“Disappointing and frustrating” was how Councillor David Saurin described the announcement at last Monday night’s Drogheda Borough Council meeting, that officials from Louth County Council has set aside “a small amount of money” for housing maintenance priority work from Internal Capital Receipts.
Cllr Saurin said “I asked the officials how much money would be made available for housing maintenance priority work and they continuously refused to give the exact figure other than to stress it was a small sum of money. When I asked if the sum of money would be sufficient to cover all existing and any future priority maintenance requests, again no clear answer was forthcoming and officials were unable to guarantee that we wouldn’t be in the same situation at the next monthly meeting in regards to lack of funds.”
“When I then asked what type of maintenance works would be considered a priority, again I failed to receive a definitive answer. I told the Council that this situation is totally unacceptable and many tenants were becoming very annoyed and angry at being unable to access necessary and essential maintenance to their homes.”
“I would discourage any residents who may be considering withholding their rent as a form of protest and ask them to continue to pay their rent and pursue their maintenance requests with the Council in the usual way.”
Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has criticised both Louth County Council and the Gardaí for failing to deal with the ongoing anti-social behaviour in Rathmullan Estate.
Cllr Saurin said “The issue of anti-social behaviour in this area has been long running and feel their voices are not being heard and their concerns are not being addressed by the relevant authorities. They have been promised several initiatives to address and counter these activities by Louth County Council and the Gardaí and yet the issue is as prevalent as ever.”
One of the issues that residents are concerned about is the use of motor scooters being driven at speed through the estate. Cllr Saurin said “They are being driven on roads and footpaths alike at all hours of the day and night with no regard for the safety of residents going about their daily business or young children out playing.”
A separate issue is the deliberate vandalising of street lights in the back alleys. Cllr Saurin feels this is done to facilitate drug dealing. He has called for these lights to be replaced in a more timely fashion. “The Gardaí seem to be unable to get a handle on the situation with no arrests having been made for this behaviour and between themselves and the Council there seems to be a lack of urgency in solving the problems in this area.”
“Louth County Council some time ago announced the launch of a Cross Directive Initiative aimed at providing solutions to the problems” according to Cllr Saurin, “more speed ramps were promised, particularly along the stretch of road in the estate from the shop through to Ballsgrove, these are still to be installed along with other long term measures such as infill housing. It was also promised that the residents would be consulted as part of the process to finding a solution and this has yet to happen.”
“It is unacceptable that a small number of individuals are allowed to disrupt the lives of the majority with impunity. Louth County Council needs to implement the current anti-social policy in regard to these individuals and if necessary evict the perpetrators. The residents realistically know that these issues won’t be resolved overnight but it is not unrealistic of them to expect some results in the fight against the anti-social element in their estate. Action not words is what the community wants to see from both Louth County Council and the Gardaí.
Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has welcomed the establishment of a Cross Directive Group to deal with the ongoing issues in Rathmullan Park. The announcement was made at Monday’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting by Louth County Council.
Councillor David Saurin said “this group will encompass various departments of Louth County Council working in a coordinated manner to address all the ongoing anti-social behaviour which is causing misery and distress for the residents of Rathmullan.”
Cllr Saurin outlined some of the actions that were being considered in addressing the problems in the area. “There are a number of things that can be done: estate management, housing infill (which will see replacement homes built replacing those demolished in the past), potential new road safety measures to help combat so called ‘joyriding’ and speeding in the area and also a litter management plan to combat the increasing practice of illegal dumping and the burning of domestic waste.”
Councillor Saurin has asked the Council to ensure “this new Cross Directive Group consult the residents of the estate throughout the implementation of any new initiatives produced as a result of the process. The residents are the ones best placed to identify the issues and problems they would like addressed. I have also asked that this new initiative to alleviate the problem of anti-social behaviour in the estate proceeds without delay so residents can see action and results as sooner rather than later.”
While Cllr Saurin welcomed this new group he explained how “residents of Rathmullen have long felt abandoned by Louth County Council and are at the end of their tether with the ongoing situation. Action and not words is what the people of Rathmullen need and this group is a step in the right direction.”
Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has welcomed Louth County Council’s securing of funding for Anti-Dumping Initiatives in the county and in particular the Rathmullen Estate in Drogheda.
Cllr Saurin said “I am pleased that this funding has been secured and that the Rathmullen area is one of the locations in the county that has been chosen for this Initiative. This Anti-Dumping Initiative will take the form of a clean up of the area and will also include the launching of an Awareness Initiative in relation to littering and illegal dumping and the impact these illegal acts have on the community.”
Cllr Saurin explained that the residents in Rathmullen have suffered “an upsurge in illegal dumping in the estate and surrounding areas in recent years. I am regularly contacted by concerned residents in relation to the ongoing problem of illegal dumping in the area and I have raised this issue with the Council on numerous occasions. I have also expressed my frustration at the lack of prosecutions in regard to this issue.”
“Another area” continued Cllr Saurin, “is Waterunder which is also being included in this initiative for the same reasons; continuous dumping at the side of the road. You can imagine the negative impression that gives to visitors and tourists who come to this part of the county.”
David Saurin called on the community to “be vigilant and report those engaged in this activity to the Council. These people have no regard for their community and it is you and I who are paying to have their filth and dirt cleaned up.”
Sinn Féin Councillor David Saurin has encouraged local residents and groups to ‘have their say’ following confirmation from Louth County Council that public meetings will be held as part of the process of preparing for the Fleadh Cheoil 2018.
Cllr Saurin speaking after the County Council meeting said “I sought assurances that interested parties and groups would be able to participate in the planning of the Fleadh Cheoil and was informed that it is intended that public meetings will be part of a series of steps in preparing for this event.”
“I feel it is very important that the people of Drogheda and it’s hinterlands have an opportunity to bring suggestions and ideas to the organisers and also raise any concerns or questions they may have regarding what will be one of the most important events in the town’s recent history.”
Cllr David Saurin felt that these public meetings “will give local residents and groups a chance to have a say in the organising of the Fleadh and will also give people to feel a sense of ownership and allow the community to become stakeholders in an event which everyone hopes will bring great benefits to the town of Drogheda.
Cllr Saurin urged the Council to begin the process of holding these public meetings as soon as possible. “There is a growing sense in the community that there needs to be increased consultation with the public in relation to the Fleadh. The reality is many people and groups have positive contributions to make and are asking to be engaged with and given an opportunity to express their ideas.”