Kildare – Newbridge Muncipal Districts Reports

1. That the council relocate the 6,000 sq ft of units donated by Pfizer for use as a youth facility, before the end of December 2014. The receivers of the former Schlotter site, on which the 6,000 sq foot of office space is stored, have informed me that the site is prioritised for sale by the end of year. The site is no longer fully secure and the units were recently vandalised. It is now critical that an appropriate site is provided on which to store the units before they are damaged beyond repair or are removed by the receivers. As part of this process the planning to date on St Conleth’s Vocational School site in Newbridge must be examined critically for its ability to deliver a location in time to rescue this valuable community asset.

Report : The Planning Department wishes to reinforce the position presented to the members in the public meeting on December 23rd last wherein the decision to retain the town centre status of the machinery yard site was agreed by Council following a lengthy discussion as part of the Local Area Plan process. It remains that the town centre zoning of the machinery yard site does not preclude community uses. A Park/Playground is permissible under the zoning matrix for Town Centre Lands. As such an amendment to the LAP is not required.
Regarding the possibility of co-location on the Education & Training Board site in Newbridge, a revised version of a layout of carparking, possible all weather facilities, community cabins, a skatepark in conjuction with the established athletic facilities has been prepared. Previous draft layouts were discussed with KWETB and the KCC Planning Department and the latest version accommodates concerns raised including making appropriate provision for car parking layouts as per the recent planning permission for school development.
The next steps include:

  • Sign off of latest version with KWETB
  • Advisory meeting with Newbridge Athlethics
  • Consultation with School Principal and Board of Management
  • Subject to no further changes a briefing session with the Muncipal District
  • Planning application to be lodged by the relevant group(s).

This location can work as it presents an opportunity to co-locate a range of sporting and community facilities within a dedicated area.

Issued by: Peter Minnock, Director of Services Housing Community & Cultural & Alan Cunniffe Executive Planner.

2. That this municipal district commit to providing funding at municipal district level, if possible, for many community festivals and groups i.e. Community Games, Tidy Towns, June Festival, Derby Festival, Manly Hopkins, St.Patrick’s Day Parade and any other festivals in our municipal district including all our twinning arrangements in our area and any local project that may arise in 2015.

Report : Kildare County Council will continue to support the many community and voluntary groups in the county through its various grant schemes and programmes. These groups will be welcome to apply under these schemes/programmes. This will be provided for a full council level. It will be our intention to present a full report on all grants to full council to be ratified.

Issued by: Peter Minnock, Director of Services Housing Community & Cultural

3.That the council provide full details of the efforts made since the last municipal district meeting to provide a suitable site for a youth facility in Newbridge and pledge to make every effort to ensure that the facility is provided as soon as possible.

Report: see item 1

4.That the council resolve to explore all reasonable avenues to protect the provision of the very valuable service provided by St.Brigid’s Boxing Club in Kildare town and to that end engage with any future developer of current location while also exploring potential of alternate appropriate site as a contingency.

Report : The Council is aware of the difficulties that St. Brigid’s Boxing Club has regarding their current premises. The Council are exploring available options for a site for the boxing club.

Issued by: Peter Minnock, Director of Housing, Community & Culture.

5. Can the council produce the site plans for the proposed youth facility/skatepark at the Education and Training Board site in Newbridge, ensure that the proposed facility would be freely available outside of the regular school timings, indicate a time scale about planning, help with temporarily accommodating the existing units elsewhere in the interim in the event that NAMA close out the existing storage options and agree to hold a special meeting with the elected members, key officials and key stakeholders within the next two weeks?

Report : See item 1

6. Can the Arts Officer advise where the four specially commissioned sculptures for Georges Street, Newbridge, which were purchased some time ago, are currently located and when they will be erected in the designated locations agreed with the local business interests?

Report: The installation of the works should be considered as part of the overall plan for the Public Realm improvement works for Newbridge Town and the objectives of the Local Area Plan. However, there is no budget ring-fenced (as yet) for the installation of the commissioned artworks, which are currently held in storage in the artists studio. It was agreed by all parties that the artworks should be installed in a series of free-standing structures, which will be designed specifically and which will consider the weight load, public safety and security. The overall aesthetic and appropriateness of the location within the town should be key considerations.

