Agenda and minutes

Manorhamilton Municipal District - Monday, 15th February, 2021 2.30 pm

Contact: Nicola McManus  Meetings Administrator

Items
No. Item

MMD.16.21

Adoption of Minutes

Minutes:

Minutes of meeting held on 18th January 2021

 

On the PROPOSAL of Cllr Padraig Fallon

SECONDED by Cllr Felim Gurn

 

It was AGREED to adopt the minutes of meeting of 18th December 2020.

MMD.17.21

Consider Part 8 Planning report on the proposed development of 5 houses at Taobh Tire Manorhamilton

Minutes:

Cllr Gurn queried the timeframe for delivery of the project.  Mr Justin Fannon, SEO, Housing Department, outlined that it is anticipated that the contract will commence in October 2021 with works to be completed by the end of 2022.

 

Cllr Padraig Fallon welcomed the move away from single bed accommodation. Cllr Felim Gurn referred to bedroom size in three bed units and requested that they be uniform in size.

 

Mary Quinn, Director of Services, informed the meeting that a new National Housing Programme is expected to be announced in mid-2021 which will contain targets for housing delivery for the next 3 years.

 

On the PROPOSAL of Cllr Felim Gurn

            SECONDED by Cllr Frank Dolan

 

It was AGREED to approve the Part 8 Planning Report on the proposed development of 5 houses at Taobh Tire, Manorhamilton.

MMD.18.21

To consider the Schedule of Municipal District Works, to include the Area Programme, 2021

Minutes:

Mr. Vincent Dwyer, Head of Finance & Water Services, gave an overview of the Schedule of Municipal District Works. Ms Marie Mulligan, Senior Executive Engineer, gave an overview of the Area Programme, 2021.

 

All members welcomed the funding allocation for the Area Programme.

 

Cllr Felim Gurn enquired as to whether funding is available to overlay the demonstration stretch in Manorhamilton. Ms. Mulligan stated funding is in place to complete those works and it will commence when the footpath widening on that stretch is complete. Cllr Gurn welcomed the update. 

 

Cllr Felim Gurn queried whether the money allocated for Lurganboy is for the whole village. Ms. Mulligan stated that the funding is for the Manorhamilton side of the village as far as the wood, and confirmed that manholes will be dropped to the pavement level.

 

Cllr Justin Warnock asked what works the Active Travel Scheme will fund. Ms. Mulligan stated that the active travel programme is focused on s improvements within village/urban areas to reduce dependency on a car to travel to work/retail etc.

 

Cllr Sean McDermott enquired at what stage the Council is at in the three-year roadworks programme. Ms. Mulligan stated that we are currently in the final year of the programme. Cllr McDermott further inquired as to what works will take place on the Manorhamilton to Rossinver Road.  Ms. Mulligan stated that the work proposed is a low-cost safety scheme and will focus on improved signage.

 

On the PROPOSAL of Cllr Justin Warnock

            SECONDED by Cllr Padraig Fallon

 

It was AGREED to approve the allocation of funding under the Schedule of Municipal District Works, to include the Area Programme 2021, as circulated to the meeting.

MMD.19.21

Meeting Correspondence

Minutes:

The following correspondence was noted by the members:

1.                  Correspondence from Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media in relation to supports from Outdoor Tourism Activities.

2.                  Acknowledgement from Pascal Donohue TD, Minister for Finance in relation to supports for Outdoor Tourism Activities.

3.                  Correspondence from Assistant Commissioner, Garda North Western Region Headquarters, in relation to the increase in the number of checkpoints.

4.                  Correspondence from Inspector Michael Collins, Manorhamilton Garda Station in relation to the increase in the number of checkpoints.

MMD.20.21

Motion from Councillor Padraig Fallon

Minutes:

"I propose that peat, earth and debris arising from the landslide at Dawn of Hope which has been placed on turf banks be removed, and that this Municipal District calls on the Local Authority and Coillte to engage with those whose turbary rights have been impacted."

 

Report by Director of Services for Economic Development, Planning, Environment and Transportation.

