Archive for the 'Listooder' Category

july 3 2013 jobs campaign taken to Stormont

july 3 a 2013 jobs stormont by CadoganEnright
As Chairperson of the campaign to bring Public Sector Jobs to Down District, Cadogan organises launch of Down’s ‘sales brochure’ with help of MLA’s John McCallister, Chris Hazzard and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton.
5,500 people commute daily to Belfast for work – overwhelmingly in the public sector – Downs Public Sector Campus would provide a far more sustainable location for these jobs – drastically reducing congestion in Belfast and locally and giving a boost to local businesses who would no longer see the spending power of the District commuting to Belfast..

Challenging Projected Coverage for RTE and TG4 in April 2012 – 6 months before digital switch-over

Following Digital UK writing to Down District Council last year us last year on the schedule for switch-over, I wrote back to them to them seeking reassurance that widespread concern around Down District that RTE1, RTE2 and TG4 would be available from day one as had previously been announced and as agreed under the Good Friday and Saint Andrews Agreement.

It was clear from the on-line maps they were supplying at the time that large areas of Down District including Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch would be left out, I had been seeking improvements to this scenario. Map of Best Case Scenario April 2012 for RTE / TG4 coverage

Very large numbers of people in this district rely on these stations for sports coverage, Irish Language broadcasting and news across the Island of Ireland.

Denis Wolinski, Digital UK’s National Manager in Northern Ireland, wrote to me last October  saying “Beidh RTE agus TG4 ar fáil ar an gcóras nua.  Beidh a thuilleadh eolais faoi seo á fhógairt amach anseo.” (RTE and TG4 will be available on the new system, more information will be announced on this.)

However  significant gaps in coverage emerged (see link above to  map) during the digital switch-over which I  continued to query in a lengthy correspondence with Digital UK

Worryingly, digitaluk’s team here in N.I. have confirmed that only one of the two transmitters in the Belfast area will be carrying the Irish as well as the UK stations. Blackmountain will have both, but the Divis transmitter will only have UK services – most TV’s in Down District receive their signal from the Divis Transmitter.

I have challenged this arrangement both directly myself, and have had Down Council express concerns on behalf of all citizens in the District.

Digital have written to me saying “Our advice to consumers is based on information made available to us from the broadcasters. This indicates that the new Freeview service supplemented by Saorview signals from the Republic will make TG4, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two available to approximately 93 per cent of households in Northern Ireland. Our campaign reminds viewers that Freeview HD equipment will be needed to receive these channels via Freeview.”

 

I am campaigning to make sure we do not end up as part of the 7% who do not get the service.

Click here to see some of the correspondence to both Digital UK and to Saorview in the Republic

 

Bicycles can now be recycled

Bicycles can now be recycled

Councillor highlights RTE signal danger

Councillor highlights RTE signal danger

use cash not rates

use cash not rates by CadoganEnright
use cash not rates, a photo by CadoganEnright on Flickr.

Victory in reducing Rates flows from Renewable Energy

Cllr Cadogan Enright celebrates £4 Million rates victory

Cllr Cadogan Enright celebrates rates victory by Cadogan Enright

Councillor Cadogan Enright’s 3 year campaign of opposition to what he has described as “excessive cash reserves” in Down District Council at the expense of the ratepayer appears to have been vindicated.
Cllr Enright, a qualified Chartered Accountant, was the only councilor to vote against the adoption of Down Districts Annual Accounts last year. At the time he claimed that the council had over-provided in its cash reserves by at least 3 to 4 million pounds.
Cadogan Enright said “following my defeat last March by a margin of 22 to 1 on this issue last year, I referred the matter to the external auditor, the audit committee and managed with the help of 2 other councilors to have the internal auditor spend time investigating this matter.”
“The council’s turnover was estimated to be £18 million this year, but cash reserves had been allowed to accumulate to well over £10 million. Ignoring specific reserves, our closing current cash balance last year was standing at £4.9 million, compared to Newry and Mourne at £0.6, Ards and Castlerea both at £1.3 and Armagh at £0.1 million. Were we to merge with Newry and Mourne as planned, this would be the equivalent of giving each person living in Newry and Mourne a present of £29 – a £2.5 million ‘hello present”. Said Cadogan.
“In addition to this, I disputed the entire provision of £3.7 million of additional reserves earmarked to decommission Drumnakelly dump. I believe we are only legally and environmentally required to provide for decommissioning for a maximum of 30 years after its closure, not the 60 proposed by management. We are also allowed to recognize the future value of income from renewable energy and, in particular electricity generated from methane at the dump. Newry and Mourne have done this and as a result only have a fraction of our reserves for the same purpose”.
“Having attended audit and strategic resource committee meetings over the last 18 months I am now certain that all technical questions about this matter have now been resolved. The bigger parties are now faced with estimates of 20 to 30% of rates increases over the next 4 years, and have been forced to come round to my point of view to be able to achieve an acceptable rates figure. We have at least £4 million is reserves available to use before the merger with Newry and Mourne.” Concluded Cllr Enright.
Cllr Cadogan Enright also thanked fellow councilors John Doris and Eamon Mac Con Midhe for their support in pursuing this matter, saying “Cllr Mac Con Midhe has proved to be an excellent Audit Committee Chairperson, not afraid to take on the experts and I am grateful for his support”.

ENRIGHT CONDEMNS THE ROADS SERVICE FOR “WAITING FOR AN ACCIDENT TO HAPPEN” IN LISTOODER.

Photograph shows how barely 3 people can stand along the width of the road. Local Green Party members Barbara Haig (R) and Michael Mann (L) with Jeanetta Harper in the middle and Councillor Cadogan Enright at rear.

