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Downpatrick is our County Town and Council must re-affirm that status

Downpatrick is our County Town and Council must re-affirm that status

  1. Bring back the Downpatrick Masterplan, putting it under local Downpatrick DEA Councillors’ democratic control. Re-balancing development spending between Downpatrick and Newry link. Downpatrick is our County Town – here is a summary of the Downpatrick Masterplan
  2. Declare a Climate Change Emergency in Newry, Mourne and Down. Amend the Council’s Development plan to 2030 for real actions to prepare our Council area for the change we must all undergo – here is a summary of these changes
  3. Campaign for the Down Hospital in Downpatrick – the South Eastern Trust accept that there is a clinical need for a 24 hour A/E in Downpatrick – but claim they cannot find the staff. Our local doctors provide an out-of-hours service when the A/E closes at night. Our Council must push as hard for Down Hospital services as it does for Daisy Hill in Newry. Here is a link to my website showing me campaigning back to 2007 on this issue
  4. Supporting Community groups and community festivals with longer-term funding. We are finally moving to ‘SLA’s’ (service level agreements) for funding community centres over a 4 to 5 year period. We must do the same for community festivals like those in Ardglass, Killough, Strangford and Downpatrick to ensure communities can plan ahead and seek matching funding. The silly bureaucracy around grants needs to be cut back drastically – having to submit constitutions or other documentation repetitively several times a year or filling in 36 page applications every time – a mad waste of time for community volunteers. i am working on a detailed document here.
  5. Value for money for ratepayers.
    1. Roll back the the dreadful top-heavy management structure in Council. Some areas have more managers than staff. After 7 years planning the merger of the 2 Councils, some staff in Downpatrick are 2 grades below their equivalent in Newry – this is not acceptable. We have more management than we had in the 2 Councils. The merger was done back-to-front. Instead of starting with front-line services like bins, street sweeping etc and minimizing management- they started with layers of management and are only now getting around to front line services.
    2. Reduce domestic and especially commercial rates on our high streets. Our high streets have been affected by on-line shopping and big-box shopping centres yet rates are increased every year – soon most high streets will be mostly charity shops. We could easily get £10 million a year in additional rates from renewable energy by 2030 to make up the difference-  if we start now – Council voted down a wind-farm in the last Council period with rates in excess of £1.5 million pa.

Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platform on Scotland and SNP

Here is the full article that I wrote for the Down Recorder as well at their own precis of it pasted in as a photo

Local Councillor Cadogan Enright, representing the Lecale Coast and Downpatrick area, is just back from Scotland having taken couple of weeks off in the run-up to the Westminster election to go and campaign in Ayrshire for an SNP candidate who hails from Belfast. Cadogan has penned the following opinion piece;

July Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platformI campaigned for Philippa Whitford (MP) who was born and raised in Belfast and went to study medicine in Glasgow. She has worked in the NHS for 30 years, with the last 18 years as a consultant breast surgeon in Crosshouse Hospital with periods as a volunteer in the 3rd world including volunteering in a UN hospital in Gaza. She is based in Troon where the ferry arrives in from Northern Ireland.

It was an exhausting but exhilarating campaign resulting in a 26,000 vote swing to Philippa and the SNP in the face of a very hostile media. The reaction of the defeated Labour Party candidate Brian Donohue was quite astonishing, where he revealed that he was “glad he can now tell people to “f*** off” that he’s no longer an MP”. This says much about the way the Labour Part in Scotland had fallen into a rut of taking people for granted, and paid the price for their scorn of the electorate

[ Editor see links  – ]

The scale of Philippa’s victory reflects not just the rise of the SNP, but also her videos defending the NHS that went viral during the Independence referendum campaign and her extensive community work.  Philippa joins a huge contingent of 56 SNP MP’s, drawn from all parts of Scottish life  – with real life experiences – unlike most politicians in Westminster. Many other doctors and medical professionals, teachers, scientists, musicians and business people who are now determined to get the sort of deal for Scotland that we in NI could only dream about. We have much to learn in NI, and at many levels.

The Mainstream Media (MSM) still don’t understand what has happened. They think this has something to do with Nationalism I.E. ‘who runs your country’, English or Scottish politicians. It was actually all about ‘for whom is your county run for’. The London Tory economics of Clegg, Milliband and Cameron stands in stark contrast to the Scottish notion of the ‘Common Weal’.