"Following extremely heavy rainfall on Wednesday 11th Nov 2020 emergency works were undertaken to alleviate water pressure building up on the Dawn of Hope bridge. A small quantity of peat and debris was removed from the river channel and spread on nearby Coillte land. Permission was sought from Coillte in advance of these works and the Council were not made aware of any turbary rights been affect by these works."

 

Cllr Padraig Fallon acknowledged the work done by Leitrim County Council in relation to the landslide. He informed the meeting that while Leitrim County Council did receive permission from Coillte to place debris on their land, a number of individuals have turbary rights to the affected area. Cllr Fallon requested a solution be found to address the matter.

 

Cllr Justin Warnock supported the motion and stated that farmers and people with turbary rights should be respected.

 

All members supported the motion.

MMD.21.21

Motion from Councillor Padraig Fallon:

What is the current level of vacant Local Authority housing in North Leitrim, and if a breakdown of family or 3 beds or greater can be included?

Minutes:

What is the current level of vacant Local Authority housing in North Leitrim, and if a breakdown of family or 3 beds or greater can be included?"

 

Report by Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services

"There are currently 6 vacant properties in North Leitrim which will be available for allocating through Choice Based Letting;

Dromahair:           1 x 4 bed

                               1 x 3 bed

Manorhamilton:  3 x 3 bed

Kinlough:              1 x 3 bed"

 

Cllr Fallon welcomed the information and acknowledged the work carried out by the Housing Department at Leitrim County Council.

 

Cllr Warnock stated that two-bedroom houses should be smallest unit of social housing built by Local Authorities. Cllr Warnock also stated that individuals renting three-bedroom houses utilizing the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) are creating a shortage of larger homes.

 

Cllr Fallon agreed that there is a shortage of larger homes in the region on the rental market.

 

Cllr Felim Gurn queried as to the accommodation available where a person might be a victim of domestic abuse or an emergency situation e.g., fire. Ms. Quinn, Director of Services, stated that in these situations, there should be an immediate referral to the Housing Officer, and emergency accommodation can be sourced.

 

Cllr Gurn further queried the position in relation to relationship breakdowns involving couples living in local authority housing and their housing needs. Ms. Quinn outlined that these cases are addressed on a case-by-case basis.

MMD.22.21

Motion from Councillor Sean McDermott:

I am asking if potholes can be filled on local roads in North Leitrim as many of these roads have become unsafe. I understand since the present Covid-19 restrictions Council staff have been restricted to carry out works except in emergencies. Can these necessary repairs be carried out safely within the Covid-19 restriction guidelines?

Minutes:

"I am asking if potholes can be filled on local roads in North Leitrim as many of these roads have become unsafe. I understand since the present Covid-19 restrictions Council staff have been restricted to carry out works except in emergencies. Can these necessary repairs be carried out safely within the Covid-19 restriction guidelines?"

 

Report by Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services

"During the current restriction on construction works only pothole repair where there is a safety concern – i.e. where a potholes presents a safety risk to motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists, etc. – can be undertaken.

A list of roads where emergency pothole repair is requested should be sent to the District Office, upon which the roads will be inspected and the repairs undertaken as necessary."

 

Cllr. McDermott stated that due to the recent bad weather that some potholes are becoming dangerous. Cllr Felim Gurn and Cllr Justin Warnock supported the motion.

 

Ms Marie Mulligan, Senior Executive Engineer, outlined the position re carrying out works in the current Covid restrictions and requested Members to forward details of any roads with potholes that are of a concern and they will be reviewed.

MMD.23.21

Motion from Councillor Sean McDermott:

I have raised the issue in the past of an old disused sewer pipe in the village of Kiltyclogher, located near the library. This pipe is very unsightly and dangerous if it were to topple over. I am asking for it to be removed.

Minutes:

"I have raised the issue in the past of an old disused sewer pipe in the village of Kiltyclogher, located near the library. This pipe is very unsightly and dangerous if it were to topple over. I am asking for it to be removed."

 

Report by Director of Services for Economic Development, Planning, Environment and Transportation.

"This issue has been previously raised with Irish Water. They advised the sewer vent pipe was inspected, is in use and is in structural order. The Council has requested that the sewer vent pipe be painted to improve its appearance."

 

Cllr McDermott welcomed the response.

