Kildare County Council 2019 Road Works Programme

The 2019 road works programme is detailed in link to report below. This sets out the budgets, Municipal District funding and the main projects involving planning, design and construction of roadworks as proposed by Kildare County Council, Roads and Transportation Directorate in the current year.

In the main, these projects will be carried out through the Municipal District Offices in 2019 or through the Roads Central Services (Roads Projects, Traffic Section, Roads Planning, PublicLighting).

2019 Road Works Programme – KCC

Council using its almost complete land and asset register identify possible locations for a free, national standard BMX park

That the council, using its almost complete land and asset register, identify possible locations for a free, national standard, BMX park that is being offered to this municipal district and outline upfront what would be required from a developer in order to allow it to be provided to the council for the benefit of young people of this municipal district.

Here is the report issued by Mr S Wallace, Senior Executive Parks Superintendent, Economic Community and Cultural Development Park: A report will be prepared to ascertain if there are suitable sites to locate a BMX track using the land and asset register. The requirements from a developer are a BMX track design prepared by an experienced qualified track designer experienced in the technical requirements for BMX tracks. Car parking will also have to be a consideration and perimeter fencing as part of the design. Professional indemnity insurance will be required as part of the design. Planning permission will be required for the track and any material being imported to construct the track will have to meet waste licensing and disposal regulations. Public liability insurance will also be required to insure the track if it being run by a club.

Council ask organisation it funds that they provide an annual report of their use and governance of public monies

My second adjourned motion at today’s (15th May) ; ‘That where it has not executed its oversight function over organisations it funds in the municipal district (and county) the council now ask that they provide an annual report of their use and governance of public monies and they be uploaded onto the council’s website for public access.

Here is the report issued by Mr T McDonnell, Director of Services, Housing and Corporate Services: It is extremely difficult to respond to a hypothetical question such as this. Different funding streams and different levels of funding require different funding arrangements, oversight and governance. The council cannot commit to an action without understanding fully what the context is.

Council ask Bord na Mona to explore a range of options for their Masterplan for their Newbridge site that would support sustainable economic development in the area

My first motion at todays (15th May) Municipal District meeting, ‘That the council ask Bord na Mona to explore a range of options for their Masterplan for their Newbridge site that would support sustainable economic development in the area including a hub that had the potential to support any or all of the following

  1. Support local start-ups and growing enterprises with the aim of fostering entrepreneurship and developing economic activity in the area
  2. Foster and support community ownership of renewable energy projects, citizen education and promotion of recycling
  3. Provide ‘Hot-desk’ facilities which would allow people to avail of fibre broadband for remote work purposes and for business uses

Here is the report issued by: Ms M Hunt, Senior Executive Officer, Economic Community & Cultural Development; ‘The lands in question are owned by Bord na Mona and, as matters stand, any future development of same would be subject to the policies and objectives of the Local Area Plan. Though obviously well-meaning, it is not however open to the elected members to suggest new objectives, save as part of the review of the LAP and following public consultation.

That stated Kildare County Council through the LEO has set out ambitious plans within the Mideast Action plan for Jobs and its own Economic Development Strategy to develop a network of such innovative co-working spaces in County Kildare locations in Athy, Kildare Town, Naas, North County Kildare and in Newbridge have already been identified. Bord na Mona will be an important Stakeholder in a Green focus hub As outlined in the plans all spaces:

  • Support local start-ups and growing enterprises with the aim of fostering entrepreneurship and developing economic activity in the area
  • Provide ‘Hot-desk’ facilities which would allow people to avail of fibre broadband for remote work purposes and for business uses’

 

Council provide a list of all roadworks budgeted for in the Municipal District

My second question at today’s (15th May) Municipal District meeting, ‘Can the council provide a list of all the roadworks budgeted for in the municipal district for this year broken down into roadworks funded from core budget, national funding, LPT and payparking?

Here is the report issued by Ms E Wright, Senior Executive Officer, Roads, Transportation and Public Safety Section.  ‘A copy of the 2019 Roadworks Programme was issued to all members at the full council meeting in March, which sets out the information on roadworks as requested.’

