Last week I wrote to the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Kieran Dennison, to enquire when the last meeting of the Liffey Valley Management Advisory Committee took place and to ask him to convene a meeting of the body in the near future.
The Liffey Valley Management Committee is a joint committee made up of councillors from Fingal and South Dublin County Councils, along with representatives of people living in the valley. It could form an important tool whereby political representatives from both Councils can come together and work strategically to protect the Liffey Valley. However, from records online, the most recent reference to a meeting of the Committee appears to be from early 2010.
The Liffey Valley continues to face a range of challenges in the short to medium term. Recently, a large parcel of land at St. Edmundsbury near Lucan was sold to a private investor. Heavy rain often leads to severe flooding in the Strawberry Beds. The question of the extension of the Special Amenity Area Order still needs to be addressed.
In the longer term, the Liffey Valley has huge potential as a tourism and recreational facility, but this requires a strategic direction and coordinated progress between the local authorities and government bodies involved. Much of what is needed is set out in the Office of Public Works report, Towards a Liffey Valley National Park, which was published a few years ago. This was a very wide ranging document looking at how the maximum public benefit could be obtained from the Liffey Valley in areas such as recreation and tourism, with the eventual aim of creating a Liffey Valley national park.
I hope Mayor Dennison will agree with me that the importance of the Liffey Valley to the Dublin 15 region requires that the Liffey Valley Management Advisory Committee needs to be meeting on a more regular basis. If I am elected in May, one of the first things I will do as a councillor for the Castleknock ward is to ensure this happens.