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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

 

Minutes of Monthly Meeting

held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 31 January 2011 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 Griffin, M Heydon, P Kennedy, S Langan, A Lawlor, P MacNamara, P McEvoy, J McGinley, M Miley, S Moore, C Murphy, M Nolan, T O'Donnell, F O'Loughlin, F O’Rourke, C Purcell, D Scully and M Wall.

 

Apologies: Councillor S Doyle

 

Also Present: Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs J Boland, P Minnock and E O’Sullivan (Directors of Services), Mr M O'Leary (Acting Director of Services), T H McGowan (Head of Finance) C Talbot (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

 

_________________________

 

The Mayor began by welcoming Ms Brigid Butler, Age Friendly Manager for the county to the Chamber.

 

 1/0111

Confirmation of Minutes

 

The council considered the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 20 December 2010 and special Planning meetings held on 5 November 2010, 12 November 2010, 17 November 2010, 24 November 2010, 29 November 2010 and 6 December 2010, together with the progress report.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Nolan, seconded by Councillor Purcell, that the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 20 December 2010 and special Planning meetings held on 5 November 2010, 12 November 2010, 17 November 2010, 24 November 2010, 29 November 2010 and 6 December 2010, be confirmed and taken as read.

 

2/0111

Committee Minutes

 

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

 

Athy - 22 November 2010

Clane - 9 November 2010 and 14 December 2010

Celbridge - 19 November 2010 and 13 December 2010

Kildare - 20 October 2010 and 15 December 2010

Naas - 21 December 2010

 

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

 

3/0111

Disposal of Land

 

4.04 ha. at Brallistown, Kildare

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 4.04 ha. of the council’s land at Brallistown, Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

4.16 ha. at Nurney

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 4.16 ha. of the council’s land at Nurney, Co Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

4.0 ha. Bonaghmore, Rathangan

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 4.0 ha. of the council’s land at Bonaghmore, Rathangan, Co Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

1.33 ha. at Collaghknock, Kildare

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 1.33 ha. of the council’s land at Collaghknock, Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

2.67 ha. at Collaghknock, Kildare

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 2.67 ha. of the council’s land at Collaghknock, Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

8.49 ha. at Butterstream, Clane

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 8.49 ha. of the council’s land at Butterstream, Clane, Co Kildare to Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd in consideration of payment of €1.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.


1.366 ha. at Blackrath and Inchaquire, Ballitore

The Council considered statutory notice dated 19 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 1.366 ha. of the council’s land at Blackrath and Inchaquire, Ballitore to Rainsford Hendy in consideration of payment of €15,000.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, 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.

 

2.027 ha. at Fraochbawn, Kildare

The Council considered statutory notice dated 20 January 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to section 183 0f the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to dispose of 2.027 ha. of the council’s land at Fraochbawn, Kildare to Trustees of the School Sports Playing Field Scoil na Mainistreach, De La Salle, in consideration of payment of €300,000.

In considering this matter, Councillor O’Donnell raised concerns that no additional benefit should be gained by a third party on foot of the future sale of these lands, adding that any gain should be for the benefit of the community. He asked that the conditions attaching to the sale be amended to reflect this. Mr Whelan advised the members that the Council did not have the authority to attach any conditions relating to the subsequent sale of these lands from the school to Value Retail, however, he agreed that these concerns would be raised with the Board of Management of the School.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Browne, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, 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.

 

4/0111

Filling of Casual Vacancy

 The administrator reported that all statutory requirements in regard to filling the vacancy in the membership of the council, arising from the resignation of Councillor Paul Kelly, had been fulfilled. He added that Mr Frank O’Rourke of 76 Ballygoran View, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, had consented in writing to his name being put forward for co-option to the Council.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor O’Loughlin, seconded by Councillor Callaghan, that Mr O’Rourke be co-opted to the Council.

 

The Mayor, members and County Manager congratulated Councillor O’Rourke on his appointment. Councillor O’Rourke took his seat at the invitation of the Mayor and thanked Councillors O’Loughlin and Callaghan for proposing and seconding his co-option.

 

5/0111

Report on Response to Severe Weather Conditions In the County

 The Mayor stated that the following motions would be considered in conjunction with this item:

 Celbridge Area

That the sum of €100,000 be allocated for action to prevent freezing of water service connections and stopcocks.

