It is not long until Christmas, and I hope that you and your family are doing well! It has been a busy time at the County Council, with the adoption of the Budget for next year and the strong levels of investment which we will see in our area in the months ahead. I continue to raise issues on behalf of our communities, and to engage and meet with people right across the area. If there is anything with which I can offer you advice, please get in touch.
During November, South Dublin County Council voted to adopt its Budget for 2023. This is the largest budget in the lifetime of this Council of €306 million and something which has been achieved without increasing Local Property Tax, Rates or Rents. I secured a number of priorities as part of the Budget Process, including protection of front-line services across the Council, record levels of investment in housing and housing maintenance and significant investment in tree maintenance, footpath repair, cycle track maintenance and hedge cutting. I also secured spending commitments to investment in our villages and our heritage, including Waterstown House, Lucan village, the Grand Canal Greenway, the 12th Lock and a commitment to acquire lands to facilitate an active travel route including the Silver Bridge as well as protecting and increasing investment in our parks, pitches and playgrounds, including redevelopment of Quarryvale Park. If you would like to learn more, please get in touch with me.
Hermitage Park & Collinstown Park Crossings
I am really pleased to let people know that after almost three years of motions, representations and questions, the Council have confirmed to me that they will install a signal-controlled crossing at Hermitage Park, which has been long sought by local residents. It will become operational in Q1 2023. This is something that will be of huge benefit to residents on estates on Ballyowen Road/St Loman’s Road. I am also really pleased to see that a similar crossing is being installed at the entrance to Collinstown Park – something which I have also worked hard to secure for local residents.
Improved Public Lighting at Foxborough and Balgaddy
I am delighted to confirm that, following my request, brackets to extend the lights over the trees will be installed on the public lighting columns on the stretch of Griffeen Avenue between the R136 and Foxborough Road, and the lights on Balgaddy Road as far as Lucan CNS will be upgraded to LED. This is really positive progress which will go some distance to addressing safety concerns raised by residents in Balgaddy and Foxborough. I am also really pleased to see installation of lights taking place on the “Black Path” between Wood Avens and St Ronan’s estate. This was something highlighted by the Community Safety and Inclusivity Study, and represents a victory for the community that campaigned for it.
Local Policing Forum Report
There was a great turn out at the recent public meeting of the Local Policing Forum. It was a really productive discussion and members of the public were able to ask questions and raise concerns to senior Garda management. There were a few takeaways for me. First, Garda presence is the most desired and among the most effective way in making people feel safer in public places. Community policing is key, but must be part of a broader solution. Second, we need to be ever-vigilant with regard to drugs – from preventing our children and young people being recruited into the illegal drugs trade and dealing with the purchase of illegal drugs that fuels the problem. Finally, we need proactive outreach to at risk young people, supported by proper infrastructure and active community groups. These are priorities for me as a representative and things I will continue to champion.
Policing in Palmerstown
Since being elected, I have been expressing my concern at the lack of a unified policing approach for Palmerstown. Following my recent visits to estates in Palmerstown, I am firmly of the view that there should be only one station to oversee Palmerstown policing and it is something I am pursuing with my Oireachtas colleagues. However, I was disappointed by the decision of the Ballyfermot Local Policing Forum not to invite a representative of the people of Palmerstown to join their group and sought the support of my fellow councillors to convey that disappointment.
BusConnects Lucan Route
The National Transport Authority has published its proposal for the Lucan to City Centre Corridor Scheme. You can see the full detail at https://lucanscheme.ie. Submissions can be made to An Bord Pleanála between 2 November 2022 to 11 January 2023. If you would be interested in attending a webinar on the proposals, please let me know by return email or on through the contact form on my website. If you have feedback on the roll-out of the G-spine routes, please get in touch as well.
Grand Canal Greenway Phase 1 Approved!
I’m really proud that we voted at November’s Council meeting to approve the Grand Canal Greenway connecting the Grand Canal with Lucan Village and providing active travel routes for schools right across our area, providing safe cycling and walking infrastructure. I spoke in support (view my speech here), but also secured a commitment from Council management to look at a link connecting the Greenway with cycling infrastructure in western Lucan through Vesey Park. I’m also pleased that enabling works for the Grand Canal Hazelhatch segment will start in the coming months. And in related news, the ESB ebikes are now available for hire at the stand on St Loman’s Road, by the entrance to Liffey Valley Estate.
MEPs visit St Thomas’ JNS
I was privileged to be in St Thomas JNS to mark the start of the Blue Star Programme for second class, joined by Barry Andrews MEP, (as well as Frances Fitzgerald MEP and Cllr Vicki Casserly). The highlight was all the facts about the EU that Ms Finnegan’s class were able to divulge! This is a programme to enable children to learn about the EU. If your school would like to learn more, just let me know!
Garda Street Leagues underway!
The final Late Night Garda League of 2022 takes place on 3rd December – more information here. This is a really proactive collaboration between the Garda Siochána, Ronanstown Youth Service and the FAI and is a superb example of how to deliver positive engagement with the local community.
Christmas Trees for a Great Cause!
I am delighted to support this great Palmerstown tradition! Stagg’s Forest Harvest are selling their Christmas trees this year, with all profits going to support the people of Ambo in Ethiopia this year. See this post for further details.
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