Cllr Enright has slammed as “insane bureaucracy” at the Department of the Environment over 5 years that has resulted in Newcastle’s Promenade Bye-laws and bye-laws at Tyrella and Murlough being incorrectly struck down, damaging Down Councils ability to manage these facilities.
Cadogan Enright said, “Council management in 2008, prepared draft bye-laws for Minerstown beach. 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. A year and a half of further 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 in its fifth year, so I have finally asked council staff to list the often ridiculous queries they have had to deal with from the department.”
Cllr Enright said, “I have published these on my web-site (http://enright.ie/press-releases/4077) and am meeting Minister Attwood at 4pm this Monday 26th, 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.”
“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.