Scotland’s Adam Smith is the patron saint of London Capitalism because of his work, ‘The Wealth of Nations’. But in Scotland, they still also remember Smith’s writings on morality and the decisions we make in pursuit of happiness, especially his ideas in the epic work ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’. It will be interesting to watch how this division over moral philosophy plays out in the myopic world of Westminster. The people v’s the City of London – who will win?

The biggest losers in this election were the MSM including the BBC. Their influence is now reducing to just older voters in Scotland. There has been a massive drop in sales for the Tory and Labour supporting press. A huge inter-generational gap has opened up in Scotland where a majority of people now have their opinions distilled by the social media. It is astonishing how clearly the fault lines have been drawn:

–          Those informed by the social media versus old media,

–          Economically active people verses pensioners and those dependant on the State

–          Grassroots democratic campaigns versus the elitism of the Westminster/Fleet Street bubble

–          Believing in local ability and ideas versus following London establishment authority

–          Politics influenced by the needs of citizens verses vested interests like the City of London

–          Those supporting mixed economy verses a privatised economy

–          Hope verses Fear

–          And way down the list – Scottish versus British identity

In my opinion, this level of political change has not been seen since the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party (IIP) won 80-odd seats in 1885. The Torys of that day supported a rapacious English landlord class extracting penal rents from their overwhelmingly Irish Catholic and Scots Presbyterian tenants. The Torys of today support unreformed banksterism and the interests of the top 1%. Different issues, same Torys.

It is to be hoped that the Westminster elite learned something from their 40 year campaign to stop the IIP getting Land Reform and Irish Home Rule under the Crown. The initial reactions from the incoming Tory Government are not hopeful. Here in County Down we are in the middle of a series of centenaries that demonstrate the Torys mishandling of the ‘other’ Home Rule campaign. It was 103 years ago that Tory leader Bonar Law encouraged the Ulster Unionist Council and the UVF to arm themselves against Irish Home Rule. Many of their 37,000 German guns were landed in County Down at Donaghadee and elsewhere.

It was Bonar Law MP and the Torys that encouraged the Army in Ireland to mutiny against the elected Westminster Government and pushed for the suspension of the 3rd Irish Home Rule Bill. As a reaction to this, just 2 years later, Sir Rodger Casement stayed in the Ardglass Arms and conspired with Francis Bigger at Shanes Castle in Ardglass to bring in the 1,500 guns which were to be used in the rising in 1916.

If only the Torys had respected democracy 100 years ago, we could be living either in a Federal Britain and Ireland under the Crown now, or maybe an independent Ireland within the Commonwealth like Canada. It is to be hoped that something has been learned from the Irish debacle. Let’s hope that Scotland’s desire for Home Rule and its wish to have a more Scandinavian style of politics is respected. Clearly a Britain run for the benefit of the Financial Sector in London is not attractive to Scotland, and the worm has finally turned.

Scottish ideas about better economic governance resound around the UK. Especially in areas where the influence of the London-controlled media is waning and social media is gaining. Increasingly people are pointing to Northern Europe and Scandinavia for a different view of societal economics. Late last week tens of thousands of English people signed a petition for the North of England to join Scotland and declare independence. Many here sympathise with this sentiment.

The last straw for Scotland was the Smith Commission proposals on partly devolving some powers to Scotland, rather than the Home Rule promised by the No Campaign last September. The elections results were a clear rebuff for the Smith Commission. Cameron will have to give, or Scotland will be gone.



There are a series of documents linked to the page below that you will find useful in getting your beach nominated as an ‘EU Bathing Water’. I have created this information-resource base to help local community associations in villages around Lecale get their local beaches recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. These villages include

  1. Strangford (Strangford Community Association) Kilclief Beach
  2. Kilclief (Kilclief Residents Association and residents along Killard) Kilclief Beach and Killard Beach
  3. Ballyhornan (Ballyhornan Community Development Association) Ballyhornan Beach
  4. Ardglass (Ardglass Development Association and residents from nearby Chapeltown) Ardglass Spa, Ardglass Beach and Our Ladys  Well
  5. Coney Island (Coney Island Residents Association) Coney Island Beach
  6. The Lecale Conservation Society (amongst its wide variety of actions – maintains and protects Minerstown Beach)
  7. Killough Residents Associations (inc. Fishermans Row, Seaview/Westpoint and Church View)  Killough Beach and St. Helena’s Beach

We are all very grateful to the Ardglass Development Association who have fundraised several hundred pounds to get this project up and running.

