Drogheda SF Urge Public to Attend Joint Policing Committee Meeting

Drogheda SF Cllrs Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne & David Saurin

The 2017 Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Public Meeting date has been confirmed for 7.30pm on the 9th of October in The Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda.

Chairperson of the South Louth Joint Policing Committee Kenneth Flood said “I would encourage every Drogheda and South Louth resident to come along to the public JPC meeting. It is a vitally important meeting as it gives the people of Drogheda and South Louth the opportunity to put their questions, queries and worries regarding crime and policing to their elected representatives, the local authorities and the Gardaí. There will be informative presentations on the night, including one on crime prevention that would be very helpful to all residents.”
Cllr. David Saurin said “There have been well documented and highlighted cases of ongoing anti-social behaviour in several areas of Drogheda this year. Not least among them is in the Rathmullen Park area where new bollards have been erected to counteract the joy riding that was happening there. I want to welcome the new bollards but I would also like anyone affected by anti-social behavior to come to this meeting to hear about neighbourhood watch and other initiatives. We will only get on top of crime when the residents, local authorities and Garda all work together to combat it.”
Cllr. Joanna Byrne said “The JPC deals with all crime including headline crime cases like burglary and drug offences but it also deals with the crimes that affect all of us like illegal dumping. We have done a huge amount of work to combat dumping that is plaguing certain areas of our town and countryside but more is needed. If you feel like this issue, or any other has affected you, please come along on the night.”
Finally, Cllr. Flood said “If you wish to have a question answered on the night, please forward it to me in advance so we can assure that the answers are prepared and available.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Calls for re-opening of the Bring Banks for plastics to be permanent

Following the request from Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne to reinstate the collection of plastics from the Bring banks, Louth County Council has confirmed they will reinstate the service on a temporary basis. This is due to the increased volume of plastic bottles and containers used over the past week in Drogheda during the Irish Water crisis which saw tens of thousands of people left without running water for a prolonged time.

Cllr Byrne said “While I welcome the Council’s decision to temporarily reinstate this service following last week’s Water Crisis, I would like to reiterate my request that the decision should be made permanent and the full collection service of plastics resumed.”

Joanna Byrne went on to say, “In the short period of time since this service was axed there has been a significant rise in the levels of illegal dumping. The attached picture is one I took at the site of the bring banks on the intersection of Platin Road and The

Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision

Industrial Estate last Sunday afternoon. I reported this to Louth County Council and requested that it be tidied up immediately. This is only one example of what is happening right across the county.

“Whilst I commend the co-operation of the Local Authority with this temporary’ move, I have also written directly to Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council and requested that now that this service is back in operation, that it stay that way permanently.”

If the Chief Executive continues to defy the wishes and needs of the constituents of Co Louth, and indeed the public representatives of this county who unanimously supported a motion to keep the collection of plastics from the bring banks, Cllr Byrne has vowed she will continue to “pursue this request at any and every given opportunity”.

Cllr Byrne: Decision not to collect plastics in Louth should be reversed

Following a decision by Louth County Council officials to cease collection of plastics at Bring Centres across Louth, elected Representatives who were not party to the decision, debated the issue for over an hour at this morning’s Council meeting.

Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne brought an emergency motion to the chamber asking that “Louth County Council reverse their decision to cease collecting plastics from their bring banks, effective immediately.”

The motion was supported by all the Councillors present from all parties and unanimously supported. Almost all the councillors spoke on the issue, raising their concerns and questioning the logic behind the decision.

The Director of Services explained that most Local Authorities have in fact ceased the collection of plastics with the intention of providing additional capacity for glass and can collections.

Following the decision Cllr Joanna Byrne said “we are told to recycle, we are encouraged to recycle and yet they place obstacles in the way of recycling plastic. We were told today that it costs €136,000 pa for this service and people should recycle ‘responsibly’. Surely that’s what people are trying to do by bringing their plastics to the bring banks.”

Cllr Bryne also said “the Green Party Cllr Mark Dearey pointed out to the Chief Executive that this decision was a serious breach of the regional waste management strategy but M/s Martin told him that the strategy didn’t specifically mention bring banks.”

Following the passing of the motion, Chief Executive Joan Martin said “I have listened to the members and took on board their points but as of now I am not prepared to reverse the decision.”

Cllr Byrne said “What is the point of having a waste management strategy if the Council doesn’t support its ethos and takes decisions which will in effect increase fly-tipping as people have nowhere to bring their plastics. The Chief Executive is assuming that people have cars or transport to travel to the recycling centres in Louth and have the money to pay the entrance fees. People are using their green bins responsibly but putting plastics into them will take up room in them and add to the weight which in turn will lead to additional fees on the household.”

All bring banks have ceased collections of plastics from this morning.

Joanna Byrne Welcomes Choice Based Lettings

The Choice Based Lettings Scheme for allocation of Social Housing will come into effect on Tuesday 16th May 2017.

All housing applicants will be issued with letters from the housing department of Louth County council from Monday 8th May 2017 informing them of the new system and issuing them with a username and password.

Regular Transfer Tenants will not be issued with username and passwords.

They will be considered for any vacant housing prior to properties being advertised on the CBL system but HAP tenants on the HAP Transfer list will receive login details the same as regular housing list applicants.

Any vacant properties will be advertised weekly on Tuesday mornings at 10.00am and housing applicants will have until 12.00am the following Monday night to submit an Expression of Interest.

We as Public Representatives of the county will have access to this site to see what houses are available for letting on a weekly basis to inform and assist our constituents.

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne and Chairperson of The Housing Strategic Policy Committee for Louth welcomes the implementation of Choice Based Lettings for the County.

Cllr Byrne said: ” I welcome the implementation of the CBL process in Louth. This process will not have a dramatic impact on reducing the numbers on waiting lists, the government still need to invest in the supply of more social housing, it will however speed up the allocation process for any stock that becomes available ”

 

Louth Sinn Féin ask For Public Help to Identify Vacant Houses

joanna-byrne-1With the housing crisis in County Louth at critical point Sinn Féin have launched a new campaign targeting vacant and abandoned homes and are asking the public to get involved.

Drogheda Councillor Joanna Byrne said “There are over 1,050 families on the housing list in Drogheda as of the end of December with another 435 on the transfer list. It is woeful to see vacant or boarded up properties lying idle while there are families in need of a home.”

“What I am asking is that if there is a vacant/abandoned property in your community, please let us know and we can pass all that information onto the relevant department in Louth County Council. The Council can try and take possession of the property through Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and hopefully it will become a family home.”

“The area will also benefit as vacant/abandoned properties can detract from an otherwise nice street or community. They can give a ‘run-down’ look to an area and attract vermin or anti-social elements.”

If you know of a vacant/abandoned property in your area please email the full address to:

LouthVacantProperties@gmail.com

Cllrs Pearse McGeough and Kevin Meenan will be leading the same campaign in Mid-Louth and Dundalk respectively.