 

Councillors Murphy, McEvoy, Kennedy and Moore

This council sets aside time to discuss the loss of running water to large sections of the county during the recent cold spell. That we consider the adequacy of emergency measures undertaken; the estimated number of premises affected; what activity was engaged in by the waterworks section; what preventative/mitigating steps can be taken against future problems; direct costs to/from housing stock repairs; what investment levels has occurred in the last five years in mains rehabilitation; what are the projected investment plans in the coming years, how is this to be funded; will there be a need to re-prioritise the schemes; what guidance documents are available to householders on self-protection lagging, depth of stop cocks; is there scope for a pilot scheme for example involving apprentice plumbers on remedial measures.

 

Councillor Moore

That the Manager on behalf of the elected members of Kildare County Council, write to the Minister for Local Government, deploring the loss of 30% of treated water within the authority area of Dublin Corporation or other Dublin Authorities, the loss of which water, emanating from the same original source, in turn limits the provision of sufficient water for Kildare communities.

 

Councillor Lawlor

That the council urgently reviews its water supply and distribution strategy to ensure that an adequate supply is distributed evenly.

 

The Manager referred to a comprehensive report dated 28 January 2011 which had been circulated to the members. He thanked all the staff who had worked during the period of severe weather, particularly those who had worked over Christmas. In relation to roads, he stated that extensive road surface treatment had been carried out to deal with ice and heavy falls of snow. He said that the focus had been on keeping the main routes open, which had been achieved, notwithstanding the difficulties encountered with supply of salt. In relation to water, he stated that the position was outlined extensively in the report which had been circulated. He added that every emergency situation highlights areas for improvement and, in this regard, reports were being prepared for the March meeting of the Corporate Policy Group dealing specifically with communications and suggested improvements in relation to equipment that might be used in the future.

 

Mr O’Leary reported to the meeting in relation to the transportation issues arising from the severe weather conditions. He stated that temperatures as low as -18o had been recorded in the county and snowfall had been quite intense in some areas. Despite this staff succeeded in keeping the main road network in the county open. He advised the members that 5,000 tonnes of salt had been used, more than three times what might be expected to be used during the month of December. He noted his gratitude to the Gardai and Defence Forces for their assistance. He acknowledged that difficulties had arisen in clearing footpaths in towns throughout the county, adding that work was ongoing to decide how best to tackle this issue for the future. He also noted the long-term damage to roads in the county as a result of the severe weather. He stated that some emergency repairs had been carried out and the level of grants available for the year will determine the additional works that can be carried out.

 

Mr Boland reported to the meeting in relation to the water issues that had arisen as a result of the thaw. He stated that emergency phone lines had been opened up and that 4.000 calls were handled between 28th December and beginning of January. He thanked the staff who had worked over this period. He informed the members that leaks detected during this period had been located and repaired. He added that there had been good liaison with the Dublin authorities and also good collaboration with the town council’s during this period. He pointed out that important lessons will be learned for the future in relation to such areas as water conservation and leak detection.

 

The members complimented the staff who had worked on both the roads and water issues before and after Christmas and particularly thanked those who had worked over the Christmas period.

 

A number of issues were raised by the members with regard to water including problems encountered by households located at the end of a line, problems with stopcocks, problems still being encountered by residents of Kilcullen Road in Naas, use of big tankers to distribute water was questioned, problems encountered with frozen stopcocks and pipes in new estates brings development standards into question

 

Councillor Griffin proposed that the sum of €100,000 be allocated to a pilot scheme to prevent freezing of water service connections and stopcocks. This proposal was seconded by Councillor McGinley.

 

In relation to roads issues it was suggested that a volunteer system be put in place to assist in clearing roads, concerns raised in relation to availability of salt stocks, confirmation requested as to whether additional monies would be made available by central government to deal specifically with roads issues arising from severe weather, need for additional gritters and also need to put agreements in place to allow assistance to be provided by private contactors.

 

With regard to communications, the members raised concerns in relation to difficulties encountered getting through to the emergency number and the fact that mailboxes were full, improved communications to tenants of the Council needed for the future, improved level and means of communication with councillors needed, suggestion that a database of residents associations be maintained to act as a contact point to deliver information to communities, improved use of the Council’s website, twitter and facebook suggested.

 

Councillor Nolan proposed that two members of the Council be nominated to sit on the Crisis Management Team. This proposal was seconded by Councillor Kennedy.