OBJECTIVES – Main objectives to this campaign

  1. To improve the tourist potential of our villages and all of Lecale
  2. To bring legal pressure on NIWater to end the discharge of sewerage on or near our beaches.
  3. To have a Sewerage Systems similar to that in North Down as was originally proposed for Ardtole in Ardglass back in 2007. This project was downgraded in 2013 partly because none of our local beaches were recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. We aim to return to the original plan of having all sewerage from local villages pumped to Ardtole for the same top-class treatment as in North Down
  4. To create a safe bathing environment for ourselves and our children.

Shared Information Base

(if you find other relevant info email to include it below)

I have inserted key pieces of information below to support the separate campaigns running on each of our local beaches;

  1. Why were our beaches not successful in the 2011 NIEA consultation? 

    1. Firstly because both Down Council and the NIEA failed to nominate Kilclief, Killard, Chapeltown, and beaches around Ardglass and Killough
    2. Secondly the NIEA did nominate Rossglass, Minerstown and Ballyhornan but claimed that there was insufficient evidence of use to support the designation.   (see 2011  list of nominated beaches and clearly incorrect stats for these 3 nominated beaches HERE)
  2. What are the rules for nominating a beach?

    1. We don’t need the NIEA or Council to do this for us, we can do it ourselves. The most important aspect is proving traditional and ongoing use – hence our use of Facebook to collect evidence in each local village for every beach
    2. I have captured the rules for nominating your beach as a ‘candidate beach’ HERE  and HERE
    3. The next opportunity to have our beaches nominated is now approaching – we need to apply.
  3. Why does Down Council have to help us?

    1. Because I got cross-party support for my motion to provide council help in having our beaches nominated as ‘EU Bathing Waters’
    2. The details of the motion and debate are HERE. As of July 2014 Council Management have done nothing – so local communities will have to ‘hold Council’s hand’ and help them make the right moves, as pro-active environmental campaigning is not a strong point in Down Council.
  4. Who do we approach, and how does it work?

    1. See HERE for a short summary document about how the process works
  5. What is the latest information we have from the Department?

    1. see HERE for the most useful of the ‘Freedom of Information’ replies I received.
  6. What sort of questions did you ask the Department?

    1. It took a while to discover from NI Water that their down-grade of the Ardglass Sewerage Project was partly triggered by the NIEA’s failure to identify any ‘Bathing Waters’ in Lecale – despite our villages and beaches being one of the North’s best Tourist attractions. See HERE for email chain trying to ask all the relevant questions to the NIEA;
  7. HERE is the full 2011 NIEA consultation document that identified ALL beaches on the ‘Gold Coast’ as ‘bathing waters’ but failed to to identify any of our beaches except Tyrella

  8. Compare the GOLD COAST with the LECALE COAST for sewerage treatment HERE


Six Year Campaign for Bye-laws nears conclusion

Cllr Enright has been campaigning since early 2008 on behalf of local people in the Minerstown area to introduce beach bye-laws to protect the seal colony and shore-nesting birds during the breeding season. His motion was supported by all other parties and he assisted Lecale Conservation and local residents make a presentation to Council Management of the severe problems being encountered due to lack of protection.

Cadogan Enright said, “Council management moved rapidly in May 2008, to prepare draft bye-laws for internal consultation, and sent an amended  draft bye-laws of the bye-laws for inspection by legal services as early as November of 2008. It should have been a routine approval by the Department of the Environment by January 2009.  But almost a year and a half later in August of 2009 lawyers for the Department advised the Council that they did not have the right to make bye-laws and thus bye-laws for Newcastle Promenade and even the Tyrella blue-flag beach were effectively being struck down.”

“Although we did not agree with this assessment by the Departments legal team, Down Council’s own legal officer moved rapidly to have the ‘vires’ of the council altered to allow the council to issue bye-laws, but a year and a half of delays ensued as civil servants failed to deliver the order to the Minister for his signature. Finally, local Environmentalists from Killough, Minerstown, Lecale Conservation and myself visited Minister Poots in his office in Belfast and the Minster gave an assurance that there would be no further delays, and within a few months the order was signed in January of 2010.”

“Everyone then assumed that given the importance of the Tourist Trade to Down District, the Department would not dally any further  with helping the Council restore bye-laws to vital areas like Tyrella, Murlough, Newcastle as well as protect wildlife in Minerstown. But we were wrong. ” Said Cadogan.

