Mayo County Council

  • The €400,000 target for the community of Ballinrobe to raise, to build a new Town Hall – is well on track to be achieved, with 340,000 euro now secured under the voluntary fund raising Campaign to Rebuild Ballinrobe Town Hall.

    Michael Sweeney, chairperson of the Ballinrobe Town Hall committee says they are now just €60,000 short of the ambitious target set two years ago. Support for the project continues to come through from Ballinrobe people at home, around Ireland and abroad, he says, but support is still required with a price tag of 1.5 million euro on the project.

    Mayo County Council has committed to supporting the project and an application to LEADER has been submitted and the committee are hopeful that there will be a successful outcome in early autumn.

    The old Hall in Ballinrobe closed in 1996.

    The proposal is now to build a hall with a gross floor area of 1000m2. It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for over 400 people.

  • There were 109 reported incidents of dog-fouling from the Ice House to the Quay area of Ballina on one particular day last week.

    The issue was raised at yesterday’s Ballina Municipal District meeting by Crossmolina based Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Loftus.

    Cllr Loftus said there were 109 incidents reported to him on one day last week.

    He says it is not a problem unique to Ballina but it is a serious issue.

    There is a fine of up to €3,000 for incidents of dog-fouling and Mayo County Council has committed to enforcing this law very strictly.

  • More than a million euro in funding has been announced for 22 projects in Mayo under the Community Involvement Scheme.

     €23 million euro was announced nationally under the Programme for regional and local road projects.

    Applications were sought from local authorities for suitable schemes for inclusion and the response from local authorities was very positive, according to the Minister Shane Ross, with a large number of proposals received.

    The average community contribution proposed is about 19%. The community input can be either by way of a financial contribution or works.

    Paul Dolan is Senior Engineer with Mayo county council, speaking to Midwest News today he said  it is welcome funding for the county.

    The local authority had submitted 22 applications under this scheme and all 22 have been approved.

  • There is a need for Mayo county council to set aside up to 200,000 euro a year specifically to be used on the restoration of footpaths across the county.

    That’s the view of Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    He says that would mean that at least, 50,000 euro would be available annually for the restoration of footpaths in each Municipal District area.

    Councillor O’Hara believes the allocation could actually save money for Mayo county council, as it is likely that insurance compensation payments against the authority over people falling and injuring themselves on broken pavement would be reduced.

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    A Castlebar Councillor has called on Mayo County Council to take urgent action on the illegal parking of a number of caravans in an area at Cloonkeen, between Castlebar and Westport, and in other areas of the county town.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Al McDonnell raised the issue at a recent meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District, where he called on the council to act in relation to the unauthorised parking of caravans at the Cois Abhann housing estate and the N5 Business Park.

    Councillor McDonnell is particularly concerned about caravans parking at a site in Cloonkeen, where planning permission for a house was refused previously over traffic dangers.

    He says the parking of caravans and other vehicles at this location also poses a traffic danger.

  • The Castlebar Military Barracks will open to the public this Saturday afternoon for a free family festival.

    Cruinniu is Castlebar’s newest festival, and will feature music, exhibitions, workshops and talks.

    A wide range of food and entertainment will also be provided, and there’s an opportunity for people to see the inside of the military barracks, which closed in 2012 and learn about its history.

    The event gets underway at 12 noon tomorrow.

  • Mayo County Council have this afternoon confirmed to Midwest news that they currently have Consultants working on a safety barrier design for the Foxford to Ballyvary Road on the N58.

    This is as a result of numerous concerns raised over a section of the roadway between Foxford and Straide since improvement works were carried out on it some time ago.

    During the course of the work, the road was raised and since then it has been extremely dangerous because of a deep drop on either side.

    This location did not previously have a safety barrier installed and the lack of a sufficient width of roadside verge has resulted in it not being possible to install a standard barrier in this case.

    Mayo County Council say their consultants in conjunction with TII are testing various barrier options to find a solution which is in accordance with the relevant specification and a further trial is due to be undertaken in the coming week.

    Once a barrier design has been passed and approved a contractor will then be procured and the barrier installed.

    The issue has been raised on a number of occasions by Councillor Neil Cruise who again raised the matter on Midwest Radio this week.

  • Mayo county council has 100,000 euro set aside in the event that the Pope does visit Knock this year.

    That was confirmed by council management at the Claremorris Municipal District earlier this week.

    Ballyhaunis based councillor John Cribben had asked if the authority was prepared for such an occasion.

    He was told that the monies and planning was in place.

  • Councillor Jarleth Munnelly has accused the Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, of effectively blackmailing elected councillors  by the withholding of GMA funds to local voluntary groups.

    The Ballina based Fine Gael councillor made the statement at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

    Ballina councillors  have called for an immediate meeting with the Chief Executive  over the delay in the out of GMA  (General Municipal Allocation) monies, that is the monies that a range of voluntary organisations across the county receive annually from the local authority.

    It appears that the monies are being withheld, because the anticipated funding that the local authority budgeted for, from car parking charges, is short 400,000 euro.

    There were angry contributions from most councillors on the withholding of the funds at yesterday’s meeting. Director of Services for Mayo County Council Tom Gilligan stated and restated throughout the debate that the monies are being withheld while a process is underway to see how the 400,000 euro shortfall from Pay and Display car parking charges that were agreed by councillors in the budget can now be resolved.

    Councillors said that a number of organisations in Ballina are dependent on receiving the GMA contribution at this time of the year, like the 20,000 euro that Ballina Salmon Festival has been promised, monies to Ballina Arts Centre, funding to Tidy Towns, residents associations, the chamber and so on.Without the money, a variety of festival committees will be hit, they claimed.

    Cllr Munnelly told Midwest News today that he believes that Mr Hynes is effectively blackmailing councillors over the matter.

    400,000 euro is less than .003 percent of the overall county council budget in Mayo for 2018, according to Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smith. He insists that he wants in writing from the Director of Services – where it’s stated, that if monies anticipated are not secured through parking charges then that funding must be withheld to voluntary groups under GMA.

    In a brief statement from Mayo County Council today it says that the CEO Peter Hynes is at meetings outside of the County today but added he is always available to meet councillors and will meet the councillors of the Ballina Municipal District on this matter

  •  A regulator needs to be appointed by government to allow elected councillors to challenge or appeal any directive from a Minister, that’s the view of Swinford based Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smyth.

    The councillor was speaking at yesterday’s special meeting of Mayo county council that was called by elected councillors to reinstate planning as an item on the agenda of each Municipal District, as was the case until last year, when a directive from the Planning Minister Eoghan Murphy banned any planning discussions at council meetings.

    Councillors adjourned yesterday meeting and are now seeking independent legal advice on whether or not they can continue to make observations about planning at meetings of the authority.

  • The number of outdoor staff now employed by Mayo county Council is at a critical level, and if additional staff are not hired, than Charlestown based councillor Gerry Murray, claims he is fearful that health and safety issues will arise.

    The Cathaoirleach of the Claremorris Municipal District, raised his concerns at the monthly meeting of the authority.

    Cllr Murray said that over the past decade, 250 outdoor staff in the county have retired and have not been replaced by the local authority, and called for an immediate recruitment of additional staff to ensure that essential works can be carried out.

     He and other councillors pointed out that they had allocated funding for a range of outdoor jobs to be carried out, promised constituents that these works would be carried out, only to find there is no one available to carry out the work – and they as cllrs they were taking the wrath of the public on these jobs.

    Council official Liam Hanrahan strongly refuted any suggestion by the Cathaoirleach that there were health and safety issues arining due to the shortage of staff numbers. He insisted that a health and safety risk assessment is prepared before any job is undertaken and if there is inadequate staff or equipment on the day, the job is not carried out.

    He admitted that staffing levels had fallen but said recruitment is now underway and added that despite the lifting by the government of the embargo on recruitment, nonetheless staff numbers in the local authority are capped.

    Cathaoirleach Murray says his concerns remain the same.

  • The Offices of Mayo County Council remain closed today in line with the Red Alert issued yesterday and the ongoing orange alert in place currently. Offices will reopen on Monday morning at 9am.Essential services from our Winter Maintenance crews continue to remain in place in addition to any Staff supporting our response to this severe weather event.  

    The emergency contact numbers for the areas of the Local Authority are outlined below.  Ongoing communications in relation to gritting will continue to be posted across all Mayo County Council Social Media.

     

    Mayo County Council encourage the public to continue to adhere to advice been given for this severe weather event.  We encourage drivers to always exercise caution when driving in poor weather conditions. Be Winter-ready, be prepared, stay safe.

     

     

    Ballina:                                                     096 76159

    Ballinrobe:                                               087 9940183

    Belmullet:                                                087 6579348

    Castlebar:                                                094 9034706

    Claremorris:                                            086 0450200

    Westport (South):                                  087 6474150

    Westport (Newport & North):            087 6540206

    Swinford links to Ballina out of hours

     

     

  • A five member delegation from Mayo county council is in the US since last Saturday for the St Patrick Day Festivities.

    The group led by the Cathaoirleach Richard Finn, is joined by councillors Annie Mae Reape, Michael Holmes and Gerry Coyle together with Director of Services for Mayo County Council,Peter Duggan.

    They arrived in New York for the presentation of the Mayo Association Person of the year gala event in Queens.

    Yesterday morning (Sunday) they headed to Philadelphia to take part in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade.

