Our Submission to the 2017-2023 County Development Plan

On Friday, 29 April 2016, after an intense process of engaging with the draft development plan for Fingal County Council, the Skerries Community Association made a formal submission.

Geoff McEvoy, our chair, wrote in his covering letter:

The Skerries Community Association Ltd. is an umbrella group of eleven different committees, made up of several hundred volunteers, devoted to making the quality of life in Skerries even better. The SCA is a not for profit structured as Company Limited by Guarantee. We are governed by a board of fifteen directors. Our vision statement and articles of association are viewable on our website: skerriesca.com Our submission has been informed by discussions at board level and consultation with our member committees, some of whom will also be making their own submissions.

The full text of our submission is available here:

CVQ-3359 – Development Plan SCA Observations – 29-04-2016 11-45am

Fingal CC Development Plan and SCA

Skerries Community Association is currently drafting a submission for the Fingal County Council Development Plan for 2017-2023.

2023! The kids who are starting school this September will be in 6th Class then, and those who are preparing for Junior Cert right now will be in their early twenties, and even the Leaving Cert will just be a fading memory….

So this is long-term, big-scale thinking which requires reflecting where we want Skerries to be in 2023. The Board of Directors of the Skerries Community Association is basing its work on a submission on the following:

Vision for Skerries – What do we think is “great” about our town / could be done to make it even better?
  • sustainable development, in keeping with the current character of the town
  • When it comes to economic development, a technology park may be a good fit; industrial areas would not be
  • the needs of commuters need to be borne in mind
  • being able to move around town without having to use the car
  • age friendly – for all ages
  • more energy-efficiency, use of renewable energies (wind, water, willows)
  • vibrant community
  • cultural, sporting amenities
  • amenities for visitors (hotel / hotels e.g.)
Housing
  • Sustainable development, good-quality housing with amenities nearby.
  • Options for all – including apartments / smaller units close to shops and other infrastructure for those with impaired mobility.
As Skerries grows we need to think how that will look. Do we want higher density (three or four stories) housing or alternatively see the “footprint” of the town spread out much further than currently?

Areas for possible future housing development should be identified on the development plan.

 

Transport
All residential areas of Skerries should be accessible in a safe, sustainable way to the town centre and the public transport network: Foot paths, cycle paths, safe roads.
This should apply to both existing and new areas.
Cycle paths and foot paths – there are many instances where paths stop all of a sudden. These need to be connected / finished.

Over to you!

We (the SCA) are encouraging all Skerries residents to have a look at the development plan consultation process. Fingal County Council have put all relevant information here. The public consultation drop-in sessions are over, but all documents are available online, and we are including a few here as well.

If you have any comments that you think we should include in our submission, please mail them to secretary@skerriesca.com as soon as possible.

Be part of the Fingal Development Plan Consultation!

We can all be part of the consultation process for the next Fingal Development Plan. Here is how!

See below for the on-line consultation process, and (especially useful) drop-in consultation sessions where Council staff will be available to discuss the current draft.

There are sessions in Balbriggan Library (15 March), Rush Library (4 April) and many other locations.

(from the Fingal County Council website:)

fingal consultation 2016

Public Information drop-in Sessions for the Development Plan process take place as follows.  Please feel free to drop in and go through the Development Plan maps and discuss the plan with Council staff.

 

Location Date Time
County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin Tuesday 8th March 4pm – 8pm
Blanchardstown Library, Civic Centre, Blanchardstown Centre,  Dublin 15 Thursday 10th March 4pm – 8pm
Balbriggan Library, George’s Square, Balbriggan. CoDublin Tuesday 15th  March 4pm – 8pm
Rush Library, Chapel Road, Rush, Co. Dublin Monday 4th April 4pm – 8pm
Baldoyle Library, Strand Road, Baldoyle, Dublin 13 Thursday 7th April 4pm – 8pm
County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin Thursday 14th April 4pm – 8pm
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood Park, Santry, Dublin9 Tuesday 19th April 4pm – 8pm

 

Draft Plan (Stage 2 Now Open)

Fingal County Council published the Draft County Development Plan 2017 -2023 on February 19th 2016 – this marks the start of Phase 2 of the Development Plan preparation process.

The Chief Executives Draft Development Plan was presented to the elected Members of the Council in December 2015 for their consideration.  At a series of meetings in January and February of 2016, motions submitted by the Members were considered and the Draft Development Plan is now being published for members of the public to make submissions / observations. The public consultation period runs from February 19th to April 29th 2016.