 

In response to the issues raised by the members the Manager stated that the best response possible to the situations arising was provided and that, with any emergency, the situation can disimprove rapidly. He asked that the proposal for members to sit on the Crisis Management Team be deferred until the Corporate Policy Group has considered the reports being prepared for their March meeting. He advised the members that the City and County Manager’s Association has requested flexibility in relation to the allocation of roads funding in order to deal with damage arising from the severe weather.

 

Councillor Nolan agreed to the Manager’s request in relation to the Crisis Management Team, as long as this issue was reconsidered by full Council following the March Corporate Policy Group meeting.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor McGinley, that the sum of €100,000 be allocated to a pilot scheme for action to prevent freezing of water service connections and stopcocks.

 

6/0111

Local Government Auditor’s Report for year ended 31 December 2009

 

Mr Hunter McGowan presented the Local Government Auditor’s Report for year ended 31 December 2009 to the members, a copy of the report having already been circulated. He referred, in particular, to three issues identified in the report; income and expenditure account, superannuation register and register of lands and addressed each item in turn. He outlined the position with regard to collection of income, making particular reference to refuse collection and development contributions. Mr Hunter McGowan replied to issues raised by members in relation to progress to date on inputting records onto the Register of Lands and collection of development contributions.

 

The report was noted.

 

7/0111

Development Contribution Scheme

 

At the Mayor’s suggestion the members agreed to meet on Monday, 14 February 2011 at 10am to consider the proposed Development Contribution Scheme. The Corporate Policy Group meeting scheduled for that date will be held at 9am.

 

 

8/0111

Water Supply Agreement with Naas Town Council

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Moore, seconded by Councillor Purcell, that Kildare County Council enters into an agreement with Naas Town Council, pursuant to Section 85 of the Local Government Act 2001, for the purpose of enabling Naas Town Council to carry out the functions of a Sanitary Authority in relation to water supply and sewerage services in its administrative area for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.

 

9/0111

Water Supply Agreement with Athy Town Council

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Moore, seconded by Councillor Purcell, that Kildare County Council enters into an agreement with Athy Town Council, pursuant to Section 85 of the Local Government Act 2001, for the purpose of enabling Athy Town Council to carry out the functions of a Sanitary Authority in relation to water supply and sewerage services in its administrative area for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.

 

10/0111

Mayor's Business

 

Ms Celina Barrett, Chief Fire Officer, attended at the meeting to brief the members with regard to the ongoing landfill fire at Kerdiffstown.

 

The Manager informed the members that on Thursday, 27 January 2011, he received a telephone call from the EPA raising concerns at the growing seriousness of the fire at Kerdiffstown. In consultation with the EPA it was decided to call a meeting of the Local Co-ordinating Emergency Committee, including representatives of the EPA, County Council, HSE, Gardai and Defence Forces. The committee identified a number of issues to be addressed including security and air quality monitoring. The committee requested the Chief Fire Officer to draw up a plan to deal with the fire. On Friday, 28 January, the Mayor chaired a meeting between the Co-ordinating committee and the residents group Clean Air Naas (CAN). The Oireachtas members for North Kildare were also in attendance. The committee met again on Saturday, 29th January. By this time equipment was in place to handle additional air quality monitoring and security was on site. A firefighting plan was developed and work commenced on this on Sunday, 30th January. In order to accommodate the firefighting effort, material being stored on a hard standing area needed to be moved off site. The EPA was tasked with the removal of this material from the site to a licensed landfill site. Work commenced on moving the material on Saturday afternoon to the landfill facility at Drehid. This had raised concerns among residents that material was being brought into the facility at Drehid outside normal hours of operation. The Manager noted that the Council had no function in relation to the operation of licensed landfills

 

Ms Barrett made a presentation to the members outlining the firefighting plan that was put in place, together with an update as to the current situation on site. She stated that firefighting crews were on site on Sunday, 30th January from 8am to 10pm. She said that the first goal was to suppress the smoke emanating from the fire and a foam blanket had been laid down. It was necessary, at the outset, to reduce the face of the burning material. Some material was transferred from the fire to a quarantine area where the fire was put out. The material was then moved again to another quarantine area for damping down.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Langan, Ms Barrett advised that the EPA had made the decision to remove material from the site in order to free up hard standing space to accommodate the damping down of material removed from the fire. She had requested that the hard standing area be cleared in order that it could be used as a quarantine area.

