Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Press Release – O’Gorman calls on Council to immediately begin work on second phase of Tyrrelstown allotments

Roderic at the entrance to the first phase of the new allotments at Tyrrelstown

Roderic at the entrance to the first phase of the new allotments at Tyrrelstown

29/12/08

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman, has called on Fingal County Council to immediately begin work on the second phase of the new allotment facility it is developing near Tyrrelstown. He made the call after the Council revealed that the current demand for allotments in the Dublin 15 area is already greater than the number of new allotments that will be provided in the first phase.

“I am calling on Fingal County Council to immediately start work on the second phase of the new land that is being provided for allotments near Tyrrelstown. I recently had a question put to the County Manager and in his response he stated that there are currently 365 persons on the waiting list to get allotments in the Dublin 15 area. The first phase of the new allotments in Tyrrelstown will only supply 250 places. Obviously, this means that there will be at least 115 persons who will be left disappointed at this time”, stated Roderic O’Gorman

“Since there is very clearly a significant demand for allotments within the Dublin 15 area, I think it is obvious that the Council should immediately commence with opening up the second phase of the allotments at Tyrrelstown. Currently there are workers on the first phase, fencing off the area, tilling the ground and laying in basic facilities. Surely it makes a lot more sense to prepare the second phase of the allotments now, rather than letting the workers leave and then calling them back in a few months time”.

“More and more people are looking to allotments as a way of providing themselves with healthy home grown food, particularly as much of the new housing built across Dublin 15 over the last 10 years does not have private gardens. Over the last year I have been contacted by a number of local people who are seeking to get an allotment. While I welcome the fact that Fingal County Council have created this new facility for allotment holders at Tyrrelstown, the Council must further demonstrate its commitment by beginning work on the second phase and making it available as soon as possible”.

“Myself and my Green Party colleagues on Fingal County Council have continuously highlighted the need to supply allotments. Indeed, it was a Green Party motion that reversed the policy the Council had adopted two years ago where it was no longer taking names onto the waiting list for allotments. We will continue to push this issue so that anyone living in Dublin 15 who wants to avail of an allotment will be able to do so”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING

MONDAY, 8th December, 2008

ITEM NO. 9

ALLOTMENT WAITING LIST

Question: Councillor D. Healy

“To ask the Manager what is the current size of the waiting list for allotments in the Dublin 15 area and whether, in light of the large number of applicants, he will consider developing the second phase of the new allotments at Tyrrelstown/Powerstown?”

Reply:

There are currently 365 persons on the waiting list for allotments in the Dublin 15 area. Phase One of the new allotment scheme at Powerstown will provide for approximately 250 allotments.

Following the allocation of allotments in Phase 1, the waiting list will be further examined and consideration, if necessary, can be then be given to the provision of a second phase.

Press Release – O’Gorman welcomes ban on the importation of dog and cat fur

30/12/08

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the EU wide ban on the importation and sale of dog and cat fur which came into effect on the 31st December, 2008.

“It isn’t widely known, but each year over 2 million domestic dogs and cats are killed in China and other Asian countries and their fur is used in the fashion industry – often as the lining or the trim for clothes that end up being sold in European shops. The methods of slaughter used are particularly barbaric, with the animals often being slowly strangled or bled to death in order to ensure that their fur is not damaged. The vast majority of Irish consumers would be appalled by these practices, but the items of clothes in which dog and cat fur are used are never marked as such. Indeed, sometimes dog or cat fur is labelled as being synthetic”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“In order to reassure consumers that they are not likely to mistakenly buy such products, the EU has introduced a ban on the import and sale of all dog and cat fur products within the 27 Member States. The regulation was originally passed in November 2007, but Member States were given just over a year to change their national laws to make the trade in these products illegal. In Ireland, the Minister for Agriculture enacted the ban into our domestic law by a statutory instrument which was passed in November”.

“I’m delighted that the EU has enacted this ban on dog and cat fur products and that the Irish Government has moved swiftly to guarantee the ban under Irish law. I remember seeing an undercover documentary made about the slaughter of dogs and cats for fur and it showed unbelievably cruel and barbaric means of killing these animals. I believe the vast majority of Irish consumers would never buy products if they knew they contained these products. As a result of this ban, Irish shoppers can be reassured that their clothes will not contain cat or dog fur”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Update on abandoned cars

Over the last year, on a number of occasions I have been asked to deal with cars abandoned within housing estates. Fingal County Council’s website advertises that the Council will remove abandoned cars, subject to certain conditions. However, I’ve recently been contacted by residents in Luttrellstown, Burnell and Woodvale about abandoned cars in their estates and the difficulty they were facing in getting the Council to remove the cars.

