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10th July 2001
Minutes of Meeting of Strabane District Council held in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, 47 Derry Road, Strabane on Tuesday 10 July 2001 at 7.30 pm
Present:- In the Chair:- Councillor I Barr Other Members:- Councillors A Bell, D Breslin, J Donnell, J Emery, D Hussey, T Kerrigan, T McBride, E McGarvey, C McGill, C McHugh, B McMahon, E McMenamin, B McNamee, J McNulty Total = 15 Apology:- Councillor D A Bresland In Attendance:- Messrs P Doherty & C Loughrey Acting Clerk of the Council, Committee Clerk
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Kerrigan, that a letter of sympathy be sent to Mr Albert Bogle, Council employee, on the recent death of his father. It was noted that the deceased was also a close relative of Councillor Hussey’s wife. On behalf of the family circle, Councillor Hussey extended sincere appreciation for the Council’s vote of sympathy.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor Hussey, that item no. 9 be taken next.
DIVISIONAL ROAD MANAGER’S REPORT
The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, welcomed the Roads Service officials to the meeting. He congratulated Mr Doherty, Acting Divisional Roads Manager, on his temporary promotion and Mr Loughrey on his appointment as Section Engineer for Strabane.
On behalf of Roads Service, Mr Doherty thanked the Council for the warm welcome. He paid tribute to the excellent work carried out by Mr Hugh McKenna, former Section Engineer for Strabane, who had taken up a position with Water Service in Ballymena.
Mr Doherty outlined his intention to present a brief summary of the Roads Service –Western Division’s Annual Report for the Strabane District Council area, a copy of which was previously circulated, following which Members’ queries would be taken. He explained that the report detailed the maintenance and capital works carried out in the District during the 2000/2001 financial year and contained in the programmes of work for the 2001/2002 financial year. Under-funding of structural maintenance of the road network was still the greatest challenge facing Roads Service. Whilst raising the profile of the issue within the Assembly, additional funding had not yet been secured to deal with the backlog of structural maintenance works identified in the NI Audit Office’s (NIAO) report published last year. The 2001/2002 structural maintenance allocations across Roads Service, and for the Strabane District, were at the same levels as last year’s out-turn and were not sufficient to meet the needs of the road network.
The NIAO published a report on Road Openings by Utilities earlier this year. Roads Service was concerned about the inaccuracy of media reports that £10m per year was being wasted repairing utility reinstatements. Mr Doherty pointed out that the NIAO Report on Utilities actually stated that utility openings inevitably caused a weakness in the road structure irrespective of how well they were reinstated. A more detailed comment was contained under Street Works on page 26 of the report. In NI the presence of old utility reinstatements was one of the deciding factors in around 25% of structural maintenance schemes and this work would be valued at up to £10m. No road authority in the UK had the power to recover such costs from the Utilities.
The past year had seen significant progress in the design and statutory processes for Stage 2 of the Strabane By-pass and the Newtownstewart By-pass. Both schemes completed the Environmental Impact and Direction Order processes and were currently at Vesting Order stage. It was anticipated that the Newtownstewart By-pass would commence in August 2001 and Strabane By-pass in early Autumn 2001 in the event that no objections were received. Two major schemes on the A5 route had been completed recently, namely the Leckpatrick and Burndennett Bridge schemes. The allocation for the capital Network Development programme for 2001/2002 was similar to that of the past two years and comprised traffic calming schemes and right-turning lanes and footways.
Information leaflets containing contact details of key Roads Service personnel and traffic calming details were circulated to Councillors for their perusal. Mr Doherty expressed the hope that Roads Service and the Council would adopt a partnership approach to secure greater investment in the road network for the benefit of the entire District Council area.
The Chairman thanked Mr Doherty for his overview of the report and invited Members’ comments.
Traffic Calming Measures – Welcomed the Roads Service response to date re. traffic calming measures. Queried the anticipated start date for Townsend Street and Carlton Drive. Mr Doherty confirmed that informal consultation was already underway with the residents at Carlton Drive and the support of the Community Groups and Councillors was acknowledged. As a result of financial constraints, external consultants had already been appointed to assist Roads Service in relation to Townsend Street with public consultation scheduled for the Autumn. The scheme related to the area from the Health Centre to the 30 mph speed limit sign on the main road.
Under-funding – Expressed concern at the current level of under-funding. Urged the Council to make strong representations to the relevant authorities re. the infrastructure maintenance funding deficit.
Newtownstewart and Strabane By-Passes & A5 Schemes - Welcomed progress to date and work already completed.
