Meath County Council Update – October 2021

by Cllr Tom Behan

Tom Behan

Alverno Court Refurbishment

I was delighted to finally see that the works have begun in the Alverno Court Refurbishment which I have been pushing for since last elected. This development will consist of the refurbishment of 26 buildings in the estate and will also see the demolition of two bungalows that will then be rebuilt. These works will be carried out in sections and will take place over the next number of months. This project was long overdue and I’m thrilled that it finally got the go ahead. Once these works have been completed, I will be pursuing improvement works to the roads in the estate which seriously need to be addressed. I hopeful that this is something we can achieve in the near future and I will continue to press the council for these works to be carried out.

Public Realm Laytown Park

 The Public Realm Plan for the Laytown Bettystown area was recently published and I was delighted to see the inclusion of the Laytown park area that would see the area adjacent to the playground in Laytown turned into a public park with walkways, picnic benches and planting. This is a project I have been working on through my involvement with the Laytown Village Enhancement Committee. We have recently submitted an application for grant funding under the Town and Village Renewal scheme to seek funding under project development which will allow us to conduct the appropriate assessments and environmental studies to get this project shovel ready. This will be a fantastic development for Laytown and will really utilise the green space we have available and will be a great amenity for local residents and tourists to the area.

 Laytown Beach Front Gabion Repair works

Earlier this Year at one of our local municipal district meetings I tabled a motion calling on the council to address the seriously falling standards of the beach gabions and the entrance to the beach in Laytown. They had gotten to such a bad state of disrepair I asked the council to replace them, ensuring that the entrance to the beach was safe for everyone. I was delighted to see these works completed recently and my thanks to the council and the grounds team for their work on this.

Strategic Policy committee for the Environment

At our next meeting for the strategic policy committee for the environment I have tabled a motion calling on the council to work with the relevant stake holders to set about a programme of works that will address the serious failing standards of the Sand dunes in coastal Meath. Of late this area has seen a huge increase in activity and additional footfall which unfortunately has resulted in a lot of the marram grass falling away and as a result this has left the dunes exposed and has begun to erode away. I will be asking the council to enter into agreement with some local groups to identify and cordon off selected areas which can then be targeted for marram grass planting and other protective measures that will allow time for the Marram grass to route and further protect the area.

Signage for the beach

 There is no doubt that the beach has seen a huge increase in footfall over the past year or so and with that we have had more and more people sea swimming. Whilst it is fantastic to see so many people utilising this fantastic amenity at our door steps, I have concerns that with the increase numbers sea swimming we will need to increase awareness around the dangers involved. To that end I will be asking the council to erect signage particularly in the Mornington area alerting people to the dangers of sea swimming in these particular areas. Unfortunately we have had a number of incidents and we must act quickly before its too late. I have also been pushing for additional life guard stations to better cover the entire bathing area which the need for has increased ten fold over the past year.

Beach Parking

At the October meeting of the full council we will be discussing the issue of beach parking, where the council will decide weather or not to permanently ban cars from the beach, say for the designated spaces which were made available to the elderly and for those with a disability. Since we last debated this in the chambers, I have been working with the council to identify alternative parking solutions for coastal Meath and we have also implemented a campaign to better highlight the accessibility of our beaches via public transport. We are continuing to work on additional sites and the completion of the Tara Road will also see additional car parking spaces coming available. We have also utilised the green space in Laytown as an Over flow car park for particularly busy days which worked quite well. I will continue to work with the council to ensure that parking is a priority and that our local roads, estates and businesses are not adversely affected particularly during the summer months.

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