“The Department has now exceeded its previous excess of bureaucracy with a new wave of unnecessary and sometimes down-right ridiculous queries that would prompt me to nominate those involved for the ‘bungler of the year award’ if such an award existed. Council officers have been frustrated in their efforts to restore bye-laws to Down District.”

Cllr Enright said “As this saga is now four years long, and because Down District could be seriously embarrassed by the Department preventing it from bringing in bye-laws for areas we are responsible, I have finally asked council staff under FoI to list the often rediculous queries they have had to deal with from the department.”

Cllr Enright said, “I intend to publish these on my web-site and refer them to Minister Attwood, to show the extent of incompetence of the Department in dealing with a such a routine issue as a local Council trying to create a bye-law.”

“All this time the problems on the beach became worse and in 2010 50% of all seal pups that had to be rescued in Northern Ireland came from the Minerstown / Bannykinlar coastal area, primarily due to distrbance by visitors to the beach who were unaware of the impact of interfering with the seals when nursing their young. I have no idea if this incompetency could lose Tyrella its blue-flag status, but this incompetency is damaging the councils ability to deliver services and support Tourism across the district.” Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright.


22 May 2008 Draft Bye-laws forwarded to Legal Services.
28 November 2008 Amended Draft Bye-laws returned to Council from Legal Services.
12 January 2009 Following period of internal consultation draft Bye-laws returned to Legal Services.
11 February 2009 Council’s Solicitor advised that draft Bye-laws had been forwarded to the Department for consideration.
13 August 2009 Department advised that in order to have jurisdiction to make Bye-laws for the Seashore and Newcastle Promenade an order had to be made to extend Sections 82 and 83 of the Public Health Acts (Amendment) Act 1907 to the District.This meant that the existing Bye-laws dated16 February 1998forNewcastleand Tyrella Beaches had never been valid.
8 October 2009 Following public advertisement by the Council the Council’s Solicitor was asked to apply to the Department to have the legislation extended to the District.
22 October 2009 The Council’s Solicitor confirmed that the application to the Department had been made.
25 January 2010 Following several reminders to the Council’s Solicitor regarding the application she wrote to the Department pressing for a response.
22 January 2010 The Department advised that papers seeking Ministerial consent had been drafted and would be forwarded to the Departmental Solicitor for approval.
8 March 2010 Council’s Solicitor wrote to advise she was still awaiting a response from the Department.
19 March 2010 Department advised that papers had been sent to Departmental Solicitor on 8 February 2010, were acknowledged 15 July 2010 but it would be up to 6 weeks before the matter could be dealt with.
6 May 2010 Department advised that a response had been received from the Departmental Solicitor and the Council would be advised of the comments shortly.
26 June 2010 Meeting held with Council’s Solicitor regarding outstanding queries on the Bye-law and letter confirming queries forwarded22 June 2010.
23 June 2010 Following reminders on the matter the Department advised that amendments had been made to the papers and a further draft was with senior management for approval before re-issue to the Departmental Solicitor for final clearance.  It was hoped the Order would be in place around September 2010.
9 July 2010 Letter regarding outstanding queries sent to Department from Council’s Solicitor.
9 July 2010 Letter regarding further queriesreceived from Council’s Solicitor.
5 August 2010 Response forwarded to Council’s Solicitor 5 August 2010.
6 September 2010 Response forwarded to Department from Council’s Solicitor.
7 October 2010 Letter from Edwin Poots, Minister of the Environment, advising that the final draft Order would be agreed shortly and be in place by the end of October.
13 January 2011 Order confirmed as made to come into operation4 February 2011.
8 February 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor confirming enabling legislation had been made and that we were in a position to move forward with the Bye-laws.
10 February 2011 Most recent set of Bye-laws received from Council’s Solicitor with queries over the map attached to the Bye-laws.
7 March 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor enclosing amended draft Bye-lawsreflecting comments made by the Department.
11 March 2011 Revised map forwarded to Council’s Solicitor.
14 March 2011 Council’s Solicitor confirmed the map to be in order.
23 March 2011 Council’s Solicitor asked to confirm that the Bye-laws could go for public consultation.
12 April 2011 Revised Bye-laws received from Council’s Solicitor.
24 May 2011 Letter forwarded to Council’s Solicitor asking that the Department be pressed that the Council could move to public consultation on the draft Bye-laws.
26 May 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor outlining the process for making the Bye-laws.
29 June 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor as to why Bye-laws for Minerstown andMurloughBeacheswere not included within those forNewcastleBeachand Promenade.
7 June 2011 Council’s Solicitor requested to forward Bye-laws dated16 February 1998to Department.
15 July 2011 Substantive issues responded to via letter to Council’s Solicitor.
15 July 2011 Letter issued to Council’s Solicitor expressing frustration at Department’s approach to “composite” Bye-laws and suggesting a meeting to discuss.
25 July 2011 Email received from Department as to why the Murlough andMinerstownBeachBye-laws were not covered under those relating to Newcastle Seashore and Promenade.
25 July 2011 Response issued from Council advising that each facility had its own requirements and a “generic set” of Bye-laws would make confusing reading for the public.
31 August 2011 Email forwarded to Council’s Solicitor regarding the need for individual Bye-laws to take account of the needs of individual facilities.
5 September 2011 Email forwarded to Council’s Solicitor advising that Bye-laws were to be kept “facility specific”.
7 September 2011 Copy letter received from Council’s Solicitor asking that the Department approve the draft Bye-laws forNewcastleBeachand Promenade.
5 September 2011 Council advised its Solicitor that the point regarding existing Bye-laws was reclindent  as the enabling legislation had not been in place therefore they were redundant.
12 October 2011 Email forwarded to Council’s Solicitor that in order to go to public consultation on the draft Bye-laws.
12 October 2011 Onward email confirmed from Council’s Solicitor that in order to go to public consultation.
15 October 2011 Email received from Council’s Solicitor asking Council to hold off on public consultation until a response is received from the Department.
4 November 2011 Letter from Council’s Solicitor regarding further comments from Department.
10 November 2011 Further letter sent to Council’s Solicitor on above point and requesting that the Development urgently confirm it was in order to go to public consultation.
10 November 2011 Letter sent to Council’s Solicitor regarding outstanding issues.
12 December 2011 Reminder letter to Council Solicitor regarding current position.
19 December 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor copying correspondence to Department regarding why we can’t move to public consultation.
19 December 2011 Letter received from Council’s Solicitor raising further substantive comments from Department.
4 January 2012 All substantive issues responded to via letter to Council’s Solicitor.


