Saturday, February 17, 2007

 

Unhappiness over Ashbourne Water supply

We launched a new website this week, called www.makeachange.ie which explains how we intend to make Ireland a great place to live in. Billboard posters went up outside Julianstown this week. Of course, because there’s no bypass of the village, over 20,000 people saw the billboard every day. My Director of Elections says that I should hold off campaigning for a bypass until this advert cycle is finished.

There was more press coverage of the need for a Julianstown bypass. Some people are still of the view that the M1 could be an effective bypass if it wasn’t for the toll, and that the toll’s presence is causing traffic to divert through Julianstown. My view is that this is not the case. The majority of traffic travelling through Julianstown is coming from Laytown, Bettystown and South Drogheda.

Certainly, the removal of the toll would have some impact on levels of traffic through Julianstown, but I don’t think it would solve the problem. No, we need to keep pushing for a way to unclog the village centre.


Julianstown needs a bypass

I went to a public meeting in Ashbourne on Thursday evening. About 100 people turned up to discuss the proposed 7-story development on Castle Street. We just heard at the start of the week that the proposal has been turned down. The reasons were lack of water in Ashbourne and that the land was zoned for low density residential use.

The meeting was to let people know what happens now. I told people to:

1. Be vigilant, in case the applicant appeals the decision to An Bord Pleanala and
2. Put in submissions to the County Plan to make sure that the zoning of the land isn’t changed to allow high density development.

On Friday evening I went back to Ashbourne Community Centre, where community activist Joe Bonner was hosting a meeting about the water shortages in Ashbourne. About 80 people were there. Over the last weeks (and some would say years!) parts of Ashbourne have to do without water on an ongoing basis. This means that people can’t wash, cook or turn on the heating at times. That’s what people are waking up to in 21st century Ireland.

Coupled with that, parts of Race Hill are still without public lighting. So, no water, no lights. It’s something I’ve been on to the County Manager about all week, and I’m also ringing the Chairman’s office in the ESB to try to get some movement. I had a phone call back for a senior official on Friday afternoon to say that the Race Hill public lights should all be on in another ten days. We’re waiting!

At the meeting I spoke briefly about the need to make sure that a new water supply was provided for the growing town. My view is that its now time to provide a Town Council for Ashbourne. This would give it control of its own land zoning policies and allow it to spend development levies on its own water, road and community projects.

I left the meeting at about half nine, and on the way out had a chat with Tudor Grove Residents Association about issues in relation to their estate. I arranged to fix up a meeting in a few weeks time with them.

By the time I got home I had just enough time to have a quick clean up before sprinting down to Clarke’s for a well-needed pint.

It turns out that other parts of Ashbourne were also suffering from quality of water issues. I spoke to residents in Alderbrook on Saturday who had poor water quality last week. A key concern for them was also the potential opening of the road in Alderbrook. My attention was also drawn to the fact that some cars (and delivery vans!) are using the footpath to cut through the estates.

Alderbrook
Inconsiderate drivers are cutting up the grass verges.

I will be mentioning this to the Area Engineer, and urging him to install another bollard.

Oh, and a big thanks to all who voted for me for the Irish blog awards. I was delighted to make it down to the final five!

Comments:
Dominic,

Well done on being shortlisted for best political blog in the Irish Blog Awards.

Regards,

Joanna Tuffy
 
Well done on the blog awards thing Dominic. I see you are the only actual politician to make it to the short list of political blogs. I presume the judges will take that into account when choosing the winner.
 
My view is that its now time to provide a Town Council for Ashbourne

Why have you only come to this view now? Ashbourne has been a major Meath town for a decade now - this should have been done years ago!

Similiarily, Ratoath, Dunshaughlin and Dunboyne should all have Town Councils as well.
 
Dominic, Congrats on the Irish Blog Awards shortlisting. Well deserved.
 
Regarding a Town Council for Ashbourne. I've held this view for years now and would have been quoted in the press on the subject on many occassions. It's not a new idea for me.

As a Councillor I can campaign for it but I can't make it happen. A decision has to come from the Department of the Environment. If I'm elected to the Dail then I'll have more influence to push for this.

Give me a call on 041 988 6307 if you want to chat further on this. Thanks, Dominic
 
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