    They are travelling to Rhode Island today and will stay until Wednesday as they meet with business interests working with local employment offices  under the Ireland West International Trade Centre initiative.

    On Thursday they travel to Boston to meet the Mayo Association there and other business interests.

    On Friday they return to New York to march in the be in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.

  • The former Estoria Cinema building located in Ballina town, should be made a protected structure . That was the joint motion put forward by Independent councillors Gerry Ginty and Seamus Weir at this week’s Ballina Municipal District meeting, held in the Community Centre in Bonniconlon.

    The building owned by Mayo County Council, is leased at present to Ballina Men's Shed group.

    The councillors say the structure is of significance as a piece of art deco architecture, it also is part of the town’s social history and in addition, the Men’s Shed Group are keen to restore the structure.

    In response the Manager of Ballina Municipal District Marie Crowley explained to the councillors that there are financial implications to listing a building in this way. She said any work on a protected structure building is restricted and tends to be costly.

  • Joe McHale from Castlebar has been co-opted onto Mayo County Council, to take the seat recently vacated by Terése Ruane.

    At a selection convention held in Castlebar over the weekend, Joe McHale defeated Donna Hyland to take the Sinn Fein seat on the local authority in the Castlebar Municipal District.

    Térese Ruane recently retired from the council after 8 years as a public representative, due to work commitments.

    Joe McHale is a long-serving member of Sinn Fein who was unsuccessful in contesting previous elections.

  • A master plan for the development of Moore Hall and its environs is expected to be put before members of Mayo county council by this Autumn.

    That was confirmed by Director of Services  for the local authority, Catherine McConnell at a meeting of the Special Policy Committee on Tourism this week.

    The historical and ecological significance of the house and the 80 acre site, located at Lough Carra, about 12 km from Castlebar, was outlined to the committee by Senior Council Engineer Padraig Philbin.

    The house and lands were bought by Mayo County Council from Coillte some months ago and the authority is now working with the National Parks and Wildlife Dept to develop the location as a conservation for birds and bats, and as a recreational facility for the people of the region.

    The master plan will set out how, and in what stages, the development will advance.

    Padraig Philbin told the meeting that the reaction to the local authority purchasing the site has been tremendous.

  • Mayo County Council is ranked in 24th place of 30 local authorities in terms of regulating and enforcing waste services.

    RTE Investigates carried out an analysis of the activities of local authorities in the waste sector over a 3-year period.

    Donegal was found to be the poorest-performing local authority in terms of its inspection rates of facilities and its investment in waste services, while Wicklow was deemed the best council for managing waste services

    The study found that, across the country, there's a lack of consistency in staffing levels for waste enforcement, the amount of money spent on waste regulation, the rate of inspections carried out on waste facilities, and the number of actions taken against those who break the law.

    Of 30 areas surveyed, Mayo is in 24th place.

    The study found that, between 2015 and 2016, Mayo Co Co spent €11.23 per person on waste services v- which is €6 per person less than the national average.

    Mayo Co Co carried out 52 inspections on waste facilities between 2014 and 2016, which is less than half the national average.

    The council took 34 enforcement actions during that time, which is two-thirds less than the national average.

    Roscommon County Council performed much better, and is ranked in third place out of 30 local authorities, spending €19.35 per person on waste services.

     

     

     

  • A Mayo Councillor has called for smaller landlords to be exempt from tax on the income they earn on second properties.

    Killala based Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly had a motion down at this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council asking the Minister for Finance to exempt income generated from private rented accommodation from taxation in next year’s budget.

    Cllr Munnelly stressed that this was aimed at the small landlords, who only have one or two properties.

    He said it would allow landlords to rent out these properties at a reasonable rate, which could help to alleviate the housing crisis.

    Cllr Munnelly says many properties around the county are vacant at present, because these smaller landlords cannot afford the taxation on the income generated by them.

    The motion received the backing of his fellow councillors at the meeting.

  • A Mayo Councillor is calling on the Transport Minister Shane Ross to allocate funding for LIS roads in Co Mayo.

    The Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring has allocated over €2 million euro for LIS roads in Mayo over the past year, in three separate allocations, but Ballyhaunis-based Councillor John Cribben says Minister Shane Ross has not sanctioned any money for these private roads, since becoming Minister for Transport.

    The issue was raised at this week’s meeting of Mayo County Council, where Councillor Cribben’s motion, calling on the local authority to write to Minister Ross requesting that he allocate funds for LIS roads in Co Mayo, was carried.

     

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    Mayo County Councillors are due to hold a private meeting tonight to discuss the controversial directive that planning issues should not be discussed at county council or municipal district meetings, prior to a decision being made on a planning application.

    Councillors have criticised the directive, which was issued by the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in March, claiming they should be entitled to raise genuine concerns about planning matters at their meetings.