Kenneth Flood: Patch-jobs are a false economy

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.”

Cllr Flood Welcomes Joint Submission in Drogheda Port Public Consultation Process

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.”

Flood Welcomes Licence for Medicinal Cannabis for Chronic Pain

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.”

Cllr Flood: Reduction in Drogheda’s funding yet another slap in the face.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has reacted angrily to the decision taken by the Chief Executive of Louth County Council to cut Drogheda’s Municipal district funding from €75,000 to just €60,000.

Cllr. Flood said “The Chief Executive stated that she took this decision because Councillors did not agree to increase the Local Property Tax (LPT) this year and she needed to balance the books. This is news to us.

“At the LPT Meeting the Chief Executive said she was seeking an increase in LPT to put it into the counties roads. We all know that hundreds of millions of our road taxes have been ploughed into the failed entity that is Irish Water instead of being spent on our roads. At no point was it stated that a consequence of not agreeing to a tax increase would mean a decrease in Drogheda’s Budget.”

Cllr Flood explained that “Councillors are excluded from formulating the budget. Not even the Economic Special Policy Committee has any meaningful input into the budgetary process. Yet, we are expected to rubber stamp any budget that is put before us without complaint.

“I have stated it before and I will state it again, that must change!

“The funding made available for each district, meagre as it is, has been used by councillors to fund various groups and projects throughout Drogheda. For the last two years the Sinn Féin team have pooled our allocations to make Drogheda a more disability friendly town.  This year we have helped fund various local groups and charities. Now our ability to assist Drogheda’s Groups and Infrastructure has been curtailed by an unfair and arbitrary decision taken by the Chief Executive.

“With Drogheda’s exclusion from the living cities initiative, and the inexplicable overlooking of Drogheda in the Draft National Planning Framework this reduction of the meagre funding made available to us is just another slap in the face.”

Finally Cllr Flood said “we did not accept the Chief Executive’s position on our budget and made our position clear to her. Drogheda councillors have actually passed a motion calling for an increase in our budget and we will continue to push for this right up until 20th of November when the Chief Executive will present the annual budget for Louth.”

 

Kenneth Flood: Lollipop Ladies and Gents Needed

Cllr. Kenneth Flood has highlighted the shortage of  School Wardens in Drogheda and asked that any prospective candidates please put themselves forward.

Louth County Council had a recruitment campaign for School Wardens in June 2017 for which no applications were received from the Drogheda area. This has lead to a shortage of school wardens in Drogheda for various reasons.

Cllr Flood said ” I was contacted by a parent regarding the loss of the Lollipop Lady at  St Mary’s Parish Primary School Bryanstown, Drogheda, who was very concerned that there wasn’t a replacement available soon. I contacted the council to raise this issue and I was assured that there was plans in place for a replacement and that other measures were being taken to handle matters in the short term.

Louth County Council were informed by the School Warden at St Mary’s Parish Primary School that that person would be leaving at the end of September. In addition one of their other Wardens at another location is off due to a serious long term injury.Because no one came forward in the June Recruitment Campaign, this meant there was no immediate replacement for that school. How-ever Louth County Council’s technician has been to visit the school last week and it was agreed to install a ramp at the school gates at one of the warden’s is locations to slow down those vehicles entering and leaving the school. The councils relief warden will be based at the school during periods when she is not required elsewhere, at the location previously occupied by the warden who left last week. When she is unavailable the warden who is at the school gate has agreed to cover this position as it has been identified as the busiest of the 2 crossings as it is on a main road. The School principal will also be reinforcing the road safety message to all pupils in the school.

I have been informed by Louth County Councils HR department that the new campaign will be advertised in the Drogheda Independent on Tuesday 10th October with a closing date for applications of Wednesday 25th October 2017 at 5pm. These vacancies will also be advertised on www.louthcoco.ie/vacancies and @LouthCoCo on Twitter from Tuesday 10th October. For anyone who doesn’t have access to Social media or newspapers, they can telephone or call into Customer Services in Fair Street for an application form.

It is vital that Drogheda has its full compliment of School Wardens and I would urge anyone that might consider this to please put themselves forward.