DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL’S HOUSING ASSESSMENT OF NEED – DEADLINE LOOMING!!Last Summer, the Housing Department of Dublin City Council began a process of reviewing the housing list. The purpose of this review was twofold. Firstly, to make sure the Council’s records were fully up to date. Secondly, to ensure those who previously applied for housing, still need and want to be considered for housing with Dublin City Council. Therefore, all applicants were written to and asked to complete an updated housing assessment of need. The Housing Department wrote to applicants on two further occasions requesting that the assessment of need be completed and returned. Anyone who previously applied for housing but failed to respond to the questionnaire, now run the risk of being removed from the housing list. So, if you did not fill out the housing assessment of need last year, you have until MARCH 31st to complete it and return the application to Dublin City Council. If you have any questions or queries about the housing assessment of need, please get in touch with me. If you miss this chance, you will have no choice but to make a fresh application with Dublin City Council.
MARINERS PORT, CRINAN STRAND & SPENCER DOCK IMPROVEMENT WORKS
After residents highlighted the poor condition of the stairwells and common areas in Mariners Port, Crinan Strand and Spencer Dock, Dublin City Council’s Housing Department has started work in enhancing the complexes. More secure postboxes have been installed by the Maintenance Division. Work is also underway to replace the main entrance doors and the floor covering. The stairwells in each complex will be repainted. It is envisaged that these works will be completed by the end of March.
SHERIFF STREET PLAYGROUND – LATEST NEWS!
Residents have spoken to me about the possible lack of a playground for local children to play in following the installation of temporary buildings on the green for the Junior Boys and Girls schools. Both Minister Donohoe and I share those concerns and have been working with Dublin City Council to ensure that a safe and secure play environment is provided for kids this summer. Senior Council officials agree with myself and Minister Donohoe that a temporary playground is a must! That is why I will be meeting Council officials including the Dublin Central Area Manager, Play Officer and the Sports Development Officer to finalise the arrangements for the playground. I want to make sure that while the Junior Boys and Girls Schools are temporarily rehoused in prefabs, local kids will still have a safe environment to play in which does not pose any problems with anti-social behaviour for local residents. Both myself and Minister Paschal Donohoe will make sure that you are kept up to date with information on this project across the coming weeks.
SHERIFF STREET UPPER DRAINAGE WORKS
Irish Water has selected Ward & Burke Construction to advance the next phase of the North Docklands Sewerage Scheme. This phase will see the construction of 570m of new wastewater network along Sheriff Street Upper between the junctions of East Wall Road and New Wapping Street along with the construction of 330m of new wastewater network along Castleforbes Road between the junctions of North Wall Quay and Sheriff Street Upper. In order to minimise disruption, these new sections of wastewater network will be constructed using tunnelling methods in Sherriff Street and Castleforbes Street. The City Council gave to close Sheriff Street Upper to facilitate these major works and it will remain closed until Monday May 1st 2017. For the duration of these works, the following Traffic Management Plan will be in place:
• Traffic on Seville Place wishing to travel on Sheriff Street Upper to East Wall Road will be diverted via Guild Street and North Wall Quay.
• Traffic on East Wall Road wishing to travel on Sheriff Street Upper to Seville Place will be diverted via North Wall Quay and Guild Street.
• Traffic on East Wall Road wishing to travel on Sheriff Street Upper to East Road will be diverted via North Wall Quay and New Wapping Street.
• Traffic on East Road wishing to travel on Sheriff Street Upper to East Wall Road will be diverted via New Wapping Street and North Wall Quay.
• Pedestrian and local access will be maintained.
TAOISEACH LAUNCHES FINE GAEL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO MULVEY REPORT
In the aftermath of the shooting of Martin O’Rourke on Sheriff Street and others across the Inner City last year, the Taoiseach asked Kieran Mulvey to examine the challenges facing the communities of the north east inner city and how they can be over-come. Last month, Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., Minister Paschal Donohoe, Kieran Mulvey and I detailed the Government’s intent in how these challenges will be tackled and how change will be implemented. Four priority areas were highlighted including:
• Tackling crime and drugs,
• Maximising educational, training opportunities and creating local employment opportunities,
• Ensuring there exists an integrated social services system,
• Improving the physical landscape.
