Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood is urging Drogheda resident’s to contact the Council if they think their road or street needs to be swept because it’s the “only way to get it done”.
Councillor Flood said “I have been contacted by a number of residents lately from various estates querying why they hadn’t seen a council road sweeper in more than a year and in some cases, several years. I contacted Louth County Council to ask for the street sweeping schedule so I could inform residents exactly when they could expect to see the elusive road sweeper in their area.”
Although main roads are swept on a weekly basis Louth County Council confirmed to Cllr Flood that “there is no daily or weekly rota for road sweeping.” Cllr Flood explained that “all other streets or roads are dealt with following visual inspections and/or complaints so basically if residents want to see their surroundings swept, they need to contact the Council and complain. Yet again, it is those who shout the loudest that will be heard.”
“It saddens me that I even have to raise this issue with council staff and inform the public that there is no actual schedule. This issue has again highlighted the lack of funding for services and the lack of proper management of Drogheda, this state’s largest town. However, I and the Drogheda Sinn Féin Team will continue to fight for Drogheda until we have the status and services this town deserves.”
At this month’s Drogheda Borough Council meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood raised the issue of the number of street lights that were out of order.
Cllr. Flood said “As I go about my business in Drogheda, be it on the school run or just going to the shops I always note out of order street lights and report them to Airtricity to repair. They have an online street map facility where you can see the exact streetlight that you are reporting and you just click on it. Airtricity are contractually obliged to repair the streetlight within 10 working days and up to now, I had always found them to be quick and efficient in their repairs.
But the reason Cllr Flood was raising the issue at the Council meeting was that he “noticed that street lights I reported as out in January had not been repaired within the usual ten day time frame. I contacted Airtricity directly to query this and was told that there was a nationwide shortage of a particular type of bulb and that they had made Louth County Council aware of this late last year.”
Councillor Flood asked for clarification on this matter at the Council meeting and the Council confirmed to him that they had indeed been briefed along these lines and informed Cllr Flood that Airtricity are actually phasing out this particular type of bulb over the next two years.
Cllr Flood said “This means that Louth County Council will have to go to the expense of replacing certain lamps with newer, more efficient LED Lamps. Both Louth County Council and Airtricity officials have assured me that no light will be left unrepaired and that it should happen in the usual ten day time frame. However, this is a transitional period and unfortunately I have already seen lights being left unrepaired for much longer than the usual time frame. I have followed up on any I have noticed, to have them repaired.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor urged any member of the public who notices a streetlight out and feels it needs attention, “please contact us so we can chase it up with the relevant authorities”.
The website for reporting out of order street lights is: www.airtricitysolutions.com
In conclusion Cllr. Flood said “Public representatives should have been briefed on this when Airtricity contacted the council last year. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to leave us in the dark about this transition but it shouldn’t happen again.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood is ‘dismayed and angry’ that roads that have been resurfaced twice in the past four years are once again deteriorating and in need of repair.
Councillor Flood said” It’s almost like Groundhog Day on Drogheda’s damaged roads. I find it incredible that once again I am raising state of the road at Greenhills as an example. I had to lobby for that particular road to be repaired after shoddy work in the past as well as in other areas in the district and here we go again. Are we going to be re-repairing roads throughout the town that have already been repaired in recent years?”
The recent news that roads maintenance budget had been cut by 30% by the government’s Transport Infrastructure Ireland will mean 18% less works done this year in Louth.
Cllr Flood said “This does not bode well for having our roads up to an acceptable standard before The Fleadh in August. Minister Ross and the head of Transport Infrastructure Ireland should come to Louth so we can show him the state of our roads and make the case for our funding to be kept at previous levels. After all, the government are constantly telling us that the economy has recovered but here we are with less money for our roads than before and we’re going to be spending that, in part, re-doing roads done in recent years.
“This is not an acceptable situation, especially as Minister Ross was given additional funding for his department in the recent budget. I and the rest of the Sinn Féin Team will be making this point loud and clear until our roads are properly maintained. Having to re-do works like these over and over again is a false economy and ‘patch-jobs’ cost a lot more in the long run.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the passing of his council motion which will see the Borough District of Drogheda Councillors make a joint submission to the forthcoming public consultation process on Drogheda Port.
Cllr Flood said “At the Oireachtas Transport Committee, Imelda Munster TD sought answers from the incoming Chairman of Drogheda Port, Dr Joseph Hiney. The questions centred around on the Port Company’s future and on the issues surrounding it in Drogheda. The answer to each question was that there would be a master plan and a public consultation process in the near future.”
Cllr Flood then explained that “The Port Company have now confirmed they are finalising an ‘Issues Paper’ for circulation to all the stakeholders of Drogheda Port and a public consultation process will follow early next year.”
Cllr Flood & Imelda Munster TD at Drogheda Port
The Drogheda Councillor who has been outspoken on this issue said “I have not seen many of the Councillors as animated in the past when we’ve discussed important issues for Drogheda. There is universal agreement that as Louth County Council is now a shareholder in the Port Company we must use this opportunity to try and resolve some of the serious and long-standing issues surround the Port in Drogheda: the car parking regime: the neglect of Donors Green and the buildings on the North Strand: the lack of a formal system of consultation with local representatives. These must all be addressed. We have not had this opportunity before and we must speak with a unified voice for Drogheda to resolve these issues.”
Cllr Kenneth Flood then thanked the Drogheda Councillors for supporting his Council motion and looks forward to “bringing the energy from the debate into the consultation process itself.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the first granting of a licence for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain as a progressive step in accessing cannabis based medicines in Ireland.
Councillor Flood said “In June this year I had a motion passed at Louth County Council calling on the government to ‘introduce legislation that would legalise the use of medicinal Cannabis in the treatment of patients with specified medical conditions which have failed to respond to all other previous treatments’. That is exactly what has happened in this case and I welcome that.”
“It is also very welcome news that Ava Twomey is able to return home from Holland after being prescribed the medical cannabis. This is overdue and at least now the family can be re-united and Ava can be at home where she will obviously be more settled.”
“The issue of medicinal cannabis is one of which there are a wide range of views and opinions. However, it should always be looked at from a medical and health perspective and we should always defer to the medical experts and patients advocacy groups on such issues.
“Legislating for medicinal cannabis in Ireland has proven complex. However, I am hopeful that all the Parties in the Dáil can reach agreement on this issue and there will be wider availability of medicinal cannabis in the near future.”