The Fingal Draft Development Plan sets out the strategic spatial vision and future direction for the county over a six year period from 2017 to 2023. In developing this we will build on our previous successes and our strategic advantages as a county. The Fingal Draft Development Plan 2017 – 2023 has been prepared for public consultation and we encourage all citizens, communities, businesses and interested parties to actively participate in helping to shape the future of your County.

The Chief Executive will prepare a report on the submissions received during the public consultation phase and this will be considered by the elected Members at meetings in September and October 2016. We look forward to hearing from you and exploring your views on how the County should develop economically, socially and culturally over the years ahead.

Click here to view the plan or to make a submission:

http://www.fingal.ie/dpdev/draftplanstage2nowopen/

 

Skerries Volunteer Showcase Event 2016

Tuesday the 23rdFebruary, 2016, Skerries Harps GFC Clubhouse, Skerries
7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

SCA VolunteersThe organisers, Fingal County Council;s Community Development Office, Fingal Volunteer Centre & local partners Mourne Community Centre and ourselves, the Skerries Community Association, hope that some 30 groups will be present on the day.

The groups will set up from 5.30 and have one hour for networking until the event is opened to the public with the official Launch by Mayor of Fingal – Cllr. David O’Connor at 7 p.m.

SCA Logo 2016

Apart from Skerries groups looking to recruit volunteers, there will be seven Countywide / National Organisations as well, such as Foróige, Jigsaw, and Bereaved by Suicide.

All those who think they might have anything between a couple of hours once-off and a few hours every day to spare should come to the Harps Clubhouse on that 23 Feb, from 7 to 8.30!

Any Skerries organisation who are looking for volunteers and are not yet on board should contact Valerie McAllorum-Byrne, Community Officer, Fingal County Council, ASAP. Her contact details are

(01)8905106

Skerries Community Garden – Be part of it!

Would you like to grow your own food without the expense and commitment of an allotment?
Do you want to learn how to grow food and flowers with a community of other people?
Do you have time to spare and interested in becoming involved with a Community Food Garden?

WE HAVE THE ANSWER FOR YOU. Sustainable Skerries in association with Fingal County Council and Skerries Tidy Towns have permission to create food growing garden near Skerries Mills.
If you are interested in becoming part of this project, please email skerriescommunityfoodgarden@gmail.com before Saturday 13th February
Being part of a Community food garden will provide you with an opportunity to meet new people, become more active, have access to fresh produce and learn how easy it is to grow food.

Tomatoes

Tidy Towns: Local Skerries Winners 2015

What do Skerries Mills, Shoe Horn, Barbara Ryan of The Old Rectory, the residents of The Kybe and Wisteria all have in common? They were recipients at the recent Skerries Tidy Towns Awards Night! And they, as well as many, many others here in Skerries, contributed significantly to our very good results in the national Tidy Towns competition 2015.

Below is the list of awards, their sponsors and their winners.

Well done, everyone!

 

Area Judged

 

Sponsored By

 

Winner

 

Best Floral Display on a Business

 

 

The Progressive Credit Union

 

Skerries Mills

Accepting: Ray Hunt

Presenting: Sinead Morgan from the progressive credit union

 

 

Best Window Display

 

The Red Bank

 

Shoe Horn

Accepting: Marian Butterly, Debbie and Sandra

Presented by: Frances Owens

 

 

Best Presented House in the Town Centre

 

The Progressive Credit Union

 

The Old Rectory

Millars Lane, Holmpatrick.

Accepting: Barbara Ryan

Presented by: Sinead Morgan from the progressive credit union

 

 

Best Presented House in an Estate

 

 

 

 

Kelly & Co Auctioneers

 

 

34 Downside Heights

Accepting: Geraldine Palmer

Presented by: Frances Owens

 

 

Best Presented Estate

 

 

S.C.A. Skerries Community Association

 

The Kybe

Accepting: Caroline Dwyer and residents

Presented by : Brendan Sherlock

 

 

Best Signage on a Business

 

Skerries Tidy Towns

 

Piccolo, Thomas Hand St

Accepting: Giorgio

Presented by: Frances Owens

 

 

Best Presented Business

 

Tom and Denyze Joyce

Skerries Art School

 

Wisteria

Accepting: Camille Dennis

Presented by: The artist

Shane McInerney

 

Public Consultation – Irish Rail

You may have seen the link and information on the SCA Facebook page or Newsflash – Irish Rail were engaged in a consultation process concerning their proposed changes up to last week.