Killymore Road, Newtownstewart - Welcomed inclusion of this long-awaited scheme on the programme for 2001/2002.
Ligford Road, Plumbridge - Requested that priority be given to construction of footway to Health Centre.
Ballymagorry - Request for provision of pelican/pedestrian crossing.
Cranagh - Reiterated request for a speed limit restriction to be put in place despite the criteria not being met . Councillor McBride referred to the dangers associated with vehicular traffic passing through the hamlet given that the national speed limit applied. He made specific reference to personal injuries recently sustained by the local Parish Priest from a speeding car and the potential for more serious accidents to occur. Councillor McBride also requested that street lighting be provided on the Draperstown side of Cranagh towards the Parish Hall. In response, Mr Doherty undertook to review the request for a speed limit and street lighting.
Liscloon Bridge - Welcomed bridge works undertaken and investment in the rural area which resulted in substantial improvement to a dangerous stretch of roadway.
Under-funding - Concurred with previous comments re. severe under-funding.
Victoria Road, Ballymagorry - Welcomed scheme undertaken.
Liscloon Bridge - Welcomed scheme undertaken.
Strabane & Newtownstewart By-Passes - Welcomed progress to date.
Carlton Drive - Welcomed traffic calming measures.
Ballycolman towards Golf Club and Main Road, Strabane - Requested that ramps be lowered in line with those provided in the Gobnascale area of Derry.
Lower Railway Road, Strabane - Request for pelican/pedestrian crossing.
A5 Schemes - Welcomed schemes.
Drumnagauty Brae, Bready - Requested provision of climbing lane. Mr Doherty undertook to investigate this.
Ballymagorry - Supported request for pedestrian/pelican crossing. Mr Doherty advised that this would be investigated.
Woodend Road - Welcomed footway resurfacing/reconstruction to be undertaken. He pointed out that the original kerbstones were still in place and needed to be replaced. Mr Loughrey remarked that this work was included in the 2001/2002 scheme.
Donemana - Welcomed CRISP scheme.
Liskey Road - Request for surface dressing to be undertaken due to slippery condition of roadway and bare patches. Mr Doherty advised that Roads Service was aware of the condition of Liskey Road.
Bready - Request for 40 mph speed limit restriction given that 30 mph request had not been permitted. Mr Doherty advised that this would be investigated.
Liscurry Brae, Artigarvan - Request for footpath provision particularly to facilitate users of the new play ground. Mr Doherty advised that this would be assessed.
Adoption of Roadways - Request for adoption of roadways at Liscurry Gardens and Berryhill Manor to facilitate bin collection. Mr Doherty commented that the prime responsibility of road adoption lies with the developer.
Liscurry Park - Request for provision of lens in street lighting at the top of Liscurry Park. Mr Doherty advised that the matter would be investigated.
Ardstraw - Request for street lighting to be fixed in the vicinity of the church. Mr Doherty undertook to investigate.
Milliken Hall - Commended street lighting provided.
Lowertown Road & Leckpatrick Road - Request for street lighting to be extended. Mr Doherty undertook to investigate.
A5 Schemes - Welcomed work undertaken and the high standard of work carried out by the contractors involved with minimum disruption.
Newtownstewart and Strabane By-Passes - Welcomed progress to date.
Traffic Calming Budget - Acknowledged increasing number of requests for schemes despite severe budget constraints.
Asphalt Reconstruction/Resurfacing - Sought clarification on start dates of schemes and urged that the additional funding available be utilised in conjunction with other schemes including street lighting, EI schemes etc. Specific reference was made to the Creeduff Road junction in Killen and ongoing resurfacing works on the Strabane Road from Castlederg which could be synchronised with street lighting and footpath construction. Mr Doherty agreed that a co-ordinated approach would be beneficial for all parties.
Ednagee Road - Expressed disappointment that this road was not included given the difficulties with the pipe laying. Mr Doherty advised that the difficulties at this location were currently under consideration. Mr Loughrey further explained that a meeting had been held with Water Service and that resurfacing work would be undertaken in the Autumn.
Liskey Road - Supported previous Councillors’ comments particularly in view of the high volume of traffic.
Listymore Road, Castlederg - Sought update on liaison with Donegal County Council re. short stretch of roadway which was experiencing increased traffic volume, particularly heavy vehicular traffic. Mr Loughrey confirmed that Donegal County Council was examining this issue.
Drumquin Road - Request for specific location for major culvert replacement.
Learmore Road, Killen & Priests Lane, Castlederg - Welcomed work undertaken.
Killymore Road - Welcomed footpath to the chapel. Mr Doherty advised that the first part of the scheme in front of the orlits was part of the Newtownstewart By-pass scheme. The remaining section towards the cemetery would be included in the stand-alone scheme listed in the report.
