Archive for the 'Ringdufferin' Category

2nd August 2013 Big Butterfly Island Odyssey

CADOGAN ENRIGHT COMPLETES ISLAND ODYSSEY FOR BUTTERFLIES 

Cllr Cadogan Enright has highlighted the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ as Wildlife Conservation activity that any family can participate in in their gardens or when out on fun trips to the beach or country.

“It only takes 15 minutes, it would be great to cover the whole County Down.” said Cllr Enright.

‘Healthy’ places should have lots of butterflies in lots of colours.  This year, with the warm weather, there should be considerably more butterflies to see than ever before on the count. You can log onto the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ website, print out ID sheets with easy to recognise pictures, and record your results at  http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/about until Monday 12th August

All the Islands visited and counted

All the Islands visited and counted

Cadogan Enright and his son Cad Óg have just returned from 5 days exploring Strangford Lough by canoe, camping on different islands each night while doing the Big Butterfly Count on every island around the Lough. Strangford Lough is one of our most important wildlife sites, protected as a marine nature reserve, SPA, SAC, Ramsar site, ASSI, AONB etc.  The islands are sunken drumlins, a special land feature which County Down is famous for, produced by glaciers.

“We have family members working in ‘Outdoor Adventure Management’ on the Loch and in the Mourne Mountains, so we familiar with weather conditions, safety and land ownership issues”. Said Cllr Enright

“We counted most of the islands, including one not found on Google – Craigabheigh. This island and several around it were obviously used by geese for roosting at night. It was impossible to count all the butterflies that presented themselves in 15 minutes on some islands. We gave up counting on Parton after 5 minutes when we were overwhelmed by huge clouds of small spear shaped moths rising in the air across the island.

“Some islands had cattle grazing, and we eaten alive by horseflies and mighty glad of the 15 minute rule – this also dictated where we could camp. We avoided nesting areas, saw hundreds of Terns diving for fish and my son Cad Óg was blown away by aerial battles as a buzzard raided seabirds nests on a cliff at the Northern end of Inis Glas while I paddled to Dún Ui Neill. At night there were bats and we had old-fashioned sing-songs around a fire. Nature Conservation can be great fun.”

Clllr Cadogan Enright and Son Cad Óg return on morning of 6th day to Quoile River

Clllr Cadogan Enright and Son Cad Óg return on morning of 6th day to Quoile River

Bad weather and Southerly gales and rain disrupted the return journey by a night, and the Enrights were unable to count the areas around Inis tSagairt properly.  “This was disappointing as counts have shown this island to be an astonishingly diverse habitat in the past. It should be a Nature Reserve in my view.” Said Cllr Enright.

Cad Óg said “It was a really great adventure. We will do this again next year for a whole week.”

The Big Butterfly Count contines that week and Identification Sheets and on-line reporting of your own garden or any location can be accessed at www.bigbutterflycount.org/about

 

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 anti-National park bullies 28th November 2012

Challenging anti-National park bullies 28th November 2012

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”.

ILLEGAL DEVELOPMENT ON SIMMY ISLAND

 

 we are currently investigating a breach of Environmental Regulations on Simmy Island in Strangford lough, within what is an area of special scientific interest.

Retired Green Party Councillor Bill Corry learned of an application for retrospective planning permission for a site on the island, which includes the extension of a jetty, the conversion of a boathouse to a house and the installation of a sceptic tank, which Bill describes as ‘illegal’.

Simmy island lies within an area of special scientific interest, as well as having Marine Nature Reserve and RAMSTAR status. This application is for a private residence and has been completed without prior planning permission, causing disturbance to the foreshore. The fact that it is a retrospective application shows total disregard for the environment by the applicant.

Bill Corry, in his capacity as Councillor, has been in correspondence with the Planning Service to highlight the effect the development has had on the area, as well as to highlight that the installation of a sceptic tank is illegal as it breaches discharge consent. He has demanded enforcement by the Planning Service at once. A copy of Bill’s letter can be found here.

The Planning Service have since replied to Bill with the information he requested on the application and have assured him that “the Department will pursue this matter until it has been satisfactorily resolved and in doing so will be conscious of any statutory time limits in respect of formal enforcement action”.

Cllr. Cadogan Enright, who has replaced Bill on Down District Council, has pledged to continue Cllr. Corry’s work on this issue and intends to ensure that the Planning Service enforce legislation against environmental damage.

Pictured are out-going Green Party Cllr. Bill Corry and in-coming Cllr. Cadogan Enright at Strangford Lough, with Simmy island in the background.