Pearse McGeough: Annagassan Silt Build-up an accident waiting to happen

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has called on Louth County Council to address the build-up of silt at Annagassan Harbour once and for all following an incident on Saturday.

Councillor McGeough said “Saturday was the first decent day that we have had this year weather wise and I was sickened to hear that a young child who was walking along the sand at the Harbour accidently walked onto the silt and got stuck. The person who was with the child managed to get them free with much difficulty but not before the child had sunk into the silt almost to their shoulders.”

Councillor McGeough has been calling on Louth County Council to address the issue of silt build up for a number of years. “The silt was so bad in 2012 that four berths at the end of the Harbour were reduced to three and that remains the case even today.”

Cllr McGeough said “this is a health and safety issue. If we are lucky enough to get a decent summer this year, you are going to have children playing or pets being walked. If they go into the water at all there is a chance they could get stuck and not come out of the water. Louth County Council needs to take what happened on Saturday as a warning and address the build-up of silt as a matter of urgency.”

Where the sand meets the silt. Children or animals wouldn’t notice the difference

Councillor McGeough contacted the Council this morning and asked for additional signage to be erected immediately. “That won’t stop young children or dogs going into the silt accidently or unknowingly but at least adults will be more aware of the danger until such times as the issue is addressed.”

“Despite remedial work being done at the Harbour since 2012, the silt is back with vengeance and needs to be dredged on an on-going basis, not just when it gets dangerously built up. Although there is no actual policy on harbours, Drogheda Port is dredged regularly to allow ships to get up the Boyne. Surely there should be a certain amount of maintenance work done on other harbours where the public are visiting or people are working. It is basic health and safety.”

Concluding, Pearse McGeough said “we should not be waiting for a tragedy to happen to act. We have had a warning of what could possibly happen if this silt is not dredged. It is not good enough to say there is no money or no funds. The Chief Executive was able to come up with €300,000 to cover an ‘administrative error’ over the Drogheda parking shambles, I’m sure if she tried hard enough she could come up with the funds needed to address this silt build up as it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Flood Warns of Bogus Callers in Termon Abbey Area

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has issued a warning to residents about a bogus caller claiming to be contracted by Louth County Council.

Cllr Flood, who is also Chairperson of the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee, said “I was contacted by residents in Termon Abbey about a man dressed in black, in his thirties,  claiming to be from Louth County Council. He called to their doors after 8pm on Wednesday and again on Friday afternoon claiming he needed to access their house as Louth County Council were going to replace their boilers”

Cllr Flood explained “the residents who contacted me were wary of him as these were privately owned houses and not local authority homes. He was fairly insistent that he needed to see the heating clock by the boiler as that was what he was going to replace.”

“Thankfully the residents I spoke to sent the man away, but others may not have been so lucky.  I contacted the director of services for housing to confirm if there were any Louth County Council contractors in Termon Abbey looking to replace boilers in private houses. He confirmed there were not.”

Kenneth Flood is warning residents of Termon Abbey and all surrounding areas that “this guy knocking doors in Termon Abbey is a bogus caller. Both I and Louth County Council have informed the Gardaí and they are investigating.”

The Drogheda Councillor is urging all residents “to take extra care when opening your door and please keep a particular eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be having work done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, genuine tradesmen will be happy enough to answer any queries and identify themselves. If you have any doubts then please contact the organisation they say they are representing and they should be able to confirm if they have tradesmen working in the area.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Repeats Calls for Plastic Bring Banks

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne reported “Monday night’s Municipal District of Drogheda meeting saw the Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin announce to the members that she is immediately suspending charging for parking in Drogheda pending the adoption of new Bye Laws, and the financial implications of this would be to the tune of a loss in €300,000 in revenue at a minimum.

“On a positive note though, the CEO assured the members that she had been able to identify a number of sources to meet the sum involved and would be bringing proposals to the full council in three weeks time to meet the shortfall,therefore avoiding any cuts to the 2018 Budget.”

Joanna Byne said “This 300,000 was identified in the short few hours between the management team receiving legal advice on the Bye Laws on Monday morning and the meeting at teatime on Monday evening.

“The question now needs to be asked, how could such a substantial sum of money be identified in such a short period of time?

Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision

 

“November 2017’s budget meeting nearly saw the entire Council dissolved over major dissatisfaction amongst the members with many things, cuts in services without consultation and in particular, the collection of Plastics from Bring Banks was a major bone of contention. The cut in this particular service was in my view, always a cost-cutting measure.

“Despite all councillors voting and unanimously backing my Emergency Motion back in July to restore this service, worth €136k per annum, and several lobby attempts for the same in the period since then, this has not happened.

“I have written directly to the Chief Executive of Louth County Council today, asking that if she can pluck €300,000 from the sky to cover the costs of an administrative error then she must pluck another €136,000 from the same place to restore this vital service and stop defying the will of the elected representatives, and indeed the public of this county.”

Sinn Féin Stand their Ground Despite Threat of Removal from Office

Sinn Féin Stand their Ground Despite Threat of Removal from Office

Sinn Féin Group leader in Louth County Council, Tomás Sharkey said:

“This Thursday Louth County Council is being recalled in another effort to have a faulty budget adopted. Sinn Féin will maintain our opposition to it.

“Louth County Council finances are in disarray. There is an incomplete register of assets. Projected expenditure on miscellaneous items is unsatisfactory. Tenants are being put into arrears. Businesses are unsupported. There is a lack of innovation and entrepreneurship in the document.

Council Group Leader Tomás Sharkey

“The lack of fresh thinking has become culture in the organisation. Culture eats strategy. The structures have failed to learn from a house purchase scandal, write off of 45% outstanding rates, the Narrow Water Bridge debacle, rent collection crisis and waste mismanagement.

“New leadership is needed to fix Louth.

“Sinn Féin is the largest party in Louth Council chamber. We hold 10 of the 29 seats. We take this responsibility seriously. We have been working hard to represent all the people of Louth.

“Sinn Féin does not have confidence in the estimates being proposed on Thursday. We do not have confidence in the way the Council is being managed.

“If and when the budget is defeated Minister Murphy may remove all 29 Councillors from office. He would be mistaken. Councillors have been drawing attention to the problems in Louth for years. The minister should not sack the messengers when the problem remains.

“We want to be clear. We want new leadership and accountability in the County Council. We intend to ask for a new Chief Executive.”

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.”