I support Garda Management’s call for extra Community Gardai in Dublin 15

 

Reply to my question on Community Gardai numbers in Dublin 15

Reply to my question on Community Gardai numbers in Dublin 15

I submitted a number of questions about Garda number in the Dublin 15 area at the last Fingal Joint Policing Committee meeting.

I’m pleased to see that Garda Management in Dublin 15 are making an application to steadily increase the number of Community Gardai in the area over the next two years. The information I got from the question I put down shows that currently, Blanchardstown Station has 1 Sergeant and 10 Gardai assigned to Community Policing. In my view, this is too small a number, considering the size of Dublin 15.

However, Garda Management have put in an application to have this number increased over the next two years, with a goal of having 1 Sergeant and 18 Gardai by the end of 2017.

I think that it is absolutely essential that the Minister for Justice provide these necessary extra Gardai for the Dublin 15 area. The lack of visibility of Gardai on the ground is one of the issue most regularly raised with me on the doors.

Planning application at Brady’s Pub, Old Navan Road

Elevation view of the proposed development on Brady's Pub.

Elevation view of the proposed development on Brady’s Pub.

A planning application has been received by Fingal County Council for the demolition of Brady’s Pub and its replacement with an apartment development. The key details are:

  • 41 no. apartments (34 no. two bedroom and 7 no. three bedroom units)
  • Four distinct apartment blocks each 4 storey (with set back 2nd and 3rd floor) over basement (see drawing overleaf)
  • 69 no. underground car parking spaces, new vehicular entrance from Old Navan Road
  • Pedestrian access into existing park area between Talbot Downs and Court

The planning application number is FW16A/0079.

You can view the planning application online here, using the application number. It can also be viewed on request at the Planning Desk at the Fingal County Council Offices in Blanchardstown.

Should you wish to submit an objection or observation, the deadline is close of business on the 28th June. These should be sent to the Planning Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street Swords, Co. Dublin. Include your own name and address, and you must use the number for this planning application.

You can also register online and make your objection/observation through the Fingal website. Remember, there is a €20 fee to make an objection.

Ariel view of proposed new development

Ariel view of proposed new development

If you are making an objection, please forward me on a copy to rodericogorman@gmail.com.

I have already had this planning application call up and discussed at a meeting of Fingal County Council where I highlighted my concerns about the height and density of the proposed development with the planning officials present.

 

Gardai agree to my request to review domestic violence statistics at Fingal JPC meetings

Crime statistics for Blanchardstown Station, now including domestic violence figures.

Crime statistics for Blanchardstown Station, now including domestic violence figures.

I am pleased that the Gardai have agreed to my request to provide domestic violence statistics as part of the range of statistics that are presented to councillors and community representatives at the quarterly meetings of the Fingal Joint Policing Committee. While up to know, we have been presented with statistics on a wide range of offences from burglary to possession of drugs, the figures on domestic violence incidents have not been highlighted to us. Domestic violence statistics will now be provided by the Gardai at all future meetings from the stations in our area (Blanchardstown, Balbriggan, Swords & Howth).

I was concerned that by not reviewing these figures, we were failing to shine a light on the incidents of domestic violence that occur within Fingal. In a major piece of research undertaken by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2014, it was shown that 79% of women in Ireland who had experienced domestic violence did not get in touch with the Gardai, following the most serious incidence of violence. This demonstrates that domestic violence remains a deeply hidden issue within Irish society”.

In light of this, I believe that it is absolutely crucial that where people go and report such assaults to the Gardai, these figures should not be ignored. That is why I felt it critically important that these domestic violence statistics should be presented to elected representatives attending the Fingal Joint Policing Committee on a quarterly basis. This way, we keep the problem visible. I will be encouraging my Green Party colleagues sitting on other Joint Policing Committees across the country to request the same information for their areas.

Fingal Enforcement Unit needs to closely monitor new planning permission granted at Windmill in Clonsilla

I’m disappointed to see the granting of planning permission for 143 new apartments at the Windmill development in Clonsilla. This site has a very poor planning history. Much of the public open space that was meant to be provided as part of the original planning permission was never delivered. The site has been left in an appalling state over the last number of years. Fingal County Council itself took the developer to the High Court in order to get the original plans, including the public open space, completed.

I strongly believe that it would have been much better had the developer been compelled to finish the original development before coming back for any new permission. However, I do note that a significant number of detailed conditions have been placed on the grant of planning permission, requiring that much of the open space, including a playground, is completed before any work on new apartments starts.

It is absolutely essential that the Council’s Enforcement Unit closely monitors any work on this site and ensures that this phasing is fully adhered to. The existing residents deserve to have the facilities that were originally promised, finally provided.

Decision on Kempton Vale

Proposed Traffic Calming measures along the Waterville Distributor Road

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Fingal County Council is bringing forward a proposal for a traffic calming scheme along the Waterville Distributor Road (opposite Waterville Park).

  • Double yellow lining along each side of the road
  • Four uncontrolled pedestrian crossing points at various intervals on the Waterville Distributor Road
  • Appropriate signage and lining where necessary

The location of these can be seen on the map overleaf.

