Central Area Committee December

Question to City Manager
Meeting 14th December 2010


Q36.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager, can he provide an update on the discussions between the Council’s Chief Valuers Office and both the Department and St. Finbarrs GAA Club in relation to Gaelscoil Bharra in Cabra?  Have terms and conditions been agreed and when can we expect the matter to come before the elected members in accordance with Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001.


The Council’s Chief Valuer issued terms and conditions to the Department of Education and Skills for their consideration and these are subject to ongoing negotiations.

The matter will be put before the elected members in accordance with Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001 at the earliest opportunity assuming all matters have been agreed.


Q37.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager in relation to Q44 November Central Area Committee Meeting, can the Manager provide a report on the following for each unoccupied housing unit:-

  • The address of each unit under repair

  • How long each unit under repair has been in Dublin City Council procession.

  • When they are likely to be ready for letting.


This information will be sent directly to Councillor Perry within two weeks.


Q38.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to provide a breakdown of the expenditure to be spent on proposed roadworks at Blackhorse Avenue including the cost of the land acquisition.


Blackhorse Avenue (Baggot Road to the Cabra Gate) – costs to date:-

Design and Supervision                                                             €169,622.90
Land Acquisition (including legal costs)                                      €209,012.00
Construction (Site investigation, move services and remove wall)            €196,313.94
Other (public lighting and utilities)                                               €  92,946.43



A grant of €492,759 has been received from the Department of Transport for this Scheme.

Work has now commenced on the main contract.

In addition, the Road Maintenance Division has spent approximately €2000 in routine maintenance on this section of road.


Q39.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager, in relation to Question 46 September Central Area Committee, can the Manager give an update on the legal proceedings taken against McGinley Construction in relation to the apartment complex at 55 – 58 East Road, East Wall.


The application to the High Court pursuant to Section 23 of the Fire Services Act 1981 is adjourned to allow the developer to comply with the Fire Safety Notice issued in respect of the premises.  A prosecution is pending also.


Q40.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to outline the tendering process undertaken for the contracts for refurbishment of voids and what is the average cost of each refurbishment of same voids.


Void or empty City Council housing units nearly always require some refurbishment / upgrading prior to being relet.  This upgrading has traditionally been done in two ways, by direct labour from the local housing maintenance depot or by private contractors.  Up to 2009, the decision to place a void with a contractor was made by the local Area Maintenance Officer.  The contractor did not price the works, but was given a list of the works needed.  A Schedule of Rates for all works carried out in voids was used by the contractor to calculate his costs and he invoiced in accordance with the schedule.  Checks were carried out to ensure that the works invoiced had been carried out and payment was then made, subject to retention of 5% of the monies due.

In April 2009, due to the difficult financial position of the City Council, a decision was made by Housing Senior Management to stop the use of contractors working on voids.  In time, this decision was amended so that contractors would be allowed work on a small number of voids where the extent of the work was so great that it would tie up the resources of the local depot for a lengthy period of time.

This new procedure for using contractors in housing maintenance is as follows:-

  • The local Area Maintenance Officer examines the amount of work to be done on a void and makes a judgement call as to whether a contractor is required.

  • The Area Maintenance Officer contacts the Senior Executive Officer in Housing Maintenance who then decides if it is in order, and will only give approval when he is fully satisfied that the particular works cannot be carried out by the direct labour resource in the particular depot.

  • The Area Maintenance Officer seeks three tenders from the approved list of contractors.  If the Senior Executive Officer is satisfied with the lowest tender, he recommends to his Executive Manager that the tender be accepted and the Executive Manager approves the award of the contract.  This is done by way of Manager’s Order.

  • The Area Maintenance Officer oversees the carrying out of the work by the contractor and approves it for payment when he is satisfied that all works have been completed, subject to retention of 5% of the amount due.

The average cost of refurbishing a flat is €8,882 and the average cost of refurbishing a house is €19,117.

In 2010, the majority of voids were refurbished by Direct Labour.  Outside contractors are engaged in order to decrease the turnaround time of refurbishing void properties and in turn increase the number of available lettings for the housing list.


Q41.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to outline the tendering process undertaken for the provision of ‘extensions’ on Dublin City Council properties and how recent are the costings of €80,000 per extension (on average) considering the current decline in building costs.


A panel of Building Contractors was drawn up in 2009, for the duration of three years, with the option to extend for further year approximately.  There are twenty one contractors on this panel.

Each extension, when approved by the Senior Executive Officer of Housing Maintenance and our City Architects, is tendered to five contractors from this panel.

The successful tender, usually the lowest price, subject to satisfying the necessary criteria, is awarded the contract.  This is done by way of Manager’s Order.

Previously, construction costs for extensions were averaging €80,000.  However, we estimate current tenders to decline to approximately €70,000 or in some cases a little less than that figure.


Q42.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to organise the erection of a sign at the entrance of Claremont indicating the location of Clareville Court.


Road Maintenance will add this name-plate to the list for fabrication.  Work will be done in the New Year.


Q43.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to report on any progress made in my request to Fingal County Council to provide double yellow lines at the Revenue Commissioners building in Ashtown.  Vehicles parking on this narrow road are a safety hazard.


The Councillors request was forwarded to the Traffic Department in Fingal County Council. They have replied as follows:

“This area will be examined in conjunction with the Gardai to determine the need for the imposition of further parking restrictions.  Any additional lining recommended will be provided on completion of formalities with An Garda Siochana subject to the availability of the necessary resources.”


Q44.     Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the City Manager to list the roads considered “main” roads in the Cabra/Glasnevin area in relation to gritting during extreme weather conditions.


Dublin City Council has a map on the dublincity.ie  website showing what routes are       prioritised. The routes prioritised include:

  • National Primary & secondary roads

  • Most of the Dublin Bus routes

Gritting occurs between 3am & 7am, when required.

Main roads such as North Circular Road, Faussagh Avenue & Blackhorse Avenue are all included on the Gritting Route & are gritted every time the gritting lorries are sent out.