 Issued by: Lucina Russell, Arts Officer

7.  Can I receive an update regarding Michael Garry House?

Report: The Housing Department have held a number of meetings with St.Vincent de Paul. The St.Vincent de Paul proposed to transfer Michael Garry House to Kildare County Council however we have been advised by the DECLG that this is not possible. The St.Vincent de Paul are in the process of preparing a proposal in relation to the delivery of a homelessness service in Newbridge. Kildare County Council and the Mid-East Regional Homelessness Forum are committed to providing aviable homeless service in Newbridge.

8. When does the council propose to introduce the Tenant Purchase Scheme pursuant to the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2014?

Report : The Housing Department will introduce the Tenant Purchase Scheme as soon as the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government issue the regulations and related circulars in respect of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) ACT, 2014 .

9. Can we have a report on the number of Disabled Persons Grants and Essential Repairs Grants applications in the system and the timelines on turning around same?

Report : The Housing Department works closely with the applicants , occupational therapists and other interested parties to ensure that the grant process is as streamlined as possible. Cases are categorised and prioritised by need. The following table outlines the position in respect of each grant for 2014.

 

Scheme

Number Received

Number                 Approved

 

 

Housing Adaptation Grant

179

75

Mobility Aids Grant

19

2

Housing Aid for Older Persons

176

15

Timelines are not available for 2014 as yet however the National Service Indicators in respect of 2013, published earlier this year, outlined the following in respect of grants in Kildare. Figures for Housing Aid for Older persons are not included in National Service Indicators.

Scheme

Average  time in weeks to process application

H6. Housing Adaptation Grant

2.7  weeks

H7. Mobility Aids Grant

1.6  weeks

 

10. Can we have a report on the timelines for turn around of vacant houses with a comparison analysis of timelines for this work prior to adaptation of new procurement system and comment from relevant departments?

Report : Timelines for the return of vacant houses are published in the National Service Indicators. The last available figures are for 2013 as follow

 

Service Indicator H2

 

Time

Average time taken from the date of vacation of dwelling to the date when all necessary repairs are carried out

7.83 weeks

While figures are not available for 2014 and the Council , since June , has also taken over responsibility for the housing stock in Athy and Naas, it is acknowledged that the new procurement system is slowing the process down. Council is endeavouring to ensure that the process is streamlined to ensure a rapid reallocation of vacant units.

Issued by: Mark McLoughlin, Administrative Officer

11. To approve the Proposed Extinguishment of Public Right of Way at Maryville, Kildare (alleyway beside Old Black and Decker site)

12. That this council requests the Roads and Transport Department to provide a definitive plan and time scale to address the many estates in Newbridge, already identified on several occasions, where in the interest of the safety and welfare of residents a requirement for traffic calming and restrictive parking or other such measures are required.

Report: The Municipal District Engineer’s Office 2014 Budget for traffic calming is €8,000. Due to the scale of the funding the works planned is limited to the maintenance of existing traffic calming. The Municipal District Engineer’s Office has not been advised of any additional funding available which would allow consideration of new traffic calming schemes.

13. That the road on the left entering from Hawkfield side connecting Hawkfield , Newbridge and Barretstown be resurfaced.

Report: The Municipal District Engineer’s Office is currently completing the 2014 Road Restoration Maintenance and Improvement Work Programme. Due to limited funding further work in 2014 is not possible. This road will be considered for the 2015 Programme. In the mean time ongoing remedial maintenance will be undertaken.

14. That the council erect a “Children at Play” or other such safety sign in Clongorey, Newbridge.

Report: Due to the level of demand and requests for such signage the Municipal District Engineer’s Office does not have funding available to consider placing this type of signage in Clongorey or other locations. Over the years the Municipal District Engineer’s Office had adopted the policy of providing advice and assistance to residents who wish to purchase and install this type of signage.

15. That the council examine measures to improve road safety at Bridge Street (particularly in relation to parking) and Bonaghmore (particularly in relation to traffic calming), Rathangan.