We are working closely with Bob Laird in this regard, who is a member on Fingal County Council’s Strategic Policy Committee for Transport and who went through the proposals with a fine-toothed comb. Based on his thoughts and our own analysis, we felt that there were some changes that would not be so good for Skerries.

We shared these with the recipients of the daily SCA Newsflash, encouraging to make their own input to the consultation process on irishrail.ie – but we also drew up a submission and forwarded it to Irish Rail. It follows here:

trains consultation snippetSkerries Community Association
Website: www.skerriesca.com
Contact: info@skerriesca.com
7 December 2015

We wish to begin by stating that Skerries residents have been loyal users of the train service over the years, and that many of us rely very much on the trains for mobility.

In general the train service, when not overcrowd, is reliable and comfortable. Having said that, some improvements are necessary. The frequency in off-peak is not sufficient for the numbers travelling and there are a number of negative implications for users in the draft 2016 timetable, especially for those returning home in the afternoon/evening peak. We consider it crucial that overcrowding on off peak trains be reduced as many less able bodied people choose to travel off-peak in the hope of getting a seat.

We wish to say also that the time allowed for the consultation is not sufficient for train users to study a long PDF document and analyse the implications of what is being proposed.

Comments on draft Timetable.

We welcome the introduction of an express from Dundalk at 07.55 am, which serves Drogheda, and which will free up space for Skerries and other stations further south.

Below is a list of the omissions from, and proposed changes to, the draft timetable which we believe will adversely affect users of the service travelling to and from Skerries.

Issues which we feel have not been adequately addressed:

Weekdays inbound:

  • we need extra trains around 1000 to 1200 to reduce overcrowding;
  • the 1758 from Balbriggan should stop at Rush & Lusk, and Donabate

Weekdays outbound:

  • extra trains needed in off-peak to relieve overcrowding, especially on current 1444 and 2013 from Pearse
  • a train between the proposed 1523 and 1623 from Pearse will be needed. The proposed 60 minute gap is far too long
  • The later departures of 1713 and 1728 from Pearse to 1723 and 1743 won’t work. It means not enough capacity between 1700 and 1730, the 1723 will be overcrowded before it even leaves Pearse. Also a very long gap for Pearse/Tara St. to Donabate. Propose that 1712 from Connolly to Balbriggan starts at Pearse at 1705 and becomes an 8-coach. Also all trains should stop at Donabate
  • Last train should be kept at 2330 from Pearse, not 2323

Saturdays inbound:

  • train leaving Balbriggan at 0920 should be 0925, to be consistent hourly with all the other trains
  • need extra trains (above the basic hourly) mid-morning when more people travelling into city, rather than in afternoon as proposed

Saturday outbound:

  • need extra train at 1600. Gap from 1530 to 1630 is too long
  • need extra train at night to give hourly departures from 1830 to 2330
  • Why is 1658 from Pearse stopping at Clongriffin to let Enterprise past, adding 7 minutes to journey? Would it be better to run a few minutes later, leaving Connolly after the Enterprise?

Sunday inbound:

  • Three hour gap in evening is too long. Should be no gap bigger than two hours, with second last train at same time as weekdays

Sunday outbound:

  • Need extra trains to bring it to hourly at key afternoon times when people are coming home. Most critical is a 1815 from Pearse, also need a 1615

Sunday outbound:

  • Need extra trains to bring it to hourly at key afternoon times when people are coming home. Most critical is a 1815 from Pearse, also need a 1615

We trust you will consider our concerns and endeavour to accommodate our suggestions.

Yours sincerely,

Michael McKenna, Vice Chairperson, Skerries Community Association

Welcoming our new SCA Directors!

Since September 2015, a number of new Directors have joined the Board of Directors of the Skerries Community Association.

The three snapshots below were taken during our December Board meeting in Skerries Community Centre / The Old School.

Tony Graham is a long-standing member of Skerries Cycling Initiative and has been a mentor with Skerries CoderDojo since their very first session.

Joyce Moore is part of the Skerries Skate Park Committee.

And Mary Marsden is part of the Sustainable Skerries committee, as well as being involved in the Skerries Allotments Association.

These new Directors have slotted neatly & seamlessly into our Board of Directors, and it is great to have them. Not just because we can now spread the work more!

At the same time, we would like to thank Martin Russell, Zaneta Wright and Ciara Leonard for their contribution to the Skerries Community Association over the years. In addition to their role as company directors, they all held officer positions – Martin and Ciara were both chair persons at different times, and Zaneta was our Company Secretary.

