Cllr Anne Campbell: Tenants Waiting For Maintenance

Serious delays to maintenance and repair works on houses owned by Louth County Council is causing worry and stress for tenants, according to a Dundalk councillor.

Sinn Fein’s Anne Campbell says “there has been a massive slow-down in getting maintenance and repairs completed with council officials saying that all works are subject to the maintenance budget in the second half of the year.”

Cllr Campbell raised the issue at the last meeting of Louth County Council. “According to the figures,  maintenance requests have increased by 20% in two years, I also noted that work had been approved at tenants’ homes, but had not been done because of cost. I asked director of housing, Joe McGuinness, if there was a problem with money.”

In response, Mr McGuinness said: ‘There are issues with a significant number of housing maintenance requests and there are budgetary pressures. They are being prioritised and some will be done’.

Cllr. Campbell said: “I have noticed that the delays between maintenance or repair requests going in and the work getting done have been getting longer and longer since June. I have sought updates on behalf of a number of constituents and have been told that there are ‘budgetary pressures’ and each job is subject to the funding being available for it.”

“There are people who have come to me who have been waiting for months to get relatively small, but important, work done to their council houses and it’s just not happening. Indeed, there is currently no indication, in many of these cases, when the work may be carried out.”

Cllr Campbell pointed out that “Louth County Council has a responsibility to its tenants in the same way a private landlord has certain obligations to his/her tenants, including repairing and maintaining the structure of the property and maintaining the interior of the property to the standard it was at the start of the tenancy. We would not accept ‘budgetary pressures’ from a private landlord and we should not accept this reason from local authorities either.”

“This is causing a lot of stress and worry for people who are waiting to get work completed.”

Cllr Anne Campbell Calls for Optimisation of Surgical Beds

Sinn Féin held the second of their monthly hospital protests on Friday, this time highlighting the need for more surgical beds in Louth County Hospital.

Councillor Anne Campbell who led the protest said “we plan to be here each month until Louth Hospital starts to serve the people of Dundalk to its full potential.”

The protest which was attended by Gerry Adams TD, Cllrs Pearse McGeough and Ruairí Ó Murchú was highlighting the need for surgical beds. “At present, there are eight surgical beds in a day ward that are only doing very routine procedures. These beds are not always in use and are only available from 9am until about 4pm. Sinn Féin is calling for the use of these beds to be optimised and used 24hrs per day even if it’s only Monday to Friday. This would involve the presence of a clinician. At the minute, if there are any complications with a minor day procedure, the patient is ferried by ambulance to Drogheda where they will obviously be left on a trolley until they are seen, adding to the already overburdened workload at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.”

Cllr Campbell said “there are a number of very simple things that could happen at the Louth Hospital to ease the pressure on Drogheda and also ease the burden on patients in the Dundalk area and this is only one of them. We need to tackle the spiralling waiting lists in Louth and opening up these beds would certainly be a good start.”

In the meantime, Cllr Campbell who has been keeping the Minor Injuries Unit age reduction issue very firmly in the public eye has said she is waiting ‘impatiently for September’. Cllr Campbell is determined to hold the Minister to his promise of an age reduction of those being treated for minor injuries to 5 years from 14 years. Despite promises made by the Minister almost 2 years ago, it hasn’t happened yet and the date for implementation has been postponed a number of times. The latest date given to Cllr Campbell is September. “It would be so much easier for families with younger children if they could visit their local hospital with minor injuries instead of having to go to Drogheda Hospital and again, it would ease the burden on Drogheda. This is a very simple thing to do and I’m not letting the Minister of the hook here. I am waiting impatiently for September.”

The Dundalk South Councillor also promised to be at the hospital gates again next month and has invited people to join her on Friday 31st August at 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Cllr Anne Campbell: Dublin Rd Cycle Lanes to be Completed by Weekend

Irish Water have confirmed to a Sinn Féin councillor that the long-awaited reinstatement of the cycle lanes on the Dublin Road will be completed this weekend.

In an email received this afternoon by Dundalk South representative, Cllr. Anne Campbell, Irish Water confirmed that their contractors, GMC, are to work on the completion of the lanes this Saturday and Sunday.

