Central Area Committee July


Questions to City Manager        
        Meeting 10th July 2012


Q21      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager to provide the following details in relation to litter fines?
How many litter fines (including illegally dumped bags) have been issued per month in Dublin Central for the last 3 years?
a)      How many of these fines have been paid?
b)      How many of these fines have been appealed?
c)      How many prosecutions have been initiated?
d)      How many convictions have taken place?



The requested information is currently being compiled and a report will issue directly to the councillor.



Q22      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager details of the total cost of the “A Better City For All” report and the proportion of the cost funded by Dublin City Council and BID?



There were 12 Stakeholders and Agencies involved in the Strategic Response Group which publishes the document entitled “A Better City for All”.  It is intended that the total cost of the exercise once the costs are finalised will be shared equally between the various participants thus minimising the costs to each of them.

Q23      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager the status of the boundary wall at the end of Ashington Dale, Navan Road, Dublin 7? Is this wall in charge of Dublin City Council?


This wall was erected when the adjacent housing estate was constructed by the developer of that estate.  It is not in charge of Dublin City Council.


Q24      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager for an update on the expansion of the Dublin Bikes Scheme and provide timescales for the various locations?


Dublin City Council has commenced negotiations with JCDecaux with the intention of expanding the hugely successful dublinbikes scheme. Dublin City Council has longer-term plans to expand the dublinbikes scheme from 550 bikes to 5,000 bikes.

As part of the negotiations, Dublin City Council has prioritised both the Dublin Docklands and Heuston Station areas of the city. The proposed expansion to the Docklands and Heuston areas will double the number of bike stations from 44 to approximately 100 and treble the number of bikes from 550 to 1,500.

The City Council anticipates that contract negotiations regarding the schemes expansion will be finalised by the end of Summer 2012. Following on from this, it is expected that construction of the Docklands/Heuston extension will commence before the end of 2012 with this expansion phase becoming operational in early 2013. Dublin City Council’s plans to expand the dublinbikes scheme are supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA) with the NTA funding the capital costs associated with the expansion process.



Q25      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager for an update on any discussions undertaken by DCC staff in relation to the panel from which fire fighters were previously recruited? Have any fire fighters been redeployed from the East Regional Control Centre to fill operational vacancies and if so, who has replaced them? 



The panel for Firefighters was originally formed in May 2007 and had been extended, beyond its normal life span, on a number of occasions.  In the past panels would generally have lasted only two to three years.  The panel consisted of 196 names.  The size of this panel reflected the level of recruitment at the time and would have been considered adequate to meet recruitment needs over a 2/3 year period.  A total of 83 people have been recruited from this panel.  Due to the general economic downturn funding in Dublin Fire Brigade and all other City Council Services has been curtailed.  While services have been maintained, it has not been possible to retain
            recruitment at previous levels.  Under the Croke Park Agreement we have
            looked at alternative ways to maintain staffing levels without external
recruitment.  We are currently in negotiations with the Trade Unions in relation to moving approximately 80 Firefighters in our Control Room back to operational duties. 
These will be replaced by dedicated Control Operators recruited in the first instance from within the four Dublin Authorities. Candidates will be selected by means of competition and will be required to successfully complete a 12 week training programme prior to appointment. As it is not proposed to make further external appointments to the service for a considerable period of time it has been decided not to extend the panel beyond 31st December 2011. 


Q26      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager to review the traffic light timing sequence at the junction of Fassaugh Avenue and Killala Road in Cabra?


Maintenance contractors attended site on the 26th July and found that a push button  unit had been vandalised.  This was causing the pedestrian phase to operate in every cycle.  The push button was replaced and the signals were left in working order.



Q27      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager : In light of the fact that the East Wall for All / Pride of Place family fun day could not take place in Fairview Park as agreed on July 1st - could the Manager comment on the failure of the City Council to fulfil its commitment in this instance, and also on the unnecessary costs incurred by the community in promoting and insuring an event which did not proceed as planned? Can the Manager provide a realistic completion date for the restoration work in Fairview Park? Can the Manager provide details of the issues which led to the work not being completed as scheduled?


