Concern at the Overdevelopment of the Dundrum Area

“The Dundrum area has benefited from development over the years and there is no reason that this should not continue, but it must be done in a measured, balanced and sustainable manner” It has become evident that the proximity of the Dundrum area to transport links such as the M50 and Luas make it a priority area for higher density development. While it is difficult to argue that this is an inefficient use of available serviced land, particularly in light of the pressures to add to the housing supply across Dublin, I firmly believe that planning decisions should be made with reference to more than just the efficient use of land. There is significant concern among the residents of Dundrum and the surrounding areas that, with every large 100 unit+ development that is permitted to proceed, that the Dundrum area will take yet another step towards becoming an overdeveloped apartment centric community. This will further contribute to the significant and permanent alteration of the character of this once family orientated suburb. It has to be noted that thousands of apartments have been built in the Dundrum area over the past decade and that this has,  in no way, been balanced by the construction of houses or other units suited to family living. There is an urgent need for suitable family accommodation and planning decisions should be prioritised towards this. We need to make it more achievable for people to raise their families in the area in which they themselves grew up. The local infrastructure is now being utilised to capacity and cannot support many more large scale apartment developments....

Council Budget 2017

I was proud to play my part on the team that negotiated the 2017 budget for the County.  We have delivered a budget that will provide for a €5m increase in services while maintaining the reduction of the maximum 15% allowable to the basic rate of Local Property Tax. To encourage local employment and small business growth we introduced a new SME Support Grant which will see a benefit, equivalent to a 2.5% reduction in rates, for 72% of businesses (3,800 SMEs). In addition to this, a €300k provision has been made for business promotion grants, shop front improvement grants, vacant shop grants, retail development and Springboard....

Transfer of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to the Council

Following the recent publication of a due diligence report into Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, prior to its proposed transfer to Council ownership, I voiced significant concern at the prospect that that residents throughout the county will be financially burdened with any legacy financial commitments the company may have  … “Fianna Fáil councillor Shay Brennan said taking over the harbour company could see its debts transferred to ‘every household between Dún Laoghaire and Dundrum’” – Irish Times 9/1/16. I welcome the prospect of the harbour coming under the control of the Council. I would, however, strongly call on the Minister of Transport to ensure that the state indemnifies the County and its citizens against any outstanding financial obligations of the company.  ...

Parking in Residential Areas – Mulvey Park

In continuing to work with Residents Associations and Council management in seeking solutions to all day parking in residential estates, I welcome the recent commitment of Council management to investigate a holistic solution to alleviate the parking in Mulvey Park. I have made many representations on behalf of local residents in this area and will continue my work to encourage a swift implementation of any agreed solution.  ...

Integration of Planned Greenway/Cycle Routes

Two major greenway/cycle routes, the Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) and the Dodder Greenway, are planned to pass through the county of DLR. When completed, these routes will each provide over 20km of high quality, segregated, cycling and walking routes that are a minimum of 4m wide. In my role as Chair of the DLR Cycling Forum, a committee of the Council charged with promoting safe cycling and providing input into cycling infrastructure, I have called on the Council to ensure that we have the foresight and common sense to provide for the connection of these two greenway routes that will pass within 2km of each other. The outcome would be 45km of high quality, joined up cycle network that would be of benefit to not just commuters, but also provide a facility that would attract valuable cycle tourism and form the benchmark for further development of our cycling/greenway network.  ...

Feasibility Funding for Rosemount Taney Community Centre

In conjunction with the Rosemount Taney Community Campaign, I have been working to secure upgraded sports and community facilities for the Rosemount area. Following the recent installation of modern changing facilities along with the clearing of debris and other upgrades at the playing pitches in Rosemount, I am delighted to announce that we have now secured further funding in the form of an allocation of €30,000 from the 3 Year Capital Programme. This allocation is for the purpose of a feasibility study into the full development of a Community Centre in the area and represents a major step forward in our campaign for enhanced facilities for this area.  ...

Reduced Speed Limits in Residential Estates

The Council has prepared new byelaws to introduce a 30KPH speed limit on over 700 residential streets across Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. This measure, which affects approximately one quarter of the roads in the county, will reduce vehicle speeds in housing estates so as to improve road safety for all road users. Phase 1 of the scheme will consist of new speed limit signage being introduced on the selected roads. Phase 2 will commence in approximately six months and will be piloted in six estates, including Balally and Marley Grange. The approach will involve the implementation of speed alerts signs and engagement with community groups. Where it is found that speeds cannot be controlled through speed limit signs and community engagement, the Council will then investigate appropriate traffic calming measures that could be provided to reduce speeds.  ...

#Seanad16 Candidates – I will support you if…..

Now that the 32nd Dail has been elected, attention, at least within political circles, will turn to the election of the corresponding Senate. Unlike the Dail Election, however, not everyone gets to vote in the selection of senators. In fact, most of the population are denied a vote in this ‘democratic’ contest.   I do have a vote in this election- in fact, it turns out that I have a grand total of six! The first of my six votes comes to me as a graduate of UCD while the remaining five are granted to me in my capacity as a serving County Councillor. Having never cast more than one ballot in any election, I am somewhat uncomfortable with the notion of having multiple votes in the impending selection of our upper house, particularly, when so many others have no voice here at all.   So, how can I reconcile casting half a dozen ballots in one election?   Since I hold five votes in my role as a locally elected representative, it is clear that these votes are just vested in me to cast on behalf of the people that elected me in the first place- the people of the Dundrum Local Electoral Area. My votes should, as a result, tangibly and positively benefit my constituents. I don’t believe, however, that any policy positions of incoming Senators are likely to have any meaningful effect on the people of Dundrum, at least not under the current Seanad system. With this in mind, I have decided that I will use my Seanad votes to prefer those prospective Senators that are willing to take some...

Does Anybody Want a More Efficient Council?

Next Monday’s scheduled meeting of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has several important pieces of business on the agenda. In addition to the normal Councillor submitted motions, we will have the opportunity to discuss our ABP submission on the proposed €18,000,000 plan to develop cruise liner facilities in the harbour. It also falls to us to determine if we will once again vary the Local Property Tax rate, a move that last year gave over €8,000,000 back to the residents of the county. Judging, however, by the media activity (both real and social) of some of my Councillor colleagues, it would appear that nothing is currently more important than a row about the procedural workings of a sub-committee of a local authority! Since being elected to the council in May of last year, I have regularly been asked by people how I am finding life as a Councillor. It is very hard for me to give any answer that doesn’t contain the phrase ‘slow and frustrating’. Don’t get me wrong, working in and for my local community is a very energising and rewarding experience. The problems unfortunately begin when we attempt to conduct business at our monthly council meeting. At these meeting, we have the opportunity to exercise what little power that remains vested in Local Authority members and deal efficiently and expediently with business for the benefit of those that elected us…. But we don’t! …Instead the webcast cameras are rolling, the press are in the gallery and we feel the need to grandstand, to score some political points and to ‘echo’ what was just said by our five, six or seven electoral ward colleagues lest their newsletter reads better...

Council Motion Supporting Privatisation Of Dublin Bus Routes.

I have been clear about the reasons behind my opinion that FF are wrong to oppose the privatisation of Dublin Bus routes. My position is contrary to ‘current‘ FF policy on this issue, however as an elected public representative I have just submitted the following motion for discussion at the next meeting of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council which takes place on 11th May: “That in the interests of more efficient usage of tax payers money and improved transport services for the commuters of the county, this council supports the Government in it’s tendering of a portion of Dublin Bus routes to private operators, and calls on the Government to ensure that this is done through a competitive, transparent and regulated process.”...