Spamount - Request for footpath provision to the new chapel.
Priests Lane & Ferguson Crescent - Parking facilities provided at Priests Lane, however, traffic congestion not alleviated in Ferguson Crescent. Request for Traffic Management to examine situation and Mr Doherty took this on board.
Killen - Welcomed review of speed limit to be undertaken and bridge works carried out.
Killeter - Request for street lighting in the vicinity of Killeter Parish Church, Church of Ireland Church, hall and dwelling houses. Councillor Hussey indicated his willingness to meet Mr McCurdy on site to discuss the issues and Mr Doherty undertook to pursue this.
Adoption of Roads - Highlighted that Roads Service had the legislative power and authority to bring roads up to standard for adoption after a specific time period and to charge the developer for costs incurred. Recent site meeting was held at Dergvale with Roads Service, Water Service and the developer in attendance. Mr Doherty commented that roads adoption was a major issue and the requirement to obtain third party land and sufficient resources were major considerations in terms of utilising the legislative powers.
Hazelgrove, Phase I - Request for adoption of the site given that a number of residents had occupied the site for approx. six years. Councillor Hussey referred to a Ministerial letter which stated that up on 80% occupancy of a site within one year was a reasonable time period for adoption. Urged that Road Service adopt a pro-active approach.
Public/Private/Partnership (PPP) Funding - Request for clarification as to whether Roads Service had been requested to identify any schemes locally for PPP funding. Mr Doherty advised that firm proposals had not been received at the present time, however, due to under-funding PPP would be welcome in relation to schemes which were in the public interest.
Interdepartmental Liaison - Councillor Hussey pointed out that Road Service and Water Service responsibilities fell within the same Department and closer liaison was required. Mr Doherty acknowledged that the Minister was currently addressing this issue.
Newtownstewart & Strabane By-Passes - Welcomed progress to date.
A5 Schemes - Welcomed work carried out.
Main Street, Killen - Welcomed scheme to be carried out and advised that a meeting had been held earlier that day with the Council’s Chief Technical Officer in Killen.
Creeduff Road, Killen - Advised that the landowners were willing to make available portion of land for sight line improvements. Urged that Roads Service, Water Service and the NIE etc. liaise closely with the Council to ensure that the scheme was progressed as soon as possible. Councillor Kerrigan pointed out that the road surface was causing major problems at present. Mr Doherty indicated Roads Service’s willingness to participate in this scheme. Councillor Kerrigan suggested that a site meeting with Mr Loughrey and the Chief Technical Officer in attendance would be beneficial within the next month and this was taken on board.
Spamount Crossroads to Oakland Heights - Request for extension of footpath to facilitate school children walking on this busy roadway to catch the bus. Councillor Kerrigan pointed out that the hazardous road conditions were further exacerbated as parents etc. took their children by car to board the bus thus increasing the volume of vehicular traffic and further restricting the traffic flow at the cross-roads. Councillor Hussey highlighted the need for Water Service involvement re. the sewers.
Oakland Heights to Erganagh - Request for footpath provision. Mr Doherty advised that the requests would be considered together with the bus stop.
Castlegore Road, Castlederg (from Silverdale Nursing Home towards Killen) - Reiterated request for footpath provision. Mr Doherty advised that this would be assessed.
Strabane Road, Castlederg - Welcomed the improvement works to be undertaken and the extension to Spamount Crossroads.
Woodend Road, Strabane - Concurred with previous comments in welcoming footpath provision and proposed upgrading of existing footpath.
Glenside, Strabane - Requested that a pedestrian/pelican crossing be provided to facilitate 30-35 young children (travelling to Cloughcor Primary School) crossing the Derry Road from Glenside to the bus stop. Councillor Bell advised that the residents of Glenside had written to Roads Service on the matter. Mr Doherty undertook to investigate this issue.
Ashbrook Park, Strabane - Request for adoption of the roadway. Mr Doherty took this request on board.
Updated Information for Newly Elected Councillors - Request for a composite list of all minor schemes previously raised by the Council particularly for the benefit of newly elected Councillors. Further request for all Councillors to be issued with a map detailing road names and road numbers within the Strabane District Council area. It was agreed, following discussion, that the maps be provided on a Ward basis.
