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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

Minutes of Monthly Meeting
held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 28 June 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, S Doyle, S Griffin, M Heydon, P Kennedy, P Kelly, S Langan, A Lawlor, P McEvoy, J McGinley, S Moore, M Miley,
C Murphy, M Nolan, T O’Donnell, F O’Loughlin, C Purcell and M Wall.

Apologies:  Councillors L Doyle, P MacNamara and D Scully

Also Present: Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs J Boland, J Lahart, P Minnock and M O’Leary (Directors of Services), B Sweeney (Acting Head of Finance), C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

_________________________

1/0610
Votes of Sympathy

The Mayor extended his sympathy to the family of the late Lieutenant General Dermot Earley.  The members and the Manager joined the Mayor in expressing their sympathy to Lieutenant General Earley’s wife and family on his recent death.  A number of members and the Manager reflected on Lieutenant General Earley’s achievements during his life, with particularly reference to his career and sport. 

Votes of sympathy were also expressed to the following:
Carmel Reilly, School Warden, Ballycahan, Kilcock on the death of her son.
Paul Makhuza, National Roads Design Office, on the death of his father.

The Mayor adjourned the meeting for ten minutes as a mark of respect.


2/0610
Confirmation of Minutes

The council considered the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 31 May 2010 and adjourned meeting held on 14 June 2010, together with the progress report. 
 
Councillor Murphy referred to minute item 16/0610 of adjourned meeting held on 14 June 2010.  She stated that the report given by the executive at the meeting made reference to live planning applications.  She believed that this information was incorrect as, while there was an appeal under consideration by An Bord Pleanala, there were no current applications before the Council for consideration.  She asked that the minute of the meeting be amended to reflect this.  The meetings administrator stated that the report to the meeting of 14 June 2010 was correct, as, at the time of the meeting, there were two applications relevant to the area referenced in Councillor Murphy’s motion, with An Bord Pleanala for determination.  He did not consider there was any justifiable reason to amend the minute of the meeting.  Councillor Murphy was not happy with this response and considered that it was within the remit of the Council to discuss planning applications that were at the appeal stage.  The meetings administrator stated that Councillor Murphy’s dissatisfaction with the reply to the motion would be reflected in the minute of this meeting, but he did not consider it necessary or appropriate to amend the minute of the adjourned meeting of 14 June 2010.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Browne, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, that the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 31 May 2010 and adjourned meeting held on 14 June 2010 be confirmed and taken as read.


3/0610
Committee Minutes

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

Athy Area – 19 April 2010
Celbridge Area – 21 May 2010
Clane Area – 11 May 2010.
Kildare Area – 19 May 2010
Naas Area – 18 May 2010

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


4/0610
Disposal of Land

0.097 ha. at Mullamast, Athy
The council considered statutory notice dated 3 June 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.097 ha at Mullamast, Athy, Co Kildare to Matthew Farrell, in consideration of payment of €2,500 and subject to each party bearing their own costs.
Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Wall, 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.

0.3198 ha. at Burtown Big, Athy
The council considered statutory notice dated 3 June 2010, which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 0.3198 ha at Burtown Big, Athy, Co Kildare to Michael Mahon, as part of agreement reached at arbitration.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Wall, 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.

12 Rosconnell Avenue, Newbridge
The council considered statutory notice dated 15 June 2010 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 12 Rosconnell Avenue, Newbridge, Co Kildare to Adrian Stefan Sprinceana and Ingrid Virsilaite in consideration of €185,000.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Wall, 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.

29 Rosconnell Avenue, Newbridge
The council considered statutory notice dated 15 June 2010 which had been circulated to the members under Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 29 Rosconnell Avenue, Newbridge, Co Kildare to Artur and Renata Wojcik in consideration of €185,000.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Wall, 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.


5/0610
Planning and Development Act 2000
Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008 – Part VIII
To consider proposal for Athy Traffic Management Plan

The members considered the County Manager’s report dated June 2010 which had been circulated by the Transportation Department in advance of the meeting.  The members of the Athy Area Committee welcomed the Traffic Management Plan for Athy and stated that this matter had been considered jointly by the Area Committee and Town Council.  They all stressed that delivery of the southern distributor road for Athy remained the number one priority for the town.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor Wall, that in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008, that the Part VIII proposal for the Athy Traffic Management Plan be agreed.


6/0610
Section 85 Agreements


(a) Removal of graffiti from bridges in Fingal
(b) Planning and design of Maynooth Outer Orbital Route

(a) The administrator referred to a report dated 16 June 2010 which had been circulated
by the Transportation Department relating to an agreement with Fingal County Council for the removal of graffiti from Greater Dublin Area Overbridges.   He noted that this was similar to previous agreements with South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Councils which have already been approved.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kelly, that in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 2001, an agreement be made with Fingal County Council for the removal of graffiti from Greater Dublin Area Overbridges.

(b) The members considered a report dated 18 June 2010 from the Transportation
Department in relation to a proposed Section 85 agreement with Meath County Council for the planning and design of a section of the Maynooth Outer Orbital Route.  In response to queries from Councillors Griffin and McGinley, Mr O’Leary stated that the Celbridge Area Committee will be kept informed of progress on this matter and also confirmed that phases for construction works will be discussed with Meath County Council once the detailed design has been examined.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kelly, that in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 2001, an agreement be made with Meath County Council for the planning and design of a section of the Maynooth Outer Orbital Route (Moyglare Road in Co Kildare to the R157 in Co Meath.

7/0610
Raising of loan for Water Services Projects

The administrator referred to a report dated 2 June 2010 from the Water Services Department setting out the requirement for a loan in the sum of €5.901m to be raised for the Lower Liffey Valley Regional Sewerage Scheme – Network Upgrade.  Mr Boland set out the cost of works associated with the Water Services Programme and confirmed that the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government was agreeable to the raising of the loan by the Council for this purpose.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Murphy, seconded by Councillor McGinley, that the council approve the raising of a loan in the sum of €5.901 million for the Lower Liffey Valley Regional Sewerage Scheme – Network Upgrade.


8/0610
Review of Waste Management Plan (2005-2010)

Mr Boland informed the members that the current Waste Management Plan expires in January 2011 and there is a legal requirement to review the Plan at least every 5 years.  He advised that the formal review was being commenced and that advertisements would be placed inviting submissions.  Closing date for receipt of submissions is 27 August 2010.  He stated that, while adoption of a Waste Management Plan was an executive function, the members would be kept informed and there would be an opportunity for input through the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee. 

In response to a question from Councillor Griffin, the County Manger confirmed that a report was currently being prepared in relation to the refuse service, which would be before the July Council meeting for consideration.


9/0610
Action Area Plan (3) Kildare Town

Mr Lahart stated that, following a meeting with the members of the Kildare Area Committee, the committee had indicated that this Action Area Plan should not proceed as they had a number of concerns.  Councillor S Doyle stated that the Area Committee wished to prioritise a review of the 2001 Local Area Plan.  Councillor O’Donnell said that the area committee members were unanimous in their agreement not to adopt the proposed Action Area Plan.  Councillor Lawlor referred to village plans that are contained in the draft County Development Plan and requested that the relevant area committees be given an opportunity to consider these before the Plan comes to full Council.  Mr Lahart stated that there was a procedure in place to consult with the members in relation to the County Development Plan and arrangements will be put in place between now and September.  In relation to Action Area Plan (3), Mr Lahart said that, arising from the decision of the Kildare Area Committee not to proceed with consideration and adoption of the Area Action Plan, it would not be possible to grant any planning applications within the Action Area Plan area until the AAP is adopted – accordingly all applications within AAP3 area would be refused pending adoption of the AAP or the making of alternative arrangements.


10/0610
Mid-East Joint Homelessness Consultative Forum
Homelessness Action Plan May 2010 – May 2013

Mr Minnock referred to the Homelessness Action Plan which had been circulated to the members.  This plan sets out the policy framework for delivery of homeless services locally and in the Mid-East Region.  The overall objective is to have the best outcome for homeless households.  He added that the next stage in the process would involve the compilation and analysis of data received.  Councillor S Doyle is the Council’s representative on the Forum. 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor S Doyle, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, that the Mid-East Joint Homelessness Consultative Forum Homelessness Action  Plan May 2010 – May 2013 be adopted.


11/0610
Amendments to Standing Orders

The administrator referred to a report dated 15 February 2010 setting out proposed amendments to Standing Orders, which had been circulated to the members together with a copy of the draft Standing Orders.  He referred, in particular, to the amendment to standing order number 24 which proposed to extend the notice period for motions and questions to by one day to twelve days.  In response to queries raised by the members the administrator confirmed that standing orders allowed for electronic communications.  For legal reasons agendas will continue to issue in hard copy.  He said that a calendar setting out dates for submission of notices of motions and questions could be prepared if the members wished.  At the suggestion of the Mayor it was agreed that the amendment relating to extending the notice period for motions and questions to twelve days would be introduced as and from 1 January 2011. 

Resolved with the agreement of the members that Standing Orders be amended as outlined in report dated 15 February 2010 with amendment relating to standing order number 24 to be introduced as and from 1 January 2011.


12/0610
Draft Annual Report 2009

The administrator referred to the draft Annual Report for 2009 which had been circulated to the members for consideration.  Councillor Murphy requested that Independent members of the Council be referred to as Independent in the document and not non-party.  The administrator agreed that this amendment will be made.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Langan, to adopt the Annual Report 2009.


13/0610
Annual Financial Statement for Financial Year ended 31 December 2009

Ms Sweeney presented the Annual Financial Statement for financial year ended 31 December 2009 to the members. 

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


14/0610
Approval of Over-expenditure for Year ended 31 December 2009

Ms Sweeny referred to appendix 9 of the Annual Finance Statement, which set out the over-expenditure for year ended 31 December 2009.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Griffin, that the over expenditure set out in appendix 9 of the annual financial statement for year ended 31 December 2009, and re-produced in appendix 1 to these minutes, be approved.


15/0610
Manager’s Business

The Manager informed the members that, as and from 1 July 2010, the Council would be obliged to charge VAT on some services, where the Council was in competition with private providers of services.  He said that this was a requirement of taxation law and confirmed that the public would be notified by way of advertisements.  Ms Sweeney identified the services which would be impacted by this change and clarified that the VAT charge related to the cost of grave openings and not the purchase of a plot.  Councillor Kelly requested that the rate of VAT applicable to this service be checked.  Councillor Murphy stated that, while she appreciated that his was Government policy, it will result in a new tax for consumers of services provided by the Council.  She proposed that a letter be sent to the Minister for Finance seeking payment to the Council of revenue projected to be received as a result of this change to taxation law, in order that the outcome will be cost neutral to the residents of the county. 

Resolved that a letter be sent to the Minister for Finance seeking payment to the Council of revenue projected to be received from the introduction of changes to VAT in order that the result is cost neutral to residents of the county.


16/0610
Comhairle na nÓg

The Mayor welcomed representatives from Comhairle na nÓg and Kildare Youth Services to the Chamber.  Mr Minnock introduced Shane Hogan and Robert Quirke from Comhairle na nÓg and Des O’Sullivan and Maura Laffin from KYS.  He said that Comhairle na nÓg had been established under the County Development Board and was operated by KYS by way of a service agreement.  He invited Shane and Robert to make their presentation to the members.  The presentation, entitled “Young Voices, Local Issues” outlined the work of Comhairle na nÓg and set out projects undertaken to date.  They briefed the members on this year’s Dáil na nÓg and referred to the themes discussed; Equality of Access to Education and Mental Health.  They informed the members that there were two recommendations coming forward from the County Panel to date one relating to the holding of a festival at each local comhairle and the second related to the provision of a mobile community bus to operate as an information and youth centre.  Robert and Shane invited questions and comments and replied to a number of issues and questions raised by the members.  They Mayor and Manager thanked Shane and Robert for their excellent presentation and wished them well for their future work with Comhairle na nÓg.


17/0610
Correspondence

The council noted receipt of the following correspondence:

• Letter from County Kildare Leader Partnership confirming that the AGM of Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teo will be held on 22 July 2010 and requesting confirmation in advance of the re-nomination of Councillors Moore, O’Donnell and Wall to the Board of his company.   The administrator informed the members, that subject to the articles of association of the company allowing, the Council’s nominees would normally serve for five years, this being the term of the Council.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor Miley, and agreed by the members, that Councillors Moore, O’Donnell and Wall be re-nominated to the Board of Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teo and that they continue to serve for the term of the Council.

• Letter from the Minister for Education and Science acknowledging receipt of our letter in relation to an appeals process for Special Education decisions.


18/0610
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:

8 July 2010
UK Trade and Investment  
“Building Wind Energy Infrastructure”
Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Approximate cost per delegate: €450

16 – 18 July 2010
Elected Members Training Seminar
“Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009)”
Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare 
Approximate cost per delegate: €500


18 - 24 July 2010
30th Annual MacGill Summer School and Arts Week
Glenties, Co Donegal
Approximate cost per delegate: €1,000


19/0610
Loughanure Group Water Scheme

The council considered the following motion from the Clane Area Committee:
To consider taking in charge of the Loughanure Group Water Scheme.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Griffin, that the Loughanure Group Water Scheme be taken in charge.


20/0610
Drehid Community Grant Scheme 2010

The members noted a report from the Planning Department dated 16 June 2010 setting out details of grants totalling €232,920 to be distributed to community groups in the area of the Drehid Waste Management Facility, in accordance with conditions 16 and 17 of planning permission reference PL 09.212059. 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Miley, seconded by Councillor McEvoy, that grants totalling €232,920 be paid to community groups as set out in report from the Planning Department dated 16 June 2010, in accordance with conditions 16 and 17 of planning permission reference PL 09.212059.


21/0610
Non-Principal Private Residence

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Griffin:
That the council be advised of the amount of income generated under the NPPR system for the year 2009 and whether the income for 2010 is on par with 2009 figures.

The administrator read a report from the Finance Department advising that the total amount collected for Kildare County Council and Naas and Athy Town Councils for 2009 was €1,855,040.  It was noted that payment must be made on or before 30th June in order to avoid late payment fees.  Ms Sweeney confirmed that as of 20th June the amount collected for the three authorities for 2010 was €864,000, she noted that there had been an increased rate of payment in recent days.  In reply to a question from Councillor Griffin in relation to the number of units for which the NPPR had not been paid, Ms Sweeney stated that this was a self-declaration process. 

Resolved that the report be noted.


22/0610
Taking Estates in Charge

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Murphy:
That the council outline what legal advise they have received in relation to taking estates in charge where a distributor road is providing for further development to the rear of estates.  We consider if a policy response would be helpful for future developments that occur.

 
The administrator read a report from the Planning Department advising that, before an estate can be taken in charge, there must be an ‘unbroken’ link from the estate to be taken in charge and the existing public infrastructure ie. there can be no sections of road, sewers or watermains not in the control of the County Council between the estate to be taken in charge and the existing public infrastructure.  Development Control will continue to work with developers and local communities in expediting the taking in charge process. 

Councillor Murphy stated that it was in the interests of residents to have works completed and estates taken in charge.  She asked if legal advice had been received in relation to taking estates in charge in the absence of one element being complete eg. a through road and requested that the advice be circulated to the members for information if it is available.

Resolved that the report be noted.


23/0610
Incomplete Housing Estates

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Murphy:
Given that there are many housing estates that were under construction during the boom that remain incomplete, we consider what mitigating measures might be used to improve the living environment for those living in such estates, such as obscuring or removing the builders compound, ensuring the planting is done in finished sections and the wearing course is applied to as much of the road as possible. 

