Motions and Questions Ashbourne MD and Meath County Council Meetings
ASHBOURNE MD MEETINGS
Notice of Question 5.1 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “Has the site on which the wastewater treatment plant is located in Deerpark, Ashbourne been taken over by Irish Water / Uisce Éireann and will the two sites adjacent to it be taken over by Irish Water / Uisce Éireann or will they remain in the ownership of Meath County Council?”
A written response to the question was provided by Larry Whelan, Senior Executive Officer, Environment and Water Services
6.2 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “That Meath County Council / Uisce Éireann carry out a study on the serious water pressure issues in Racehill Manor housing estate: water shortages are not uncommon during hours of peak consumption. This estate is built on a height and needs a pumping station installed to increase pressure to an effective level.”
The Motion was proposed by Councillor Suzanne Jamal and seconded by Councillor Joe Bonner. A written report was submitted by Larry Whelan, Senior Executive Officer, Environment and Water Services. A discussion followed on the future water supply in the Greater Dublin Area and its impact on economic development.
6.3 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “That Meath County Council erect four flag poles outside Ashbourne Civic Office with flags to be displayed on the following days: days of Council meetings, Sundays, Public Holidays and during special occasions and festivals. The four flags to be displayed are the EU flag, the National flag, the Meath flag / crest and the fourth flag to be an Ashbourne Municipal District flag to be designed by competition in local schools throughout the district and the winning design to be selected by Ashbourne Municipal District Councillors; this flag should be all inclusive, representing all people, traditions, sports and the history of the District.”
The Motion was proposed by Councillor Suzanne Jamal and seconded by Councillor Seán Smith. A written report was submitted by Paul Monahan, Administrative Officer, Ashbourne Municipal District. It was agreed that the Motion would be submitted to the Protocol Committee of Meath County Council.
5.3 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “Is Meath County Council aware of a site that is currently being sold by NAMA in Crestwood Estate, Ashbourne and would it consider purchasing this site to facilitate the provision of social housing in the area?”
A response was provided by Brendan Fulham, Administrative Officer, Housing Department, as follows: The Council is aware of this site for sale through NAMA at Crestwood Green Ashbourne. The site which forms part of the open space of the estate, contains an ESB sub-station and is approximately 600sq meters in size. The land is zoned F1 – To provide for and improve open space for active and passive recreational amenities. In response to Councillor Alan Tobin, Joe Fahy pointed out there was limited development potential for this particular site.
6.3 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “That Meath County Council complete a survey on all road markings within a 1 km proximity of all schools in Ashbourne with a view to effectively managing the additional traffic and allowing safe access and road crossing for pedestrians.”
Supporting information was provided by Adrian Hobbs, Senior Executive Engineer, Ashbourne Municipal District, as follows: Contents of the proposed Notice are acknowledged. A map was circulated and, following a discussion, it was agreed that Councillor Tobin would liaise with Adrian Hobbs with a view to identifying the specific areas requiring a survey and the Notice of Motion was withdrawn.
Notice of Question 5.1 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “Regarding Ashbourne town centre, can Meath County Council please provide an update on the taking over of Broadmeadow Street, Bridge Street, Bachelors Walk, Castle Street, Killegland Street and Declan Street, the reasons for any delays or concerns, and whether the issues with the underground car park and the road above have been resolved?”
A response was provided by Michael Griffin, Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department, as follows: Meath Co Council is currently engaged with the representatives of the Town Centre development with a view to advancing the taking in charge of the development. A schedule of works has been completed by the developer’s representatives. The Council awaits a number of formal taking in charge applications together with “as constructed drawings “ and ancillary information in respect of each distinct area to be taken in charge. The Council is aware that a section of Killegland Street is over the underground car park and it will consider the merits of taking that element of the development in charge on Miontuairiscí / Meeting Minutes receipt of a detailed taking in charge application. It should be noted that it is now up to the developer to initiate the next stage of the process.
6 Notice of Motion 6.1 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “That a review of parking issues in Ashbourne be undertaken to include the review of all on-street parking provision on Frederick Street, to include the possible introduction of paid parking, with 2 hours free parking preceding the application of parking charges, so as to ensure that on-street parking is available to support local business and not used for long-term parking requirements, given the availability of free public parking in alternative facilities; the introduction of parking bye-laws to manage traffic; and the provision of future projects such as further off-street parking and park and ride facilities.”
