Sunday, December 17, 2006


Stamullen Broadband campaign continues.....

Monday kicked off with our first meeting on the Council’s budget for next year. The Head of Finance at Meath, Fiona Lawless, took us through the details of the budget. I made a few contributions on subjects such as:

(a) the need for more money to be spent outside all schools in Meath on issues such as flashing speed signs and general traffic calming measures.
(b) the need for more money to be put towards a “Parks Department”, including expenditure on new playgrounds (there’s only one in the East Meath area!) and on the maintenance of playgrounds.
(c) The need for resources to be earmarked for capital and operating costs associated with any new beach management issues. The Council is considering bringing new by-laws for the East Coast beaches. These will be un-enforceable without more financial resources.

Fiona is to come back to us next week with a revised budget.

Our campaign to bring Eircom broadband to Stamullen continues. I called around to scores of more houses in Forge Hill, Kilbreck and Glasheen asking people whether they would be interested in signing up to a service. The Chairman of Eircom, Pierre Danon, told me that if we can show him that a certain number of people would use the service, then he will provide it. I have gathered a list of names and will be passing them over to Eircom in Dublin on Tuesday.

Campaign for eircom broadband for Stamullen

One good bit of news was the decision by the planners to turn down a proposed development in the back lanes of Duleek. Duleek is an ancient village, and the part of the village under threat consists of single storey homes in a mature environment. An applicant sought to put FIVE houses on a tiny plot of land. I submitted an objection, arguing against the development on the grounds of over-intensification of the site and on the lack of parking. I was pleased to see that the planner listed both of these reasons in their decision to refuse. It’s a nice Christmas present for the families close-by, who were united in their opposition to the proposal.

I attended another meeting in Duleek during the week on the issue of the proposed extension of the Lagan quarry, which was recently given approval by Meath planners. The meeting was arranged by the residents association of High Meadows, who are considering making an appeal to An Bord Pleanala over the coming weeks.

We finished out last leaflet drop of Ratoath for 2006 on Saturday. It was a clear afternoon so a few of us made the most of the dry weather and went around the houses. We were in the Old Mill estate, which looked lovely with all the Christmas lights on.

Christmas in Ratoath
Christmas Lights in Old Mill, Ratoath

Despite the protestations of my Director of Elections, I am not going to go calling to any more houses between now and Christmas. It’s getting too cold and I don’t want to end up in bed with the flu for Christmas. We’re finishing off delivering one last batch of leaflets on Beach issues and that’s all the leafleting we’re doing for 2006. Our advice centre is open until Friday 22nd, and that will be that for the year! Obviously we’ll still be answering the “emergency line” phone lines, and we’ll be trying to make the most of the festive break.

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