Dublin City Council


Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 01/02/2010


In relation to the three Dublin City Council swimming pools under threat of closure could the Manager answer the following questions:
- When is the current funding due to run out?
- What measures have been or will be taken to avoid closure when the allocated funding runs out?
- What engagement with the user groups/potential user groups and the catchment communities has taken place or has been initiated?
- What steps have been taken to promote greater use of the pools?
- In relation to user groups who did make alternative arrangements as advised by DCC officials, (and noting that some of these groups did so at great inconvenience and extra cost , and also further reducing the current use of the pool), what steps have been taken to encourage their return?

There is a limited budget available in 2010 to the Culture Recreation & Amenity Department to operate the three swimming pools at Sean McDermott Street, Crumlin and Coolock. The budget available is €600,000 and will allow for the three pools to continue to operate on a similar basis to 2009 for a period of approximately 6 months.

The Sport and Leisure Services Section has begun a process to inform and assist community groups who wish to fully operate these facilities from July 2010. A public meeting will be held for these community groups at the Wood Quay Venue on Wednesday 10th February 2010 at 6.30pm. This meeting will provide community groups with information in regard to the daily operation of a public swimming pool. The meeting will consist of a presentation from the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management and a question and answer session with a representative of a group who privately operate a public swimming pool.

The three swimming pools continue to operate as before providing both public swimming hours and access to groups who wish to avail of facilities.

User groups were not advised to make alternative arrangements. User Groups were advised that it was proposed to close the three swimming pools from the 1st January 2010 and that the decision would be a matter to be decided at estimates time. As the estimates process is in December it might be too late then to make alternative arrangements if the proposed closure went ahead.

Most Groups did not make alternative arrangements and are still using the City Council pools.

Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 01/02/2010

Can the Manager comment on the report in the Sunday Business Post of 17/1/2010 in relation to the Poolbeg Incinerator? Can he confirm that the reported “Revenue Share” agreement is correct and is in addition to the penalties DCC could be liable for if agreed waste targets are not met?

The article in the Sunday Business Post is not at all accurate in relation to any aspect of the Dublin Waste to Energy Project and in particular in relation to the contract.

Dublin City Council entered into the contract with the consent of the NDFA as the contract was deemed to represent good value for money. The contract is a Public Private Partnership and as such it involves a share of risks and benefits between the two parties.

The Contract between the Council and the Operator does not provide for an automatic fine on the Council if it does not need to use the 320,000 tonne capacity set aside for its use. There are 38 pages in the contract dealing with payment and performance. Fines can only be imposed if the Dublin Area Local Authorities do not directly or indirectly provide 320,000 tonnes of waste OR if a ‘revenue target’ for the plant is not met each year. The revenue target is the expected earnings of the plant and it is a commercially sensitive figure.

The Contract also deals with revenue share for the Dublin Local Authorities when the plant is operating above a certain level, a windfall revenue share if profits in the operation reach a certain level and a share in the sale of electricity generated by the plant and sold into the national grid.


Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 01/02/2010

Can the Manager provide details of the Watermains system in Dublin in relation to total amount of pipework in use, the amount of pipework requiring replacement, the cost so far of replacing pipework and the estimated cost of replacing the rest of the network?

Total length of mains is 2360km. Of this 1250km is over 50 years old. Not all of this would need to be replaced but a large percentage would. Using 75% gives a length of 940km for replacement. The remainder would need to be lined, scraped or some other treatment applied. Even some of the post 1960 mains may also be in poor condition. Only a detailed survey as part of an ongoing rehabilitation programme could provide better information on this point. Overall estimate for the replacement/rehabilitation of 1,200kim of main would be in the order of €500 - €750 million. The “current” regional rehabilitation project has been suspended due to lack of funding. In the three years up to its suspension in 2009, Dublin City Council was the lead authority for the €118 million Dublin Region Watermain Rehabilitation Project. To date the Council has spent €40 million on this Project of which only €20 million has been repaid by the DEHLG.

Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 01/02/2010

Can the Manager explain Dublin City Council’s powers in relation to Compulsory Purchase Orders and what value are Dublin City Council obliged to pay for a CPO property?

The City Council can purchase property compulsorily where it has been unable to do so voluntarily. The land must be necessary for the exercise by the Council of one or more of its statutory functions. It may also be required to facilitate the bringing together of sites for development.
The legal provisions for compulsorily acquiring land are contained in Part XIV Planning and Development Act 2000.

In general terms a Local Authority is required to pay the market value of any land acquired under a CPO, as assessed at the date of service of a notice to treat. Additional items of compensation may arise under the headings of disturbance, severance, injurious affection, fees, interest, reinvestment costs and accommodation works.

The statutory basis for the assessment of compensation under a CPO is as set out in section 2 of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919, as amended.