Traffic Calming Measures - Welcomed traffic calming measures undertaken in Strabane town and requested that similar type provision be facilitated in the outlying areas including Castlederg and Newtownstewart etc. Mr Doherty explained that Roads Service was inundated with requests for traffic calming measures despite severe budget constraints and those areas which met the criteria were targeted. Mr Loughrey advised that new housing developments would have traffic calming measures built in. Following a request by Councillor McHugh, Mr Doherty undertook to re-issue traffic calming information leaflets to all Councillors and particularly for the benefit of those newly elected.
Hillview Park & Castlefin Park, Castlederg - Request for traffic calming measures at these locations and queried whether Community Group involvement was necessary to instigate a programme.
Castlefin Road, Castlederg (in vicinity of St Patrick’s School, Castlederg) - Quoted from letter received from Roads Service Traffic Section and requested an update on the survey undertaken some time ago.
Clady - Request for update on meeting with Community Group re. traffic calming measures. Mr Doherty indicated that he had written to Councillor McHugh on the issue. He also explained that he had received a letter from Mr Doherty, MP, MLA, requesting a site meeting. He pointed out that Foot & Mouth Disease controls had exacerbated the difficulties already experienced.
Spamount Crossroads/Oakland Heights - Requested that priority be given to footpath provision from Oakland Heights towards Spamount Crossroads.
Kilclean Road within the Town Boundary - Request for footpath provision.
Drumquin Road, Castlederg - Request for street lighting provision from the cemetery at the town boundary to include the private dwellings. Mr Doherty advised that the Minister was due to announce the outcome of the revised street lighting criteria and outlined a number of points which were taken into consideration such as number of houses required, pedestrian usage etc. In response to a query by Councillor McHugh, Mr Doherty advised that circumstances pertaining to the two roads involved on the Drumquin Road and Castleban Road in this instance would be taken into consideration.
Killeter Village - Update requested on work to be carried out. Mr Doherty advised that discussions had taken place with the Development Group and funding would be set aside over a period of time to facilitate a scheme. Mr Loughrey commented that the architect had indicated that work would commence on site in September.
Killymore Road, Newtownstewart - Welcomed proposed scheme.
Newtownstewart & Strabane By-Passes - Welcomed progress to date.
Killydart Road - Welcomed scheme.
Golf Course Road, Newtownstewart - Dip in the road and water ponding require attention. Mr Loughrey advised that within the past year Roads Service had increased its expenditure on drainage and difficulties at this location would be addressed.
Castlefin Road - Supported previous comments by Councillors. Mr Doherty agreed to pursue this issue.
Glebe - Request for footpath widening. Mr Doherty agreed to investigate this matter.
A5 Schemes - Welcomed schemes.
Burndennett Bridge/Ash Avenue - Difficulties with sight lines to be investigated.
Donagheady Road, Bready - Welcomed proposed scheme.
Keery Road, Magheramason - Request for road widening scheme and footpath provision.
Liscurry Brae - Request for footpath provision.
Blackstone Park, Magheramason - Access problems for refuse lorries as a result of restricted car parking provision especially in the older part of the housing development.
Roads Adoption - Request for meetings to be set up with Roads Service and developers etc. to progress adoption of roadways. Particular reference was made to Mount Pleasant, Millbrook Park, Liscurry Gardens and Cavanacor. Councillor Donnell also pointed out that the gratings at Cavanacor required cleaning.
Glenside to Derry Road Junction - Flooding on roadway to be investigated.
Douglas Bridge - Request for site meeting to examine flooding problem.
Park Road, Ballymagorry - Request for reinstatement of roadway and attention to water ponding and dip in road.
Hollyhill Road near Junction of Koram Road - Dips in roadway require attention.
Lowertown Road & Leckpatrick Road - Supported previous request for extension of street lighting. Councillor Donnell advised that he had raised the matter with Mr McCurdy and an undertaking was given that the scheme would be carried out.
Bready Corner - Supported previous request for speed limit restrictions.
Woodend Road (from Lawson Park to Berryhill Road) - Resurfacing works required.
Berryhill Road (from Artigarvan school towards Strabane) - Requested that scheme be undertaken. Mr Doherty advised that although the need was recognised it would cost approx. £200k and this would use up the majority of the network development funding.
Lower Artigarvan - Request for street lighting provision.
Lowertown Road/Maple Road - Request for street lighting provision. Mr Doherty undertook to provide an update.
Councillor Donnell submitted requests on behalf of Councillor Bresland who was unable to attend the meeting. Councillor Bresland
No. 90 Castlewarren Road, Donemana - Severe flooding resulted in damage to verge and required attention.
Nos. 4 & 19 Longland Road, Donemana - Request for footpath provision (50 yards approx.). It was pointed out that the land was available for the scheme.
Church View, Donemana - Request for traffic calming measures to be provided.
