Central Area Committee October

 

Questions to City Manager        
        Meeting 13th November 2012

 

 

Q56      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to investigate the issue of storage of material by Murphys at Merchants Yard (East Wall Rd)
Murphys are currently carrying out major works on behalf of Bord Gais. They are using a site at Merchants Yard, East Wall Rd, to operate from and store material. 
This has raised concerns for residents in houses on the adjacent Merchants Road. Aggregate material is stored in the yard quite close to the boundary with the housing and when lifted by mechanical grabbers this is causing houses to vibrate. 
Residents are not necessarily objecting to the use of the yard, but they feel that the aggregate material could be stored elsewhere in the yard and prevent the issues of concern regarding their houses. Could steps be taken to ensure Murphys comply with this request?

 

Reply:

The Area Office has made contact with JP Mc Donnell, site agent for Murphy’s and he informed us that all aggregate has been moved away from the boundary walls of Merchants road to a new compound south of the existing compound. They will not be storing aggregate in the future near the houses.

 

            Q57      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to explain why there were no Halloween festivities in Cabra given the fact that we have a fully staffed Cabra for Youth Service, a Community Development Project, a Community Development Section in Dublin City Council and possibly more funded positions in the area.  Did Dublin City Council provide funding for any activities in the area over the Halloween period?

 

Reply: 

The City Council Community Development Staff supported 13 Halloween Festivals / Activities in the Central Area this year.

A number of Festivals / Activities were supported in the Cabra Area as follows:

Ventry Park Recreation Centre, Christ The King Youth Club, Annamoe Summer Project and Cabra’s Got Talent - organised by Cabra Youth Service and held in John Paul Sports and Leisure Centre over the bank Holiday Weekend.

A number of Halloween Celebrations for all age groups were organised in St. Finbarr’s G.A.A. Club but did not require any assistance from the City Council.

The Community Development Staff also organised the very successful Drumalee Halloween Celebration in Aughrim Street Sports Hall on Halloween night with the local residents. It was the first Halloween Initiative in recent years. In addition the City Council Sports staff ran a Halloween Sports Programme.
Funding was provided to most groups in the Central Area at a costing of €10,000 approximately.

 

Q58      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).
Details supplied: to detail the expenditure by Dublin City Council on the Halloween festivities in the following areas as reported by the Dublin City Council Press Office?
a)      Otherworld Ballymun Halloween Festival
b)      Ringsend Halloween Festival
c)      Finglas Halloween Festival
d)     Ballyfermot
e)      Cherry Orchard Halloween
f)       Kilbarrack
g)      Donaghmede
h)      Edenmore
i)        Darndale

Reply:
a)      Otherworld Ballymun Halloween Festival

The Ballymun Otherworld Festival, which is organised by a multi agency group with Dublin City Council as the lead partner, receives €40,700 funding from Dublin City Council, out of a total budget of €44,000.  The festival opens at the beginning of September with a two   month art programme in schools and youth clubs throughout Ballymun, and             culminates in the outdoor event on Halloween night.  The festival relies on a huge amount of human capital and ‘in kind’ support from all the agencies and groups involved.  It has been held for 13 years, and has grown in strength each year.  An Garda Siochána also provide significant resources on Halloween night.

b)         Ringsend Halloween Festival

The matter has been referred to the South East Area Office who will reply to the Councillor directly.
c)    Finglas Halloween Festival
The Finglas Halloween Festival costs the City Council €30,000. The event is arranged and managed by the local area office with assistance of local community groups and other agencies in the Finglas area.  The costs associated with the event include stage hire, Health and Safety requirements, Fireworks, logistics and hire of equipment.
d)         Ballyfermot
Expenditure by Dublin City Council on the Halloween Party in the Ballyfermot Civic Centre, organised in conjunction with the D.10 Youth Club was €600.
Convent Lawns Youth Group hosted a haunted house, fancy dress and children’s party in the community building.  Dublin City Council provided a grant of €400 to support this event.
e)         Cherry Orchard Halloween
The total allocation of funding to the Cherry Orchard Halloween Festivities by Dublin City Council which included the Halloween Fun Day in the Cherry Orchard Equine and Educational Training Centre on  Thursday 25th October, The Halloween Parade, Children’s Disco and Firework Display on Wednesday 31st October was €5,500.
f)g)h)i)  Kilbarrack, Donaghmede, Edenmore, Darndale
The cost of the Fireworks in the area was €9,000.  This covered Kilbarrack, Donaghmede, Edenmore and Darndale.  Further cost for Darndale Festival from Community Development was €1392.  Contribution to Donnycarney and Santry Festivities from Community Development was €212.

 

It should be noted The City Council Community Development Staff also supported 13 Halloween Festivals / Activities in the Central Area this year.

