Louth TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Toursim and Sport Imelda Munster TD has quizzed Dr Joseph Hiney, Chair Designate of Drogheda Port Company on issues surrounding the companies future.
Deputy Munster said “With the formal share transfer of Drogheda Port from the Department of Transport to Louth County Council, we now have a new opportunity to address the many issues the residents of Drogheda have around the port. Myself and the Drogheda Team of Sinn Féin Councillors are contacted on a regular basis regarding issues with the port. I put those concerns, the concerns raised by the public, to Dr Hiney and asked him for a commitment on resolving them. The response was everything could and would be considered under the public consultation process. I would urge any and all residents of Drogheda and South Louth to have their say during that process.
We all know how detrimental to Drogheda it is to have two separate parking regimes in the town centre. We know how unkempt the North Strand/North Quay area has become. With the transfer to Louth County Council we have an opportunity we did not have previously to resolve those issues. But we also need local over-sight and cooperation to ensure local concerns are addressed and I asked that a formal protocol be put in place to ensure cooperation between the local councillors and the port. Be it through a place on their board or a new forum. If that cooperation was realised then we could see some of the council motions regarding the port and Boyne estuary over the years finally resolved. For example Cllr Kenneth Flood had a motion passed that called for a bird watch hide on the Boyne Estuary. I asked the port chairman to realise the eco-tourism potential of The Boyne and consider, in conjunction with Louth County Council, a bird watch hide where tourists could view the protected species in the Boyne Estuary.
I look forward now to the public consultation process and hopefully we will see Drogheda Port prosper and pay a dividend to Louth County Council as it’s shareholder.
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out at Irish Water following their own report released this week acknowledging that they should have acted sooner in their response to the Drogheda water crisis.
The crisis left more than 80,000 homes and businesses without water for up to eight days in July.Cllr Flood said “Irish Water has had years now to learn its lessons when it comes to burst mains, especially in Drogheda, where we had the North Quay Water-main bursting several times a year before finally being replaced. Even then it was only replaced several years after the funding was allocated to do so.”
“We have highlighted problems with response times and communication repeatedly to Irish Water representatives when they came to the Drogheda Municipal District Meetings and through emails and now their own report is another admission that no lessons have been learned.”
“Irish Water is not fit for purpose. It was never fit for purpose. It never will be fit for purpose. It was set up as a cash cow for government cronies. The responsibility for water services should be returned to the local authorities and properly invested in or else all we will get is more of the same from Irish Water.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has called on the Chief Executive of Louth County Council to include Councillors in the budget process.
Cllr. Flood said “during the debate on deciding this year’s Local Property Tax (LPT), Sinn Féin again proposed a 15% reduction, the maximum allowed under the relevant legislation.”
The Chief Executive responded by demanding that if Sinn Féin were proposing any cut in the LPT then they should identify where in the budget it should come from.
Kenneth Flood said “In the pre-budget workshop I had asked questions on the cost to the council of contractors, consultants and third parties writing council policy documents, like the Community Safety Strategy document etc. I did not get that information from the executive. I appreciate there are times when the Council need to employ consultants from time to time but as it is public money being used then the Council is accountable to the public.”
“We in Sinn Féin are more than willing to examine the council’s proposed spending and if the Chief Executive afforded us the opportunity to review the proposed budget in detail, then I am certain that we can identify areas where savings can be made. The process needs to be more inclusive of Councillors from all parties.”
“The LPT is an unjust and regressive tax and we need to ease the burden on homeowners and give families a break.”
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.”
Following a presentation by Chief Superintendent Sean Ward in The Grove Hotel in Dunleer, Chairperson of the South Louth Joint Policing Committee, Kenneth Flood, has welcomed the new community policing initiatives for Louth.
Cllr Flood said “I have long been an advocate for community policing and initiatives that can better connect the public with the Gardaí. The new sectoral policing initiative means that every area in Drogheda will have a Garda dedicated to that area. A Garda who will identify with and get to know the area, connect with the residents there and then use their knowledge on the ground to link in with the other Garda Units if and when a crime is reported”.
“This is a pilot project so if it is successful, it should be rolled out to our rural areas as well. The rural areas have suffered cuts to Garda and policing through the Government’s austerity so this is a step in the right direction to bring security and peace of mind back to our rural communities. It is in everybody’s interest to ensure its success.”
“I am hopeful that this initiative will create a new level of cooperation and personal interaction within our communities”.
Pictured at the recent policing meeting Sinn Fein Councillors Antóin Watters, Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne, Pearse McGeough along with TD Imelda Munster.