No move­ment on works at Old­court

Bray People - - NEWS -

MEM­BERS of Bray Mun­ci­pal District have agreed to write to the Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment with re­gard to works at the Old­court es­tate.

Cllr Michael O’Con­nor said that there are eight houses boarded up there de­spite a home­lss emer­gency, ‘and peo­ple liv­ing in sub­stan­dard and un­safe ac­com­mo­da­tion.

‘ There doesn’t ap­pear to be any move­ment on Old­court and it needs to be re­solved. I pro­pose that we write to the min­is­ter ask­ing why it is tak­ing so long and ask to have this ad­dressed as a mat­ter of ur­gency.’ Cllr Joe Be­han sec­onded the pro­posal and said he fully agrees with Cllr O’Con­nor. ‘I have been rais­ing this with Wick­low County Coun­cil,’ said Cllr Be­han.

Cllr Steven Matthews said that the mem­bers need to keep the pres­sure on the depart­ment with re­gard to Old­court.

Mem­bers have pre­vi­ously been told that of­fi­cials have fur­nished the depart­ment with re­ports re­gard­ing the works.

Cllr Matthews asked Cllr O’Con­nor to pro­vide the word­ing for the letter. CLLR STEVEN MATTHEWS was named cathaoir­leach at last week’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District.

Out­go­ing Cathaoir­leach Brendan Thorn­hill nom­i­nated Cllr Matthews, with Cllr Oliver O’Brien sec­ond­ing the pro­posal.

‘ This is a great honour and priv­i­lege,’ said Cllr Matthews. ‘ Thank you to the mem­bers of your sup­port and giv­ing me this op­por­tu­nity. I will be fair and straight with ev­ery­one through­out the year.’

He thanked Cllr Thorn­hill for steer­ing the mem­bers through the past year. ‘It’s no easy task in your sec­ond year after be­ing elected. You han­dled it very well and I hope you en­joyed it.’

He paid par­tic­u­lar trib­ute to his part­ner Erika and their chil­dren. ‘You can’t do this job with­out your fam­ily. They suf­fer for the amount of time you are not present with daddy “spend­ing time on bor­ing coun­cil stuff ”. The next 12 months might be slightly busier.’

Cllr Matthews was on the pre­vi­ous body, Bray Town Coun­cil, for a pe­riod of 18 months. Since that time town coun­cils were dis­posed of. ‘ This made me aware of the mas­sive dif­fer­ence be- tween the Mu­nic­i­pal District and Town Coun­cil. The abo­li­tion of the Town Coun­cil was bad for the town, bad for the public rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has had a neg­a­tive im­pact on the staff and how we can rep­re­sent the peo­ple. We have lost au­thor­ity, re­sources and au­ton­omy.

My ob­jec­tive this year as Cathoir­leach will be to pull us to­gether as a district, and wres­tle back au­thor­ity from Wick­low. We have the big­gest district, the big­gest pop­u­la­tion. We gen­er­ate the most in­come from prop­erty tax, hous­ing, and park­ing. We need to see some of our au­thor­ity come back so that we as coun­cil­lors can do our job prop­erly. I think we can do it. The ‘ big ticket items’ for Cllr Matthews in­clude hous­ing, the Floren­tine cen­tre and the town de­vel­op­ment plan as well as ap­ply­ing for a Blue Flag.

‘Hous­ing is a crit­i­cal is­sue. We have a cri­sis not just in Bray or Wick­low but na­tion­ally. We need to keep pres­sure on the Depart­ment to pro­vide fund­ing for hous­ing. We can do that col­lec­tively as a coun­cil. Mur­phy’s land should be ready in about 18 months. The Di­rec­tor of Hous­ing has been look­ing at sites and I think we will see move­ment. We need a lot more than we have.’

Cllr Brendan Thorn­hill hands the chains of of­fice to Cllr Steven Matthews.

Old­court es­tate.

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