Does Skerries need lower speed limits?

Fingal County Council are drafting bye-laws on special 30 km/h speed limits in selected residential areas, but not for Skerries.  We, the public, have until 24 October to make submissions on this.

As currently drafted, the bye-laws will introduce 30km/h speed limits in parts of Swords, Donabate, Balrothery, Balbriggan, Sutton, Baldoyle, Malahide, Kinsealy, Mulhuddart and Ongar.  As of now, there are no draft bye-laws for any part of Skerries.

Details and maps are at https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/public-display-road-traffic-special-speed-limitscounty-fingaldraft-bye-laws-no-1-local

Does any part of Skerries need a 30 km/h speed limit?

You can make your opinion count by making a personal submission to Fingal County Council at https://consult.fingal.ie/en/node/add/civiq-comments?c=8043

Skerries Community Association will also be making a submission to Fingal County Council.  Our submission will cover the areas where there are EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IN INTRODUCING 30 KM/H LIMITS.  Give us your feedback by emailing traffic@skerriesca.com with your views. Continue reading

Backfilling of Milverton Quarry to Commence

Roadstone Limited has recently informed Skerries Community Association that extraction and backfilling operations at Milverton Quarry, which ceased operations in 2009, will commence around end April 2017.

Roadstone will import 1,900,000 tonnes of material into the quarry, at up to 400,000 tonnes per year. At their estimated average of 250,000 tonnes per year, this could mean 20-tonne trucks on our roads six days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m for more than seven years. Some rock extraction — some trucks also leaving the quarry full — will occur as well.

Should the SCA convene a public meeting where SCA members and, indeed, all Skerries residents would be able to share their views and to look for meaningful answers and action from Fingal County Council and Roadstone? Give us your views at traffic@skerriesca.com.

Aerial view of Milverton Quarry. Photography by Mark Broderick.ie.


Continue reading

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

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. 

SCA Submission for the next County Development Plan

Development Plan Consultation April 2015 (1)The next County Development Plan will cover the years 2017 to 2023. That’s a good bit into the future, but Fingal County Council have started work on it. You can read all about the process on the FCC website.

In the first round of consultations, Skerries Community Association was part of a very lively consultative meeting hosted by Fingal County Council in Balbriggan in April.

Issues raised there, and at our Board of Directors meetings, were summarised by our vice chairperson, Geoff McEvoy, and sent in the format of a submission to Fingal County Council in May.

A link to a PDF with the full submission is below; here are the main points:

Cultural Heritage

  • need for a permanent, purpose built performance space in Skerries
  • renovation and renewal of Skerries Library

Infrastructure and Movement

  • active travel (walking and cycling) must continue to be a priority focus
  • provision of cycle lanes and accessible footpaths
  • consideration of local public transport options to further  encourage mobility and prevent traffic congestion in the town centre.
  • overall, strategic approach to traffic management in Skerries
  • completion of promised and planned cycle path between Skerries and Balbriggan

Economic Development

  • Tourism is of increasing importance for the economy of the town – need for more beds to accommodate overnight visitors to festivals etc.
  • Infrastructural support to facilitate a joined up approach to the various water sports and activities that make use of our coastline.
  • Explore options for the Martello Tower, a potential tourism resource that is not being utilised.

Natural Heritage

  • Continued access to clean water and beaches is crucial for Skerries. The recent granting of the waste facility licence at Milverton Quarry has raised concerns in this regard.
  • Effective, sustainable water treatment – address inability of the water treatment plant in Kelly’s Bay to cope with increased water (heavy rains) and water quality in Rush (due to lack of proper water treatment there)
  • Long-term plans needed to address flooding at the Mill Stream.

Settlement Strategy, Placemaking and Communities

  • Facilitate the swift return to use of vacant properties.
  • Support independent living for older people
  • Provide youth facilities
  • Provide open spaces
  • High-quality broadband for all of Skerries and environs.
  • Free public WiFi throughout the town centre is desirable
  • Maintain the green belt between Skerries and the neighbouring towns of Balbriggan, Lusk and Loughshinny.
  • While additional development for housing is probably necessary, all planning and development must be sensitive, sustainable and community focused in order to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Skerries Community Association will continue to engage with Fingal County Council so that the next Development Plan will provide a framework for the points we raised in this submission.

Click on this link to see the full submission:
SCA Development Plan Submission May 2015

Tidy Towns ask: Join Cleaner Communities Competition!

Skerries Tidy Towns Committee write:

Entry forms are now available for the Fingal County Council “Cleaner Communities Competition”.
They can be downloaded from the Fingal County Council site, click on the link below or phone 018905453.
There are entries accepted from both Commercial and Residential.
Commercial includes: presentation of premises, Waste Management Initiatives, Energy Management Initiatives and Biodiversity.
Residential includes: best presented gardens, thatched cottages, estates, apartments, community centres.
There is also an award for Green Business: special effort to be environmentally friendly.
This is our own county competition and we as a town have lots to offer so please download a form and enter your residential area, house or business.

http://www.fingalcoco.ie/…/c…/community-clean-up-and-awards/

Bike Repair and Maintenance Course organised by two of our committees

Fix that bike! Want to learn how to fix punctures and brakes and lots of other practical stuff to keep your bike working safely and efficiently?
Two of the committees of Skerries Community Association have come together to bring you this course:
Sign up now for a free bike repair and maintenance course coming to Skerries in May. The course is open to Skerries residents over sixteen years old and is being organised by Skerries Cycling Initiative and Skerries Tidy Towns.
The course involves six sessions and will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings (9am-12 noon) over a three week period starting on Tuesday 5 May and ending on  Wed 20 May.
Any questions? Contact Michael, Skerries Cycling Initiative, via  cycling@skerriesca.com
Sponsored by Fingal County Council under the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Grants scheme
bike in front of harbour