A number of Festivals / Activities were supported in the Cabra Area as follows:

Ventry Park Recreation Centre, Christ The King Youth Club, Annamoe Summer Project and Cabra’s Got Talent - organised by Cabra Youth Service and held in John Paul Sports and Leisure Centre over the bank Holiday Weekend.

A number of Halloween Celebrations for all age groups were organised in St. Finbarr’s G.A.A. Club but did not require any assistance from the City Council.

The Community Development Staff also organised the very successful Drumalee Halloween Celebration in Aughrim Street Sports Hall on Halloween night with the local residents. It was the first Halloween Initiative in recent years. In addition the City Council Sports staff ran a Halloween Sports Programme.
Funding was provided to most groups in the Central Area at a costing of €10,000 approximately.

Q59      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to detail the following in relation to the Household Tax

  1. The number of letters sent out to the owners of single properties in the

Dublin Central area?

  1. The number of letters sent out to the owners of multiple properties in the

Dublin Central area?

  1. The number of letters sent out to the owners of single properties in the

complete Dublin area?

  1. The number of letters sent out to the owners of multiple properties in the

complete Dublin area?

 

Reply:

The information on payment of and registration for the Household Charge is held at local authority level only.

Reminder letters have issued in two phases as follows since July 2012:

 

Phase One

Breakdown

Date

No. of Letters issued

Single Owners

Multiple Owners

July 2012

12,809

7,656

5,153

August 2012

5,373

4,033

1,340

September 2012

4,113

3,048

1,065

 

Phase Two (to date)

 

 

 

Date

No.of Letters issued

Single Owners

Double Owners

Multiple Owners

October 2012

28,216**

10,872

14,755

2,589

**Note – this figure includes 2,589 letters issuing to 705 property addresses where multiple owners are registered.  The number of multiple owners ranges from 3-15 owners of each property.

As of 5th November, the charge has been paid in respect of 136,728 properties, and registrations in respect of a further 1,261, giving a total compliance level for Dublin City of 71.7%.

 

Q60      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to comment on the contents of the attached.  Can he clarify why the offered documents were not acceptable when the resident was applying for permit parking (Iona Road)?

 

Reply:

The Dublin City Council Parking Control Bye-Laws, 2012 regulate Pay & Display and Permit Parking in the City Council area. The bye-laws make specific reference to the supporting documentation and proofs of residence required to obtain a Residents’ Parking Permit. All issues relating to the bye-laws and parking control are kept under review and where necessary revised appropriately, subject to appropriate public consultation and agreement of the members of the City Council.

The proofs required are considered the absolute minimum necessary to establish with some degree of certainty that the applicant is a resident of the road to which the permit will apply, is entitled to a Residents’ Parking Permit, is authorised to drive the vehicle to which the permit relates and that the vehicle is ordinarily kept at that address.

While I appreciate that not all residents may be in favour of the introduction of such schemes, and that there is inevitably some level of inconvenience involved, having established that the majority of residents are in favour of the restricted parking at the location and introduced a scheme, it is essential that the City Council ensure that any applicant is entitled to obtain a Residents’ Parking Permit, as outlined above.

In relation to the particular application, on both occasions, when submitted by post and in person, was incomplete, i.e., did not include a copy of his driving licence, it is entirely appropriate that his application be declined by the Customer Service Agent. I understand that the Customer Service Agent also helpfully attempted to provide an alternative solution to the residents difficulty with his application. Notwithstanding this, it is also appropriate, given the circumstances, that a supervisor should subsequently authorise his application in the manner it was.

With regard to the specific questions raised by the resident I can advise as follows,

  1. Why won’t either license do in a case of an insurance policy which covers both drivers?

 

A Residents’ Parking Permit can only be issued in an individual’s name in respect of one vehicle. Having made the application in his own name, the submission of a copy of another individuals driving licence, regardless of their relationship, could not be considered adequate for the purpose of establishing his eligibility and entitlement to the Residents’ Parking Permit.

  1. Why won’t a loss of license form and/or receipt do?

 

As indicated, the bye-laws state that a copy of a driving licence be submitted. However, alternative evidence was subsequently accepted as adequate proof, albeit, with supervisory approval. I reiterate that this is appropriate in the circumstances.

  1. Most importantly, why don’t they have access to the tax-offices computer system as they know who has a valid driver’s licence and insurance anyway and could avoid all the above?

 

While I appreciate this suggestion and recognise its particular merits, such a facility is not possible. While this type of information is available to Motor Tax Office staff on a day-to-day operational basis, for data protection and privacy reasons, such information is not readily accessible or available to any other City Council staff.

It is regrettable that, on this occasion, the resident had to resort to personal attendance at the Customer Services Centre to resolve the issues regarding his application. Call Centre Agents and indeed Parking Enforcement Section staff are available by telephone and e-mail to provide appropriate advice in all circumstances, including resolution of difficulties such as that experienced by the resident, without the need for attendance in person at the Customer Services Centre.

