FITZGIBBON STREET GARDA STATION – PROGRESS REPORT
As outlined in my summer newsletter, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., confirmed that our Fine Gael-led Government would oversee the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station. Last month, I joined the Taoiseach and local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. on an examination of the existing building opposite Fitzgibbon Court. We spent the afternoon meeting local residents, officials from the Office of Public Works and Chief Superintendent Leahy to discuss the Garda requirements for a refurbished station and how these requirements can be provided for. As Chairman of the Dublin Central Policing District, I am working with Chief Superintendent Leahy to put in place a consultation programme that would allow you and other residents across the Clonliffe and Ballybough districts to put forward your ideas and suggestions in terms of how we can provide the best possible facility to serve the future policing needs of the area. It is my view that a refurbished station on Fitzgibbon Street should ultimately become the Divisional Garda Headquarters in the North Inner City. Minister Donohoe and I will work to keep you fully updated of progress on the matter.
REFURBISHMENT OF THE FORMER PIGEON CLUB CENTRE
Dublin City Council has been tasked by Government to refurbish the former Pigeon Club building for use as a new Boxing and community centre. Funding of more than €1.2m has been made available by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport to invest in enhancing sports facilities and projects throughout the north-east inner city, of which money will be provided for the former pigeon club. The City Council is currently finalising the legal possession and title of the club-house and car park. Upon completion of this process, Dublin City Council will then get access to the building and enable plans for the refurbishment to progress. Both Minister Donohoe and I believe that permanent community space should be made available in this new facility and we will keep fully informed of progress on the project.
CROKE VILLAS REDEVELOPMENT – KEEPING YOU UPDATED!
Making sure local residents are fully informed of the progress being made in advancing the Croke Villas redevelopment is a key objective for myself and Paschal Donohoe T.D., our local Minister. We will be working to update you on the works associated with the derelict properties on Ballybough Road, how the remaining residents in Croke Villas are supported and timelines for the completion of the various project phases. With regards to the four buildings on Ballybough Road, seven refurbished units will be provided as alternative accommodation for those remaining residents in Croke Villas. A contractor to complete the construction work is expected on site shortly. These works will take up to 18 months to complete.
Dublin City Council has appointed a Design Team for the remainder of the redevelopment project. This involves the redevelopment of Sackville Avenue cottages which when completed will see twelve new homes being provided. After that, the existing Croke Villas complex will be redeveloped with 35 new homes being built. The final phase of the project will see a new primary walkway leading to Croke Park being constructed along Sackville Avenue. The entire project will take almost five years to complete. Pairc an Chrocaigh Teoranta will also carry out separate work as part of the redevelopment with the construction of a Sports Pavilion (Handball Stadium). The entrance to this facility will be at Ardilaun Avenue. A formal application for planning is expected to be lodged with Dublin City Council shortly.
TACKLING CLONLIFFE / BALLYBOUGH DERELICTION
Throughout my time on Dublin City Council, I have worked with local community groups, individual residents and City Council officials to deal effectively with the scourge of derelict sites and buildings. I firmly believe that these buildings and sites are a blot on the urban landscape of our streets and neighbourhoods. Every action must be taken to tackle the problem. With that in mind, the Government has approved a Vacant Sites Levy, which will see a charge being imposed for unused land. It will come into effect from January 1st 2018. Notwithstanding this, Dublin City Council is continuing to avail of its powers under the Derelict Sites Act, 1993. Within the Clonliffe and Ballybough districts, the Council is taking action with regards to some properties and sites, including:
- 51 Clonliffe Gardens: An inspection took place on August 15 last. Correspondence has been issued between the legal representatives of the property owner.
- 66 Clonliffe Road: An inspection took place on August 25th last. The Law Department is seeking to establish reference of ownership before acting further.
- 194 – 196 Clonliffe Road: Notice of the Council’s intention to enter these properties on the Register of Derelict Sites was served on the owners on September 12th last.
- 198 Clonliffe Road: The site was added to the Register of Derelict Sites on July 19th last.
- 200 Clonliffe Road: The Council’s intention to include this site on the Register of Derelict Sites has been deferred as a planning application for the site is expected to be lodged with the Planning Department in the coming weeks.
If you have concerns about particular sites or properties that require inspection or follow-up by Dublin City Council, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can pursue the matter on your behalf.
CLONLIFFE & BALLYBOUGH GRAFFITI REMOVAL
The Public Domain Unit of Dublin City Council has been removing incidents of graffiti from various buildings and locations across the Clonliffe and Ballybough district. The Council’s Corporate Contractor and its own Waste Management Services have removed graffiti along St. James’ Avenue, Elizabeth Street, Poplar Row and Annesley Avenue. 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.
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, Ballybough and across the north-east inner city by providing excellent health services.
PERMIT PARKING SCHEMES PROPOSED
Following the request of residents along Fitzroy Avenue, Russell Avenue and Elizabeth Street for Permit Parking and Pay & Display to be introduced, the Traffic Advisory Group of Dublin City Council has agreed to the measures. The Dublin Central Area Committee, which I serve as Vice-Chairman, noted the recommendation of the Traffic Advisory Group and have accordingly approved the holding a vote of residents on each street to determine whether permit parking and Pay & Display will be introduced. The ballot of residents is expected to take place within the coming weeks.
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. 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
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee