Update from Wicklow County Council meeting 3rd April 2023
Slightly delayed update from Wicklow County Councils meeting on Monday 3rd April, my apologies. It was an extremely busy day but lots of positive information.
In advance of our meeting, we had the launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard. The lanyard is intended to alert County staff that the person wearing it has a hidden disability and may need extra assistance with whatever they want to do. This fantastic initiative came about from the amazing work of Aisling Foran and Rebecca Gillian of Triple A Alliance and the support of staff in the Council and Ireland & Northern Ireland for Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. It was a privilege to be there at the launch and Gillian’s speech was wonderful, outlining with passion and commitment how important this launch is to those in our community.
Our meeting commenced at 2 pm, after the normal formalities we discussed the Disposal of Notices. The one of most interest was the Disposal Notice relating to Bray Rowing Club.
Disposal Notice – Bray Rowing Club
Disposal Notices are when property that the Council has an interest in, are proposed to be disposed of or lease / title amended. Bray Rowing Club are in a really awful situation through no fault of their own. The building they currently use is no longer fit for purpose and has now been deemed unsafe.
I raised this issue many years ago following contact from the club, so it is not something that has just occurred. The Club need to access funds in order to see their future plans realised, to do this they need a longer lease than they already have.
At the meeting I was delighted to propose, seconded by Cllr. Rory O’Connor and agreed by all, the extension of the lease for Bray Rowing Club to 35 years. This will allow the Club to look at seeking funding to address the current predicament.
The Club still require support so although a step in the right direction, there is lots more work to be undertaken.
To consider the Wicklow County Council Capital Investment Programme 2023 – 2025.
The Capital Investment Programme outlines the areas that the Council will invest capital funds into over the next number of years. Capital relates to physical things, whereas revenue relates to day to day running costs. In this programme the Council list projects that they hoped will happen, it does not however mean that they will. Included is funding for Bray’s proposed skate park, refurbishment at Bray Recycle Centre and funding for the refurbishment of the shelters on the seafront. If anyone would like a copy of the full report please let me know and I’ll send this onto you.
To note the Councils Annual Report for 2022.
The Council must produce an Annual Report every year. This report is not approved by the Councillors, but it is presented to us for consideration and comment.
New proposed e-planning system.
The new ePlanning will improve efficiency, reduce the potential for invalid applications, and deliver on the national strategy to move more public services online, benefitting both the applicant and the planning authority. The system will run alongside the existing hard paper process and will not replace it. It will allow applicants to upload documents and where an application is deemed invalid, remake an application with greater ease. It will become available this month.
Control of Dogs
The control of dogs was raised again, and the Council outlined the steps that are currently in place. Again, concern was raised about the impact of dogs on farms and the volume of sheep being killed. Many Councillors raised concerns from constituents on the amount of dog fouling on the streets of towns and villages across the County and the numbers of dog owners not keeping dogs under control and off the leads. There was heated discussions and a call for greater action by the local authority.
Preparation for lifting of the eviction ban.
The meeting concluded with a discussion centred on the Councils readiness for the lifting of the eviction ban. The Council outlined the steps that are taking and I intend to cover this in a fuller report. The Director of Housing requested that all individuals and families who have been issued with a NTQ (Notice to Quit) to contact the Council as they are keeping details and working with the individuals directly. The Council now have the option to purchase homes, where the landlord wishes to sell them and the tenants are on HAP. They ae also looking at existing stock and making stock available to those facing homelessness.
As always, this report only provides a brief overview, if you ever require any additional information please do not hesitate to get in contact.