Email in relation to Q.60 November CAC Meeting – Cllr Cieran Perry

Anyway the time came to apply for a permit and I received a form looking for 2 proofs of identity, insurance policy and a photocopy of a drivers license.

Luck would have it that I lost my license the week before last and I had to travel to the US last week for work last week.

I assumed I could apply using the joint insurance policy my wife and I have for our single car, as well as 2 proofs of identity in my name, and a copy of my wife's full drivers license.

No such luck!.

While I was in the US we got a letter declining our application on the grounds that it wasn't my license.

This morning I went to the Civic offices this morning and tried to explain to the guy behind the counter that I'd lost my license and showed the Garda form with stamp etc.

He still wouldn't have any of it and wouldn't accept my wife's license and would only accept a new license from me which I explained might take weeks to receive.

I explained that my wife is 8.5 months pregnant and asked what would happen if my car was clamped etc., or if they expected her to run in and out feeding the meter in the interim period for weeks etc.

He was unmoved and kept trotting out the jobsworth party line.

After 10-15 mins of fruitless discussion I demanded to see his boss.

Eventually after listening to my concerns and situation she eventually deigned to accept a receipt from the motor tax office stating that I had applied for and was awaiting my license.

I suggested to her that their forms and procedures needed to take account of the reality rather than their bureaucratic utopia where people never lose licenses etc.

She was again sticking to the party line that this is the way that they do things etc. and I saw no benefit in continuing the discussion.

I thanked her for her comprehension in comparison to her colleague and left and went over to the motor tax office and things couldn't have been more different.

Pleasant, efficient and polite staff who couldn't do enough to help.

I returned to the civic offices to deal with a 3rd person, a gentleman, who was very polite and helpful and admitted that the process was very bureaucratic.

My questions are:

  1. Why won't either license do in the case of an insurance policy which covers both drivers?
  2. Why won't a loss of license form and/or receipt do?
  3. Most importantly why don't they have access to the tax-offices computer system as they know who has a valid driver's license and insurance anyway and could avoid all of the above?

I find it ridiculous that I had to take a morning off work in the technology business I run with a partner which employs 10 people to sort out what I consider to be Dublin Civic Office's bureaucratic problem!

Is this the sort of service and bureaucratic inflexibility we are paying taxes to receive?

Regards,

 

Q61      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to detail the procedure in relation to the issuing of litter fines for unapproved signage.  Are people informed that it is illegal to erect signage without approval and given a chance to remove the offending item before a fine is issued?

 

Reply:

There is a postering protocol in place, where people wishing to erect posters apply to D.C.C for permission to erect posters. Posters that are erected without permission are subject to fines being issued to the person or group responsible with the exception of political parties at election or referendum time. Fines issued by litter wardens can be appealed to the appeals officer, contact details on the fine.  Signage on private property requires planning permission and is subject to action by Planning Enforcement.

Q62      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to detail the following

  1. The number of fines issued for unapproved signage in the Cabra area in the last year?
  2. The number of fines paid for unapproved signage in the Cabra area in the last year?
  3. The number of cases for unapproved signage in the Cabra area which went to court in the last year?

 

 

Reply:

  1. 6 fines were issued under Section 19.1 of the Litter Pollution Acts since 01/11/2011 in the Cabra area.
  2. One of the above fines was paid.
  3. The above fines were issued in October 2012 and remain unpaid, a reminder was forwarded to the alleged offenders on 01/11/2012 informing them that if payment is not made within 10 days we shall instruct our solicitor to issue appropriate legal proceedings against them without further notice.

           

Q63      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to answer the following questions

  1. When was the CCTV re-installed at the bottle bank on Carnlough Road?
  2. How many instances of illegal dumping have been recorded since the CCTV was re-installed?
  3. How many fines have been issued since the CCTV was re-installed?

 

 

Reply:

  1. CCTV was re-installed at bottle bank at Carnlough Road on 11/10/2012.
  2. Footage has not been viewed to date.
  3. No fines have been issued to date.

 

Q64      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to provide an update on any interest expressed in the Choice Based Lettings in Sheriff Street

 

Reply:

.
Three vacancies in the Sheriff St area were advertised under the Choice Based Lettings Scheme on 4th October. The closing date for applications was Friday 12th October. Fourteen applications were received for the one bedroom vacancies in Spencer Dock and three applications were received for the two bedroom vacancy in Crinan Strand. Both the successful and unsuccessful applicants were informed by letter on 17th October and the successful applicants signed their tenancy agreements on Tuesday 30th October. 

 

Q65      Councillor Cieran Perry

To ask the Manager (details supplied).

Details supplied: to reply to the attached residents letter in relation to flooding in the Mayor Street Upper area

 

Reply:

 

Drainage Division staff will liaise with the Central Area Office to arrange the meeting as requested by the North Port Dwellers Association.