially increased in the Kildare division to redress the seriously disproportionate ratio to the county population and the sub-critical level of resources.

 

 

17/1110

GPS Location for Underground Cables

 

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

That a policy requiring all service providers who use and install underground cables, to register a comprehensive GPS location for network of same which shall be recorded by the council to enable the efficient and safe deliberation of future development applications, civic works, etc.

 

The meetings administrator read a report from the Transportation Department suggesting that this matter be referred to the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee for further consideration.  Councillor S Doyle agreed that the matter be referred to the policy committee.

 

Resolved that this matter be referred to the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee for consideration.

 

 

18/1110

Development Levies Scheme

 

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

That the council urgently review the development levies that are applied to successful planning applications.

Councillor S Doyle stated that she was satisfied that the development levies scheme was being reviewed.

 

 

19/1110

Severe and Emergency Weather

 

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

That the Council report on preparations to respond to severe and emergency weather that may occur this winter. Consideration may be given to previous reported plans to install water gauges, rain meters and to co-ordinated communications with the ESB and other agencies.

 

The meetings administrator read reports from both the Transportation and Water Services Departments setting out the actions undertaken in dealing with severe and emergency weather.  Given the current severe weather he also outlined the arrangements for salting of roads in the county.

 

The members raised a number of issues including concerns at how advanced discussions were with the ESB in relation to ensuring the introduction of an early warning system for release of water to the River Liffey, requests that the council liaise with community groups/residents associations with regard to providing salt/grit and that transport routes and areas around schools be salted/gritted. The flood alleviation works undertaken over the past year were acknowledged by the members.  The members also acknowledged the work of the staff who are currently dealing with the bad weather conditions.

 

Mr O’Leary outlined what routes were targeted for salting and stated that this information was available on our website.  He asked that drivers be cautious on the roads, even where they are salted.  He advised that the council liaises closely with Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann and stated that, given that the forecast for the coming days is bad, the crisis management team and local co-ordinating team would be meeting. 

 

The Mayor asked that the staff involved in dealing with the current bad weather be advised of the compliments of the members in the work they are undertaking.

 

 

20/1110

Postal Service in Ireland

 

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

That the council calls on the Government to recognise the unique and vital role of the postal service in Ireland, particularly rural Ireland, as a means of communication, as a vital economic tool and as an intrinsic part of the fabric of the community.

In proposing the motion Councillor Callaghan stated that postmen and post women play a vital role in our communities and acknowledged the value of our postal service.  He referred to the forthcoming Postal Service Bill, stating that this was a very important piece of legislation.  The motion was seconded by Councillor Miley.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Callaghan, seconded by Councillor Miley, that the council calls on the Government to recognise the unique and vital role of the postal service in Ireland, particularly rural Ireland, as a means of communication, as a vital economic tool and as an intrinsic part of the fabric of the community.

 

At this stage the Mayor stated his intention to adjourn the remaining items on the agenda to the December Council meeting.  Due to the forecast severe weather conditions it is possible that the Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 1 December 2010, will not proceed.  The meetings administrator suggested that the members pass a resolution to reconvene the Development Plan meeting at 2.30pm on Monday, 6 December 2010, if necessary.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Nolan, seconded by Councillor Heydon, that the Council reconvene to consider the Development Plan at 2.30pm on Monday, 6 December 2010, should the meeting scheduled for 1 December 2010 not proceed.

 

 

The meeting concluded.

 

 

_________________________