Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the allocation of funds under the Outdoor Recreation Scheme for various projects in West Cavan.
‘Having worked closely with the County Council officials involved I am delighted that €12,240 has been provided for Blacklion and Environs Trails. This provide better signage and also enhance the connection between the village and Lough MacNean Park, the River Walk and the development of an additional village loop. These all improve the area for locals as well as enhance what we can offer visitors.’
Furthermore, €15,452 has been allocated for promotional work for Cavan Trails and Marketing.
‘The network of Geopark sites is in constant need of investment. The provision of €20,000 through Breifni Integrated for this work will be of great assistance to Cavan County Council in this important work.’
‘Turbet Island is of huge historical significance and also a Geopark Site. The provision of €17,040 towards maintenace, upgrading works and replacement of park benches and other furnishings will build on previous investment and ensure that greater benefit can be obtained by all those using this site.’
Councillor John Paul Feeley has welcomed the decision of the Council not to increase Local Property Tax by 7.5% for 2019 taken at the September Meeting of Cavan County Council.
‘The Local Property Tax since its introduction in 2014 has taken over € 17,750,000 out of the pockets of households in County Cavan. Many people think that Cavan County Council has received a huge funding boost since the introduction of the LPT. The LPT has not provided Cavan County Council with any additional money for roads, footpaths, lights, community facilities or economic development. It has simply been used by Central Government to replace the Exchequer contribution to the Local Government Fund.’
Furthermore, when he asked about the current financial state of Cavan County Council and in particular the income received todate in 2018 from the NPPR Councillor Feeley was informed that over €800,000 had been received for the period from the 1st January 2018 to the end of July.
‘When adopting the Budget for 2018 we had great difficulty securing agreement from the Executive to put in a figure of € 400,000 as income from the NPPR. It now transpires that we have already exceeded that estimate by 100% and I believe it will be closer to € 1.2 million before the year is over. Given the foregoing, I and my colleagues in Fianna Fáil fail to see the need to increase the burden on households. We also see that given the position of the Council that there is no need to increase commercial rates in 2019’
The Government’s much vaunted CCTV Scheme is in tatters according to Fianna Fáil Councillor and Chairperson of the County Cavan Joint Policing Committee, John Paul Feeley.
‘In theory any scheme to assist in the provision of Community CCTV to allow communities have the benefit of security cameras to prevent criminal and anti-social behaviour and indeed assist the Gardai in the pursuit of criminals is most welcome. The Scheme announced by the Government providing a total of €1 million over three years to provide such schemes around the country was welcomed by me and many others and our JPC has worked as closely as possible with communities and the Gardai in preparing applications thereunder. However the ‘devil in the detail’ in reality makes the scheme entirely unworkable and now the new General Date Protection Regulations (GDPR) has rendered the Scheme a shambles.’
The Scheme operated by the Department of Justice is governed by Section 38 of An Garda Siochana Act, 1995 requiring the approval for a CCTV Scheme application by the local JPC, the Local Authority who must act as Date Controller and the Garda Commissioner. The current scheme provides for 60% grant aid to a successful applicant community up to a maximum funding of €40,000 for a Scheme.
‘The County Cavan JPC have worked with a number of communities to prepare applications. Some communities have considered the application process and decided not to proceed. We have formally approved applications for Ballyjamesduff, Belturbet and Ballyconnell amongst others. The Council, through Municipal Grants and Town and Village Renewal Funding have provided additonal funds to support communities in their efforts. Depite much publicity indicating that funding had been allocated, Bailieborough have not even applied to the JPC for approval let alone sought the saction of the Garda Commissioner or submitted an application to the Department never mind recieve funding.’
‘According to a Parliamentary Question put down by Deputy Brendan Smith and answered by Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Justice on the 12th July 2018 the Minister confirmed that only one application had gone to the Department from County Cavan and it has been referred back for further information. No applications have been submitted for County Monaghan. Earlier this year the Minister confirmed that only four applictions attracting a total of €120,000 funding had been approved nationally under the Scheme’
‘The requirement that the recording equipment must be placed in a council owned property and cannot, under any circumstances be placed in a Garda property rules out many of the most isolated and vunerable communities in Rural Ireland, places where the Gardai do not have the kind of visibility that we and indeed the Gardai might want for want of resources. Furthermore the demand that a volunatary community group must stump-up 40% of the cost and agree to maintain the equipment for 5 years without any support towards maintenance and repairs is a major disensentive.’
‘Simply, between the conditions of the Scheme and the recent introduction of the GDPR this Scheme is unworkable and needs to be reformed. In reality whilst commuity input is welcome, the policing of the State is a matter for the Gardai and the Department of Justice and as such this funding should be administered and implemented by the Gardai with appropriate consultation from local authorities and communities.’
Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has received confirmation from Chief Executive of Cavan County Council that the council has completed the purchase of the premises formerly known as ‘McIntyre’s’ at Abbey Street Cavan.
“Some months ago I noted that this premises was on the market and suggested to the Chief Executive that it would be sensible for the local authority to acquired it given its location immediately behind Cavan Town Hall and adjacent to the Abbey. Cavan County Council is currently undertaking a major renovation of Cavan Town Hall and the acquisition of such a significant portion of property behind it should facilitate the better use of the property in the years to come and also facilitate improved access to the historic Abbey in our county town.”
‘Cavan County Council with the assistance of Historic Structures at Risk Fund from the Department of Heritage concluding substantial works to the tower and to the Abbey generally to primarily preserve it for future generations but also to ensure that it is more accessible to the general public. There remains a great deal of work which Cavan County Council must take a lead on in preserving, interpreting and opening this very historic site to the people of the county and visitors alike.”
‘It is said that one never regrets purchasing the land beside your own property. In this case Cavan County Council have acquired a significant piece of property the centre of Cavan Town which abuts two sites for which Cavan County Council already has responsibility and which the County Council are anxious to maximise the potential of for the benefit of the town and County.’