MMD.24.21

Motion from Councillor Justin Warnock:

I ask our CEO Lar Power, is distance a disadvantage when applying for a job with Leitrim County Council if you live north of the N15. With only a handful of staff from this area currently employed out of a population of approx. 5,000 residents, there is a perception locally that this is the case.

Minutes:

"I ask our CEO Lar Power, is distance a disadvantage when applying for a job with Leitrim County Council if you live north of the N15. With only a handful of staff from this area currently employed out of a population of approx. 5,000 residents, there is a perception locally that this is the case."

 

Report by Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services

"There is no disadvantage in relation to distance when applying for a job with Leitrim County Council. Leitrim County Council is an equal opportunities employer."

 

Cllr Warnock outlined his view that Leitrim County Council should be employing people from the local area and utilizing their local knowledge. Mary Quinn, Director of Services, acknowledged Cllr Warnock’s view, however she reiterated that Leitrim County is an equal opportunities employer, and that all recruitment takes place in a fair and transparent manner.

 

Cllr Warnock enquired as to how many staff members are employed by Leitrim County Council.  Ms. Quinn stated that there are currently 317 people employed by Leitrim County Council excluding firefighters.

MMD.25.21

Motion from Councillor Felim Gurn:

Can executives give the number of people who have been relocated through Focus Ireland into the Manorhamilton Municipal District?

Minutes:

"Can executives give the number of people who have been relocated through Focus Ireland into the Manorhamilton Municipal District?"

 

Report by Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services

"Leitrim County Council does not have access to Focus Ireland caseloads. Focus Ireland do not own any properties in Leitrim, nor have they any nomination/allocation powers.  They provide an advice and information service and would assist people in looking for properties or completing forms."

 

Cllr Felim Gurn outlined his concerns regarding increasing levels of anti-social behaviour and outlined the need for it to be addressed referring in particular to responsibilities of landlords.  He raised the issue of other Local Authorities and voluntary bodies placing tenants in private rented accommodation in Manorhamilton.

 

Cllr Padraig Fallon queried what checks/information are provided from other Local Authorities or Housing Associations to Leitrim County Council before placing a tenant in County Leitrim.  Ms M Quinn, Director of Services, outlined there is no requirement for liaison between local authorities in this regard. Cllr Fallon proposed that the Housing, Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee should look at this matter.

 

Cllr Warnock reiterated that there is an onus on landlords to ensure that tenants act in a responsible manner. 

 

Cllr Sean McDermott supported the motion and stated that information in relation to tenants should be given to Leitrim County Council before tenants are allocated accommodation in County Leitrim by outside agencies.

 

Mary Quinn, Director of Services, stated that the issues described are isolated incidents within the county. Ms. Quinn stated that landlords have a responsibility in relation to tenancy agreements entered into, however it is not envisaged that Leitrim County Council will have a role in vetting tenancies entered into privately or through the use of the Housing Assistance Payments Scheme.

 

Cllr Gurn stated that where there are a small number of tenants causing anti-social behaviour and a solution must be found to address the matter. Ms. Quinn stated that Leitrim County Council can work with any agency including An Garda Síochána to identify solutions to these situations.

MMD.26.21

Motion from Councillor Felim Gurn:

There has been a lot of bags disposed of at church lane beside the Dillon court apartment building, not in their private car park and a lot of anti-social behaviour with Gardaí being called on regular basis. This behaviour is causing a lot of anxiety for residents beside the apartment block. Is it the management of the building or the owners of the apartments, that are responsible for the behaviour of the residents to make it a safe environment for neighbours of the apartment block?

Minutes:

"There has been a lot of bags disposed of at church lane beside the Dillon court apartment building, not in their private car park and a lot of anti-social behaviour with Gardaí being called on regular basis. This behaviour is causing a lot of anxiety for residents beside the apartment block. Is it the management of the building or the owners of the apartments, that are responsible for the behaviour of the residents to make it a safe environment for neighbours of the apartment block?"

 

Report by Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services

"Persons in receipt of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) are private tenants with tenancies between the landlord and tenant only and Leitrim County Council has no basis for intervention regarding these tenancies. All incidents of ASB should be reported to An Garda Siochana and any buildup of up rubbish should be reported directly to Leitrim County Council’s Environment Department."

