Hi, there! — Welcome to the third issue of my new monthly newsletter, where you can keep up to date on my work in Cork City North East.
Please let me know what you think about the newsletter. I'll incorporate feedback as we learn what's good for you. If you have questions or want to raise an issue, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best!
Motions and notions
Every month, each councillor can submit up to four motions to Cork City Council and ask two formal questions to the Chief Executive. One of these questions is asked at the Local Area Committee and must be about local operational issues.
Before the deadline each month, I meet with my local group, the Cork City North Greens and we agree motions and questions for the month ahead. We call this our "motions and notions" meeting :-)
If you have ideas or suggestions for a motion, or have a question you want asked, just let me know!
Or join the Cork City North Greens ... my.greenparty.ie/join
"To ask the Chief Executive to advise Cork City Council on legal options, including injunction, that may be brought against Airbnb (and other similar companies) so that it will cease advertising illegal short-term lettings in the City of Cork."
"To ask the Chief Executive for the programme of works to remove litter and illegal dumping from the River Bride and the River Glen; and the programme of maintenance of the culvert system in Blackpool."
"That Cork City Council supports the City and County Managers Association in their clear view that the additional specialist staffing resources identified by them need to be in place in 2022 to ensure that local authorities realise our ambition to deliver transformative change and measurable climate action across our cities and counties; and that this message will be forwarded to the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and to all local authorities in Ireland."
"That Cork City Council reaffirms the motion of no confidence in the board of An Bord Pleanála passed by this Council on 13 July 2020; and that this message shall be forwarded to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and to all other local authorities in Ireland."
"That Cork City Council will prepare a policy on future uses of public telephone kiosks, including alternative uses, such as community book exchange locations, or their removal as unnecessary street clutter."
"That Cork City Council will provide a bike assembly station at Cork Airport as part of BusConnects and/or other relevant cycling infrastructure projects."
New housing options
This month, Cork City Council announced the start of new public housing options for the city. These are in addition to traditional social housing projects. The new housing options are "affordable housing" and "cost rental".
Affordable housing will mean properties sold at a discount to first-time buyers and other eligible applicants. The home will be owned by the house buyer. However, the state will retain and interest in the house, which can be bought out later.
Cost rental means that a person will be a private tenant. However, the landlord will be an Approved Housing Body and the rents will be set at the cost of the scheme. Because the rent is on a not-for-profit basis, these rents will be much lower than current market rent.
Cost rental in particular is seen as critical for economic and employment viability of the city.
The initial stream of projects, which will begin being advertised shortly, include:
Cost rental (127 houses/apartments):
Ballinglanna, Glanmire (32)
Lancaster Gate (73)
Maryborough Ridge, Douglas (22)
Affordable housing (253 houses):
Boherboy Road, Mayfield (117)
Crann Danach, Montenotte (27)
Hawkes Road, Bishopstown (35)
O’Cualann Housing, Knocknaheeny (17)
Churchfield East (21)
Coolflugh, Tower (36)
In addition, the Land Development Agency will also be developing affordable housing and cost rental at St Kevin's in Sunday's Well and a very large land bank near Kilcully.
I've also been working on the issue of tackling illegal Airbnb-type rentals, which are taking away from houses that should be used for people who need homes. You can listen back to an interview I did during the month for the Claire Byrne programme on RTÉ Radio 1.
Footpaths and crossings
It has been a good news month for safe walking facilities across the ward. I’m very pleased to confirm that Cork City Council will begin design of a comprehensive scheme for the Banduff Road in response to a motion that I put.
This is being funded by the National Transport Authority, under my Green Party colleague, Eamon Ryan.
The overall objective of this scheme is to provide safe high quality and continuous footpaths and pedestrian crossings along the Banduff Road. These will allow vulnerable road users to commute and access local amenities. Other road safety measures will also be considered, as well as the provision of bus stops for new public transport services.
In the coming weeks, I expect a new hourly bus service serving the Banduff Road and travelling to Blackpool and the city centre to be confirmed, which will come into effect from 2023.
Engineers are also being assigned to design a new pedestrian crossing of the Old Youghal Road at the junction with the Banduff Road. This is being funded through your Local Property Tax from the ward budget agreed by local councillors.
Works will also begin on over 1¼km of footpaths, crossings, traffic calming and more in Upper Glanmire. The purpose is to bring pedestrian facilities in Upper Glanmire to a standard expected in a city area. These are the first of two stages that will also extend safe pedestrian facilities to the Kilcully area too.
Cork City Council operates a system of small grants called "ward funds", which are administered by individual councillors. In the interest of fairness in allocating these funds, I will be making allocations throughout the year for specific community-based projects.
Last month, I approved applications for ward funds by community groups, including:
Glenthorn FC in Ballyvolane to support soccer and fun activity sessions for kids with additional needs.
Farranree Taekwondo Club to support teenagers travel and equipment costs to the Taekwondo World Championships in the Netherlands.
Surf2Heal to purchase new surf boards and light windproof jackets to teach surfing to children and young people with autism.
Residents associations on Wellington Road, Lower Glanmire Road Glanmire and other places to fund local improvements likes trees and flower beds.
Friends of the Glen to help fund the creation of The Glen River Park Handbook and launch events during Heritage Week.
Community and other groups can apply for ward funds for specific capital projects (e.g. planting, materials, etc.) or publicly accessible events.
I've made a decision to target ward funds towards capital projects and public events in the ward (as opposed to on-going costs, like insurance). This is in order to maximise the benefit of the funds in supporting specific projects and work that organisations undertake.
Please note that restrictions apply to the allocation of ward funds, especially for citywide organisations. If you have any question, please just ask and I will be happy to answer.
In the news...
Funding approved for pedestrian improvement works along busy road on Cork’s northside
Cork City Council has confirmed that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved funding for the scheme at Banduff Rd in Mayfield and ...
Cork City Council to explore bicycle lift for steep Cork hill
It follows a motion tabled by Green Party councillor Oliver Moran who asked that the council would look at the feasibility and suitability of ...
Backlog in planning complaints needs to be addressed, says Cork city councillor
Information provided to Oliver Moran by the council showed a growing backlog of planning enforcement cases still being investigated at the end of ...
Keep in touch
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Have a good month!