by Cllr Tom Behan
Laytown Riverside Park
As you will be aware Meath County Council were recently awarded €3,904.00 by Minister Heather Humphries under the Towns and Village Renewal Scheme towards the development of Laytown Riverside Park. I was delighted to receive word that this project had been selected out of many applications for further development. This is something I have been working on for quite some time now, both since my time as an elected member of Meath County Council and prior to that through Laytown Village Enhancement who have long since had this project highlighted for the area.
I’m delighted that this project has been included in the Public Realm Plan for the Laytown Bettystown Municipal District and furthermore Delighted that the Minister has awarded the project the additional funding it needs to get the project shovel ready. As the area we are hoping to use is an area of special conservation and a specially protected area we must conduct a number of surveys to ensure that we meet all criteria before advancing the project to the next level.
Laytown Village Enhancement will intend to carry out these works over the coming months and pending a positive outcome we will hope to apply for further funding to begin these works in the near future. Our vision is to utilise the green space surrounding the play ground in laytown and turn it into a heaven for locals and tourists alike. I’m excited to reveal to you the vision Laytown Village Enhancement have for the park which would include a performance area, centered in the green area, an outdoor Gym adjacent to the playground, walkways that will include beach access and tie in with our newly developed walking and cycling track up to the sea fields. We would also envisage installing lighting, picnic benches, planting areas and bins.
Full Time Station for Laytown
At a recent Municipal District meeting for the Laytown Bettystown MD we received a report from the council on the Joint Area Plan for Drogheda and Laytown/Bettystown, within that report we discussed the joint policing plan that was needed for the are and took stock of the Guerin Report which highlights the spill over from the Drogheda Feud to the East Coast.
I took the opportunity to address the council about our urgent need for a full time station in Laytown to ensure that any spill over of crime is nipped in the bud and addresses the concerns of the growing anti social behaviour in the area and the need to have a full presence of guards in the area. As we move towards a joint area plan between the Laytown/Bettystown LEA and Drogheda Town I will ensure that achieving a full time station in Laytown is kept as an utmost priority.
Under my role on the Joint Policing Committee I continually flag the need for a full time station at Laytown to the Chief Superintendent, and at our most recent meeting I was delighted to receive confirmation from the superintendent that Meath would be receiving 9 additional guards from the training college early next year and that 6 of those would be stationed in the Ashbourne District which is within the Laytown/Bettystown district in policing, and a further commitment that this would directly reflect on the number of guards stationed at Laytown. Whilst we have not yet achieved full time status I fully welcome the addition of extra staff to the Laytown Station and I will continue to press this issue until such a time that our station in Laytown has the full resources at their disposal to fully man the area.
Vaping & E-Cigarettes.
Following on from my successful not around us campaign I will once again be calling on the Government to introduce new legislation including vaping and E-cigarettes in the smoking ban. I first tabled this motion with the council early last year in the wake of the pandemic realising that there is no existing legislation preventing people from vaping in public spaces such as bars, hotels or on public transport. Covid-19 is a droplet spread virus and I believe we should implement the same restrictive measures we have taken with the smoking ban that will serve to reduce the distance a virus can travel in enclosed spaces or areas where the public are likely to gather. I firmly believe we should do all that we can to address the spread of Covid-19 and by ensuring that vaping and e-cigarettes are only used in designated areas we can dramatically increase the safety of the general public.
As we approach the end of the festive season I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone for their efforts during the Christmas period. In particular the Tidy Towns and Community Groups who went above and beyond to brighten up our communities with the festive lighting campaign, similarly I would also like to extend a note of gratitude to the Grounds team in Meath County Council who have worked extremely hard in getting the area ready for the festive season and for the works during Storm Barra. It is really a credit to the council to have such fantastic resources and volunteers in the community. Id like to wish you all a very Happy, Peaceful and Safe New Year.