Sunday, June 24, 2007

The State We Are In.

In early April, Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) submitted a report – entitled The State We Are In - to Kildare County Council (KCC), our local County Councillors, and our local TD’s. The report, along with a covering letter, was addressed to the following people:

Mr. J. Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – KCC)

Mr. William Purcell (Area Engineer - KCC)

Willie Callaghan

Mary Glennon

Billy Hillis

Paddy MacNamara

JJ Power

Mr. Sean O’Fearghail TD

Mr. Sean Power TD

Mr. Jack Wall TD

The report was written in response to the numerous complaints that Ballymore Eustace (BME) Community Development Association (CDA) has received, from inhabitants and visitors to BME, concerning the poor state of the roads, bridges, walkways and environs in and around the village. In the covering letter, we also pointed out that our attempts to improve our score in the annual Tidy Towns competition had been thwarted by many of the problems described in the report, many of which are outside our responsibilities and control. The report highlighted the main problems and described some particular – but not exhaustive - examples in words and pictures. BME CDA requested a meeting to discuss and prioritise the issues identified in the report.

To date – early May - we have received responses from the following people as a result of our submission:

1 Sean Power TD has made representations to Joe Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – Kildare County Council) and has promised to monitor developments closely.

2 As a result of Sean Power’s and the CDA’s submissions to KCC, Mr. Pat Whelan (Senior Executive Officer – KCC) has written to both Sean Power and the CDA. His letter advises us that the Area Engineer of KCC is examining the issues raised in the CDA’s report and Pat Whelan has arranged a meeting with him, on 27 April 2007, to discuss the outcome of his assessment. Mr. Whelan will then report to the CDA on the result of this meeting.

3 Jack Wall TD has contacted Joe Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – Kildare County Council) on the CDA’s behalf stressing the importance of the issues raised in our report (The State We Are In). He has also contacted Councillor Paddy Mac Namara asking him to arrange for a deputation from the CDA to attend the next KCC Local Area Committee Meeting to present our case.

4 Councillor Paddy Mac Namara has also contacted us direct to advise that he will raise the matters contained within our report and ask the Area engineer to respond.

We encourage the residents of Ballymore Eustace to raise the issues on the doorstep with canvassers in the lead up to general election.

Eric Firth (Committee Member Ballymore Eustace CDA)
1.5.2007 JB/RO’N

Mr. Eric Firth,
Ballymore Eustace C.D.A.
Truce Road,
Ballymore Eustace,

Re: Roads and related issues in Ballymore Eustace.

A Chara,

I refer to your recent submission forwarded by Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association in
the above regard. At the outset might I compliment the local community regarding a range of initiatives which they have undertaken in recent years. Certainly, for its part, the Council are more than anxious to work with the C.D.A. in order to ensure the betterment of Ballymore Eustace and its hinterlands.

In the above regard, I am pleased to advise that the Council propose to allocate an additional sum of €125,000 in 2007, over and above existing maintenance expenditure, in order to address some of the issues highlighted by the C.D.A. In this regard, I am further to advise that the Area Engineer, Mr. Willie Purcell has examined the issues raised on a preliminary basis. It is proposed, at the outset, to prioritize the following aspects.

(a) Truce Road – to examine and address the underlying flooding issue as well as to carry out surface repairs.
(b) Bishophill Road – to carry out further maintenance works.
(c) Barrack Street – to carry out further reinstatements to pavement.
(d) Naas Road – you may be aware that substantial expenditure was incurred in 2006 in order to carry out strengthening improvements to the verges. It is proposed to carry out additional reinstatement works throughout the length of this scheme, the costs to be borne as part of the Water Services contract

I am pleased to advise that the following additional allocations will be made available.

1. Alliganstown Bridge

Reconstruction works are due to commence in a fortnight or so for completion probably in late August/ early September. The total cost of these works will be in the region of €250,000 and this funding has been provided as part of the Council’s capital programme.

2. Dowdenstown Road

In addition to the foregoing a sum of €25,000 will be made available in order to carry out improvements to the Dowdenstown Road.

I am further to confirm that the Area Engineer will examine the Brook of Donode Bridge, as requested. In addition, I have requested the Council’s specialist bridge engineer, Mr. Aidan Farrell, Senior Executive Engineer, to examine the issues raised regarding Ballymore Bridge. Again, I will communicate with you further in this regard.

In relation to other items raised I am to advise as follows:-

· The Council’s Environment Section will examine in detail the issues raised regarding the derelict sites. As you are aware the council does have the statutory remit to take action, where appropriate, in this regard. I do assure you that this particular issue will receive every consideration.

· The position regarding full- time street cleaners in various towns and villages throughout the county is currently being considered. However, realistically, there are unlikely to be any changes in current arrangements in the short term. The matter is, however, due to be reviewed in the context of the 2008 budget which will be considered in September next. Again, I will keep you appraised of any developments in this regard.

· I am further to confirm that the Road Design team have been requested to prepare a traffic calming scheme and to review safety issues generally at the school. I am to advise that detailed plans and proposals should be available in this regard shortly and it may, indeed be possible to progress this as a scheme in 2008. It will, however, be necessary to up- grade the surface of the road at this location in the first instance. I will arrange to forward a copy of these drawings to the Community development association in due course in order that its comments and observations can be fully considered as part of the design process. Traffic calming arrangements, including pedestrian controlled lights and special 30 km/h speed limits (during school hours) are currently being prioritized for a number of schools, particularly in rural areas, throughout the county. The provision of such a facility for Ballymore Eustace will be actively considered in this regard. Regrettably, however, it is unlikely that such a facility can be provided in Chapel Street in the short term.

· Realistically, given the costs involved there is little likelihood of under#grounding the overhead street wires either in the short or medium term. Regrettably, the nature of this work is inherently expensive and, as you will glean from your own submission, there are many other priorities.

· I have requested the area office to liaise with the Gardai regarding the enforcement of the one- way system on Plunkett Road.

· I have also requested the Road Design team to re-examine the designation of parking areas and will correspond further with you in this regard. You will be aware that markings were recently provided at Chapel Street to include a facility for disabled persons. In addition, a double yellow line was provided, as requested, at the entrance to St.Brigid’s Park. I would be pleased to get the feed back of the C.D.A. in this regard that I can, again, be fully taken into account in the design process.

· Regarding footpaths, the Council is anxious to complete a section on Barrack Street (Garda Station side). However, this will be subject to funding being identified. No doubt, its completion will complement other footpath improvement completed in recent years at Chapel Street, Plunkett Road and Main Street. It may well be possible to advance this as a scheme in 2008. It is, however, unlikely to be feasible to carry out improvements on the other side in the short term although the Area Engineer should be in a position to carry out some repair work.

I trust that the foregoing, though perhaps not to the full satisfaction of the C.D.A., at least clarifies most of the issues involved and sets out a programme of work for 2007. This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as issues arise and, hopefully, it will be possible to continue this programme in future years.

Yours faithfully,


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