24th May, 2012

Update from Local Councillor Ray McAdam working with Paschal Donohoe TD


As indicated in previous newsletters, I regularly liaise with the Drainage Division of Dublin City Council to ensure that there is a regular programme of shore and gully cleaning in the Stoneybatter area. At my request, the Gully Cleaning team checked shores and gullies on Kirwan Street, Kirwan Street Cottages, Viking Road, Ard Righ Road, Niall Street, Ross Street and Norseman Place. These shores and gullies were checked on March 21st last and all were found to be in good working order. The Council are currently working to clean blocked shores on Thor Place, Finn Street, Halliday Square, Oxmantown Road and Manor Place. I expect these shores to be cleaned in the coming days. If you are not satisfied with the level of shore and gully cleaning on your street, please let me know and I’ll arrange to have them cleaned.


The City Council will be approving allocations under this year’s Community Grants Scheme at the May meeting. More than €50,000 has been allocated to support community and voluntary work across a broad range of activities. The allocations are worth up to €500 to help fund local community improvements or community festivals. Nearly €2000 has been allocated to groups in Stoneybatter which I believe will be of great assistance to our community. Details of allocations to local groups can be found on or by contacting me at 086 847 1720.


The Dublin City Neighbourhoods Competition is an annual competition for communities, schools and business organised by Dublin City Council. It is an Area based competition with categories judged initially before being selected to go forward to the citywide competition. The closing date for receipt of nominations is FRIDAY MAY 4th. Should you be involved in a residents’ association or group and would be interested in taking part in the competition, application forms or further information can be sought by contacting the City Council on 222 5315.


As you know during the Dublin City Development Plan process, I called for a statutory Local Area Plan to be compiled for the Stoneybatter area. This proposal was accepted and included in the draft Development Plan finally adopted by the Council. Officials from the Planning Department recently made a presentation to the Central Area Committee, which I chair. Details were provided about the process for the preparation of various Local Area Plans for districts across Dublin Central. Work will commence shortly on the Pelletstown and Hueston & Environs LAPs. Once these have been progressed satisfactorily, background work and a public consultation will then begin on the compilation of the Manor Street/Stoneybatter Local Area Plan. Such a plan will aim to address a broad range of planning and development issues impacting on the growth of our area. The policies and objectives of such a plan will have to adhere to the existing City Development Plan that will remain in place until 2017.


Announcements made last month by the Government to invest in school construction projects and replace out-dated prefab facilities are very welcome. Both of these programmes will see the construction of new schools in the local area. New school facilities will be constructed for Gaelscoil Bharra, after a near twenty-year wait. Funding has also been approved for the construction of extensions to Dublin 7 Educate Together and the Stanhope Street Convent Primary School. These projects are due to be delivered during the lifetime of our Fine Gael-led Government. St. Gabriel’s National School on Cowper Street was recently informed by the Department of Education that it would be able to avail of funding to allow for the construction of a new classroom to replace a prefab classroom currently in use. Despite some of the difficult decisions being taken by the Government, it is heartening that money is being made available to ensure our children have the right environment in which to learn and grow.


The problem of graffiti across the Stoneybatter area continues to be raised with me repeatedly. In recent weeks, graffiti was removed by the Corporate Contractor employed by the City Council on Sitric Road, Viking Place, Ashford Street, Manor Street and Aughrim Lane. If there are problems with graffiti on your street, please let me know and I’ll arrange for the City Council to have it removed.


If you are not on the electoral register but wish to vote in the forthcoming Referendum on the EU Stability Treaty on May 31st, you will need to complete an application form to be included on the Supplementary Register of Electors. The deadline for completed forms to be received by Dublin City Council is Monday May 14th. Applications received after that date will not be included in the supplementary register. The latest date for receipt of applications for postal or special voters is two days after the formal announcement of Polling Day for the Referendum is made by the Minister for the Environment.


After three reports and numerous Council meetings, I believe that the response of Dublin City Council to the severe flooding which occurred last October was dreadful. The Drainage Division recently presented a briefing to the Central Area Committee, which I chair. Despite repeated assurances that this would be a comprehensive report outlining the measures required to reduce the risk of flooding in at risk areas of Dublin Central, it contained precious little new information. No engineering solutions were provided, no information about steps homeowners could take to secure their home was included and no explanation was given for what caused the flooding of certain parts of the city. As Chairman of the Dublin Central Area Committee, I could not accept this report, therefore I requested the Drainage Division to go back and answer the questions I put to them and then come back to the Committee with a more detailed response. Once this report is available, I will provide a copy to residents who wish to review it.


The Budget announced prior to Christmas included changes to how the Universal Social Charge will apply for those on low incomes. Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD announced that people would now be able to earn more than €10,000 before having to pay the USC. Prior to last year’s General Election, we committed to reviewing the charge because we felt it was an unnecessarily punitive measure on people who could least afford it. I very much welcome this decision, as I believe it will help particularly low paid and part-time workers. I know too many people who have refused jobs because the pay is only slightly more than the Jobseeker’s Benefit after the USC is taken. The decision taken by this Fine Gael-led Government not to increase income tax, rates or bands is also welcome and it is a decision informed by the same principles that saw the USC being abolished for the lowest paid in our society.


There has been much talk in recent days about the introduction of water charges. Sadly, our Government made a mess of communicating clearly to people what is happening, why it is happening and how it will affect the public. I welcome the clarity that has now been provided. Irish Water which will be created to manage the water network will be managed by Bord Gais. It will be a public utility and will be in public ownership. No charges of any kind will be introduced until 2014 and there will be NO upfront charge for the installation of meters and NO VAT will be charged. There really is no excuse for failing to communicate these simple facts to you and I completely understand why people are annoyed that things were communicated in such a confusing way.