Co. Council meeting round-up 15/12/16 : the

Co. Council meeting round-up 15/12/16

| December 15, 2016

Wexford County Council 01

Row over attendance at meeting with Minister

A furious row erupted at a meeting of the Co. Council this week over the make-up of a delegation which met Junior health Minister, Helen McEntee, to discuss Mental Health services in the county recently.

The high suicide rate in Wexford and the lack of local mental health services has been a major cause of concern for some time and councillors had been pressing for a meeting with the minister who has special responsibility for the issue.

The meeting took place two weeks ago and was arranged at short notice with a cross party group attending the discussions.

However, Independent councillor, Davy Hynes, who has been a long time campaigner on the issue, was angry that the group did not include anyone from the Independent benches and he accused some of his colleagues of having a new found interest in the subject suggesting that they now believed the issue was a vote winner.

His comments drew a strong response with Cllr. Larry O’Brien asking him to withdraw the statement. Cllr. Willie Fitzharris who was part of the delegation and who reported on the proceedings to the Council meeting pointed out that his interest in mental was not recent and he revealed that his family had been touched by suicide.

Cllr. Hynes said he did not intend his remarks to cause hurt to anyone and withdrew them.

Cllr George Lawlor said the Labour Party had not been invited to attend the meeting either, but he welcomed the fact that it had taken place.

Cllr. Fitzharris told his colleagues that he was impressed by Minister McEntee’s contribution to the deputation. However, he was concerned by the attitude of the HSE officials who attended.

He said they continued to suggest that everything was ok and that the facilities were adequate and he would not be confident that if they had the final decision improvements would be made.

Councillors are to review the matter again early next year and seek a further meeting both with Minister McEntee and the Health Minister Simon Harris.


Problems in Taghmon

Anti-social behaviour in Taghmon is a cause for concern and should be examined before an additional fourteen houses are built at Cloghulatagh close to an existing Co. Council estate.

The concerns were raised by Cllr. John Fleming who said he had witnessed incidents himself when visiting constituents in the area.

He said the proposed layout of the new housing development could add to the problem and he suggested a change in the design.

However, Chief Executive Tom Enright said anti-social behaviour should be dealt with at source and he was opposed to changing the design and layout of the project to take account of the problem


Wexford plans for war commemoration

As members and officials of Wexford Co. Council basked in the tremendous success of the 1916 centenary celebrations Chief Executive Tom Enright has revealed that planning will start soon for events to commemorate the centenary of the ending of the First World War in 2018.

In particular the Wexford events will remember the eight hundred men from the county who lost their lives in the war.


Selling property to Council is a slow process

People involved in selling properties to Wexford Co. Council face long delays in having the transactions completed and this is causing grave difficulties for those involved with one woman in danger of finding herself homeless as a result of a more than six month delay in having the transaction processed.

The issue was raised at the December meeting of the Co. Council by Cllr. George Lawlor who said the delays were totally unacceptable.

He said the problem was not with Council staff but centred on having legal matters sorted out.

Director of Services John Carley said difficulties with title and other matters sometimes arose which delayed matters but he said every effort was made to close sales as quickly as possible.

Cllr. John Fleming, who is an auctioneer, said sales involving the Council always took longer to compete and he had a policy of advising clients of this.


Good citizens penalised

Good citizens are penalised when it comes to dealing with defects in septic tanks, Wexford councillors have claimed.

If a problem with a septic tank is discovered during a scheduled inspection by the Co. Council grant aid may be available to deal with the problem.

However, if someone discovers a problem themselves they cannot get any support to deal with it, it has been confirmed.

Cllrs. Ger Carthy and Deirdre Wadding said people who tried to do the right thing were being penalised under the system.

Director of Services, John Carley pointed out that it was a national scheme which was merely administered by the Council.


Jobs plan will concentrate on urban areas

Future strategies for the economic development of Co. Wexford will not place and emphasis on creating employment in rural villages, it has been confirmed.

Director of Services, Tony Larkin, told members of the Council at their December meeting that a strategy for rural areas was currently being worked on and proposals would be brought before councillors in the New Year.

However, he said it would not be practical to put a plan in place with the aim of creating employment in every rural village.

Instead the plan will focus on creating jobs in the four main town with Bunclody and Rosslare harbour also to be included.

He pointed out that there are one hundred villages in Co. Wexford and a plan could not cover them all.

He was responding to Cllr. Oisin O’Connell who said that many rural villages were unemployment blackspots.


No immediate threat to rail line

The Chief Executive of Wexford Co. Council has said he does not believe there is any immediate threat to the future of the rail line between Gorey and Rosslare Harbour.

Tom Enright made his comments at the December meeting of the Council and they followed a meeting he had recently with the Chief Executive of Irish Rail.

The Council is to make a submission on the future of the rail line as part of a public consultation process. The Council will argue for more investment in the line and an improved level of service.

Other interest groups in the area, including Chambers of Commerce and hotels are also to make submissions.


Barntown road closed for three years

The major investment required to fully restore a road in Barntown which has been closed to traffic for almost three years would not be justified, Director of Services for Roads, Eamon Hore has revealed.

He told Cllr. Tony Dempsey that subsidence which had caused the problem on the road at Keelogues which runs from Larkin’s Cross towards the Heritage Park had now been stabilised.

However, the costly works required to fully restore the route have been ruled out. Instead it is proposed to reopen the road and impose some traffic restrictions on it.


Wexford welcomes refugees

Members of Wexford Co. Council have declared a welcome to the county for refugees from Syria. They supported a motion from Cllr. Malcolm Byrne which further asserted that the Council would assist positively in integrating refugees to Irish society.

The motion added that ‘Wexford is a welcoming county for those who seek refuge or asylum from war, natural disaster or the abuse of human rights

Chief Executive Tom Enright told the December meeting of the Council that it was a  good motion and he revealed that important planning was already underway for the arrival of refugees.

This involved not just the local authority but education groups and the HSE as well.

The main priority for the Council will be to provide housing for the refugees and Mr Enright said they hoped to do that without adversely impacting on the position of people already seeking accommodation.

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