The administrator read a report from the Planning Department dated 24 June 2010 stating that in the light of the changing economic circumstances, particularly in the construction sector, the Building Control Section is currently undertaking a review of all private residential developments in the county to establish:
(a)  Number of units to be completed in each estate.
(b)  The quantity and cost of works required to complete each estate.
(c)  The value and type of bond provided (bank or cash) for each estate.
(d)  Expiry date of bank bonds.

This assessment will provide a basis for forming a strategy for dealing with finished, unfinished and abandoned estates in the county.  As these estates are private developments, the local authority should not incur any expenditure in bringing about any proposed actions in this regard.

Councillor Murphy stated that she was not suggesting that the Council should incur any costs in situations where a developer should be completing the estate.  There should, however, be an obligation on developers to ensure that estates are left in a habitable condition for residents.  Where complaints of this type are received from residents the Council must try to encourage and, if possible, force developers to carry out works to the estate.  Councillor Murphy requested clarification as to how an instance could arise where a developer could receive a partial refund of bond monies resulting in a situation arising where there is now not enough monies remaining in the bond to complete outstanding works in a development in order to allow it to be taken in charge.  In supporting the motion Councillor Miley proposed that the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee formulate a strategy to deal with such situations.

Resolved that this motion be referred to the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee for consideration.


24/0610
Outstanding Development Levies

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor O’Donnell:
That Kildare County Council report on the measures being undertaken to reclaim the €14,091,188 in outstanding development levies announced at the March meeting, and in particular whether the full amount has been invoiced; whether consideration has been given to engaging a professional debt collection service; whether definitive confirmation exists that the Council will be treated as a preferred creditor should any proceedings ensue; whether any guarantees exist on the debts; and whether the Council can seize good or chattels (e.g. properties) in lieu of repayment.

The administrator read a report from the Planning Department stating that, in general, development contributions become due in full following (a) commencement of works or (b) receipt of a Commencement Notice.  There are some exceptions to this including cases where the development does not proceed or the period for completion of the development expiring.  Accordingly, a portion of the €14m approx, mentioned above, will not be realisable. The report also set out a number of actions taken recently in respect of outstanding levies.  The issues relating to debt recovery, identified in the motion, will be examined further, on a case by case basis. 

A number of members raised concerns in relation to recovery of development levies from people, particularly those building one-off family homes, who are now in financial difficulties.  The Manager stated that, while there is an obligation on the Council to collect outstanding monies, a responsible approach to management of collection of development levies is in place.

Resolved that the report be noted.

25/0610
Overdue Payments

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor O’Donnell:
That Kildare County Council report on the total value of overdue payments and any bad debt provisions on:
(a) Commercial rates
(b) Local authority housing rent
(c) Commercial water charges

The administrator read a report from the Finance Department dated 28 June 2010 referring to Appendix 7 of the Annual Financial Statement 2009 which sets out amounts outstanding as at 31 December 2009 and the relevant bad debt attaching at that date.

Resolved that the report be noted.

____

The meeting concluded.
 
Kildare County Council

Appendix 1 to Minutes of Monthly Meeting held on 25 May 2009
(Minute Number 14/0610 refers)

Schedule of Expenditure as against Allocation – Additional Expenditure 2008

Description Excess (€)
LA Housing Maintenance, Assessment, Rent 218,485
Support to Housing Capital Programme 608,976
Traffic Management, Road Safety, Car Parking 429,237
Public Water Supply 237,996
Public Sewerage Systems 560,202
Support to Water Capital Programme and Misc. 1,031,400
Land Use Planning 395,122
Industrial Development 11,724
Landfill Aftercare/Waste Disposal 1,297,344
Litter Management/Street Cleaning 59,660
Waste Management Regulations and Planning 2,490,337
Swimming Pools and Recreation Centres 8,442
Parks 50,248
Community Support and Recreation Development 193,691
Education 3,670,062
Rates Collection 1,869,541
Coroners Expenses 35,048
 Local Representation and Civic Leadership 274,396