One of my questions at Tuesday (15th Nov) MD meeting, ‘Can the council provide an update re: the exercise of its oversight function in relation to the Riverbank Arts Centre (as per terms and conditions of funding) since informed of governance and compliance issues addressing specifically in the update: the lower than mandated number of directors on the Board; the lack of diversity on the Board; the failure to cap the length of time of directors on the Board; the lack of transparency around Board member selection; the lack of transparency around the reporting mechanism between the Board and the council; the conflicting reports provided by the Arts Centre Chairperson and the council’s Director of Community re: the role of the county librarian in relation to the Arts Centre; the failure of the council to respond to queries re: whether conflicts of interests were declared in relation to the project design and/or in relation to any other project or job allocations?
My final motion at Tuesday (15th November) MD meeting ‘ That the council present to councillors the long overdue review of the Town Hall by its management committee so we can get on with the more effective and efficient marketing and pricing of this important community amenity as called for earlier this year, with an eye to delivering both social and financial dividends for the community and the taxpayers who have funded it.
Link below to Kildare County Council Twinning Policy;
A set of tables, in link below sets out the feasibility following the site assessments and a summary of the position is as follows;
1. There are 5 locations where bus shelters can be provided without any other works being required. Locations are;
- Moorefield Road, Newbridge (Moorefield Crescent opposite Tesco, Inbound),
- Moorefield Road, Newbridge (Outside Woodies and Tesco, Outbound),
- Kildare Town at Market House,
- Allenwood (Inward / Dublin Direction)
- Allenwood (Outward/Edenderry Direction).
2. There are 18 locations where bus shelters can be installed but where some enabling works by the Council would be required. NTA will fund those enabling works in full but would need the Council to undertake or arrange them.
3.There are 36 locations where NTA do not consider it appropriate to install a bus shelter at this point in time
Thanks to the Leinster Leader for this week’s report of the public part of last Wednesday’s Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) board meeting.
Before the discussion of the minutes from the previous meeting of the board (held Sept 27th) were raised on the agenda of last Wednesday’s board meeting (Oct 11th) I asked that the Chair, the Vice Chair and the Corporate Services manager all be deputed or replaced for the duration of any discussion relating to the investigation of the KWETB by the Department of Education and Skills
The Minutes Secretary (who is the Corporate Affairs Manager) has a senior management role in relation to one of the main areas being investigated. Chairs have had signing authority relating to the area in question. We as a board have a duty to ensure that not only conflicts of interest but any perceptions of conflicts of interest are managed. Let me be clear, I am casting no aspersions on the Corporate Affairs Manager, the Chair or the Vice-Chair – it is in everyone’s best interests including theirs to ask that they consider stepping down from their duties for the duration of the investigation, given the potential for conflicts of interest
I have serious concerns that a false narrative is being constructed in relation to the boards response to the investigation of the KWETB by the Department of Education. As a board member I am concerned that despite repeated requests we have not been provided with all of the legal advice that has been made available to the Chair and the Vice-Chair for and on behalf of the board. This is particularly worrying in light of the fact that both the Chair and the Vice Chair are reported to have taken independent personal legal advice which has not been made available to the boards. I have also had access to a document which provides evidence of a malicious misrepresentation of a private/in camera/incommittee meeting called by the Chair on September 19th. Although the meeting did not go ahead because the Chair and former Chair had acted outside their powers by calling a secret meeting, that is not what is officially documented in the memo
I am perturbed also by the Chairs decision to deviate from the standard practice of reading a letter into correspondence at the public board meeting last Wednesday 11th.
A letter from KWETB CEO Sean Ashe confirming he was attending the World Skills Conference , despite being asked to remain at home to co-operate with the investigation, was not read out at the public board meeting. No one knew where the CEO was and no one informed those present at the public meeting why the CEO was not there. There is no justifiable explanation in my mind for hiding this letter from the public.
Taking all of these circumstances into account I have respectfully asked the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the Minutes secretary to again consider their positions in order to demonstrate the highest levels of integrity and transparency in the Boards co-operation with the department regarding the investigation of the KWETB
My second adjourned motion at today’s (18th Oct) MD meeting; ‘That the council work together with interested community groups including local Grow It Yourself (GIY) groups to help identify locations around the district for the development of a community garden scheme.
Report: Kildare County Council has no objection in principle to the development of community gardens. More information is required in relation to the location of the interest groups and their expectations as our experience to date has been that there is different aspirations as to the size, function and design of the gardens. There is limited land available in the municipal area for recreational activities such as this. Much of what is available has been highlighted to the municipal district members already. Any additional work related to this request could only be considered once the existing Parks Section works programme has been completed.