The arrangement for the permission for the use of an area of Fairview Park for the proposed Family Fun Day by East Wall for All was subject to the availability of the site of the Improvement Project area within the park. This information was provided to the event organisers when application for permission was originally sought. At that time the schedule for the completion of works was planned to be finished by the proposed date of the East Wall Family Fun Day event. However due to the impact of the unseasonal weather conditions during the month of June the improvements area of the park was not available for this event. Parks and Landscape Services Division indicated that an alternative area within Fairview Park could be made available. However the representative for the community group indicated that in light of the unavailability of the project site and the weather forecast on the proposed date, the event would be held indoors at another location. The elements of the project impacted by recent poor weather conditions which led to a delay in completion include: the laying of the wet pour safety surface in the playground area, the polished concrete surface to the skateboard area, the movement of topsoil in specific areas of the soft landscaped areas, the placement of the wearing course of the general path and circulation system through the project site. The programme was also generally impacted by modification to the drainage detail as a result of shallow drainage runs, additional works to the eastern link pathway, revisions to mounding in the soft landscape area, and some additional works to the tensile performance structure. Based on an assessment of outstanding works on 3rd July 2012, which consist of the laying of wearing course on all pathways, some topsoil operations on central lawn area and some grass seeding operations, and the current weather forecast for the next two days being unfavourable for these works it is now anticipated that the works will take place from Friday 6th  July 2012 onwards, and require 2.5 full days approx to complete. It should be noted however that these works do require suitable weather conditions otherwise they would become unfit for purpose in a very short space of time. 


Q28      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager: Following the removal of the traffic barrier at the junction of East Wall Road and Alfie Byrne Road residents have experienced a very noticeable increase in HGV traffic using this section.  Can the Manager outline what steps are being taken to address this illegal activity? Can the Manager also give assurances that the affected residents will be consulted on the proposed measures and their knowledge of the impacts be fully considered


Roads and Traffic Department have commissioned a 48 hour traffic survey to determine the number of larger vehicles using East Wall Road.  Currently there is  extensive signage in place to advise motorists that a 3 tonne limit is in operation on the western end of East Wall Road.  Dublin City Council does not have a role in enforcing weight restrictions.  Dublin City Council will advise An Garda Siochana of traffic survey results when available.  In addition the Department has contacted the Irish Road Haulage Association again asking them to advise their members not to use the East Wall Road.  Roads and Traffic Department does not have any plans to introduce new traffic management measures on East Wall Road.


Q29      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager can the Manager provide an update on the issues and resolutions in relation to the use of the Sunnybank Hotel as short term emergency accommodation?


Dublin City Council Area Management and Homeless Services, at the request of public representatives facilitated a series of meetings in February/ March/ April 2012 with the Iona and District Residents Association in Drumcondra to address local matters of concern in relation to the usage of the Sunnybank Hotel. The Community Gardai in the area also participated in the meetings.

The primary focus of the meetings was in relation to the operation of the Sunnybank Hotel and perceived negative impact on the neighbourhood. The use of the Sunnybank Hotel for emergency accommodation for persons experiencing homelessness was associated with the belief that issues of anti-social behaviour, were now prevalent in the area. The necessity for such emergency accommodation for families was set out in the context of an ongoing response to homelessness, having regard to fluctuating presentations to homeless services and a very challenging broader economic climate.

The ‘Housing First’ principle, which was articulated as our key response to homelessness and which central government is steadfastly committed to, is the answer to effectively responding to a persons accommodation and support needs. However, we are reliant on the provision of an adequate supply of housing and are currently experiencing very real challenges in accessing housing for persons who are presenting to our services in the Dublin region. In the interim, maintaining an emergency response is necessary to provide accommodation to those in need and in particular for vulnerable families.

The tenor of the meetings was open, informative and constructive and established a basis for continuing dialogue. It was accepted that Garda monitoring of statistics in the area showed no evident increase in crime and that there was no causal linkage to persons place in the Sunnybank Hotel by Dublin City Council, in fact the view was that the cluster of pubs in the area generated population movement and activity generally throughout the area, which was subject to routine monitoring by the Gardai.
Gardai indicated as part of changes to community policing generally their intention to implement a new community policy model in the area which would have closer interaction with residents generally.


In terms of Dublin City Council Homeless Services, it was clearly outlined that placements were short-term and the introduction of a Family Case Management Team specific to users would ensure immediate and active intervention to secure positive outcomes for families concerned. While it was acknowledged that hotel accommodation is not desirable for families in this situation, the pressure on services necessitated availability of such options to prevent street homelessness arising for women and children in the city and its environs.

Dublin City Council Homeless Services remains committed to working with elected representatives and local residents to ensure that the usage of the Sunnybank Hotel, in the provision of emergency accommodation does not impact on the local community.