Report : Bridge Street – The Municipal District Engineer’s Office has examined this location and accepts there are current difficulties with car parking in this area. This issue has been exacerbated by the relocation of the post office to a new premises adjacent to the bridge. The Municipal District Engineer’s Office in consultation with Roads Design Department will prepare a road-marking scheme to manage the parking in the area. As this will involve double yellow lines over the bridge a statutory process will have to be undertaken prior to installing the line-marking.

Bonaghmore – The Municipal District Engineer’s Office in conjunction with Roads Design Department is currently undertaking preliminary design work in this area as part of the proposed improvements to the Forge Junction. Initial discussions have taken place with the adjoining landowner. Once an initial design is prepared further discussion will take place (approximately 2 weeks). Following this the Municipal District Engineer’s Office will be in a better position to communicate the proposal for the area.

16. That the council repair the public footpath at Cutbush, The Curragh particularly at the pedestrian entrance to Dun Cuilinn opposite Clondarra.

Report : The Municipal District Engineer’s Office has examined this area and has added the works to the current list of maintenance works required. The Municipal District Engineer’s Office hopes to undertake the work in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

17. That the council assess the area around Kildare Town Educate Together and Gaelscoil Chill Dara (Old Road and Tower View) for road safety paying particular attention to peak traffic times around school start and finish times in relation to access to schools, church, GAA Park and other residential areas in terms of parking, speed and safety for pedestrians, to report to the municipal district the conclusions of that assessment and to make recommendations.

Report : This assessment will be undertaken as requested and a Report will be provided to the Municipal District. However, due to ongoing current constraints priority will be accorded to Projects and confirmed funding.

18. That this council prepares a costed report on the traffic bottleneck on the Newbridge to Athgarvan Road where the intersection of the Athgarvan Road meets the traffic junction light turnoff into Curragh Grange / Liffey Hall with the ultimate goal of installing a mini roundabout or feeder lane to ease traffic congestion.

Report: This report will be prepared as requested. However, due to ongoing current constraints priority will be accorded to Projects with confirmed funding.

19. That the council explore appropriate traffic calming measures at Old Connell and implement the necessary measures to make this a safer road for all.

Report: The Municipal District Engineer’s Office will arrange to have a traffic count undertaken in the area in the coming weeks to identify the scale of the issue. At that point appropriate measures will be identified. It should be noted that, based on the 2014 Budget Allocation, the Municipal District Engineer’s Office does not have funding available to construct new traffic calming schemes.

20. In light of the post office moving to new premises in Rathangan, that the council explore ways of ensuring adequate safe parking and traffic calming measures at the town side of the bridge in Rathangan.

Report : The Municipal District Engineer’s Office has examined this location and accepts there are current difficulties with car parking in this area. This issue has been exacerbated by the relocation of the post office to a new premises adjacent to the bridge. The Municipal District Engineer’s Office in consultation with Roads Design Department will prepare a road-marking scheme to manage the parking in the area. As this will involve double yellow lines over the bridge a statutory process will have to be undertaken prior to installing the line-marking.

Questions

21. Can the council give an update on the scheduled works at Deadmans Wall, Robertstown?

Report: The Maynooth Municipal District Engineer’s Office reports that repair work at Deadmans Wall, Robertstown is the responsibility of Waterways Ireland. If the Members are in agreement then the Roads and Transportation Department will issue a letter to Waterways Ireland seeking the requested update.

22. Can I receive an update as to the progress in sourcing funding for the older estates in the district requiring extensive works eg Moorefield Park?

Report: The 2014 Budget Allocation allows for €20,000 for the refurbishment of footpaths in the Municipal District. Over recent weeks the Municipal District Engineer’s Office has been undertaking extensive footpath works in the Dara Park area which will use all of this budget allocation. The Municipal District Engineer has made a submission for additional budget to be made available under the 2015 Budget with particular focus on annual maintenance of footpaths and roadways in housing estates. Over the coming months the Municipal District Engineer’s Office will be undertaking surveys of the housing estates in the Municipal District to try to quantify the problem in an attempt to identify other possible sources of funding.

23. Can consideration be given to improving safety at the bridge beside the Travellers Rest premises?

Report: The Maynooth Municipal District Engineer’s Office reports that there are no resources to design or implement and improvement scheme for this location in 2014. However, an improvement scheme for this location can be considered for funding under the Low Cost Safety Scheme in 2015.

