Cllr Kenneth Flood: Planners must not fail Drogheda again

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has said that Louth County Council planners must not be allowed to fail Drogheda again. Cllr Flood was speaking after this month’s Drogheda Borough District Council meeting.

Cllr Flood said “I had two motions before the Council this month highlighting the fact that Drogheda has been failed by planners in the past simply by their failure to follow through on plans.”

Kenneth Flood’s first motion requested a roundabout at the entrance to the Termon Abbey/Aston Village/Beaulieu Monor estates on the Termonfeckin Road. He said “The roundabout was contained in conditions of planning  for Aston Village and approved in 2003. But although the need for the roundabout was recognised way back in 2003, fourteen years later and it still has not been delivered but yet the houses and the large school it was to serve have been built and even more are being built with the addition of Beaulieu Manor to the area.”

The second motion Cllr Flood had on the agenda requested a report on how Louth County Council expected to deliver the Port Access Northern Cross Route (PANCR). Cllr Flood said “every resident of Drogheda knows that the PANCR is a vital piece of infrastructure needed to take the heavy goods vehicles out of our town centre and to alleviate the traffic congestion”.

Cllr Flood went on to say he was “dissatisfied with the responses I received to both motions. The Council does not appear to have a clear plan for the delivery of the PANCR or the roundabout. These are both vital pieces of infrastructure and a failure to follow through on their own plans and conditions of planning.  If planners continue to allow houses to be built in the future without the infrastructure to support them, they will be repeating the mistakes of the past and failing Drogheda, again.”

“I will continue to explore any and all possible funding options to deliver both of these projects and others that are needed in Drogheda. The planning lessons of the past must be learned and they will only be learned when we highlight these examples and be vigilant when it comes to future planning permissions.”

 

Cllr Flood – LCC State Resident’s Responsible for ‘Taking in Charge’ Process

Kenneth FloodSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood was disappointed at the response at the last
monthly meeting of Louth County Council to his question on housing estates being
‘taken in charge’.

Councillor Kenneth Flood explained what this meant. “My motion which was passed by the council corporate policy group calling for a comprehensive report on all housing
developments in Louth not taken in charge by LCC was welcomed by all at this
months full council meeting. Unfortunately the second part of that motion which
called for the council to initiate a plebiscite schedule was rejected by the
council officials who said the council is not and would not be responsible for
starting the process of taking estates in charge. They said the developer must
make the request to start the process or in the case where the developer has
ceased trading the residents themselves must contact the council to request a
plebiscite on the taking in charge of the housing estate.

“After the so called Celtic Tiger Era we are told the majority of developers went out
of business. That means that they would never make the application to have their
estates taken in charge. But even prior to the so called Tiger era developers
ceased to trade and there are estates up to 40 years old not taken in charge by
the council.

“We could have a generation of home-owners who would be paying taxes such as LPT for services they could not access because the estate would not be taken in
charge.

“But I am going to ensure that the residents of these housing estates in my area have the opportunity to be taken in charge. I will be seeking meetings with residents and residents associations in these housing estates to see if the home-owners and Local Property Tax (LPT) payers wish to initiate the taking in charge process with Louth County Council and I will assist them through the process to the end. I would ask that they contact me so I can help them”.

In a development at last night’s Drogheda Municipal District Meeting the council officials confirmed that due to Cllr Flood’s representations, they had contacted the developer of Beaulieu View in Drogheda to begin the taking in charge process.

Cllr Flood Hits Out at Second Cancelled Meeting

Kenneth FloodFriday’s meeting of the Louth Policing Forum had to be cancelled because of a lack of Garda resources.

The meeting between the three Sinn Féin Joint Policing Committee chairs, Cllr Jim Loughran, Cllr Pearse McGeough and Cllr Kenneth Flood was due to take place with Louth council officials and a senior member of An Garda Siochana.

Speaking today, Cllr Kenneth Flood said “we were due to discuss important community safety issues and organise a work plan for the year. It is ironic that one of the community safety issues in Louth is the Garda cutbacks and lack of resources.”

This cancellation comes just 7 weeks after another meeting was cancelled citing the lack of availability of an Garda Siochána. A public meeting was scheduled for 1st December and again, was cancelled at short notice.

Cllr Flood at the time hailed the meeting as “a vital link between the public, the Gardaí and public servants.”

This latest cancellation comes after it was announced that of the 295 newly qualified Gardaí in 2015, just 10 of them will be allocated to County Louth.