Blackstone Park, Magheramason - Request for relocation of 30 mph sign on Mason Road (travelling towards Cullion) which was blocking the view from a dwelling house.
Duncastle Road (in vicinity of Medical Centre and RUC Station) - Water ponding required attention.
Longland Road, Donemana (near Earlsgift Church) - Sight lines required. It was noted that the land was available for the scheme.
Duncastle Road (from RUC Station to Cricket Field) - Request for footpath provision.
Ballyheather Road (between Lowertown Road & Killyclooney Cricket Field) - Water ponding required attention.
Councillor Donnell indicated that he would be agreeable to receiving a written response in relation to the various points raised.
Glebe, Sion Mills - Request for commencement date for traffic calming measures. Mr Doherty advised that work was already started but that contact would be made with the contractor with a view to progressing the scheme.
Carlton Drive, Strabane - Request for traffic calming measures. Councillor Breslin pointed out that an accident had occurred at the week-end.
Unadopted Roads - Requested that a list of unadopted roads be circulated to all Councillors.
Jefferson Court - Queried whether the roadway was adopted yet. Councillor Breslin commented that the traffic islands were too large and restricted access for the refuse lorries. It was agreed that this be clarified.
Funding Shortfall - Voiced support for the Council to make strong representations to the relevant Ministers for additional funding to be made available.
Laurel Drive, Strabane - Roadway at Phase II of Laurel Drive not yet adopted despite development having been completed 18 years previously. Councillor Barr pointed out that despite meetings with officials from the Council, Roads Service, Water Service and the developer, no progress was made. Councillor Barr urged Road Service to become more pro-active.
It was agreed, following discussion, on the proposal of the Chairman, that liaison meetings be set up with Councillors, representatives of the Council’s Technical Services and Environmental Health Departments, Roads Service, Water Service and the respective developers in attendance in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issue of unadopted roadways. It was further agreed that preliminary meetings could be arranged between the Council and Roads Service officials on an Electoral Ward basis.
Winter Salting Criteria - In response to a query by Councillor Hussey, Mr Doherty advised that the Minister had announced a change in the criteria which would result in a 4% increase, in Northern Ireland, on the road network to be salted. Funding for additional winter salting would be sourced from the existing budget. Mr Doherty further explained that 2% of accidents were related to Winter conditions. Councillor McBride highlighted the need for additional funding to be provided and spoke of the real cost and impact on people in the rural area travelling in treacherous road conditions. Councillor Hussey pointed out that milk tankers and bin lorries etc. were also severely affected.
On behalf of the Council, the Chairman expressed appreciation to the Roads Service officials for their presentation and undertaking to respond to the issues raised during the meeting. He reiterated the need for strong representation by the Council and the MLAs in requesting that the budgetary shortfall be addressed. Mr Doherty and Mr Loughrey thanked the Council for their warm welcome and support.
The meeting adjourned for a tea break at 9.30 pm and recommenced at 9.50 pm.
The Minutes of the Special Council Meeting held on 5 June 2001 were adopted as a true record, on the proposal of Councillor McHugh, seconded by Councillor Emery and signed by the Chairman.
Page 3 – Visit by Bill Clinton
In response to a query by Councillor Kerrigan, the Acting Clerk (AC) advised that a response was still awaited from the US Consul General.
Page 4 – Mitchell Park
It was agreed, on the request of Councillor Hussey, that the goal posts at Mitchell Park be taken down as soon as possible in order to facilitate work scheduled.
Page 4 – Flooding at Burndennett
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor Emery, that representatives of DARD be requested to attend a Council meeting to discuss the recent feasibility study findings.
The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 19 June 2001 were adopted as a true record, on the proposal of Councillor McHugh, seconded by Councillor McBride, and signed by the Chairman.
The Minutes of the Corporate Affairs Committee Meeting held on 20 June 2001 were adopted as a true record, on the proposal of Councillor McHugh, seconded by Councillor McMenamin.
Page 7 – Conferences
Councillor Hussey stated that he wished to rise formally on the issue as required within Standing Orders to request that, in future, all matters relating to conferences be recorded ‘verbatim’ – whether it be discussion on recommendations being brought back to Council, discussion in the Chamber as to the need to attend any conference, selection or nomination of those to represent Council at any conference or any other matter relating to attendance at conferences either as individual Councillors, representatives of this Council or representatives of other bodies to which this Council had appointed or nominated members.
He stated that the Chairman and Councillors who had sat on previous Councils were aware that he had not overly availed of the opportunity to represent the Council at conferences and felt strongly that such representation should reflect the interest, benefit and needs of the electors, the Council and other bodies with which the Council was engaged.
