Sunday, December 24, 2006

 

For sale, one Christmas tree, €8,000 ono

Although it was Christmas week I had to attend four Council meetings in four days, because of essential business. Two of these meetings were taken up with the Annual budget, one with the County Development Plan and one with the monthly Slane Area meeting. (I also had to attend a Meath leader Board Meeting in Navan on Wednesday).

In between, I managed to get to Dublin to deliver the broadband petition for Stamullen to the Chairman of Eircom at his office on St Stephens’ Green.
Broadband Petition delivered to Eircom
The broadband for Stamullen petition of 188 names is delivered to Eircom

We approved the budget on Thursday evening after a lot of debate. In the end, we managed to get a bit of extra cash out of the manager for road repairs. The Manager also agreed to put flashing lights at three schools in each electoral area within the next year. Not enough in my view, and a campaign I intend returning to in the New Year.

The Slane Area meeting gave us an update on the project within the area. The Laytown footbridge is now expected to commence in February. Once again, it’s been delayed and once again I found myself arguing with the manager about the timescales for the work.

I also queried the cost of cutting down a tree in Stamullen. The tree overhangs a resident’s property and they worry that it might fall down onto their kitchen. The council received a quote of €8,000 to cut the tree down (it’s hard to get to). Considering I had recently bought a Christmas tree for just €30 (an d that includined the cutting down business) this seemed quite steep. I told the manager that one of my brother’s is home for Christmas and that we’d do the job for a couple of hundred euro, but sadly he declined our offer. The money's obviously not coming out of his pocket. Thankfully, the engineer said that he’d go back and have another look at the situation.

This will be my last blog of 2006. It’s been an action-packed year for me on the political front and I’ve certainly learnt a few lessons. I’ve met several thousand of people, at front doors, at meetings and in shopping centres. I’ve heard a lot about what’s going wrong with the country, but I’ve also seen the good things that still exist in our country. We can count ourselves lucky that we live in such a unique place. Next year is certain to be challenging for me: as a general election candidate and a serving County Councillor I will hardly have a spare minute for the first six months of the year. It’s a challenge I am looking forward to.

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