Council develop a plan address speeding and traffic on all four roads leading the Athgarvan village

My first motion at today’s (15th May) MD meeting, ‘Given the increasing number of vehicular and pedestrian incidents reported in and around Athgarvan and the applications for further housing developments in the area can the council develop a plan to address speeding and traffic on all four roads leading to the village, including but not limited to- 50km signs on all entrances to the village, the provision of a ‘hidden entrance’ or estate sign at the entrance to Rosemount Court estate, and consideration of a pedestrian pathways between the crash test centre and the entrance to Athgarvan Heights, and between Rosemount Estate and the Athgarvan Inn.

Here is the report issued by Ms E Wright, Senior Executive Officer, Roads, Transportation and Public Safety Section. ‘The forthcoming Draft County Wide Speed Limit Review will address the issues raised in relation to speeding on approach to Athgarvan and the installation of appropriate signage, and the consideration of pathways can be examined by TAAG in due course.

Council clarify what steps it has taken to ensure that the conditions that existed at the time public monies were allegedly stolen from an Approved Housing Body in the district no longer exist

Here is my Adjourned Motion from last months (April) MD meeting;
‘That the council clarify what steps it has taken to ensure that the conditions that existed at the time public monies were allegedly stolen from an Approved Housing Body in the district no longer exist before distributing further public monies from the €86 million allocated to Kildare County Council to deliver social housing including; the number of signatures required for cheques then and now; the financial/auditing expertise on the board then and now; the frequency and detail of financial reporting from the Approved Housing Body to the council; which policies/protocols of the Approved Housing Body in question have been changed to safeguard against theft/fraud in the future; what account has the then Chair been asked to give in relation to the board’s failure to safeguard against theft/fraud.

Here is the Report Issued by: Mr T McDonnell, Director of Service Housing and Corporate Services: The role of Kildare County Council in relation to Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) is to (a) ensure Approved Housing Bodies compliance with funding schemes, (b) enter into new Payment and Availability agreements, Capital Advance and Leasing facility agreements and provide funding under the Capital Assistance Scheme (c) enforce the conditions of mortgage agreements (d) ensure Approved Housing Bodies compliance with tenant nomination policies.

It is the responsibility of the Regulation Office to regulate the operation of Approved Housing Bodies by monitoring compliance with the standards laid down in the Voluntary Regulatory Code-‘Building for the Future, A Voluntary Regulatory Code for Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland’ (VRC). Approved Housing Bodies are required to complete an annual regulatory return, reporting on six aspects of their organisation, this includes governance and finance (Tier 1 AHBs).

In order to qualify for new funding provided for by Rebuilding Ireland, it is a requirement that Approved Housing Bodies are signed up to the VRC. Kildare County Council requires Approved Housing Bodies and housing associations who have availed of funding under the Capital Assistance Scheme, Capital Assistance Scheme and Capital Loan and Subsidy Scheme to complete an annual compliance return, this return consists of information relating to (a) contact details (b) details of directors (c) insurance details (d) rent calculations (e) financial statements (f) maintenance allowance (g) occupancy statements and void rates.

To date the housing association in question has achieved compliance with the annual compliance process.
It is not within the remit of Kildare County Council to carry out the type of investigation outlined in the motion.

KWETB REPORT TO FULL COUNCIL APRIL 2019

 

Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB)

Elected Members nominated to Other Body

Cllr Aoife Breslin

Cllr Réada Cronin

Cllr Daragh Fitzpatrick

Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy

Cllr Teresa Murray

Cllr Naoise Ó Cearuíl

Cllr Brendan Weld

Date of elected members nomination to Other Body

June 2014

Directorate to which Other Body is aligned

Department of Education and Skills

 

Remit of Other Body

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board was established in 2013 under the provisions of the Education and Training Board Act. Its primary function under this Act is the better co-ordination and delivery of education and training in the counties of Kildare and Wicklow. Equally and of no less importance is the regulation of that co-ordination and delivery in line with the statutory requirements of Government, in particular the Department of Education and Skills, SOLAS and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The ETB Act 2013.