He further stated that he was mindful of the burden which may be placed on the Council’s staff by the enactment of his request. He explained that he had privately sought legal advice on the issue and maintained his request on the basis that future decisions of Council as to conference attendance, whether it be via criteria established on a majority decision of Council, representative allocation or denial on a majority decision of Council or other, may contravene equality legislation, human rights legislation or the ability of Councillors to fulfil their representational duty via Standing Order and/or representation of people legislation.
He commented that in such situations it was imperative that a true, accurate and full record of the Council’s deliberations was maintained. He explained that this was a request at this stage.
The Chairman stated that it was custom and practice that only key decisions reached at Council meetings were recorded and that a verbatim record was not taken. He further stated that the Council’s respective Chief Executives had advised the Council against verbatim recordings. He suggested, however, that the legal implications could be investigated by the AC.
The AC expressed reservations regarding verbatim recording and explained that some difficulties could be foreseen from the administrative viewpoint but agreed to investigate the matter further.
Councillor McHugh queried Councillor Hussey’s reasoning for requesting verbatim recording in relation to conferences. He pointed out that conferences had been discussed at the Audit & Staff Committee meeting, however, the Minutes had not yet been placed before Council. He stated that verbatim recordings would result in a change of policy and should be brought before Council as a notice of motion. He suggested that the majority of the newly elected members would be unaware of the background to the issue of conferences. He supported the AC investigating the matter further prior to a Council decision. He remarked that verbatim recordings of meetings in the past would have proved beneficial on a number of occasions.
The Chairman suggested that Councillor Hussey may be prepared to await the recommendations of the Audit & Staff Committee in relation to conferences. In response Councillor Hussey stated that the issue of conferences had to be dealt with and matters pertaining to the report to be presented to Council required full and proper recording.
Councillor McBride remarked that a verbatim recording was a cumbersome exercise for staff and Councillors alike, may involve additional expense for specialist equipment and impose a burden on Councillors through having to read excessively lengthy minutes of meetings.
The Chairman stated that it would be necessary to apply verbatim recordings across the board and some court cases had been lost in the past due to the lack of verbatim recordings of proceedings of Council meetings.
Councillor McMenamin spoke of the necessity to record all business in the event that Council agreed to this request. He also highlighted the cost factor of recording systems such as Hansard and the additional workload for everyone involved. He posed the scenario whereby a Councillor addressed the meeting in Gaelic and queried the implications for recording same.
Councillor Hussey stated that he was reluctant to delay the issue much further. He reiterated the legal advice which he had received and stated that the Council may be entering the realm of equality and human rights legislation and the ability of Councillors to fulfil their statutory duties. Given the discussion on the issue, however, Councillor Hussey indicated his willingness to await the outcome of an investigation into the possibility and methodology of carrying out his request. It was agreed that the AC report back to Council, as outlined above.
Councillor McBride urged Members to be mindful that the issue of equality had a much broader spectrum than conferences and this was noted.
Page 7 – Environmental Initiative Consultation
Councillor Kerrigan advised that he had attended this conference in Ballymena and obtained some supporting documentation. He explained that waste management would receive an allocation of £2.25m in NI out of a total budget of £65m and he had highlighted the need for additional funding.
Page 7 – Education Initiatives Consultation
Councillor Hussey advised that he had registered for the conference but was unable to attend due to other business at short notice, however, no cost was incurred by Council. This was noted.
The Minutes of the Recreation, Culture & Arts Committee Meeting held on 25 June 2001 were adopted as a true record, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McHugh.
The Minutes of the Environment Committee Meeting held on 26 June 2001 were adopted as a true record, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McHugh, subject to the following amendment:-
Page 20 – Proposal to Grant a Provisional Permit
Councillor Breslin pointed out that he had abstained during voting but was not recorded as doing so. It was agreed that the Minutes be amended accordingly.
Page 7 – J/2001/0297/F – Miss I Rankin, Dwelling 80m South East of 6 Munie Road, Castlederg
Councillor Hussey stated that he arrived at the site meeting as scheduled but no-one else attended. Councillor Kerrigan advised that he had been contacted, on behalf of the applicant, requesting that the site meeting be postponed due to a death in the family circle. He explained that he had contacted the Administration Department in the Council Offices and Mr McIvor, Planning Service and understood that Councillors had been notified. Councillor Hussey accepted the explanation given.
Nominations for Council Representation on Best Value Service Review Teams
The AC presented report re. above prepared by the Corporate Policy Officer, copy of which was previously circulated. She explained that Council was requested to put forward two elected members to sit on each of the Service Review Teams for Year 3.