Minister Paschal Donohoe has ring-fenced a budget of €5million to ensure the programme is driven from day one. Other immediate steps to be taken are the increase of 30 new Gardai this year, retaining Rutland Street school in public ownership and that its used as a community hub and to advance the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda station. As the Taoiseach said in Sheriff Y.C. Hall, there have been too many ‘false dawns’ for the North Wall area. Our Fine Gael Government wants to make this happen for real and that is why the new Implementation Group to oversee the delivery of the Mulvey Report needs community engagement and support. The Taoiseach will announce shortly the person who will lead this work but whoever it is will need the support and help of residents right across the north-east inner city.
PROGRESS REPORT ON 2016 INTERIM GOVERNMENT MEASURES
When Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. met with the community in St.Laurence O’Toole’s CBS N.S. on the second occasion he announced details of €4.7m of funding to support a series of initial measures. Myself and Minister Paschal Donohoe want to update you on the progress that has been made to date on the delivery of these projects in the North Wall area:
• Sports Development Officer appointed to North Wall area – in place since September 2016.
• Re-surfacing of existing pitch next to Sheriff Y.C. Hall – works completed.
• New pitch at Sheriff Recreation Centre – works ongoing and expect to completed by early April.
• Small Sports Grants – applications sought and €113,000 allocated to 26 clubs and groups.
• Sports equipment for youth groups – €50,000 allocated to 14 clubs.
• Capital Grant to O’Connell Boys GAA – €50,000 allocated.
• FAI Sports Coaching Programme, FUTSAL – 25 participants in a 9 month course.
• GAA Coaching Programme – Dublin County Board
• NEIC ‘BallyMacSheriff’ Halloween Festival
• Reader in Residence Project & CoderDojo Digital skills – Charleville Mall Library
• Home from Home Learning Spaces – Early Learning Initiative & National College of Ireland
• Trinity Access Programme
• North Wall CDP Crèche Play Area – €30,000 allocated.
• Sheriff Street Recreation Centre – equipment upgraded.
• Public Lighting upgrades & column painting
• Sheriff Street Upper Lifting Bridge
• Public Domain improvements including road re-surfacing works
In total, €4.75m was made available to Dublin City Council. This funding was made available to reiterate the commitment of the Fine Gael Government led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. to the Inner City and that the actions being proposed are not just ten or twenty years down the line but in the here and the now. Local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. has ring-fenced an additional €5m this year in the Budget for the North Inner City and we will working to get the Mulvey Implementation Group up and running so that those recommendations are delivered and that you can see that they are delivered.
NORTH WALL TRAFFIC MATTERS
The Council’s Traffic Group has refused requests for the placing of a Yellow box at the junction of Seville Place and Coburg Place. It is also did not recommend the installation of Double Yellow Lines on Sheriff Street Upper and Abercorn Road. Given the number of incidents in recent months of pedestrians coming off second best against cyclists on Seville Place, I have requested the Transportation Department to examine the possibility of installing cyclist calming measures at a number of junctions on Seville Place at the junction with Oriel Street and again at the Sheriff Street Upper junction. Only last week, another local woman was knocked down and, I understand, hospitalised as a result of the cyclist ignoring the lights and knocking her over. As and when I have more information on this proposal, I will share it with you.
SOCIAL WELFARE PAYMENTS – INCREASES TAKE EFFECT!
Increases to social welfare payment announced in the Budget last October by local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. are now coming into effect. Recipients of the Carers’ Allowance and the State Pension received the €5 increase last Thursday and Friday. Recipients of other payments including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Illness Benefit and Disability Allowance will see their payments increased this week. For many in receipt of social welfare payment, this increase is the first since 2009. Our Fine Gael Government is committed to ensuring that the proceeds of our improving economy are experienced by everyone in society.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee