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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

Minutes of Special Meeting
held at 2.00 p.m. on Friday, 9 April 2010 at
Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

Members Present: Councillor C Purcell (Mayor); Councillors F Browne, L Doyle, S Doyle,
M Heydon, P Kelly, S Langan, A Lawlor, P MacNamara, P McEvoy,
J McGinley,  M Miley, M Nolan, M Wall and B Weld.

Apologies: Councillors K Byrne, W Callaghan R Daly, S Griffin, P Kennedy,
S Moore, C Murphy, T O’Donnell F O’Loughlin and D Scully.

Also Present: Mr M Malone, County Manager, Mr J Boland (Director of Services), 
C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

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1/0410
Obligations under the Litter Laws

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor McGinley:
That this Council writes to all businesses advising them of their obligations under the litter laws and that in the event of non-compliance that prosecution will follow.

Councillor McGinley said that he was not aware of any main street businesses in the county having been prosecuted for litter offences. He called for a high profile approach to prosecutions in order to secure compliance with the law, he suggested that businesses be made aware of their obligations to be followed by prosecution where these were not met.

The administrator reported that the Environment Department would advise businesses of their obligations and that consideration was being given to the most effective and efficient method of communication for this purpose. He noted that some businesses were exemplary in their observance of litter law. 
A number of members spoke in favour of this motion noting the effect of litter on tourism, the amount of litter being thrown from cars, particularly on motorways, need for more prosecutions under the litter laws and loss of frontline staff dealing with street sweeping.  It was suggested that consideration be given to further use of technology to assist in detection of litter offences.

Councillor McGinley proposed that Maynooth, being a University town, be chosen for a pilot scheme to liaise with the business community in relation to their obligations under the litter laws and to follow-up with prosecution as necessary.  This proposal was seconded by Councillor Kelly. 

The Manager said that litter was a very serious problem and the Council needed the support and co-operation of society generally to make improvements. He supported the sentiments of the proposal to set up a pilot project for Maynooth. Mr Boland added that litter was becoming a very serious issue. He complimented the staff involved in street sweeping adding that he currently had two full-time crews dealing with fly-tipping.  He agreed with the suggestion to increase the use of technology to assist in the detection of offences.  He undertook to invite the Environmental Awareness Officer to attend the next meeting of the Celbridge area committee to bring forward proposals in relation to the pilot project for Maynooth.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McGinley, seconded by Councillor Kelly, that a pilot project be set-up for Maynooth to inform businesses of their obligations under the litter laws and to follow through to prosecution where necessary.


2/0410
Economic and Job Creation Committee

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Heydon:
That this local authority establish an economic and job creation committee involving all relevant statutory bodies.  This committee would be coordinated by this local authority and actively engaged in a job creation plan within six months.

The administrator read a report from the Economic Development Section advising that, in line with national guidelines, the County Development Board would be forming an Economic Development sub-committee. Guidelines for the membership and operation of such sub-committees were set out in a departmental circular.  As all the key economic stakeholders for Kildare are represented on the County Development Board it is felt that this is the appropriate forum to carry out the work suggested in the motion. The creation of a further committee would lead to duplication and inefficient use of resources.

Councillor Heydon stated that the current economic crisis, which had resulted in an increase in the number of people unemployed in the county by 24% since February 2009, required radical and innovative action.  He considered that the strengths and knowledge of the local authority would be critical in assisting with job creation and sustaining employment.
 
The County Manager acknowledged the sentiment of the motion, reiterating that the County Development Board was in the process of setting up an Economic Development sub-committee, on which the members of the Council would be represented. He urged the members to give this committee time to set out its objectives, adding that reports on the work of this committee can be brought to full Council for consideration.

Councillor McEvoy stated that the Mid East Regional Authority was currently preparing an economic document which would set the context within the region.  Councillor Wall referred to the Athy Investment, Development and Employment Forum stating that the work of this committee was currently being reviewed.

