APPOINTMENT AS MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, TOURISM & SPORT
My appointment as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport provides me with numerous challenges and opportunities over the next two years. Ensuring that the LUAS Cross-City project to Cabra is delivered on time and within budget will be a key objective of my time as Minister. I also look forward to working closely with Dublin City Council on advancing many important projects across the City and region, including the further expansion of the successful Dublin Bikes Scheme and ensuring that other cycle infrastructure projects are delivered. It is a huge honour to be appointed to Cabinet and I remain fully committed to working on behalf of and representing the communities of Dublin Central across the coming years.
STONEYBATTER POLICING MATTERS
Community Gardai based in the Bridewell are continuing to call to homes across the Stoneybatter district as part of the Small Area Policing Plan and this work will continue across the summer until all homes have been visited. A new operation has been put in place by Superintendent Hynes to tackle public order problems that have been occurring in recent weeks. A Public Order Van will be located across the Stoneybatter district with a dedicated team of officers in order to reduce the frequent gathering of groups drinking alcohol in public parks and on the street. Following a recent spate of bicycle thefts locally, a major offender has been arrested by the Gardai. Steps will also be taken to further expand the successful Bike Registration Scheme operated by Gardai in the Bridewell.
O’DEVANEY GARDENS SITE – UPDATE
There have been a number of enquiries of Councillor Ray McAdam and I about the future of the O’Devaney Gardens site. As you know the Regeneration Board decided in late 2012 not to proceed with the redevelopment of the site because of the funding difficulties for the private housing element of the project. The Housing Allocation Section has since been liaising with remaining residents of O’Devaney Gardens to source and provide alternative accommodation in order to meet their housing needs. A Part VIII planning application will be presented to City Councillors in September and October seeking permission for the demolition of the remaining blocks. Demolition of the remaining blocks will only commence when a contractor has been selected following a procurement process. The other blocks will only be demolished as and when they have become vacant. No plans have yet been published by the City Council in respect of the future use of the site following the relocation of existing residents. Both Councillor McAdam and I want to ensure that any plan put in place by the Council has the support of the local community. We want to ensure that there is a full public consultation on the matter.
TACKLING ILLEGAL DUMPING – FURTHER ACTION BEING TAKEN
Both Councillor Ray McAdam and I have been working with the Public Domain Unit of Dublin City Council to develop solutions to bring about the litter & illegal dumping problem. The bye-laws adopted by Councillors last year have enabled the Council to carry our door-to-door surveys in areas where dumping persists. Householders have been asked to provide evidence of how they dispose of their household waste. Multi-let houses, where no waste management system was in place were identified and work undertaken to identify the owners of these properties. In addition, the compilation of CCTV evidence has enabled the Council to take legal proceedings against some of those responsible for the dumping and littering. Details of the multi-let searches are provided below. The existing street cleaning schedule is not satisfactory and as a result additional cleaning and power-washing will now take place on a scheduled and response basis. The Chief Executive of the Council is currently assessing a report that outlines the additional technology, staff and resources which are required to ensure the cycle of dumping and littering is broken.
RENTAL STANDARDS IMPROVING – BUT STILL WORK TO DO
Substantial progress is now being made by Dublin City Council in improving the quality of rental accommodation across the city. This improvement is highlighted in information provided by Councillor Ray McAdam about the work undertaken as part of the Intensive Inspection Programme of rental properties. This Programme has been in place now for two years and to date, 5114 rental units have been inspected, of which only 614 met rental standards when the inspection regime began. Of the 999 units inspected along the North Circular Road, only 145 were compliant with the law. Following repeated inspections and the serving of orders to compel landlords to bring their properties up to standards, a total of 2,676 units across the city and 680 along the North Circular Road are now of an acceptable standard. Improvement works have been required in respect of fire safety standards, the structural condition of the property and sanitary facilities among others. Further work is required to make sure those living in rental accommodation are living in good quality homes but the work undertaken to date, shows what progress can be made by employing a systematic programme of inspection like that used by Dublin City Council.
STONEYBATTER GRAFFITI REMOVAL
The Public Domain Unit of Dublin City Council has been removing items of graffiti on various sites across the Church Street district in the past number of weeks. The Probation Service, the Council’s Corporate Contractor and the City Council’s Waste Management Services have removed graffiti along Stoneybatter, Aughrim Street, Manor Street, Prussia Street and Sitric Road. As always, if there are items of graffiti on your street or avenue, please get in touch with Councillor McAdam and I and we will arrange for its removal.
FURTHER WEED SPRAYING UNDER-WAY
The Public Domain Unit of the City Council recently undertook a further round of weed-spraying of local streets. The spraying should be completed shortly but if you find that your particular street or avenue was missed, please email me at email@example.com so that I can request to have those areas covered.
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Every two months or so, I circulate an email newsletter to residents across Dublin Central. The e-newsletter provides details of some of the work I am involved with as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and as your local TD. If you would like to receive such updates, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Should there be any local or national matter where I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will do whatever I can to help.