by Cllr Tom Behan
Meath County Council recently held its Annual General Meetings for both the full council and its Municipal Districts. Id like to extend my congratulations to my good friend and colleague Cllr Sean Drew who was elected Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council and to Cllr Elaine McGinty who was elected to Cathaoirleach of the Laytown Bettystown Municipal District. Id also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during my year as Cathaoirleach of the MD and look forward to working with Cllr McGinty in her year ahead.
Not around Us Campaign
Earlier this year I submitted a motion to Meath County Council asking them to implement a not around us campaign. For World No Tobacco Day, the 31st of May 2021, the “Not Around Us” (NAU) campaign was launched in County Meath. The campaign is about promoting an environment where it is easier for those who smoke to quit and stay quit and helping to de-normalize smoking for the next generation. The Not Around Us campaign is another step Towards a Tobacco/Vape Free Meath. It is about supporting Chapter 7 of Tobacco Free Ireland : “denormalization of smoking and protection of children and young people”. Healthy Meath is leading this campaign in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including the HSE Health and Wellbeing Division, HSE QUIT team, Meath County Councils Climate Action, Meath PPN, Meath Libraries, CYPSC Meath, Meath Comhairle na nÓg, Youth Work Ireland Meath and Healthy Ireland.
Some of the ways you can get involved: ✓ Use your communication resources and contacts to promote a Tobacco Free Ireland in a way that suits your group/organisation’s priorities and clients during the week of World No Tobacco Day (31st of May 2021). ✓ Show your support for Not Around Us by displaying the new Not Around Us signage on your property (if it has an outside space where children and young people are likely to be and is in County Meath) or an electronic version of it on social media. ✓ Sign the Not Around Us Charter to show your commitment to tobacco free outdoor spaces. Display the Charter in a visible place inside your setting. ✓ Post images on social media of your organisation displaying the Not Around Us signage on your property. ✓ Promoting the HSE’s Quit.ie with staff, volunteers and service users and/or your own evidence-informed support services for people who wish to quit smoking. ✓ Displaying information on quitting smoking on your premises – materials available to order/download from healthpromotion.ie ✓ Using any/all of the following hashtags on relevant social media posts: #NotAroundUs #HSE #QUIT #TobaccoFreeIreland #HealthyIreland #meathcountycouncil
Restoration of Gabions at Laytown
Delighted to see the progress on the restoration of the Gabions at our Laytown Beach Entrance, A number of months ago I tabled a Motion calling on Meath County Council to address the seriously falling standards of the Gabions at the beach entrance at Laytown, over the past number of years the damage the gabions have taken have resulted in them being left very exposed and dangerous to pedestrians. My thanks to the management and the grounds team that are carrying out the works on this.
Alverno Court Refurbishment
I have been working actively with management since elected to deliver on the Alverno Court Refurbishment project that has long been anticipated . I’m delighted that we have now have awarded the contract and we are anticipating that work will begin as early as August. Alternative accommodation has been secured that will allow residents to move into whilst works are being carried out on their properties. This will be a significant development for Alverno which will see the refurbishment of 26 properties and the demolishment and rebuild of 2 Bungalows.
We have all seen the added stress that has been placed on coastal meath of late with regards to parking, particularly over the sunny weekends seeing a huge influx of visitors to East Meath. Whilst I have been working hard with Meath County Council to deliver on additional parking I have also requested the council to implement an awareness campaign to better highlight the accessibility of our beaches via public transport. I believe in order to ensure we keep our beaches car free we must not solely focus on delivering additional parking, which whilst this is a priority we must also highlight the fact the our coast is very accessible via public transport, and that while it may not suit everyone we should and must encourage those who can access the beach via public transport to do so and leave their cars at home. To that end I have asked the council to create an awareness campaign to encourage visitors to our coast to Bus it, Bike it or Train it and leave the car at home.
I was also delighted to see over the past few weekends the policing that has gone on particularly along the golf links road, my thanks to Superintendent Murphy and her team for addressing the on going issues with illegal parking. The knock on effect from this is that our visitors have utilised the parking spaces available in Colaiste na hInse and Funtasia, we will also have more parking coming available with the delivery on the spine road and I will continue to work on delivering additional parking particularly over the summer months.