FITZGIBBON STREET GARDA STATION WILL RE-OPEN
In announcing the establishment of a North-East Inner City initiative, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. confirmed the decision of our Fine Gael-led Government to re-open Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station on a permanent basis. As you will be aware, the Station was closed on health & safety grounds some years back. In that time, both myself, as Chairman of the Dublin Central Policing District and Minister Paschal Donohoe have been working with the Garda Commissioner and the Tanaiste & Minister for Justice to re-open the station. As Minister for Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe T.D., has since his appointment, worked with the Tanaiste to provide the necessary funding for the station to re-open. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. also confirmed recently that initial refurbishment works will start this year. Since becoming the Chairman of the Dublin Central Policing District in 2014, the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station has been a major priority of mine and I am delighted to confirm that the work of myself and Minister Donohoe has now borne fruit. The Garda brief of requirements has already been provided to the Office of Public Works. The technical assessments and initial renovation works will proceed as a matter of urgency. We will keep you fully updated of progress on the refurbishment of the station.
CITY COUNCIL PREPAREDNESS FOR HALLOWEEN
Dublin Central Area officials in Dublin City Council have been making preparations for Halloween since June. Meetings have been taking place between the Housing, Public Domain Unit and Waste Management Departments of Dublin City Council with local Gardai. Removal of bonfire materials such as tyres and pallets have been taking place throughout the summer. On-site inspections of tyre garages by the Waste Enforcement Section are continuing in order to ensure that garages are in compliance with new tyre disposal regulations introduced last year by the Government. If you notice stockpiles of bonfire materials, please report those sightings to Dublin City Council at 1800 248 348.
PORTLAND PLACE PARK – REFURBISHMENT
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., announced details of the Government’s North Inner City Task-Force which included a series of immediate, short-term measures. One of those measures was the provision of €500,000 by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government to Dublin City Council for the enhancement of local youth projects and amenities. Some of that funding has been allocated towards the refurbishment of the Portland Place Park. As you know, this park has been closed for a number of years due to flood damage and as a result of anti-social behaviour. €50,000 will be spent by the Parks Department of Dublin City Council on redesigning an enhanced playground, which will complement previous works carried out along the Royal Canal and will be completed before the end of 2016.
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL COMMUNITY GRANTS 2017
Dublin City Council has launched its Community Grants Scheme for 2017. The purpose of the Scheme is to support community participation and involvement for the greater good. There are two different application forms available under the scheme this year. One is for a Community Grant and the other is for the separate category of Informal Adult Education. Both forms are available in Irish and can be downloaded from the Dublin City Council website at http://www.dublincity.ie. The closing date for the receipt of applications is October 28th next. If you are involved in a local community group or residents’ association and have questions or queries about the Community Grants scheme, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORTH CIRCULAR ROAD & DISTRICT GRAFFITI REMOVAL
The Public Domain Unit of Dublin City Council has been removing incidents of graffiti from various buildings and locations across the North Circular Road district. The Council’s Corporate Contractor and its own Waste Management Services have removed graffiti along the North Circular Road, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Emmet Street, Belvidere Court and Gardiner Lane. If there are items of graffiti on your street or avenue, please contact me at email@example.com and I will arrange for its removal.
PORTLAND DISTRICT ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENT WORKS
Dublin City Council allocated €15,000 in funding for environmental and public realm improvement works across the Portland district in 2016. To date, €12,500 of this funding has been spent on:
• Removal of old play equipment and provision of three large flower beds €5,000
• Major community flower sales €3,000
• Painting/upgrading of Casper Shopfront €2,000
• Supply of subsidised paint to residents to improve house-fronts €2,000
• Supporting street parties € 500
The Community and Social Development Officer with Dublin City Council will continue to work closely with local residents in identifying what further improvement works are necessary this year and in 2017 also.
NORTH-EAST INNER CITY PRIMARY CARE CENTRE – PROGRESS REPORT
Myself, Minister Simon Harris and Paschal Donohoe, local T.D. and Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform turned the sod recently on the new Primary Care Centre on the former Mountainview Court site in Summerhill. This facility will be the base for the following Primary Care Team’s, including the Summerhill Primary Care Team and the Inns Quay Primary Care Team. This facility will also be the base for all Network Primary Care services covering the North Inner City. A comprehensive range of health and social care services will be located in this new centre, including: General Practice Services (2 GPs), Public Health/Community Nursing Services, Occupational Therapy Services, Physiotherapy Services, Speech and Language Services, Psychology Services, Dietetic Services, Social Work Services, Home Help Services, Dental Services, Mental Health Day Hospital Service, Early Intervention & School Age Services for children with Disabilities, Meeting and administration accommodation and Ambulance Services (located on the site in a separate building).
Construction work is already underway and a key element of this important new Primary Care Health Centre will be local procurement. This means that local sub-contractors and suppliers will feature centrally in this project but also the other 14 primary care centres being delivered by the Fine Gael-led Government. The new Primary Care Centre will support the communities in Summerhill, along the North Circular Road and across the north-east inner city by providing excellent health services.
PERSONAL MICRO CREDIT SCHEME TO HELP PEOPLE AVOID MONEY-LENDERS
The extension of the Personal Micro Credit Scheme by the Fine Gael Government is to be welcomed. This scheme ensures access to small loans at reasonable interest rates from the credit union, with the option for social welfare recipients who are paid by cash to repay the money through the Household Budgeting Scheme. It provides real practical help for families and individuals struggling on low incomes. Many of the participants may struggle to get credit elsewhere, and may not have a bank account or savings. So when the unexpected bill arrives for home or car repairs, a new fridge or a family occasion, some turn to legal and sometimes illegal money lenders. Since the summer, social welfare recipients who receive payment electronically into an account in a financial institution can now also avail of the scheme, provided the loan repayments are made by direct debit or by standing order. To date more than 1,200 loans have been drawn down via the pilot scheme nationally, with an overall value of over €720,000. The average individual loan is €500. Of borrowers surveyed who received loans under the pilot scheme, more than half had previously used a money-lender, and 22% were thinking about using a money-lender before they availed of the loan. This extension of the scheme fulfils the Programme for Partnership Government commitment and is supported by the Irish League of Credit Unions.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee