Cllr Flood, Imelda Munster TD & Residents at Sunnyside
Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster and local councillor Kenneth Flood have met with residents of Sunnyside to discuss traffic calming measures in the area.
For a number of years residents and parents of students attending the local Sacred Heart School have requested Louth County Council take control of lands known as ‘Kitty Daly’s site’ and use it to widen a perilous stretch of road for the safety of both locals and students of the school at Sunnyside.
However, in December last year, Louth County Council CEO Joan Martin said the council would not be in a position of going down the road for first registration and that the file should now be closed.
Commenting Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood said,
“I have met with Louth County Council Officials on this issue several times in the past and the answer has always been the same. The council refuse to register the land which they own and now, they have abandoned their claim to the site without attempting to alleviate the traffic congestion at this dangerous bottle neck.
“This issue has been raised multiple times by my party colleagues going back almost two decades. After my latest meeting with Council Officials, Deputy Imelda Munster and I met with local residents at the site to discuss the council’s refusal to take a position on the land. We have also looked at other options where improvements could be made to alleviate the problems at this junction.
“I have now submitted a motion to the April Municipal District of Drogheda meeting calling on Louth County Council to install a mini roundabout to help ease traffic movement and also to install a footpath from the school to the junction of Blackbush Lane so the 600 students of Sacred Heart School don’t have to cross the road in heavy traffic.
” If the council give the usual answer of “no funding available” then my colleague Deputy Munster will pursue this issue with the Department of Transport.
The issues at this site have been ongoing for decades and Louth County Council have been aware of them. Now that CEO Joan Martin has publicly stated that the book should be closed on the council’s ownership of the property at this site which could have solved the problems, the Council must now take action on my motion and use the site to solve the traffic and improve road safety problems in the area”.
With the increase of road works being carried out around the town lately, Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan asked the question “is there a monitoring process in place whereby our local authority inspects the standard of work being carried out by these contractors?”
Cllr Corrigan was speaking at the Dundalk Municipal Council meeting this week and commented on “the surge of underground works taking place by Irish Water, facilities, networks and service contractors. While I appreciate the work has to be done, lately it just seems to be a lot of streets or roads are being dug up, along with footpaths to the inconvenience of businesses, traffic and pedestrians alike. I would like to ask how road openings are monitored to ensure safe, secure traffic management systems to facilitate access by people in the area.”
After consultation with several residents Cllr Corrigan said “We need better communication with residents and businesses before their services are disrupted or disconnected for a time. The notice given is inadequate and putting it out on radio or social media doesn’t always reach the people affected.”
“I want to know what measures are in place to ensure, when all works are all finished, that the roads and footpaths will be returned to an acceptable condition. We have many community areas where residents invested money, time and effort in improving their environment only to find that planters and flowerbeds were destroyed following these works and footpaths were left unassailable. In one area residents were left distressed finding exposed live cables.”
Louth County Council Operations Department advised that any concerns or complaints arising from the ongoing road works can be made to Louth County Council who will investigate.
Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan has hit out at Irish Water workers who are endangering the lives of cyclists.
Several citizens have contacted Cllr Corrigan about the issue and Cllr Corrigan is concerned. “This is a safety issue. I have contacted Irish Water and the Council about this asking if the contractors had sought a permit to close the cycle lanes. No alternative access routes have been provided for the cyclists and this has had a knock on effect on the traffic and pedestrians alike.”
Councillor Corrigan continued “I am sure Irish Water have informed their contractors that it is illegal to block cycle lanes, if they have, then they are being ignored by their own contractors. Well they are not the only ones being ignored by the contractors. Residents are supposed to receive advance notice of when works are commencing. That is not happening and I have logged this concern with Irish Water also who informed me the contractors must give this advance warning as part of their contract. Unfortunately the only notice some residents get is when they are awoken at the crack of dawn by loud drilling and hammering.”
Councillor Kenneth Flood has called on Irish Water to begin work on the water mains on the North Quay in Drogheda immediately. This area has seen an unusually large number of bursts in previous months.
Speaking today, Councillor Flood said “Irish Water released funding in July this year to lay 287m of water main from the junction of Shop Street to the junction of Constitution Hill. This area has had more than its fair share of bursts and businesses in the area are disrupted and some have to close every time it happens. The replacement water main was due to be done in October 2014 but it didn’t happen.”
Councillor Flood has been in contact with Irish Water on the issue. “They told me it was at the ‘detailed design stage’ and work was due to begin in February 2015. I am calling for this work to begin immediately. We have been waiting since July. There will inevitable be further outages or disruption to supply until this is resolved once and for all.”
Councillor Flood did however welcome the assurance from Irish Water that they would improve their communication with residents during any further outages. Flood has been very critical in the past at the lack of information from Irish Water and Louth County Council.
Cllr Flood said “they have agreed to undertake a comprehensive media campaign to inform customers of the
logistical arrangements and provide status updates on repairs and restoration times via the Louth County Council web site, social media and local radio. I will be in contact with them again to ensure that these essential
services and vital updates are available not just during office hours.”
Councillor Flood also welcomed the news that Irish Water have agreed to provide water tankers to affected areas in the future.
Residents of Greenacres have been plagued with continuous dumping in an alleyway at the back of their houses. Sinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green was shocked when she saw the volume of rubbish left. “It’s disgusting! The smell is overpowering and as a mum, I fear for the children playing in the area as there is quite a number of broken glass bottles along with dirty nappies, general house waste and used condoms. Not only that, but there is also a couch. It beggars belief. The rubbish is scattered the whole way along the alleyway. This type of rubbish attracts vermin and is a health and safety issue to people in the surrounding area.”
Cllr. Green explained “I got the residents on board to do a clean-up of the area which is really above the call of duty for them as it wasn’t their rubbish in the first place. But talking to the residents it’s very obvious that they have great pride in their community and want to do what they can to address this issue and clean the area up. I duly contacted the council to arrange a clean up with the residents only to be told that the council wouldn’t provide us with any equipment and would not help us to take the rubbish away as it was on private ground.”
“This has infuriated me as the council are constantly promoting Tidy Towns (which I am a member) and cleaning up of the town (both public and private). It strikes me as this rubbish is out of sight it doesn’t matter to the council and the people have to deal with it. This is unacceptable. Are the people in Greenacres not entitled to have a tidy and clean estate just because they are not as visible as the town centre?”
Jennifer Green concluded by saying “Sinn Féin are fighting for better provision of public services and this is yet another example of how the council is letting the tax payer down. This is unacceptable.”