The principal concern for the Council remains that of Finance, though listening, watching and participating in Council meetings it would be hard to believe this to be the case. While the case for Local Government reform has been highlighted from time to time –dealing with the thornier issue of Finance is central to that. A major start would be made by Government paying its own Bills to the Council. The shortfall in Commercial rates on Government Buildings in Dublin City for last year alone was E28million. Government pays its ESB bills there is no acceptable reason why it should not pay its Council bills.
Housing, Social and Community SPC (Strategic Policy Committee):
Since appointment as Chairperson of the Committee in April I have sought a number of changes to our Housing Policy. The first of these was achieved this month when the Council adopted a proposal to facilitate Children and Parents – with due safeguards- jointly purchase the family home. I hope to bring forward proposals later this month to partially deal with the issue of swifter allocation of housing units in low demand areas and with the issue of empty units requiring maintenance works.
On the Community side the Committee is working on improving the allocation transparency and range of community grants. Arising from a number of requests I have recently visited Dolphin House and met with local residents and activists.
Attended inaugural meeting of new Residents Association in Donnybrook, met traders in Rathgar regarding parking issues and residents in Milltown re similar. I participated in two workshops to develop the next programme for the Rathmines Pembroke Partnership. I submitted motions relating to issues in Sandymount, Donnybrook, Terenure, Rathmines and Rathgar. Allotments will be allocated in Herbert Park within the next week and a Programme has been agreed to mark the 100th Anniversary of the opening of Herbert Park.
The Council has established a Commemorations Committee to plan for a number of events over the decade 2012-2022. Any suggestions that members have would be welcome. Administrative Improvements to the Bin Charge waiver scheme have been agreed and will be introduced for next year. It is hoped to significantly extend the Dublin Bike scheme over the next twelve months.