Cllr Tom Behan
Beach Parking Update
Beach parking was back on the agenda at our March SPC Environment Meeting. There was a lengthy debate and it was agreed by the committee to recommend to the Full council that the ban on vehicular access should remain in place for the next three months. At the meeting I voiced my concerns about parking in the area and I have secured a commitment from the council that they will as a matter of urgency identify additional car parking spaces for beach users. In conjunction with this I have also asked the council to work closely with the Guards to ensure we have both enforcement of the foreshore bylaws and to address the haphazard parking on the coast road. I’m also delighted that the parking spaces I secured last July on the beach for the elderly and people with disabilities will remain on the beach, and the council have committed to policing this going forward. I will continue to work actively with the council on this to ensure that the spaces are available for those whom they are designated for.
New Superintendent for our District
Late last month I got the opportunity to speak directly with the new superintendent for the Ashbourne Garda District Mrs Yvonne Murphy who has already been very active with the council and is eager to address the issues in our area. I took the opportunity to raise just some of the issues in our area and I look forward to welcoming both Superintendent Murphy and Inspector Gahan to our Municipal District meeting in April where we will get the opportunity to address all the issues we have within our Municipal District. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Superintendent Murphy and wish her every success in her new role, and I look forward to working with her closely over the coming years.
Not Around Us Campaign
At our Monthly April Council Meeting I will be tabling a motion calling on Meath County Council to implement a ‘Not Around Us Campaign’. The aim of this motion is that Meath County Council in conjunction with the HSE will create tobacco and vape free zones. These locations would include areas such as Playgrounds, Public Parks, Sports Clubs and other locations where people, particularly young people are likely to gather. My aim in tabling this motion is twofold firstly, This will help to protect children and young people from second hand smoke exposure and will contribute to the de-normalisation of smoking for our younger generations. Second I believe that should my colleagues in the council adopt my Motion in April that it will also help in our battle against Covid-19. Knowing what we do about this virus and that it is a droplet spread infection, anything that can increase the distance the virus can travel should be avoided. I believe that we should be doing everything we can to battle this virus and a simple measure like this will go along way in our fight against Covid-19.
Alverno Court Refurbishment Project
I have continued to work actively on the Alverno Court Refurbishment project that will see the refurbishment of 28 units in the estate and also see 2 houses demolished and re-built. The tender for these works were put out online but unfortunately due to current level 5 restrictions the works are unable to progress as yet. I spoke with the director of services of housing on this who has assured me that once the construction sector resumes the contract will be awarded and the works can begin. I have also been working with the council to identify and repair a number of pot holes in the area, and if there are any you would like addressed that we might have missed please let me know and I will ask the council to address.
Beach Entrance at Laytown
This month I will be calling on the Council to address the seriously falling standards of the Beach Gabions at the Laytown Beach entrance. Over the years the Gabions have been washed away and eroded leaving the wires exposed and dangerous. Whilst the council have been keeping an eye on this I believe it is time to fully address the issue and ensure it is fully safe going forward.
There is also the larger question on the erosion of the beach in its entirety, which I have raised with the environment department, asking them to pay particular attention to the erosion taking place at Laytown. Following a motion put forward by one of my colleagues the council have assured us that they are fully aware of the problems and working to address them. I will continue to press for this issue to be addressed until we have a solution.
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