Monthly Archive for September, 2014

I’m campaigning for improved signage along Royal Canal greenway between Ashtown and 12th Lock

We need better signage along the Royal Canal greenway, to remind all users that it is a shared space.

We need better signage along the Royal Canal greenway, to remind all users that it is a shared space.

I’ve asked Fingal County Council to consider erecting ‘shared space’ signs along the new the Royal Canal greenway between Ashtown and the 12th Lock. This new space is proving to be extremely popular with many walkers, joggers, cyclists and anglers using it.

 

However, the heavy amount of traffic is causing a few problems. I’ve already seen a few close shaves where cyclists have nearly run over pedestrians, or dogs on leads have almost collided with bicycles. I think sometimes people forget that this is actually a shared space – it’s neither a cyclepath nor a pedestrian route. While the Council has installed a small number of very small and hard to read signs setting out the rules of use, I’ve suggested a much clearer sign that emphasises the ‘shared space’ element.

 

At a recent meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee, my proposal was strongly supported by other councillors, but the Council management seemed unwilling to consider the new signs. I hope it won’t take a serious accident for them to see the need to improve on the existing signs. Since the Council has taken the steps to encourage more people to use this fantastic recourse, it needs to ensure that people are able to use it in as safe a way as possible.

Fingal installs noise pollution monitor at Laurel Lodge

 

Thanks to Fingal County Council for installing a noise pollution monitor in Laurel Lodge at my request.

 

Houses on a number of roads in Laurel Lodge close to the M50 have suffered badly from noise pollution from the M50 over the last number of years. Myself and other local councillors are currently working together to assist residents and try and have the National Roads Authority deal with this matter.

My vote on the Local Property Tax adjustment

 

At yesterday’s meeting of Fingal County Council, we voted on the adjustment to the Local Property Tax (LTP) rate. There were two different proposals. One, to reduce it by the full 15% allowable, and the second to reduce it by 10% this year and request that the remaining money be dedicated towards addressing homelessness and community projects.

 

It was a difficult decision.  In the wider context, the sum of money we are talking about – €7.8 million, is relatively small. But with the economy in its present state, even small amounts of money back in peoples pocket makes a difference.

 

At the same time, money spent by the Council, and targeted at homelessness, something I think most people agree is the biggest challenge we face in the Dublin are, can have a real impact on the most vulnerable in society.

 

During the Local Election campaign, I did not make any pledges on the Property Tax, as I wanted to see what position Fingal’s budget was in before I made any decision. I wanted to see people get relief in the level of tax they are paying, but also protect some level of investment. That’s why I voted for the 10% cut in the LPT rate, with the remaining €1.9 million being invested in services, particularly homelessness. From my point of view, this was the fairest way to approach the issue.

 

However, a substantial majority of councillors (31) voted for the full 15% cut, and this was the figure that was passed.

Pitches at Laurel Lodge Park

 

I was recently approached by some local residents, concerned at the decision of Fingal County Council to allow a football club have regular use of a pitch at Laurel Lodge Park.

 

Laurel Lodge Park is classified as Class 1 open space. This means that the Council is obliged to make it available to sports clubs for their use. However, such use requires compliance with a range of conditions. There is a copy of below.

 

The Council has specifically emphasised to the club the requirement that it clean up all rubbish after matches, be mindful of residents when parking and that the club is responsible for the parking of away teams. It should only be using the pitch for matches on an average of once every two weeks.

 

I asked that the Council supply a contact person to deal with any breach of the conditions. This person is Annette O’Neill – Email Annette.O’Neill@fingal.ie or Phone 890 5645.

 

If there are any problems, please contact Annette and also myself at rodericogorman@gmail.com

 

CONDITIONS of Allocation 2014-15

Fingal County Council promise new urban centre strategy for Castleknock

Some positive developments regarding the ongoing saga of development in Castleknock village.

 

At the Castleknock/Mulhuddart area committee of Fingal County Council last Thursday, an official from the Council’s Planning Department stated that the Council was prepared to undertake a new urban centre strategy for the village, involving consultation with local residents and elected officials. This is good news and represents the first acknowledgement by the Council of the need to rewrite the flawed urban centre strategy from 2008.

 

However, this move will only give real benefit if An Bord Pleanala follows the lead of the Council and rejects the appeal by Lidl regarding their proposed development at the Flower Shop site.

 

I have submitted an observation on the Lidl appeal to An Bord Pleanala, calling on the board to uphold the rejection by Fingal County Council. The Lidl application does not make provision for adequate car parking for future shoppers, nor did the application take sufficient account of the large volume of traffic in Castleknock village.

 

In my observation, I also indicated to An Bord Pleanala that Fingal had made the statement that it planned to rewrite the urban centre strategy for Castleknock. I believe it is important that the board gives consideration to this fact, as it makes it clear that the old urban centre strategy which Lidl is using as the basis for its application, no longer has any support.

 

Myself and other local representatives have worked hard to ensure that any development in Castleknock village is appropriate. With this plan to rewrite the urban centre strategy, we have an opportunity to do just that. However, this is dependent on An Bord Pleanala making the right call and rejecting the appeal by Lidl.

 

Today (Mon 8th) is the last day for making submissions.