Annual Report from Dermot Lacey to Constituency – November 2013
City Council Group:
On the City Council I have continued to serve as Labour Group Leader during the year.
While, unfortunately we have lost one member, the Group has acted cohesively and this has given added strength in pursuing issues over the year. The next major task will be to secure agreement on the City Budget for 2014 in the context of massively reduced central funding and uncertainty about the intentions on the Property Tax.
As Chairperson of the Housing Committee I am happy to report that we have made some progress during the year. The complete overhaul of the Crampton buildings complex is now underway and hopefully construction work will soon start on Tom Kelly Flats, Charlemont Street. I am optimistic about support from Labour in Government for the application by the Royal Hospital Voluntary Housing Association for a demolition and rebuild project for 25 units at Beech Hill Terrace. A new “time on list” Allocations Policy has been agreed and is now in place.
Association of Irish Regions and Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly:
In September I completed my term as Cathaoirleach of the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly and a month later was elected Cathaoirleach of the Association of Irish Regions. Both have given me an insight into the need for a coherent Regional Policy in Ireland and to regret the missed opportunity for same in the Local Government “Reform” Bill.
During the year I attended regular meetings of the VEC (now the Educational and Training Board) and its sub-committees, the Board of the Rathmines–Pembroke Partnership and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. I remain on the Executive of the Association of City and County Councils. I actively participated in the Herbert Park Users Forum, the Lansdowne Stadium Project Monitoring Committee and continued my role as Chairperson of the South Inner City Local Drugs Task Force and joined the City Enterprise Board.
Working on the Flood Protection measures for Ballsbridge and Donnybrook took up a lot of time- but real progress is being made. I have attended the AGM’s and other meetings organised by the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association, Nutley Residents Association, Donnybrook, Terenure, Portobello, Milltown and Rathgar Residents and worked with other bodies right across the area and of course followed up on the issues raised.
After many years of campaigning substantial upgrades are now taking place in Herbert Park and flood reduction works have been installed in St. Alban’s Park. The Grafton Street rejuvenation is underway and agreed has been reached on the new Docklands Strategic Development Zone and a new Z15 zoning to protect open spaces
The work of the Commemorative Naming Committee took up a lot of time but in the end it has been worth it. In addition to approving the name of Rosie Hackett for the new Bridge – of which more later – we have commissioned a new standard memorial for significant sites and properties and developed a local commemorative policy for parks and other public places. A suitable memorial for former local Fine Gael TD the late Joe Doyle has also been approved for Herbert Park.
As ever thanks are due to a number of people for their support. It has been a pleasure to work with Mary, Oisin, Maria and Gerry on the City Council and Kevin, Ruairi and Ivana in the Oireachtas continue to do us proud.
Thanks are due to Jill who puts up with me and a lot more besides.
However we must not take any of that for granted. When I joined we had one Senator who was also a Councillor we now have a Minister, a second TD, a Senator and five Councillors. We need to make sure that we use that strength, achieved by the work of very many people, to deliver on real reform and economic recovery. Both are important. We have a chance to transform Irish society – we should not be satisfied with just transforming the economy.
With new Electoral Areas the next year will perhaps be our most challenging ever – we can rise to that challenge. I look forward to representing Pembroke-South Dock. With the support of the people of the area I will.