If you would like to make a submission on this proposal, please contact:

Mr. Mick Carroll, Administrative Officer, Operations Department, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Alternatively, you can make a submission online here.

The deadline for comments is 4:30pm on Friday 17th June. Feel free to forward me on a copy of your views at rodericogorman@gmail.com

These comments will be discussed at a meeting of the Council later in the summer, where a final decision will be taken as to whether to proceed with the scheme or not.

Council agrees to my call to tackle anti-social behaviour black-spots in Coolmine Woods

Coolmine Woods 2 (1)

Following on from requests I had received from local residents, I put a motion down calling on the Council to remove the large boulder in the middle of Coolmine Woods, which is often the site of anti-social behaviour. I also asked the Council tidy up the ground around the large ‘Coolmine Woods’ namestone opposite the fire station.

I am delighted that the Council have agreed to act on these requests. The large boulder will be removed over the summer. The Council have further agreed to undertake planting around the stone plaque to improve the situation there.

Opening the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ at Scoil Mhuire, Blakestown

Cutting the ribbon to open the 'Yellow Brick Road'.

Cutting the ribbon to open the ‘Yellow Brick Road’.

 

On Wednesday morning, I cut the ribbon to open the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ at Scoil Mhuire in Blakestown.
This is a fantastic project between the school, the Blakestown Drive Community Group and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown to clean up the back entrance of the school and create a space where children can interact with nature.

 

It’s a hugely worthwhile project – congratulations to everyone involved.

FullSizeRender (1)

Fingal County Council needs to rapidly apply for new Government funding to have Ongar estate taken in charge

I have called on Fingal County Council to apply for newly available Government funding to progress the taking in charge of Ongar estate. This funding is part of a new scheme that the Minister for Environment announced just before the general election, designed to speed up the taking in charge of estates across the country.

The taking-in-charge process for Ongar has been delayed for years as the original developer went bust and the bond that had been put in place to pay for the completion of the estate was lodged with a British firm, which is currently refusing to pay it over to Fingal County Council. This issue is now in the British courts and will probably take years to resolve. The consequence of this is that large parts of Ongar village are in a legal no-mans-land and the Council are not able to provide residents with basic services.

I want Fingal County Council management to rapidly apply for this new source of funding that the outgoing government made available to speed up the taking-in-charge process in Ongar village, so that residents and businesses can get the same level of services from the Council as all other people who pay property tax.

Over the last year, I have been pushing the issue of the need for central Government to step in and assist local authorities in dealing with blockages in the taking in charge process. I have raised this issue both at Fingal County Council and nationally through writing to the Minister for the Environment. A previous source of money – the Special Resolution Fund – could not be used for Ongar village as it is not solely a residential estate.

I am delighted that this new fund and scheme has been proposed by the outgoing Government. I am requesting that Fingal County Council management rapidly make an application for this funding so we can get Ongar and other estates finished without having to wait for long running court cases to conclude.

Below is the text of a parliamentary question I put to the Minister for Environment to find out more information about the new scheme.

 

Question No. 777

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the new initiative and funds for expediting the taking-in-charge of estates that he announced in February 2016, including details regarding the criteria that must be met before a local authority can have an estate included in the scheme; if mixed commercial and residential estates which have not been taken in charge are eligible for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Eamon Ryan.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 6th April, 2016.

Ref No: 6144/16

REPLY
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly)

As the Deputy is aware, I have made €10m available from the proposed carry-over of capital savings in 2015 to be used in 2016 to fund a new initiative to accelerate the taking in charge of estates irrespective of the wider development context that they are located within.

The National Taking in Charge I nitiativ e will assist local authorities in developing new approaches to addressing housing estates that, for various reasons, have not taken in charge to date.
The initiative will involve the following.

(1) Provision by my Department of an indicative level of funding for local authorities to assist in developing demonstration projects and new working methods in tackling legacy estates.
(2) Funding will reflect both (a) the scale of estates not taken in charge and (b) the extent of developer provided water services infrastructure to be addressed, on the understanding that the Exchequer support is for 2016 only and will not create Exchequer liabilities beyond 2016.
(3) Submission by the local authorities of implementation proposals for the approval of my Department, to utilise the funding, establish demonstration projects, identify longer term funding sources and address the backlog of applications for taking in charge on hand.
(4) Publication of a national database of residential estates not taken in charge as a baseline for future action.
(5) Taking account of the experience gained from the 2016 initiative, to issue guidance to authorities on their further development of prioritised plans for taking in charge of estates from 2017 onwards, taking account of resources available through the initiative in the short term as supplemented by other funding sources in the medium to longer term.

The experience gained through the initiative in 2016 and associated demonstration projects is intended to establish a co-ordinated taking in charge programme to progressively address the issue on a multi-annual basis, in the light of available local authority, Irish Water, bond and other funding sources and the general government financial position.

I intend to advise each local authority of the indicative level of funding proposed to be made available to them in the very near future, after which they will be invited to submit proposals to be assessed by an advisory steering group.

Consideration of the submissions put forward by the local authorities on the basis of the provisional funding levels available will be weighted towards those local authorities that demonstrate a high level of collaborative problem solving and leveraging of complimentary funding from developer, bond provider, receiver or other sources.