Discussion ensued during which Councillor Hussey suggested that the Council’s representatives on the Western Group Building Control Committee, Western Group Environmental Health Committee and the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Recreation, Leisure, Culture & Arts Committee be put forward accordingly. Councillor McHugh suggested that newly elected Members be given the opportunity to become involved in the Best Value process. Councillor McHugh proposed that nominations be put forward. Councillor Hussey pointed out that his suggestion still permitted new Councillors to be facilitated. Councillor McBride advised that he was represented on the Building Control Committee but would be unable to attend meetings during normal office hours. It was agreed, following discussion, that nominations be taken.
Tourism and Access to the Countryside Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McGarvey, that Councillor McHugh be nominated. Councillor McMenamin proposed, seconded by Councillor McBride, that Councillor McNamee be nominated. This was agreed.
Cultural Facilities Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McMahon, that Councillor McGill be nominated. Councillor McMenamin proposed, seconded by Councillor McNamee, that Councillor Emery be nominated. This was agreed.
Building Control Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McHugh, that Councillor Breslin be nominated. Councillor McBride proposed, seconded by Councillor Emery, that Councillor Kerrigan be nominated. This was agreed.
Waste Disposal Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McHugh, that Councillor Barr be nominated. Councillor McMenamin proposed, seconded by Councillor Emery, that Councillor Hussey be nominated. This was agreed.
Environmental Health Councillor Donnell proposed, seconded by Councillor Kerrigan, that Councillor Bresland be nominated. Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McHugh, that Councillor McMahon be nominated. Councillor McMenamin proposed, seconded by Councillor McNamee, that Councillor Bell be nominated. It was agreed that the three nominations be put forward.
Licensing Councillor McNulty proposed, seconded by Councillor McHugh, that Councillor McGarvey be nominated. Councillor McMenamin proposed, seconded by Councillor Breslin, that Councillor Barr be nominated. Councillor Donnell proposed, seconded by Councillor Kerrigan that Councillor Hussey be nominated. Councillor Hussey withdrew his name due to a conflict of interest. This was agreed. District Council Nominations to the Rural Development Council
The AC referred to letter received from the Rural Development Council inviting one Strabane District Council nominee for a three year term. She further explained that there was no guarantee that the Council’s nominee would be acceptable and quoted the criteria stipulated.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Donnell, seconded by Councillor Emery, that Councillor Kerrigan be nominated.
It was further agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McNulty, seconded by Councillor McGarvey, that Councillor McHugh be nominated.
Douglas Bridge Football Club – Request for Use of Portacabin
The AC outlined details of request received from Douglas Bridge Football Club regarding the use of a portacabin, originally purchased by the Council’s Environmental Health Department, for changing facilities on a temporary basis.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the Council support the Club’s request which was at no cost to the Council.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the Deeds of Release for Patrick Martin McGrath and Kevin & Edna Friel be signed and sealed on behalf of the Council.
Burial Right Grants
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the following Burial Right Grants be signed and sealed on behalf of the Council:-
Mr Robert John Wallace 57 Urney Road Strabane - 1 Plot
Ms Margaret Caldwell 19 Young Crescent Castlederg - 1 Plot Mr Barry Williamson 11 Hazel Grove Castlederg - 2 Plots
Ms Jean McIvor 34 Foyle Crescent Newbuildings Co Londonderry - 1 Plot
Mr Don Nicholl 13 Altrest Road Cullion Co Londonderry - 1 Plot
Mr Thomas Colhoun 48 Lowertown Road Ballymagorry Strabane - 2 Plots
Mr Hugh McCusker 38 Melmount Gardens Strabane - 2 Plots
Mr William Scott 22 Bowling Green Strabane - 1 Plot
Ms Margaret Jacqueline Martindale Cairnhill House 37 Newtownards Road Donaghadee Co Down - 2 Plots
St Oliver Plunkett Accordian Band, Strabane
The AC advised that a letter had been received from the above Band requesting permission to collect funds on 21 July 2001 in the vicinity of the sculptures at the Camel’s Hump. The collection was part of a fund raising effort towards the Band’s participation in the Ulster Finals and the All Ireland Finals and permission had been granted from the police authority for the collection.
Discussion ensued during which Councillor McMahon explained that he had been contacted by the Band organisers and referred them to the Council. In response to queries, he explained that permission had been granted from the RUC locally and in Derry and that the Band members would be playing on the site of the sculptures and the Committee members would be carrying out the actual collection.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, seconded by Councillor McNamee, to grant permission for the collection.