Councillor Heydon requested that a mechanism be put in place to allow the members to review the work of the Economic Development sub-committee.

Resolved that the report be noted.


3/0410
Appointment of Tenants

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor Heydon:
That this council outlines its policy in relation to the appointment of tenants with particular regard to achievement of good estate management and minimising anti-social behaviour.

The administrator read a report from the Housing Department stating that Council policy in relation to the appointment of tenants includes for vetting of tenants prior to being appointed. 
The policy for allocating tenants was set out in the scheme of letting priorities for the allocation of social housing and has been adopted by Council. A section within the scheme provided for the flexibility in coming to any decision to have regard to good estate management. In addition, the council had adopted an anti-social behaviour policy which sets out a procedure for dealing with tenants who fail to comply with their tenancy agreement.  This policy was due for review and would come before council by November 2010 for adoption under the Housing Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009.

Councillor Heydon called on the Council to broaden the work of the Community Liaison Officers in dealing with issues of anti-social behavior. He remarked that the Council should be stringent in dealing with tenants who were participating in anti-social behaviour. 

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

4/0410
Eastern River Basin Management Plan
South Eastern River Basin Management Plan

Mr Boland circulated a briefing note to the members dealing with issues arising from the Council meeting on 29 March 2010.  It had earlier been agreed to defer these items in order to give the members an opportunity to study the document.  Mr Ray Spain, Project Co-ordinator, South-Eastern District and Mr Ray Earle, Project Co-ordinator, Eastern District, together with other members of the team, were in the Chamber to deal with any issues arising.  It was noted that a detailed presentation as well as a question and answer session had taken place at the last meeting.

Councillor Lawlor requested clarification as to whether the two plans were of similar standing or if there was a hierarchy.  He also made reference to page 7-12 of the Eastern River Basin Management Plan requesting clarification as to the inclusion of text concerning protection of drinking water supplies which was not contained in the South Eastern River Basin Management Plan.  Councillor Langan requested confirmation that necessary funding would be put in place to upgrade sewerage treatment plans, specifically referring to the Blackwater and the Boyne.

Mr Earle clarified that there was no hierarchy within the Plans.  He stated that there were 8 districts throughout the country with each Plan relating to a specific river basin.  With regard to text concerning protection of drinking water supplies, he stated that this relates to new legislation i.e. Nitrates Directive, which may or may not come into force.  He added that the Programme of Measures contained in the plans can be amended to reflect changes in the law.  Mr Boland confirmed that works relating to upgrading of treatment plants was contained within the Needs Assessment currently with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for consideration.  An announcement is awaited in relation to the investment programme.  He added that the River Basin Management Plans will inform future investment decisions.

Councillor Heydon proposed the inclusion of an addendum to the Eastern River Basin Management Plan stating that no actions are required which would exceed the statutory requirements of the Nitrates Directive.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Kelly, seconded by Councillor Heydon, and agreed by the members that, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 131 of the Local Government Act 2001 (No 37 2001), this Council hereby adopts the Eastern River Basin Management Plan as presented  (incorporating Strategic Environment Assessment and Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Directive) for the first six (6) year cycle from the 9 July 2010 to 22 December 2015 and to establish the associated Water Body Objectives and Programme of Measures for the said period to comply fully with the requirements of the E.U. Water Framework Directive.

In adopting this resolution it is noted that Table 9.2 and Paragraph 3 of the ‘Agriculture’ section (Page 7-12) is not construed or interpreted to require any actions or measures that exceed the statutory requirements of the Nitrates Directive and transposing Regulations (S.I. 101 of 2009).

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Lawlor, seconded by Councillor Kelly, and agreed by the members that, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 131 of the Local Government Act 2001 (No 37 2001), this Council hereby adopts the South Eastern River Basin District (SERBD) River Basin Management Plan as presented for the first cycle from 9 July 2010 to 22 December 2015.


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The meeting concluded.