The motion was proposed by Councillor Alan Tobin and seconded by Councillor Suzanne Jamal. Supporting information was provided by Paul Monahan, Administrative Officer, as follows: It is a reserved function of the members of a municipal district to make bye-laws for the control and regulation of the parking of vehicles in specified places on public roads (including provision for the payment of fees for parking) and the consideration of observations or representations in relation to draft bye-laws. Parking Bye-Laws to control and regulate the parking of vehicles in parking places on public roads are made under Section 101 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 and Section 36 of the Road Traffic Act, 1994. Miontuairiscí / Meeting Minutes The introduction of parking bye laws is a very lengthy and costly process involving extensive staff input, public and Garda consultation, purchase of meters, employment of traffic wardens, signage, road lining, software, administrative back up etc. In addition having a free 2-hour parking period prior to the application of charges would mean a very rigorous inspection regime to ensure that no vehicle exceeded the free 2-hour limit. The income outside the free 2-hour period would not in all likelihood finance the running costs of managing and operating the bye-laws. Accordingly any shortfall in funding would have to be sourced elsewhere from within the Ashbourne Municipal District’s budgetary allocation. I understand that Navan Municipal District has prepared a new set of draft bye-laws for on street parking and for car parks, which may be a blue print for the rest of the county. There are some issues that need to be resolved and perhaps the Motion could be deferred until these draft bye-laws are ready. The Council’s Management Team and Transportation S.P.C. would also need to consider the matter. Councillor Alan Tobin referred to other streets that should be included – Bachelors Walk, Bridge Street, Declan Street, Broadmeadow Street, Castle Street and Killegland Street. A discussion followed and whilst Councillors supported the introduction of an education initiative to deal with the misuse of on-street and short-term parking by different groups, there was less support for the introduction of paid parking.
5 Notice of Question 5.1 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin Miontuairiscí / Meeting Minutes “Can the executive please provide an update on progress made thus far with the traffic management situation around the proposed new school campus as the delays in this project are causing severe hardship for families trying to find school places and school resources are stretched to the maximum now in Educate Together, Gaelscoil Na Mí and Ashbourne Community School?”
A response was provided by the Transportation Section, as follows: This is a live planning application (AA140734). The Council accordingly is very restricted in what it can say and can only provide the following information. Further Information was sought on 10th October 2014 and a response is due by 18 April 2015, unless a request is made to extend the further information period. To date no response has been received. The response was noted. Joe Fahy confirmed that traffic management must be properly addressed in the consideration of the planning decision and before planning permission would be granted.
6 Notice of Motion 6.1 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “To ask Meath County Council to immediately upgrade the Council works/yard adjacent to the waste water treatment area at Deerpark Ashbourne to facilitate emergency provisions for adverse weather to include sand, sand bags, grit, salt ,signage ,shovels etc., similar to Ratoath and Dunboyne.”
The motion was proposed by Councillor Alan Tobin and seconded by Councillor Seán Smith. Supporting information was provided by the Transportation Section, as follows: Following the recent exceptional rainfall event, contingency requirements in the Municipal Districts are being reviewed. Councillor Tobin referred to a report he had prepared and circulated to Councillors. Councillors expressed their support for this motion and a lengthy discussion followed. It Miontuairiscí / Meeting Minutes was agreed that a special meeting to discuss the flooding issues be held, with representatives from relevant bodies, including the OPW, in March 2015.
6.2 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “That Meath County Council evaluate/cost the provision of cycle lanes on the old N2 or R135 to encourage cycle tourism and commuting to work in safety, the cycle lanes to run in both directions from Ashbourne's Frederick St to the Meath / Dublin border.”
The motion was proposed by Councillor Alan Tobin and seconded by Councillor Joe Bonner. Supporting information was provided by the Transportation Section, as follows: The NTA undertook a study in 2013 to look at the provision of cycling infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. This led to the production of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle network plan which is available at the following link; http://www.nationaltransport.ie/publications/transport-planning/gda-cycle-networkplan . The report includes the statement below in relation to the context of the study and why it was undertaken: In order to ensure that investments are focused in an efficient manner towards reaching these ambitious targets, the NTA and the Local Authorities within the GDA need to know what bicycle facilities are currently available, where they are missing sections, what is their condition and what improvements are likely to be required. In addition, a strategic cycle network map of the GDA needs to be prepared which will help the NTA in allocating funding towards the implementation of strategically important schemes. Information outlined in this report will allow cycle infrastructure projects to be prioritised in terms of the importance to the strategic network and the likely cycle demand for such a scheme. Meath County Council collaborated with the NTA and their consultants during the study. The final report includes the route described in the Notice of Motion along the R135 south of Ashbourne and identifies it as an Inter-Urban Route (M17/F9) as follows: M17/F9 Ashbourne to Dublin along the R135 (old N2) on hard shoulders. Ashbourne to Swords: The direct route along the R125 is not suitable for cycling due to traffic conditions. Instead branch off Route M17 at Ward Cross and follow the proposed route F7b from Blanchardstown to Swords. Miontuairiscí / Meeting Minutes The inclusion of this route in the GDA Cycle Network Plan will be a significant consideration for the NTA in future funding decisions in relation to the scheme.
MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL MEETTINGS
9.2 Submitted by Councillor Alan Tobin “To ask Meath County Council to provide emergency provisions including salt, grit, grit bins, sand, sand bags and adequate road closure/diversion/flood signage in all districts including Ashbourne with immediate effect.”
Supporting Information: Following the recent exceptional rainfall event, contingency requirements in the Municipal Districts have being reviewed in the context of the Council’s Emergency Plan arrangements. Following a short discussion, the motion was unanimously adopted.