In light of this, I asked my Green Party colleagues on the Council to put a question to the County Manager on how the Council deals with abandoned cars.

Currently, section 71 of the Waste Management Act 1996 makes it an offence to abandon a vehicle and gives local authorities the power to remove these. In his response the County Manager outlined the expense that the Council incurs in the process of removing abandoned cars and how difficult it is to recoup this expense from the owners. He also pointed out how in two situations, the Council was successfully brought to the courts for destroying vehicles without the owners consent.

One gets the impression both from the response of the County Manager and from the difficulties residents face in getting the Council to act to remove an abandoned car that the current system is not working to its full potential. If this is the case and the legislation needs to be amended in order to make enforcement easier, the County Manager needs to come out and say this.

Further, I think the Fingal CC website needs to be amended to fully set out what the Council has to undertake in order to legally remove an abandoned car. I think this way, the Council could lessen the frustration of residents who often feel that the long time periods that the Council have to take in order to research the owners of these vehicles means that the Council is refusing to act.

Text of response from County Manager

COMHAIRLE CONTAE FHINE GALL
FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL
Council Meeting

MONDAY 8th DECEMBER 2008

ITEM NO.7

Conditions re. removal of Abandoned Vehicles

Question Councillor D. Healy

“To ask the Manager to outline what are the conditions whereby the Council will remove abandoned cars from public places and in particular, to clarify where abandoned cars will only be removed if their tax is out of date and their number plates are missing?”

Reply

The removal of abandoned vehicles is dealt with under Section 71 of the Waste Management Act 1996. This Section makes it an offence to abandon a vehicle and empowers a local authority to remove it to storage. The period of storage if ownership details are known is two weeks and if no ownership is known it extends to four weeks. The cost of storage is intended to be recoverable from the owner. Storage of a vehicle for up to 4 weeks could add a cost of approx. €700 per vehicle to the Council’s costs with, in reality, very little chance of recovery.

The Litter Wardens spend a considerable amount of time checking ownership details, contacting owners, using notices affixed to vehicles advising owners that the vehicle is to be removed in an attempt to have the owner remove the vehicle. Legal proceedings against the Council in two cases were successful for removal and destruction of a vehicle without the owners consent.

The Road Traffic Act 1961 / 2004 gives the An Garda Síochána additional powers in relation to the removal of vehicles which are parked dangerously. It is an offence under the Traffic Acts to have a vehicle parked on a public road without tax and insurance. This is a matter for the Gardai to enforce.

Press Release – O’Gorman renews calls for action over 37 bus terminus on Diswellstown Road

07/12/08

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has renewed his call on Dublin Bus to address the dangerous situation on the Diswellstown Road where buses on the 37 route park on the road prior to departure.

“I recently wrote to Dublin Bus asking them about their proposed extension of the 37 route to Blanchardstown Road South, and asking that in the mean time, they take measures to address the dangerous situation whereby 37 buses, waiting to depart, are parked on the Diswellstown Road just outside of the Fernleigh estate. Dublin Bus responded by saying that the Minister for Transport has not yet made a decision on extending the 37 route and in the meantime, they cannot do anything”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“I think this response is deeply unsatisfactory. The situation at the 37 route terminus on the Diswellstown Road is extremely dangerous. Often you can have two or three buses parked along the road, waiting for their turn to pick up passengers. It is very difficult for cars to negotiatiate their way past this line of buses and this forces the cars across the white line into the oncoming traffic line. In light of the very high speeds that some cars undertake on the Diswellstown Road, it is miracle there hasn’t been a serious accident at this location up to now”

“Even while Dublin Bus are waiting for the response from the Minister for Transport on the proposal to move the end point of the 37 route to Blanchardstown Road South, I think they must take action. A short term solution could be that the buses could wait on the bus lay-by close to the back entrance to Castleknock Community College. This is a much safer location for the buses to queue than on the open road”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
rodericogorman@gmail.com