The water company said: “The Irish Water contractors, GMC , have confirmed that the final reinstatement works, including completion of the cycle lane on the Dublin Road are currently scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday. We expect that full reinstatement works will be completed then.”

Cllr. Campbell, who has consistently raised the state of the cycle lanes following major roadworks carried out by Irish Water and later, Virgin Media, which took place intermittently from September last year to April, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “I was very pleased to receive this confirmation from Irish Water this afternoon. I hope, and expect, that it will finally end the long-running problems for the residents and the users of the Dublin Road. It has taken too long, of course, to reach this point and I recently asked Irish Water to ensure that the much-needed work is completed before schools return in the last week of August. I am pleased to see that they are making moves to do this and I will be happy to see this work completed.

“The cycle lanes on the Dublin Road are actually very well used, particularly by DkIT students and they will be happy that the lanes are to be returned to a proper state after months of them being almost unusable.”

Cllr Anne Campbell: Works on Dublin Road ‘will reinstate cycle lanes’

Cllr Anne Campbell

“Works, currently causing significant traffic disruption on the Dublin Road in Dundalk, are to reinstate the cycle lanes damaged by pipe and cable laying” Councillor Anne Campbell has revealed.

The Sinn Féin Councillor has been speaking to the contractors, GMC, as well as Irish Water, and has been told the cycle lanes are to be reinstated in the coming days.

Councillor Campbell said, “Hundreds of motorists, as well as residents, hospital patients and students going to DkIT, have been impacted by the traffic delays caused by roadworks currently taking place on the Dublin Road, from the College to Hill Street Bridge.

“I have today (Wednesday) been speaking to the onsite contractors, GMC, who have informed me that the works are being done on behalf of Irish Water, who this winter, carried out a significant pipe laying project in the area.

“As a condition to the council granting permission to lay the pipes, Irish Water promised to reinstate the well-used cycle lane. The works, which started this week, are part of that reinstatement.

“The current phase of work, where a tarmac coursing is being laid, is expected to be completed by Friday evening, June 1st. However, I have to warn people that there will be a further few days of work, probably in the middle of June, to lay the anti-slip top on the cycle lane and then the white lines will also have to be put down.”

The Sinn Féin councillor added, “I understand how frustrating it has been for people on the Dublin Road in the last number of months, with seemingly endless roadworks, but I am happy that the cycle lanes are being reinstated by Irish Water and I would ask cyclists and drivers to bear with the contractors and allow some extra time for journeys until this important contract is completed.”

Louth MIU expansion in Jeopardy – Adams

Sinn Fein TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he is gravely concerned following confirmation from the HSE that commitments to expand the service provided by the Minor Injuries Unit at Louth County Hospital Dundalk are now in jeopardy.

The Louth TD said;

“Simon Harris came to Dundalk in November 2017 and announced that by February 2018 the Minor Injuries Unit at the Louth Hospital would begin seeing additional paediatric patients by reducing the current age threshold of 14 years old to 5 years old.

“In January I submitted a parliamentary question regarding the progress of this development and in response the RCSI Hospital Group, which runs health facilities in Louth, Meath and North Dublin, said: ‘It is envisaged that the Local Injuries Unit at the Louth County Hospital will be in a position to start seeing patients over five years of age with minor injuries in Quarter 2 2018. This change in practice remains dependent on staffing and appropriate staff mix’

“I submitted a further parliamentary question this month and the RCSI Hospital Group now tell me that the agreed start time for this service will be delayed due to ‘unanticipated resignations.’

“Furthermore the response goes on to state that ‘while the Louth Hospitals continue to endeavour to recruit the compliment of staff that is required to establish a safe level of service, they are not in a position to provide an updated time frame at this time.’

Cllr Anne Campbell

“From these responses it is clear to me that there is a real threat that this expanded service for those over 5 years old may never become operational.

“I am shocked that the Minister for Health would make such a grand announcement without any of the necessary ground work being complete.

“I have asked the Minister for Health what recruitment campaign has been undertaken to ensure that the staff are in place to operate this service and I urge him to honour the commitments he has made to Dundalk.

 

“My colleague councillor Anne Campbell will also be raising this matter at the next meeting of the Dublin North East Regional Health Forum, at which representatives of the RCSI Hospital Group will be present.”