We wish them all the very best and hope that our paths will cross often in the future!

 

Posted in SCA

Report of Skerries Community Liaison Committee Meeting October 2015

Tuesday 6th October 2015 – 3:00pm at Prosper Fingal, Skerries

 

Cllr. David O’Connor

Cllr. Grainne Maguire

Cllr. JP Browne

Cllr. Tony Murphy

 

Jane Landy – Skerries Community Assoc.

Geoff McEvoy – Skerries Community Assoc.

Paula Marry – Chamber of Commerce

Ann Doyle – Skerries Tidy Towns

 

Ann Murphy – FCC

John Hartnett – FCC

Aileen O’Connor – FCC

 The meeting was chaired by Councillor David O’Connor

  1. Minutes of meeting held on 23rd June were agreed

Issues Arising

  • O’Connor updated the Committee regarding the proposed Skerries to Loughshinny walkway.
  • Browne informed the Committee that the 2016 Triathlon may try to tie in with the 2016 Skerries Water Festival. He also commented on the need for improved communication between parties regarding the organisation of future events.
  • Geoff McEvoy raised the issue regarding the request for winter storage for boats belonging to Skerries Rowing Club.
  1. Blue Flag update

Ann Murphy outlined the process involved in attaining the Blue Flag and also informed the Committee the reason Skerries lost its Blue Flag was due to 2 individual incidents in 2014.

The Committee queried how and when Skerries could expect to get back the Blue Flag in the future. They also wondered if Milverton Quarry would affect the water quality when it was operational.

Jane Landy asked if it would be possible to contact George Sharpson with a view to recommencing local bathing water quality testing again.

  1. Skerries Town Park update

Aileen O’Connor gave an update on the work that had already been completed and the work that was yet to be done.

Jane Landy requested a written update so it could be put on their Facebook page.

  1. Skerries Town Plan (to include Traffic & Road Safety)

Geoff McEvoy suggested a coordinated approach between Fingal County Council and the Committee is taken in relation to issues of traffic and road safety in Skerries. Instead of individual issues being addressed it might be better to take a holistic approach to the issue.

It was agreed that Fingal County Council would provide the Committee with some maps of the town on which they can hi-light the areas and issues that they feel could be addressed using this approach.

  1. Tidy Towns 2015 – Review

Ann Doyle gave a brief review of the recent Tidy Towns results. She stated that the Tidy Towns Committee were very pleased with the results considering the large number of entrants. She said that for 2016 Skerries needed to come up with a project – maybe something in the area of waste minimisation. She also passed on her thanks to Fingal County Council for all of their assistance.

The Committee passed on their congratulations to Ann and the Tidy Towns Committee.

  1. Strand Street Seating

Fingal County Council said that they would give consideration to a proposal to put a small number of additional seats on Strand Street. The Committee undertook to check with businesses and residents regarding the possible location of these seats prior to presenting Fingal County Council with a number of potential sites.

  1. Provision of additional disabled parking bay on Harbour Road

Ann Murphy said that the Fingal County Council Traffic Engineer would carry out an assessment of the area but that the addition of a disabled parking bay would be done in consultation with the Gardaí.

Councillor O’Connor made an enquiry regarding the uptake and use of disabled parking bays in the town. The Committee said that they would look into this.

  1. Irish language usage (signage, etc.)

Ann Murphy reported that Fingal County Council are compliant with the legislation under the Official Languages Act. She informed the Committee that all Councils have until 2026 to be fully compliant under the legislation.

During the discussion Cllr. Tony Murphy noted that Malahide will pilot a project to standardise shop fronts and signage.

Cllr. O’Connor proposed and it was agreed that this issue would be discussed at the next Skerries Community Liaison Committee meeting as a Headed Item.

  1. South Strand Cycling

Ann Murphy reported that the current signage was the most appropriate for the area and that there was no need for additional signs or to change what was there.

Jane Landy thought that the current signs were still confusing to the public and that something should be done to make them clearer.

Ann Murphy suggested that a sufficient period of time should be allowed for the public to get used to the new arrangement on South Strand. She also suggested that the Committee could reinforce this using their newsletter and also social media.

  1. AOB
  • Jane Landy informed the Committee that Kay Coleman had recently won the Jim Quigley Award for Volunteer of the Year award. The Committee wished to pass on their congratulations to Kay on the award.

The above is the report as circulated by John Hartnett, Fingal County Council, on 12 October 2015.