27 March 2013 


Email from Council’s Solicitor enclosing draft letter to DOE LGPD and amended draft Byelaws for approval. 
14 April 2013


Email to Council’s Solicitor confirming further amendment and approval to proceed on basis of revised draft.
25 April 2013




Copy letter received from Council’s Solicitor to DOE LGPD forwarding amended draft Byelaws and asking for final approval.


17 May 2013  Email from DOE LGPD requesting copy of 1998 byelaws. 
22 May 2013  Copy of 1998 Byelaws forwarded to Council’s Solicitor. 
7 June 2013 



Letter forwarded to Minister for the Environment asking that he review the current process for making Byelaws with a view to making it more efficient and effective. 
14 June 2013  Acknowledgement letter received from DOE Private Office. 
29 June 2013 







Letter received from Minister advising that his Department intended to review and if necessary, amend the procedures for confirmation of Byelaws by 31 December 2013.   He had also asked officials in his Department to meet with Council Officers at the earliest opportunity in order to move towards a successful conclusion in moving the outstanding Byelaw applications forward.
18 July 2013 



Email received from DOE official in relation to a meeting – officer due to go on leave from beginning of August until the 20th.
30 July 2013 




Letter from DOE advising that the Department had instructed its legal side to give immediate priority to addressing the outstanding issues for the Byelaw applications for Newcastle, Minerstown and Murlough.
1 August 2013  Response to DOE seeking dates for meeting. 
2 August 2013 


Email from DOE advising of dates and confirming current position with outstanding Byelaw applications. 
12 August 2013 


Item on Council Agenda seeking clarification as to who should attend a meeting with DOE officials. 
14 August 2013 




Email from Council’s Solicitor advising that the Department had reverted with minor amendments to the Byelaws.  Council’s Solicitor had made amendments and sought clarification on extent of Byelaws. 
9 September 2013  Update report on Byelaws noted by Council Meeting. 
10 September 2013  Clarification on extent of Byelaws provided to Council’s Solicitor.
13 September 2013



Council’s Solicitor asked for confirmation from Department that approval for the Byelaws had been granted.


14 October 2013 


Council’s Solicitor asked to confirm with Department that in order to go to public consultation.


New Scientist predicts up to half bird species lost to global warming

New Scientist predicts up to half bird species will be lost to global warming