 

The Manager further added that the Chief Fire Officer’s request had come before the emergency committee and the EPA had been tasked with dealing with the request. Bord na Mona had been asked by the EPA to take 500 tonnes of non-hazardous, pre-treated skip waste. The function of the Council in relation to the emergency was to deal with the fire, and any issue relating to removal of waste to licensed landfills was for the EPA to determine. The Manager acknowledged that the material was moved outside of normal hours of operation of the landfill at Drehid, however, he stressed that this was an emergency situation.

 

Councillor Langan stated that there had been no regard taken of the people living in the vicinity of the landfill in Drehid. The Mayor stated that there had been a lack of communication with elected members which had resulted in the members not having the necessary information needed to re-assure the residents of Drehid that there was no hazardous waste material going into the landfill.

 

Councillor Lawlor advised the meeting that communication was ongoing between residents, Bord na Mona and the EPA and was being facilitated in the Garda Station in Derrinturn. He complimented the Fire Service for the work they were doing at Kerdiffstown. He asked that the emergency number to be used be clarified. He added that, given how this emergency situation had arisen and had been dealt with, the community had no faith in the EPA to deal with the matter.

 

The Manager stated that he understood that a management plan for the landfill site at Kerdiffstown was being put in place by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the EPA. He added that he would be anxious that this matter be clarified as quickly as possible. He also said that the Minister had given an indication that any costs associated with the fire would be recouped. This was the first fire of its type in the country and he thanked the professional services involved in fighting the fire.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Lawlor, the Chief Fire Officer indicated that the plan to extinguish the fire was working, however, she considered that it would take up to a week to extinguish the fire.

 

Councillor Griffin raised concerns in relation to an article which had appeared in the Liffey Champion with regard to the pruning of trees on the M4. The article had included a comment from Mr Talbot to the effect that privacy and noise levels for residents of the area should not be interfered with as a result of the tree pruning. Councillor Griffin stated that the elimination of vegetation had made the situation with noise from the motorway worse and he asked that the NRA be invited to attend a meeting of the Council or the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee to address this issue. Mr Talbot stated that he had misunderstood the situation in relation to the tree pruning and answered a question from the newspaper in good faith. Having seen the photographs produced by Councillor Griffin he acknowledged that the situation was more severe then he had understood. He agreed that this matter would be pursued with the NRA through the Transportation Department.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Langan, that the NRA be invited to attend a meeting of the Council, or a meeting of the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, to address this issue.

 

 

11/0111

Votes of Sympathy

The Mayor and members expressed sympathy with the following:

 

Des O’Connor, Transportation Department, on the death of his mother.

Family of Mr Seamus McIntyre, former Environmental Health Officer (recently retired)

Family of Mr Vincent Doyle, Transportation Department

Alan Cunniffe, Planning Department, on the death of his father.

Rose Sargent, Finance Department, on the death of her mother.

Family of friends of Councillor Paddy Wright, member of Athy Town Council and former member of Kildare County Council.



12/0111

Correspondence

The Council noted receipt of the following correspondence:

 

• Letter from the Health Service Executive, in response to our correspondence in relation to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Noted.

• Letter from the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, in response to our correspondence in relation to publication of names and addresses of private individuals fined or convicted for littering. Noted.

• Letter from Commission for Energy Regulation in relation to disconnections in electricity and gas. Noted.

• Letter from An Garda Síochána, in response to our correspondence in relation to Garda resources in the Kildare Division. Noted.

• Letter from Donegal County Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Government to maximise, in forthcoming legislation, the protection of An Post from the liberalisation of postal services. Noted.

• Letter from South Tipperary County Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Government to recognise the unique and vital role of the postal service in Ireland, particularly rural Ireland, as a means of communication, a vital economic tool and as an intrinsic part of the fabric of the community. Noted.

• Letter from Clonmel Borough Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Government to recognise the unique and vital role of the postal service in Ireland, particularly rural Ireland, as a means of communication, a vital economic tool and as an intrinsic part of the fabric of the community. Noted.

• Letter from Donegal County Council requesting support for resolution highlighting the serious issues facing the undocumented Irish in America. Noted.

• Letter from South Tipperary County Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Government, in view of the recent European Court of Auditors report on the international sugar industry, to consider measures which would result in Ireland reacquiring its sugar beat production quota and encourage the re-establishment of the sugar processing industry in Ireland. Agreed.

