Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan is encouraging groups who may be interested in initiating an energy upgrade project to consider applying for up to 50% Better Energy Community Funding.
Councillor Corrigan said “Louth County Council are facilitating community applications to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who provide funding for community groups, sports groups, private businesses and even public sector groups who wish to explore or develop an energy upgrade project.”
“Louth County Council at the minute are taking applications but the closing date for the final application is 26th January 2018. This means that the Council would need to finalise the beneficiaries for the funding by 15th January at the latest.”
Councillor Edel Corrigan is encouraging those interested or who may represent anyone in this field to “consider putting an application forward. Contact the Council’s Sustainable Energy Team directly on HYPERLINK “mailto:Padraig.firstname.lastname@example.org” Padraig.email@example.com for more details or to submit your application.”
“We are always seeking new ways to be more energy efficient and to reduce our carbon footprint and Louth County Council and SEAI recognise that and want to encourage it.”
With the next two phases of the Cox’s Regeneration Scheme getting underway, the person who had overseen the previous phase has now left Louth County Council.
Speaking at the Municipal meeting earlier this week, Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan sought clarification on who would be overseeing the Regeneration project. “I was told that a new Department had been formed within Louth County Council and they would be taking up the mantle and a new design team is in the process of being appointed. Unfortunately, this is the first time I have heard of this new department so that’s not a good start in the communication process.”
Cllr Corrigan said “It is of the utmost importance that there is very early engagement with the people from the area. The local residents and communities are on the ground and know what needs to be done, their input is essential for this regeneration Scheme to be successful.”
“Regeneration of any area is supposed to benefit the people of that area and unless the new design team and the new department engage with the people and groups who have already invested time and energy into improving their community then they are wasting their time. Now is the time, at this very early stage, to build those lines of communication and trust and for the local authority to show they are willing to commit to the success of this Project as much as the people of the area.”
Councillor Corrigan is calling on the Council to “hold a public meeting in the area to inform people of what is happening and to provide contacts for issues, concerns or contributions to the Regeneration Scheme and to encourage local people to get involved in the process.”
With the increase of road works being carried out around the town lately, Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan asked the question “is there a monitoring process in place whereby our local authority inspects the standard of work being carried out by these contractors?”
Cllr Corrigan was speaking at the Dundalk Municipal Council meeting this week and commented on “the surge of underground works taking place by Irish Water, facilities, networks and service contractors. While I appreciate the work has to be done, lately it just seems to be a lot of streets or roads are being dug up, along with footpaths to the inconvenience of businesses, traffic and pedestrians alike. I would like to ask how road openings are monitored to ensure safe, secure traffic management systems to facilitate access by people in the area.”
After consultation with several residents Cllr Corrigan said “We need better communication with residents and businesses before their services are disrupted or disconnected for a time. The notice given is inadequate and putting it out on radio or social media doesn’t always reach the people affected.”
“I want to know what measures are in place to ensure, when all works are all finished, that the roads and footpaths will be returned to an acceptable condition. We have many community areas where residents invested money, time and effort in improving their environment only to find that planters and flowerbeds were destroyed following these works and footpaths were left unassailable. In one area residents were left distressed finding exposed live cables.”
Louth County Council Operations Department advised that any concerns or complaints arising from the ongoing road works can be made to Louth County Council who will investigate.
Cllr. Edel Corrigan, Joint Chair of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Committee has expressed her concerns about the possible impact on the local economies of Brexit.
Cllr Corrigan said “Cross border trade is integral to any business that is based in the region, or anywhere along the border. We would fear that businesses, particularly in Dundalk and the wider area, would be directly impacted due to an introduction of tariffs or restrictions on movement by products or even by people.”
“We already know that there will be some impact as a result, but that remains an unknown at the minute and has created an air of uncertainty and apprehension. The issue of funding is not something which should be underestimated and the shortfall needs to be dealt with at some stage.”
“I welcome the endorsement of the MOU and the Louth Council Officials of the paper presented to the members on prescribed recommendations on dealing with the initial impact of Brexit from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and their agreement to take part in the consultation process.”
Newry, Mourne & Down DC have requested that all Councils along the border corridor participate in the appointment of a consultant via East Border Region Company to carry out a scoping exercise on the economic and social impact of Brexit and possible scenarios such as all funding applications being met by Government, partial funding of projects by government and no funding being approved. They would assess the overall impact on the border corridor and impacts for key stakeholders such as public, private, third sectors and residents.
“We in Sinn Féin will do our best to ensure that the voices are heard of those who work or own businesses in this region, those who will feel this decision the most and a little Englander mentality should not dictate how they must conduct business going forward.”
“As republicans, we acknowledge that part of the island had a vote in June’s referendum, with 56% of those voting to remain as part of a larger EU structure. The reality is that the people of the north must have their democratic voice heard, instead of being cast aside as if their opinion carries neither weight nor substance.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan has welcomed an extension to the submission process to review speed limits in housing estates. Speaking today Cllr Corrigan said “I would encourage all community groups and resident’s associations to make a submission to the Council and have their say. It’s your area, you are entitled to have a say on this.”
A number of submissions are currently under consideration but there is still time for Local Groups to have their estates considered.
“This is an opportunity for residents to have their estates included in the new 30km/hr zones so as to make residential areas as safe as possible for pedestrians, cyclists and children”.
Submissions may be made in writing to Eugene McManus, Administrative Office, Infrastructure, Louth County Council, Town Hall, Dundalk before 5pm on Friday 30th October.