Request for Council Minibus
The AC advised Members that the Head of Culture, Arts & Leisure (HCAL) was requesting Council approval for use of the Council minibus as follows:-
Leckpatrick Youth Group Belcoo, Co Fermanagh 13-15.7.01 1st Castlederg Boys Brigade Annual Camp, Scotland 24.7– 2.8.01 1st Ardstraw Boys Brigade Annual Camp, Southport 24-31.8.01
Councillor Emery declared an interest in 1st Castlederg Boys Brigade.
This was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Kerrigan, seconded by Councillor McMenamin.
Use of Football Pitch/Pitches
The AC advised that the HCAL was requesting Council approval for the use of football pitch/pitches as follows:- Charity Football Match Melvin Park 27.7.01 Maiden City Soccer School Melvin Park 23-27.7.01
Discussion ensued during which Councillor Barr suggested that concessionary rates had been applied in the past for similar type events and urged that this be clarified. Councillor Hussey pointed out that the Technical Services Department was due to undertake annual pitch maintenance throughout the Council area and urged that this be borne in mind. In response to a query by Councillor Barr, the AC advised that the Maiden City Soccer School would be hosted by the Melmount Forum in conjunction with the Council’s Summer Scheme and the programme would be funded by NIVT.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor Hussey, that approval be granted for use of the pitches subject to compliance with Council’s current practice, as outlined above, and that use of the pitches would not hinder annual maintenance.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the meeting go “Into Committee”. Council Visit to the NI Mail Centre
The AC referred to letter of invitation received from Consignia suggesting a number of dates in August and September for a visit to the Mail Centre in Mallusk with transport, food and refreshments provided.
It was agreed, following discussion, that the visit be organised for 4 September and that Councillors interested in attending submit their names as soon as possible.
Island of Ireland Mills Conference
It was pointed out that the Mills Conference coincided with the Council Meeting on 11 September and it was agreed that the AC pursue the issue.
Publications – Members’ Library
It was agreed that the following publications received be placed in the Members’ Library for perusal by anyone interested:-
Health & Personal Social Services – Information & Communications Technology Strategy Department of Education – Becoming a School Governor NI Health & Social Services Board – Health & Social Well-Being Survey Postcomm – Promoting Effective Competition in UK Postal Services – Consultation Document Postcomm – An Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Consignia’s Current Universal Service Provision – Discussion Document Parades Commission – Third Annual Report 2000-2001 Ofreg – Proposals for a Change in NIE’s Charges for New Connections – Consultation Paper - June 2001 Translink – An Access Guide to Bus and Rail Passenger Facilities – June 2001 Water Service – Drinking Water Quality Report for NI 2000 The Executive’s Position Report to the Assembly – Developing the Programme for Government and the Budget for 2002-03 Community Work Education and Training Network – Annual Report 2000 North Down Primary Care Organisation – Building the Way Forward – March 2001 NI GP Forum – A Reply to Building the Way Forward in Primary Care – February 2001 NI HPSS – Building the Way Forward in Primary Care – March 2001 WH&SS Council – Meetings on 5.4.01 & 3.5.01 Foyle Health & Social Services Trust Board Meeting – 29.6.01 Rural Community Network’s Low Infrastructure Programme 1998-2001 Report – Book One: Policy; Book Two: Practice Antrim – Bleach Green – Rebirth of a Railway Line June 2001 Health Promotion Agency – The Journal of Health Promotion for NI – June 2001 Children’s Services Plan 1999-2002; Second Review – April 2001 NI Economic Council – The Knowledge Driven Economy: Indicators for NI April 2001 Report from the Board of the NIHE – 30.5.01 NI Housing Council Meeting – 14.6.01 TEDI Corporate View 2001-2006 BBC Children In Need – Annual Report Oct 1999-Sept 2000 NI Co-ownership Housing Association Ltd – Corporate Plan 2001-2006 & Business Plan 2001-2002 WH&SSB Minutes – 29.3.01 Friends of the Somme Battle Lines BIH Housing Association – Milestone Local Government Staff Commission for NI – Corporate Plan 2001/2002 – 2003/2004 and Business Plan 2001/2002 Environment Agency and Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food – Catchment Flood Management Plans NI Assembly – Report on Error in the Penny Product Calculation and Review of Rating Policy 2000/2001 Help the Aged – The Real Agenda for Active Ageing DETI – Business and Society – Developing Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK
The meeting closed at 11.00 pm.
DATED this 10th day of JULY 2001
SIGNED:- ________________________ Acting Clerk of the Council
DATED this 11th day of SEPTEMBER 2001
SIGNED:- _________________________ Chairman of the Council