• Letter from Castlebar Town Council requesting support for resolution calling on the Minister for Education and Skills to ensure that protocols are introduced in primary and secondary schools in relation to a book rental scheme (including all examination papers), a standard method of facilitating the use of Stick-on-Crests on all school uniforms and provision of a Confidential Information Box as part of Anti-Bullying Policy. Noted.

• Letter from Castlebar Town Council requesting support for resolution condemning the recent increases in mortgage rates by financial institutions. Noted.

 


12/0111

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:

 

4 – 5 February 2011

Anti-Social Behaviour Health & Safety”

Clonea Strand Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

Approximate cost per delegate €650

Nominees:

 

4 – 6 February 2011

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare

Approximate cost per delegate €300

Nominees:

 

18 – 20 February 2011

Charities Act 2009 Implications for the Voluntary Sector

Manor West Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry

Approximate cost per delegate €750

Nominees:

 

25 - 27 February 2011

The Local Government Planning Services

Silver Tassie Hotel and Spa, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Approximate cost per delegate €800

Nominees:

 

25 - 27 February 2011

The Future of the Irish Educational System

The Colmcille Heritage Centre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Approximate cost per delegate €800

Nominees:

 

24 March 2011

Retrofit for Energy Efficiency Conference 2011

The Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Approximate cost per delegate €600

Nominees:

 

24 - 25 March 2011

Association of County and City Councils Annual Conference

Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co Offaly

Approximate cost per delegate €450

Nominees:


13/0111

New Secondary School for Monasterevin

 

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

That the council urge the Department of Education and Skills to provide the resources necessary for the provision of a new secondary school in Monasterevin, that will replace the existing facility which is seriously deficient, to meet the educational needs of the children from the town and its environs.

 

In proposing the motion, Councillor O’Donnell stated that the Kildare Area Committee had received a delegation from St Paul’s Secondary School. He said that this school was under severe pressure to provide proper facilities for its students and that there were no green areas available for the students to use. Councillor Kennedy seconded the motion adding that, having recently visited the school, he noted that prefabs that were almost twenty years old were being used, the school was expensive to heat and they only had a small room to use as a gym for exercise. He added that the Principal had received correspondence from the Department of Education and Skills stating that Kildare County Council was holding up the process of acquiring a site for a new school.

 

The meetings administrator stated that it was important to record that the Council does what it can to support local communities and the Department of Education and Skills in the provision of schools and, in this regard, representatives of the Council meet with the Department regularly. The claims made by the Department in their correspondence to the school will be followed up by the Council.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor O’Donnell, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, that a letter be sent to the Department of Education and Skills urging the Minister to provide the resources necessary for the provision of a new secondary school in Monasterevin, that will replace the existing facility which is seriously deficient, to meet the educational needs of the children from the town and its environs.

 

 

14/0111

Housing Statistics

 

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

That the housing department provide the council with a report on the profile of those on the housing waiting list to include: the number of individuals/families currently on the list; how many are already housed by Kildare County Council/voluntaries and are seeking transfers; the number earmarked for 1B, 2B, 3B and 4 B units; if known the number in private rented accommodation supported by rent supplement. On the supply side the number actively seeking RAS; the estimated number of units that will be added to the system in 2011 by the council/voluntaries; what is the estimated scope to increase supply in the short to medium term through schemes proposed by the DOE such as rent to buy; in the case of purchase schemes how is it intended to fund these and what the success/failure rate has been in the past year for mortgage applicants.

 

The meetings administrator read a report from the Housing Department confirming that there are 6,073 applicants on the housing list with accommodation requirements indicated as follows; 2,728 1 bedroom; 1,966 2 bedroom; 1,182 3 bedroom and 197 4 bedroom. The last available figures indicated that there were 5,502 clients in receipt of rent supplement in the county, of which 1,929 are in receipt of rent supplement for 18 months or longer and qualify for the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Social Housing Investment Programme (SHIP) allocation for 2011 has not, as yet, been confirmed by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Department has, however, indicated that housing supply shall primarily be by means of the Rental Accommodation Scheme and Social Housing Leasing.

 

The Rent to Buy Scheme was a pilot scheme operated by Dublin City Council and is not available to other local authorities. Guidance documents relating to the Incremental Purchase Scheme have not, to date, been issued by the Department. This scheme will be funded through the Housing Finance Agency.

 

31 housing loan applications were received in 2010, of which 11 were approved and 8 declined.

 

 

The meeting concluded.

 

_________________________