My first motion at February (20th) Municipal District meeting, ‘That the council clarify the confusion around the consultation that was reportedly had with local residents of Kilmeague in advance of the agreement to lift the cobblestones in the village.
Report issued by Mr B Martin, Administrative Officer, Roads, Transportation and Public Safety Department: From the council’s viewpoint there was no confusion, these works were requested and funded by the public representatives under LPT funding. There is a trail of emails from previous municipal district engineers discussing same with the public representations , requesting feedback and suggesting discussion on site , no issues were flagged back then , and while the cobbles were raised in general it was agreed that the only safe method was the removal of same with a view to reusing them in some way.
The footpaths were determined to be no-longer fit for purpose as there are a number of potholes, uneven chambers backfilled with concrete, and some sections of the footpath were already replaced with brick paving. The decision to upgrade the footpath was based on historic complaints by those with mobility challenges and difficulties arising for parents using wheeled buggies/prams etc. Following discussions with the council’s Heritage Officer it was agreed that in order to bring the footpath up to an acceptable standard, the reuse of the old cobble stones was not feasible as the main footpath surface.
The contract was awarded to Harbour View, they carried out a leaflet drop on Monday 28 January advising that works would commence on Tuesday, the leaflet drop was only to the directly affected house owners. Work commenced on Tuesday, it was Friday before it became apparent that a small number of locals had an issue and the council were advised of a public meeting being held on the Saturday.
Council officials went to the site first thing Monday morning to meet the group, discussed our plans, advised that the council were happy to facilitate them in relation to reusing the stones as a feature, but could not reuse them in the footpath in a safe manner. They again called a meeting for that evening to discuss our proposals. The council suspended works that day, which remain suspended at a cost to the tax payer.