 

Cllr Felim Gurn outlined that rubbish is being left on the public road, and that the burden is falling to Tidy Towns members to clear it away. Cllr Justin Warnock supported the motion.

 

Ms. Marie Mulligan, Senior Executive Engineer, stated that all incidents of rubbish being left should be reported to the Community Wardens.

MMD.27.21

Motion from Councillor Frank Dolan:

Can I ask is there any truth in the rumour that the bring centre in Manorhamilton may not reopen when the current restrictions are lifted?

Minutes:

"Can I ask is there any truth in the rumour that the bring centre in Manorhamilton may not reopen when the current restrictions are lifted?"

 

Report by Head of Finance & Water Services

"Manorhamilton and Mohill Civic Amenity Sites have remained opened during the current lockdown as Government guidance considers the operation of such facilities to represent an essential service. Leitrim County Council has no plans to close this facility."

 

All Members welcomed the response.

MMD.28.21

Motion from Councillor Frank Dolan:

There is an ongoing problem at the bottom of the Carrickanurroo road, Fivemilebourne, where the water is coming off the road and flowing into Sadie O’Hara’s yard, I ask if this could be addressed.

Minutes:

"There is an ongoing problem at the bottom of the Carrickanurroo road, Fivemilebourne, where the water is coming off the road and flowing into Sadie O’Hara’s yard, I ask if this could be addressed."

 

Report by Director of Services for Economic Development, Planning, Environment and Transportation.

"The issue with be investigated and necessary actions will be undertaken."

MMD.29.21

Motion from Councillor Justin Warnock:

I ask that Leitrim County Council commit to an advertising campaign and increased signage to prevent dog owners from taking their dogs onto the mountains of this Municipal District. There has been a significant increase in dog attacks on sheep, resulting in the death of many. There has also been a number of altercations between farmers and dog owners and farmers at times have felt threatened by this thuggish behaviour. This is totally unacceptable and the goodwill that farmers have shown to hillwalkers in recent years could be lost if this issue is not addressed.

Minutes:

"I ask that Leitrim County Council commit to an advertising campaign and increased signage to prevent dog owners from taking their dogs onto the mountains of this Municipal District. There has been a significant increase in dog attacks on sheep, resulting in the death of many. There has also been a number of altercations between farmers and dog owners and farmers at times have felt threatened by this thuggish behaviour. This is totally unacceptable and the goodwill that farmers have shown to hillwalkers in recent years could be lost if this issue is not addressed."

 

Report by Head of Finance & Water Services

"Leitrim County Council has an ongoing programme of Responsible Dog Ownership which involves radio interviews, social media, newspaper articles and advertisements, leaflet distribution, school and community group visits. The Council intends to engage in further activities, including advertising in order to promote Responsible Dog Ownership in the coming weeks during Lambing Season.

The Council has erected a significant amount of Dog Control signage at strategic locations throughout the county. The Council will source and erect appropriate Dog Control signage on the Arroo Walk and Eagles Rock Walks in the near future."

 

Cllr Justin Warnock outlined that dog owners are bringing their dogs out onto commonage areas in North Leitrim and taking them off their leashes, and that this is an unacceptable practice. Cllr Warnock stated that this practice will destroy the goodwill established with farmers.

 

Cllr Sean McDermott supported the motion and stated that the cost of the dog license fee should be reviewed with a view to increasing it.

 

Cllr Frank Dolan and Cllr Felim Gurn supported the motion.

MMD.30.21

AOB

Minutes:

Cllr Justin Warnock requested that the OPW be contacted requesting that the Irish Flag be flown at Parke’s Castle. Cllr Sean McDermott proposed that the EU Flag should be also be displayed.

 

On the PROPOSAL of Cllr Justin Warnock

SECONDED by Cllr Padraig Fallon

 

It was AGREED to contact the OPW requesting that the Irish and EU Flag be flown at Parke’s Castle.

 

All Members thanked Ms Marie Mulligan, Senior Executive Engineer for all her work and support during her time as District Engineer. Ms Mary Quinn, Director of Service also acknowledged the work carried out by Ms Mulligan.

 

Ms. Mulligan thanked the Members for all their help and assistance and stated she enjoyed working in the position.