Council Update by Cllr Sharon Tolan
Spring has sprung….and with this time of year comes our Schedule of Municipal District Works. I am delighted to let you know that a number of the issues you raised with me will be addressed again this year! The list of issues is long, but it is great to see a number of them delivered every year. I truly wish we had a bigger budget, or a magic wand, to deliver all of the improvements I would like but for now you will have to trust that I will keep on working on your behalf to deliver what I can each year!
Footpath repairs continue throughout the area, with special attention being given to some problem areas in Bettystown village. Coney Hall in Mornington and Alverno Court in Laytown will also be on this year’s list for new footpaths. Fairways Park will receive new road surfacing, along with Oak View in Mornington.
I know many of you are delighted with the new pedestrian crossings and speed tables at Harry’s Garage in Mornington along with the footpath repairs that were carried out at the same time. It has made the area much safer for pedestrians and I am very grateful to our Area Engineers for agreeing with my request to add the second crossing and complete the footpath repairs.
Donacarney Footpath remains a priority for me, and I continue to put huge pressure on the Council to complete the Part 8 and get this project out for tender asap. Of course, I know how frustrated people are with how long this is taking, Covid did not help the situation, but I have been assured that the necessary Environmental and Flooding Reports are now complete, and the Engineers hope to present the Part 8 to us in the coming weeks. The good news is the NTA awarded €200,000 to help fund this footpath and cycle lane between Donacarney and Bettystown Cross. Rest assured I will keep the pressure on until it is delivered! In the meantime, temporary repairs have been completed along the road, which is in terrible condition, but this will be resurfaced when the footpath is being constructed.
Laytown Rail Bridge Feasibility Assessment – We have secured €100,000 to look at ways to make improvements at this bridge, for pedestrians and motorists. I have asked the council to look at the possibility of a footpath from Laytown to Sonairte. More and more of us are enjoying the outdoors and it’s important we encourage this by providing the necessary infrastructure to ensure it’s safe to walk and cycle around our beautiful location. (see my Laytown park update in the CDP piece later!)
Spine Road Update
We received a further €4,500,000 to complete the new Spine Road between Bettystown and Laytown. This will be the final tranche of funding to complete the works. This scheme includes the new road, footpath, cycle lanes, public lighting, pedestrian crossings, 3 roundabouts, a new car park adjacent to Scoil Oilibheir Naoifa Junior Primary School, and new parking layout at the Youthreach Centre. We also used the opportunity to address the flooding issues at the Triton roundabout. The scheme is scheduled to take 12 months to complete, but I am hopeful that it will be finished sooner. I would also like to thank local Leaving Cert student Stuart Hitchcock from Colaiste na hInse, who asked the Council to install electric vehicle charging points in the new car park. It’s a great idea and one I hadn’t thought of! The Council are now looking at this possibility and I will put pressure on them to include it. I will keep you posted of any updates or changes to the temporary lights that have been needed during the works. Check out my Facebook Page Cllr Sharon Tolan East Meath for the latest updates.
Housing Estate Special Speed Limit Review (30km/h)
Every year we include more housing estates for this review, to reduce the speed limit officially and make them safer. This year the Council will be including:
- Fairway’s Park
- Fairway’s Lawn
- Five Oaks, Drogheda
- Ard Rí, Drogheda
- Cill Carbon, Duleek
- Riverview, Slane
If you have an estate that you would like included in the list, please get in touch or make a submission to email@example.com by Wednesday 31st March.
Many thanks to everyone who got in touch with me over recent weeks and months in relation to coastal erosion and environmental damage. It is quite shocking to see just how much of our dune system and coastline that has been damaged again this year by high tides and strong storms, but also by the public. I have submitted the following motion to try to get action on this very serious issue:
“In the wake of another winter and spring of severe weather, high spring tides, coastal storms and instances of man-made damage, to call on Meath County Council to engage immediately with all stakeholders and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications to develop a comprehensive plan to protect our ever diminishing coastline against coastal erosion and environmental damage so that measures can be implemented in advance of the next winter/spring period when the coastline is at it’s most vulnerable.” I will keep you updated on what, if any, action is taken, but I would appeal to those who still think it’s ok to drive across the dunes in the Mornington area, to please stop this immediately. It is causing major damage that may never get the opportunity to repair and it is nothing short of environmental vandalism!
County Development Plan 2021-2027 Update
We have spent many hours debating motions for changes to the Draft County Development Plan. This plan will shape the development of our county for the next 6 years. I am delighted to have secured support for all of my motions, and I’m proud to have been able to make positive contributions throughout this process. One of the significant wins was the zoning of land west of Laytown railway bridge. I believe the new proposed E1/E2 Strategic Employment Zone (High Technology Uses), will facilitate opportunities for high end technology/manufacturing and major campus style office based employment. It is directly on the rail line and has the potential to be a major site that would ensure local jobs and incoming commuters (for a change!). I have also secured a commitment to relocate the council yard away from the high amenity site on the banks of the River Nanny, in order to develop a new park for Laytown at this location. It is so important that we protect and enhance the many beautiful areas that we have here in East Meath, and I am committed to doing that.
We hope to be finished this stage of the process in the coming weeks. The Material Alterations in the Draft will then be considered by the Chief Executive, and it will be put back on public display. I will keep you updated on dates to watch out for, anything significant or check out the website on www.countydevelopmentplanreview.ie
Finally, best of luck to everyone returning to school in the coming weeks. It has been such a tough year on everyone. Stay safe, stay well and stay positive. Brighter days lie ahead for all of us. If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Sharon