The Green Party has been campaigning to have street lighting installed at a ‘rat run’ linking the Ballynahinch / Crossgar Road through the village of Listooder to the Belfast / Crossgar Road. Children and the older generation use this road regularly when getting off the bus at the top of this road and walk down into Listooder.

Councillor Cadogan Enright said “The Green Party are concerned as this piece of road is particularly dangerous during the winter months and darker evenings when school children, the elderly and Listooder locals have to walk down this road with no lighting or illumination and no footpath or verges to walk on with room for only one car to pass at a time”.

Cadogan Enright said “I have written to the Department for Regional Development (DRD), responsible for street lighting, expressing my concerns on this matter. I received a reply stating that this road does not meet the criteria for getting street lighting. I was told that the road must have a significant accident history before being considered. I feel this is a completely unacceptable response in which local people have simply been told that they have to wait for someone to be seriously injured or worse before they can even be considered.”

Local resident Jeanetta Harper said “I was totally stunned at the department’s reply saying that there had not been enough serious accidents or not enough development on Listooder Road to warrant the street lights being brought up a bit further to the bus stop. I feel that Listooder is being discriminated against. I have heard that plenty of work is carried out in rural areas, Drumaness got approximately 22 lights installed and Brennans garage area got extra lights recently.”

“Firstly there is not enough room for 10 houses they require on this small bit of road leading from the bus stop on the hill past the Orange Hall down to the village. Secondly saying that they are waiting for an accident to happen on a road which is a rat run for Ballynahinch is TRULY unbelievable. There isn’t even a footpath and the road is only one car width at the junction with the main road. When I am cutting grass outside my house (which I believe is the responsibility of DARD) I have had many close shaves,” said Jeanette Harper.

Councillor Enright concluded, “I created a petition for local residents in which they were able to collect the signatures of over 70 local people in protest of this response from the DRD. We sent this to the DRD and still they have refused to act. Listooder has grown considerably in the past 20 years, vehicles travel up to the main road. Lights and a footpath are seriously needed. I am seeking an on-site inspection with the officials concerned”.

Press Cuttings: Listooder road safety concerns.

ENRIGHT TACKLES FLOODING PROBLEM IN LISTOODER

069, originally uploaded by downgreenparty.

We have welcomed the successful completion of work by the Roads Service in the Listooder area to address flooding problems which they had previously brought to the attention of the authorities.

Cllr Cadogan Enright explained, “When we visited the site, it was clear that the infrastructure in the area was unsuitable for dealing with heavy rainfall. Drains were either blocked, or, in several instances, the drains themselves were sited above the water level and so simply did not work”.

“After meeting with a Department of the Environment representative, we secured the implementation of a number of changes which have helped to relieve the situation. This included the installation of larger gratings and connection pipes to carry the water to the culvert at Lyons Bridge and in to the stream”, he said

The Listooder Road near Crossgar had been partial to flash flooding, with local residents placing sandbags outside their homes throughout the year to deal with the constant threat of flooding.

However, following the intervention of local Green Party representatives, work has been carried out to deal with the problem, by installing a new system of gullies and pipes.

Local Green Party Coordinator, Pat Ward, said he was glad to see the work being carried out as it would be a big help to people living in the area. Pat said, “The staff of the Roads Service deserve a lot of praise for the work they have carried out as promised and they assure me that other problems which we highlighted in the area are also being dealt with.”

Jeanetta Harper, a local resident who has been plagued with the problem of severe flooding over the years, said “We, the residents in Listooder, appreciate the work done by the DoE this spring but had to campaign for 15 years to get this issue tackled.

“We thank the Green Party for their intervention and support their continued efforts to ensure that sufficient drainage is in place on Cahard Road to reduce the flow down to Listooder Road”.

Press Cuttings: Crossgar flooding cure welcomed

FLOODING PROBLEMS IN LISTOODER

Councillor Cadogan Enright, Mrs Rachel Kennedy, and Pat Ward local activist

Down Cllr Cadogan Enright has described as ‘shocking’ the recent floods in the Listooder area. The recent heavy rains have seen roads covered in water and homes surrounded by flooding due to inadequate drainage.

Cllr Cadogan Enright said “This area has been burdened with floods for many years and the solutions put in place to alleviate the problem were ineffective. Drains are either blocked or, in several instances, the drains themselves are sited above the water level and so simply do not work.”

A number of houses have been flooded in the past and most local residents have to keep sandbags at the ready in case of sudden downpours. “This leaves many people barricaded in their own homes”, Cllr Enright added.

On one occasion, a chicken shed was flooded, resulting in the death of hundreds of chickens and a costly damage bill for the farmer involved.

Local resident, Mrs Rachel Kennedy, has been living with these problems for years. “I have had to deal with flooding many times over the years and it is difficult trying to live with the constant threat of flooding. The sandbags are permanently at my front door in case of a flash flood”, she said.

A Department of the Environment representative recently met with local residents in a bid to find a lasting solution to these problems. “It happened to be raining that day and so the flooding problems were obvious”, said local activist Pat Ward.

As a result of this meeting, the Department of the Environment have agreed to implement a number of changes, which residents have agreed would relieve the situation. These include installing larger gratings and connection pipes to carry the water to the culvert at Lyons Bridge and hence to the stream.

Cllr Enright concluded, “We have the opportunity to solve the flooding problems in Listooder and we will be pressing the Department to ensure they follow through on their promises, but are thankful for their cooperation to date”.

Press Cuttings: Saintfield pensioner’s plight