Time to make difficult decisions in local areas says cathaoirleach
POLICY in regard to the reserved functions of Municipal Districts in Arklow, Wicklow, Bray and Greystones was discussed at Monday’s Wicklow County Council meeting.
Decisions on Part 8 planning files were of particular concern to Cllr Joe Behan who expressed the view that such matters should be discussed at local level as members would have a better understanding of the local area.
‘I feel that in particular, Part 8s and local area development plans should be discussed at local level. I’m in favour of making decisions at local level as far as possible,’ he said.
Cllr Behan added that he ‘fundamentally disagrees with decisions such as locations for Traveller accommodation being sent to the full council for a decision’.
Chief Executive Frank Curran informed members that a limit of 20 houses is outlined for Part 8 planning approvals and that any more than that will be discussed at full council level, but that Municipal Districts will have powers to approve anything under that in their own areas.
‘Local issues for local areas – that’s the spirit of it,’ Mr Curran said.
Cllr John Snell expressed concern that if his six-member district in Wicklow, was tied in a vote that the cathaoirleach then has the deciding vote but he was informed that this is policy in relation to Part 8 applications.
‘They should have the balls to do it at local level but instead things get referred to the council when difficult decisions need to be made. It’s about time we all took the difficult decisions in our own areas,’ remarked Cathaoirleach Pat Vance.
Cllr Joe Behan
Cllr John Snell
Cllr Pat Vance