The main focus of work over the last few months has been the preparation of a new City Development Plan 2011-2017. In all there were over 900 amendments tabled by Councillors of which I tabled approximately 100. These ranged from issues of height and densities, transport corridors, protection of public open space and enhancement of our rivers. The amended Draft Plan Public Consultation process has just concluded and hopefully the new Plan will be adopted sometime in November.
Work has begun on preparing a City Council Budget for 2011. Unfortunately not alone are we facing problems because of the Government imposed cuts and shortfalls in revenue such as rent, waste charges and commercial rates but we are also facing the legacy of a political failure to tackle the very structure of Local Government financing. The present system cannot be allowed to continue.
Efforts are ongoing to secure Dartmouth Square for public use under public control.
Department of the Environment Issues:
I have been engaging with Minister John Gormley on a number of issues that impact locally and across the County – the continued operation of the Dublin Bay Task Force, the acquisition of Scully’s Field in Milltown and the redevelopment of an antiquated housing complex in Donnybrook and redevelop of same by a Voluntary Housing Association. I hope to be able to report progress as soon as possible.
Issues dealt with at the City Council included a proposal to acquire the Bank of Ireland building on College Green, retention of “Busgate”, the continued scandal of housing “voids” and retention of Emergency Hostel accommodation.
During the last couple of months in addition to routine City Council meetings I have attended VEC meetings, met with residents groups and Youth groups, attended Royal Hospital Voluntary Housing Association, meeting re Dodder Flood Relief works and leasing of old Civic Museum to Irish Georgian Society, saw the reopening of Pembroke Library and the opening of the new Rathmines Swimming Pool and much more.