Update from Wicklow County Council Meeting 11th December 2020
Today we had our last Wicklow County Council meeting for 2020. The meeting was held face to face to allow for a number of votes to be taken. As such it was held in the Druids Glen to facilitate social distancing and permitted for only 1 hour and 55 minutes. The time restriction is a challenge, but we got a number of issues dealt with including.
👥 Vote passed on holding virtual meetings where votes can be taken by Councillors online, this is a huge step towards allowing work to progress while restrictions are in place, to be reviewed in 6 months. I will be supporting a continuation of this option for people to ensure that the role of a Councillor is more accessible to people with underlying health conditions or those with caring responsibilities who would be much better supported if they had this option going forward.
👷🏻♀️ Vote passed on taking a number of estates in charge by the Council, which means that the Council will be responsible for maintaining them going forward.
🚘 Vote passed on an increase in parking charges in Bray. I posted previously about this proposal which aims to address some of the shortfall in the Bray MD budget and allow improvement works in the town to be carried out. This involves parking at the Seafront increasing from 30c an hour, to 50c an hour (all day parking from €3 to €5). This will generate approx. €200,000 for projects in Bray, Kilmacanogue & Enniskerry. The funding is ringfenced for Bray MD and cannot be taken by Wicklow County Council which I strongly support. A counter motion was proposed however as it was only received during the meeting and not in advance, there was not an opportunity to consider it fully or to evaluate what the financial impact it would have had. It is a real pity that the opportunity to send this to the wider Councillor group in advance wasn’t taken.
There was a lengthy discussion on this item with Councillors around the County discussing the item, including reference made to parking in Wicklow being €1.20 an hour everywhere and in Arklow at €1 an hour everywhere. My sincere thanks to all the individuals and business who gave their views on this item over the last 5 weeks both in person and online, and who identified projects where this important funding source can be targeted to improve our communities.
Deciding to increase anything at the moment is hugely difficult but so is seeing communities in need and valuable projects not being undertaken. Local Government funding requires a total review, but we must also work with what is in place at the moment to ensure that no one is left behind. If you have further suggestions for how this funding can be used please do get in touch.
🌳 Presentation on proposed plans for Glendalough and amenities throughout the County.
Sadly, there was no time to discuss motions which is becoming a real issue. As meetings this year have been virtual and up until now there has been no option to therefore vote at them, motions have been building up. It is hoped that the motion by all Bray Councillors regarding the Bray Fire Service as well as other important items will be heard and voted on in the new year.