Dublin City Council

 

Question to City Manager               City Council Meeting 05/09/2011

 

Q115.  COUNCILLOR CIERAN PERRY
            Can the Manager provide an update to my question to the June 2011 City Council meeting (Q.71) in relation to the waste management service provided by Dublin City Council?  Has the publication of the Ampersand consultants report on the Waste Management service resulted in any planned changes to the service DCC provide?

 

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:

Dublin City Council continues to collect waste and is in discussions with the Unions concerning future restructuring of the waste collection service.  The Ampersand report forms part of the discussion between Management and Unions.

 

Q116.  COUNCILLOR CIERAN PERRY
            Can the Manager provide the following information?

a)      When was the Multi Agency Group on Homeless Sex Offenders initiated?
b)      What progress has been made by the Multi Agency Group on Homeless Sex Offenders since my question to the July 2010 City Council meeting?
c)      Can you confirm whether the Cross Departmental Team on Homelessness has produced their report?

 

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:

a)         The Multi Agency Group on Homeless Sex Offenders was initiated in 2004 at the request of the Homeless Agency to respond to the identified problem of homelessness amongst sex offenders released from custody.  The project’s overall aim is to co-ordinate and develop services for sex offenders at risk of homelessness in both a prison and community setting.

b)         In September 2010, the joint Cross Departmental Team on Homelessness (CDTH) and National Homeless Consultative Committee (NHCC) meeting attended by the then Minster of State, Michael Finneran was briefed regarding the issues.  Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DoECLG) commitment was secured for the accommodation issues of sex offenders to be discussed at a future CDTH meeting.

            The October 2010 CDTH meeting considered the issues of homeless sex offenders and the potential route for a national approach.  The CDTH members present at the meeting agreed that a national approach on accommodating sex offenders is required.  The DoECLG reserved their view pending further consideration of the matter.  The Health Service Executive (HSE), who were not present, subsequently wrote to the DoECLG in support of a national approach.

            In December 2010, representatives from MAG (Multi Agency Group) made a presentation to the City and County Managers Association (CCMA) Housing Group regarding MAG and the need for a national policy.  Feedback from the meeting was that members were supportive of the need for a national approach.  The DoECLG indicated that they would subsequently meet with the CCMA Housing Group regarding this area.

The need for a national policy has subsequently been raised with the
DoECLG.

In addition the MAG initiative has progressed a number of developments including:

  • Internal agency policies – The MAG Policy Officer worked with the Homeless Network Sub Group on homeless sex offenders to develop a 'Policy Template for the Voluntary Housing Sector on working with people convicted of sexual offences’.  The Policy Template has now been adopted by the Homeless Network (network representing over 20 voluntary homeless service providers) and is available for agencies to adopt or adapt to meet their needs.

  • Training Programme for Housing Professionals ‘Information for Housing Professionals – People convicted of sexual offences’ - a total of ten sessions of the one-day training programme were delivered between May – July 2011, to approximately 260 people from 23 organisations including Local Authorities and voluntary housing providers.  The training was delivered by the MAG Policy Officer and Detective Garda from An Garda Síochána with personnel from either the Irish Prison Service, Granada Institute and the Probation Service providing the sex offender expert input.
  • Draft MAG Information Sharing Protocol - the draft Protocol was developed in consultation with MAG partners to facilitate the sharing of information between key agencies.  The draft version has been discussed with the Data Protection Office and is currently being progressed.

 

c)         A review of the Homelessness Strategy - The Way Home: A Strategy to Address Adult Homelessness in Ireland 2008 - 2013 taking into account the current demands on existing housing services is currently underway.

This will include, inter alia, assessing progress to date, how to best provide additional services, as well as to ensure effective strategies and tailored responses in cases where people are difficult to place including accommodation needs of sex offenders.  Collaboration between all agencies, particularly criminal justice agencies, is critical in this regard.  The development of a protocol to be adopted nationally and setting out the responsibilities of the respective agencies, including housing authorities, and building on the work to date undertaken by the MAG and others is one such option that is being considered for the next meeting of the CDT scheduled to take place later this year.

 

Q117.  COUNCILLOR CIERAN PERRY
            Can the Manager comment on Dublin Docklands Development Authority’s planning decision DD628 (in which there was a refusal by the DDDA to grant permission for residential units at Spencer Dock), particularly in light of the support by Dublin City Council for this application.  Will the Manager also comment on the independent planning review by Declan Brassil and Associates, which was highly critical of the proposal?

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:

DD628 relates to an application for certification at Spencer Dock for 191 residential units, retail, day care, community centre and parking.

The City Council was in favour of the proposal and an agreement had been entered into between the proposer and the Housing & Residential Services Department of Dublin City Council to provide Social housing on this site.

The DDDA refused permission for the certification on the following grounds:

  • Contrary to North Lotts Planning Scheme requirement in relation to family units.

The scheme required only minor amendments to comply with DCC’s Development Plan in this regard.

  • Insufficient private /communal open space

The development may be compliant with Development Plan standards. No drawings were on the file.

  • Overlooking/privacy issues

The rejection refers to the 1999-2005 Dublin City Development Plan.  It appears that the requirement of the 2011 Development Plan in this regard could be achieved in the development depending on design, orientation and height.

  • Tenure mix

The 2011 Development Plan sets out requirements in this regard.  Subject to amendments these can be met.

  •  No childcare provision

Appendix 20 of 2011 Dublin City Development Plan is not prescriptive; childcare at a ratio of 1/75 units is recommended unless there is over provision in the locality.

  • Land use mix.

The reference appears to indicate that the DDDA needs to review land use mix update in the area.

Planning review- DCC does not have a copy of D. Brassil’s review and therefore cannot comment.

 

Q118.  COUNCILLOR CIERAN PERRY
            Can the Manager provide the following information in relation to Private Horse Carriages for Tourists?

a)      How many Horse Carriages are licensed?
b)      Have all of these been checked for insurance and how often are checks carried out?
c)      If checks are carried out, where are the checks carried out?
d)      Do the inspectors check actual driver identity against insurance/licence details?
e)      How many Council officials work the Carriage office?
f)       Do DCC inspectors have a role in animal welfare investigations?

 

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:

Under the Horse Drawn Carriage bye laws there are 2 types of licence, carriage (vehicle) licences and driver’s licences.  In addition, these bye laws introduced a requirement for public liability insurance for these vehicles.

A)  As of 01/09/2011 32 carriage licences have been issued.  32 Horse Carriage Driving Licences have also been issued.

B) When an application is made for a Horse Carriage licence or for renewal of the licence proof of insurance must be produced.  Licences are issued for one year; therefore insurance is checked at a minimum of once each year.

In the case of an applicant who requires a Horse Carriage Driving Licence only, proof that the applicant is a named driver only on an insurance policy is required.

C) Insurance is checked in the Customer Service Centre at the time of application for licences.  In addition spot checks are carried out by Fleet Management Services and by the Gardaí.

D) The drivers licence includes a photograph of the driver for identification purposes. No photographic ID is required for a carriage licence.  However the licence is posted to the home address of the applicant.

E) No Council Officials work for the Carriage Office which is operated by An Garda Síochána.

F) The Control of Horses Bye Laws, 2010 provide for animal welfare.  This is managed by the Culture, Recreation and Amenity Department.