Issued by: Ger Duff, Acting Senior Executive Officer, Roads Transportation and Public Safety.

24. Can we receive an update and further information on a time line for the comprehensive survey including CCTV work for remedial works for flood relief in Walshestown Park, Newbridge?

Report: Building and development control department has received a fee proposal for the CCTV survey and report for Walshestown Park from the consultant engaged by the council to prepare the report on the drainage system in Dara Park. Building and development control department is negotiating with the consultant on his proposed fees. If agreement can be reached, it is hoped to have these works commenced before the next Municipal District meeting.

Issued by: Ken Kavanagh SEO, Planning Department.

25. How much was raised in parking fees and fines in both Kildare and Newbridge Towns in 2013?

Newbridge                                                     Income 2013

Pay and Display on Street                               €512,841.06

Pay and Display off Street                              €153,211.22

Parking Fine Income                                        €510,107.00

Parking Permit on Street                                 €        861.11

Parking Permit off Street                                 €        667.90

Court Payments Received                               €   12,306.58

Kildare Town

Pay and Display on Street                               €   68,585.66

Pay and Display off Street                              €   48,349.49

Parking Fine Income                                        €   72,049.00

Parking Permit On Street                                €         105.01

Parking Permit Off Street                                €           36.61

Court Payments Received                               €       2,385.00

As the Council intends to invite tenders from the market for the Management and Enforcement of Pay Parking, the running costs for 2013 cannot be disclosed at this time. They are, however, significant.

Issued by: Ger Duff, Acting Senior Excutive Officer, Roads Transportation and Public Safety.

26 .The issue of illegal dumping has not been taken seriously at a governmental level for many years. The result is a triple whammy on the public as the negative impact of illegal dumping is economic, social and environmental. There is also an impact to the public purse as a result of clean-up costs. Systemic and institutional failure within the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government over decades has left a legal hole which illegal dumping has filled. I propose therefore that this municipal district calls on the council to support a demand of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to institute an immediate nationwide enquiry into this problem with the aim of producing, resourcing and implementing new and robust measures at local level throughout each county in Ireland.

Report: Clearly, the problem of illegal dumping continues and, regrettably, there are little signs of an improvement. For its part, the Council cleans up/removes an average of 260 tons annually of such material, including street sweepings, on an annual basis. The annual coast of the sweep cleaning service is approximately €1.7 million while further €1 million is spent on the Litter Warden service, Mobile Environmental crew, mobile CCTV system etc. Approximately 560 litter fines are issued annually. One needs to consider the opportunity cost of such expenditure which, if the problem abated, could be diverted into other more worthwhile areas. Further data is included in the appendix to this report. The matter has been considered on a number of occasions by the SPC and several presentations have been made. Indeed, a number of very worthwhile local initiatives have been progressed. It is, however, accepted that, as part of an overall approach, there also needs to be a national impetus, possibly along the lines of recent road safety/drink driving campaigns. It is therefore, suggested, that this motion be referred to the SPC in order that a detailed submission can be prepared and forwarded to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. It is, of course, suggested that this is part of an overall approach. The issue is not without its complexities and requires a range of measures both at local and national levels.

Appendix

Tonnages from Cleanups over the past five years

2009                                                        278.58 tonnes

2010                                                        280.72

2011                                                        239.42

2012                                                        267.83

2013                                                        236.50

Issued by: J Boland, Director of Services, Water & Environment

27. In view of the consistent dumping of waste at John Street, Newbridge, that the council consider taking some measure to rectify the situation.

This is the Report issued by Tom Kelly : The area litter warden patrols this location every Friday evening and Monday morning to ensure the area is clear of any refuse/litter and where any rubbish/litter is found the area litter warden issues fines if applicable and ensure the area is cleaned up. Currently this area has been refuse/litter free.

Issued by: Tom Kelly, Environment Department

28. That the council report on the progress of the construction of the water conditioning system at the Barrow plant and expected time line for completion, provide specific details as to what parts of the Newbridge/Kildare area the new conditioning system will service, advise on whether there are plans to provide a water conditioning system on the Wellfields water supply for Rathangan, Monasterevin and Kildare Town and provide an up to date report on current water hardness levels.