Cllr Flood said “while we welcome 10 new Gardaí to County Louth, we have to remember that under this FG/Lab government we are actually down 35 Gardaí. Since 2010 the number of Gardaí stationed in Louth has declined from 314 to just 279.”

This week Sinn Féin launched its Citizen’s Charter for Older People which Kenneth Flood described as setting out “a series of commitments to reverse some of the harshest cuts and restore some dignity and a decent standard of living to our older people. There has been an increase in assaults, burglaries, sexual offences, theft and fraud in 2015 compared to the previous year”.

Cllr Flood concluded “Older people living especially in rural areas have become more isolated as a result of cuts to the telephone allowance, rural transport and home care and many live in fear in their own homes. We need this meeting to take place sooner rather than later and start trying to clean up the mess and chaos that this government have left us in.”

 

Adams critical of Minister’s response to Bettystown Development Issue

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth and East Meath TD Gerry Adams has criticised Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s response to a letter he sent regarding the flood impact of a new housing development in Bettystown.

Gerry Adams said,

“I wrote to the Environment Minister outlining my concerns and the concerns of the local community. Local people living in the Northlands and Brabazon Bay housing estates are already tortured with persistent flooding.  They are worried that any further construction in this area can only have a negative impact on the situation.

“I queried the Minister on the flood risks and he has replied stating that a flood risk assessment was carried out for the proposed development. Minister Kelly seems to be of the opinion that raising the level of footpaths, roads and floors coupled with planning permission conditions in this new estate will be enough to prevent flooding here.

“He also informs me that flood prevention works are to be commenced at Northlands Estate in summer 2016. I am not convinced that the raising of footpaths or road levels is sufficient to meet the concerns of residents. Any proposals must be fully discussed with residents who need to be convinced that what is being proposed meets their concerns”.

Kenneth Flood – Shortage of life saving Epipens is dangerous

Cllr Flood & Caroline Sloan

Cllr Flood & Caroline Sloan

Almost a year ago, Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Flood joined with Caroline Sloan, mother of 14 year old Emma who died after suffering anaphylactic shock in Dublin the previous year, to hand in a petition with over 115,000 names under the ‘Emma’s Voice’ campaign.

The campaign was started following the tragic death of the teenager to raise awareness of anaphylaxis and Epipens, which contain the life-saving drug to treat anaphylaxis.

Councillor Kenneth Flood said “Minister Leo Varadkar committed to big changes within six months which included educating and providing more information on EpiPens and making them more freely available with people trained in how to use them. Nine months later and nothing has changed. In fact, the situation has deteriorated because now the 26 counties is experiencing a severe shortage of the much needed medicine.”

The Louth Councillor continued “Since Emma Sloan tragically died, more than 140 children have been diagnosed with severe and potentially fatal anaphylaxis in the State. Those 140 children, plus the many more previously diagnosed and the countless others currently un-diagnosed are at risk without access to these essential epipens.”

In March, backed by Emma Sloan’s Mother, Caroline, there were submissions as to exactly what needed to happen. The submission made by Cllr Flood made the following recommendations:

1) The Food Safety Authority add allergy information to all training courses and include training on the use of (epinephrine)Auto-Injectors in all courses.

2) How to recognize and treat Anaphylaxis attacks and the use of (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors be included in all Occupational First Aid FETAC/QQI level 5 certification and above courses.

3) Introduce legislation, that allows (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors to be stored in schools and other public places in the event of an emergency. Making them mandatory in restaurants and other places where the public consume food or congregate in large numbers. (Similar to defibrillators.)

4) To run a rolling public awareness campaign, including internet, tv and print adverts to highlight all aspects of recognizing and treating Anaphylaxis.

5) On diagnosis of Anaphylaxis have all allergy sufferers supplied with allergy unique ID cards/Bracelets.

6) To develop a phone app that can help you keep track of which allergens you and your family need to avoid, where (epinephrine) Auto Injectors are located and when they expire, emergency contact information, etc.

7) To ensure allergy testing is available in every primary care unit in Ireland.

Councillor Flood called on the Minister to “stop dragging your feet on this issue. The promised legislation and changes must be introduced and all steps taken to ensure that there is an adequate supply of epinephrine Auto-Injectors in Ireland. These epipens are life-saving and immediate.”

“I have asked our TD and Party leader to submit a series of PQ’s in relation to the supply of these drugs. I was concerned when I learned about the lack of supply of the BCG vaccine but not to have a supply of Epipens is just irresponsible and dangerous.”