In 2015 KWETB was in receipt of €111,265,946. In 2016 and 2017 the allocation to KWETB grew to €115,391,644 and €130,008,773 respectively. In 2018 the total budget was €135,187,357. Almost 70% is allocated to salaries, with KWETB employing 2,572 staff, the majority of whom are teachers, tutors and support persons to KWETB services and schools. There are 12,453 primary/post – primary students and circa 10,000 learners in Further Education and Training. KWETB has 25 Schools – primary, post–primary and one Institute of Further Education. Further Education and Training is delivered in 25 Centres and through various Contracted Training programmes including Apprenticeships. KWETB is responsible for the provision of Youth Services and Social Inclusion projects in both counties, in addition to supporting many other initiatives and services, for example, Music Generation, School Completion and Outdoor Education. The Capital Programme in 2015 was in excess of €14.2 million and in 2018 this has increased to €15.7 million.

Any additional information

KWETB is the subject of following investigations:

1. C&AG (Triggered by breach of procurement guidelines and failures of declarations of interest by former CE Seán Ashe.)

2. Dept of Education & Skills

3. Garda Economic Crime Bureau – still ongoing.

4. Further Garda Investigation ongoing regarding matters arising from extension

5. Issues arising at St Conleth’s school extension triggered a separate Garda investigation

The KWETB has also had to attend Public Accounts Committee on two occasions this term, firstly in November 2017 and again in February 2019 following the publication of C&AG report into the 2015 accounts. (Report Attd)

https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Find-Report/Publications/2019/Supplementary-ReportKWETB-Financial-Statements-2015.pdf

Key Conclusions from C&AG’s report of the 2015 accounts

KWETB did not actively pursue non-submission of declarations, nor did it critically review the content of declarations. The Board did not effectively challenge the executive during the period under review.

Timeline

13th July 2017 C&AG contacts the then Chair of the Board Cllr Jim Ruttle and ViceChair Cllr Brendan Weld and Chair of the Audit Committee Tony Lenehan regarding audit concerns.

July 2017 The then chairs engaged legal advice regarding the C&AG’s concerns. They were informed by the legal advisers of the requirement under section 4.5 of the Code that they consult with the Board in order to engage legal advice in the first place. They were advised to inform the Board of the C&AGs concerns and to conduct an investigation and an employment investigation with the purpose of seeking to suspend the then CE.

Between July 2017 and Sept 2017 The Chairs were given the same or similar advice on at least five documented occasions strongly reiterating the advice.

September 2017 the Board were informed that the C&AG had concerns arising from his Audit. The advice from the legal advisers to suspend the then CE, pending an employment investigation was not provided to the Board.

October 2017 Then CE Sean Ashe announced he would be retiring in December 2017

November 2017 Chair Cllr Jim Ruttle, and Vice-chair Cllr Brenda Weld resigned their positions as Chair and vice-chair but retained their positions on the Board

December 2017 Sean Ashe retired

December 2017 The Board withheld approval when asked by the executive of the KWETB to approve payment of the €83,000 bill for legal advice engaged by the Chairs on the grounds that; the Board was not consulted before the legal advisers were engaged, and the Board had not been given access to the legal advice for which they were being asked to pay.

January 2018 the current Chair Noel Merrick informed the Board that the then acting CE Rory O’Toole had issued an instruction to pay the bill

March 2018 the Board resolved to set up a sub-committee to review the circumstances surrounding the engagement of the legal advisers and around the discharge of their fee.

March 2018 the sub-committee through the new legal advisor Michael Lanigan were provided with a copy legal advice

May 2018 The sub-committee reviewing the engagement of the legal advisers and the payment of the €83,000 reported that the former Chair and Vice Chair had sough legal advice, on behalf of the board, but without their knowledge and this advice was not furnished to the Board until such time as the appropriate period for the Board to act on such advice had lapsed.

September 2018 Board was informed that Chair of Audit Committee was to resign by the end of September 2018

September 2018 The Board resolved that the former Chair Cllr Ruttle, vice-chair Cllr Weld and former Chair of the Audit Committee Tony Lenehan explain why they had conducted themselves as outlined around the legal advice. The Board is still awaiting this explanation.