 

Report: The water conditioning plant is due to be commissioned, on target, at the end of October, 2014. This will particularly benefit the following supply areas.

 

Area 2C                 Old Kilcullen Reservoir catchment

Area 4                    Athy Municipal area

 

The attached table sets out the hardness levels associated with the current water supply sources within the county. Please note that water hardness (arising from particles of limestone) is perfectly natural and is not a water quality issue. It can, however, be an inconvenience if limescale is deposited.

Please also be assured that all supplies comply in full with EU Drinking Water Regulations, 2014 – refer to most recent EPA report where there is compliance rate of 99.8% in County Kildare.

It is broadly envisaged that the new conditioning plant will reduce hardness levels in the area in question as follows ;

 

Area 2C (Old Kilcullen)                 from 140 to 100

Area 4 (Athy Municipal area         from 324 to 200

Marginal benefits to the Rathangan Wellfield arise from the fact that elements of the supply (i.e from Old Kilcullen) will have reduced in hardness. Accordingly, hardness levels in Area 6 will reduce from 280 to 260.

Please also not the following in considerations;

Hardness is somewhat complex as it involves issues of both temporary (limescale deposits, in heating appliances) and permanent (little noticeable effects). In addition, it should be noted that hardness levels do vary in the River Barrow for a number of reasons (e.g. rainfall levels, time of year, etc).

The foregoing calculations are based on current blending arrangements as well as the extent of extraction at the abstraction plant. Please note in particular that, in future, these will be matters for Irish Water.

I am also to advise that there are no plans to provide a conditioning plant for the Council’s Wellfield Schemes. Clearly, there are not sufficient economies of scale. Again, these are now issues for Irish Water.

Issued by: Joe Boland, Director of Services, Water Services & Environment.

29 . Can the council provide an update on plans for sewerage improvements in Athgarvan?

Report: Irish Water are providing funding under Minor Projects to remove the existing municipal septic tank in Mountain View housing estate and connect it to the sewer network. The works will include for the total demolition and site clearance of the existing site. These works will be carried out in the coming months.

Irish Water is also proposing to upgrade the Athgarvan Pumping Station under the Upper Liffey Valley Regional Sewerage Scheme Contract 2B, which is included in its Capital Investment Plan 2014 – 2016. This Contract 2B is currently subject to a scope review by Irish Water.

Issued by: G. Halton, Senior Executive Officer, Water Services.

30. Can the council / Irish Water conduct a feasibility study into the possibility of extending the mains water supply and mains sewerage to Quinnsborough, Monasterevin and identify a possible source of funding in respect of same.

This is the report issued by G. Halton, Senior Executive Officer, Water Services; This matter has been examined and, regrettably, such a project is not currently a priority and is unlikely to be such in the foreseeable future.

31 . That the council produce user-friendly facts and figures to demonstrate the link between reductions in Local Property Tax and services. Consent to any reductions should be clearly informed. For example, a reduction of 5%, 10%  or 15% in Local Property Tax = description of a service the reduction equates to.

This is the report issued by Eileen Hanlon, Head of Finance ; A local authority may as a reserved function resolve to vary the rate of local property tax within its functional area by a maximum of +/-15%. This power is available to local authorities effective from 2015.

The legislation outlines the requirements of the local authority to take account of the financial position of the local authority and have regard to the following factors:

  • The estimation of income and expenditure for the period for which the varied rate is to have effect.
  • Financial position of the local authority
  • Financial effect of the varied rate
  • Feedback from any public consultation held

Estimation of financial effect

Any variation in the local property tax rate will have an impact including on the local authority, on those paying LPT, and on those receiving council services. The effect of a variation on all stakeholders must be considered. The estimation of financial effect shall be set out in a report prepared under the direction of the Chief Executive and must contain ;

  1. Potential impact on a liable person
  2. potential impact on the LPT revenue in the forthcoming financial year
  3. Potential impact on the service delivery plans of the local authority
  4. Any other information the Chief Executive considers necessary

These reports will be prepared and submitted to the Members for consideration in advance of the Council meeting on September 22nd.