Planning and procurement process is too slow

AIB Lynch's Castle hosted the launch of the Galway City Business Association's Shopping and Dining Guide to Galway on Tuesday, Pictured at the event were Cormac McGuckian chairman of the GCBA, Mary Bennett editor of the Galway Shopping and Dining Guide, Mayor of Galway Pearce Flannery, and Seamus Fennessy Manager AIB Lynch Castle. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

AIB Lynch's Castle hosted the launch of the Galway City Business Association's Shopping and Dining Guide to Galway on Tuesday, Pictured at the event were Cormac McGuckian chairman of the GCBA, Mary Bennett editor of the Galway Shopping and Dining Guide, Mayor of Galway Pearce Flannery, and Seamus Fennessy Manager AIB Lynch Castle. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

At the third special meeting held in April we discussed two of the Quarterly reports for the period ending March 30 2018. I have said before that one of the more frustrating things for me is the problem of getting bogged down on unproductive matters such as minutes or enduring spells of pointless bickering which, in the long run only serves to prohibit us from dealing with unproductive matters.

So it is with the quarterly reports. These reports often contain much of the important detail of activity and progress and yet we rarely get to deal with them. At the start of my mayoral year I stated that my personal objective was to get to deal with the important matters, matters that concern people and let the unimportant stuff be dealt with if we have time.

So it is good to have two quarterly reports to have to report here today. First up was the Housing report. Housing is in scarce supply and social housing even more so, there are plans to build some substantial developments in the City and the new Ardaun Corridor will be a major solution to our problems. The problem is that the planning and procurement process is too slow. The staff in Housing do a great job but we are constrained because of the scarcity of available and suitable units.

It is not a funding matter. We have the funds to build but we are hamstrung by endless red tape and of course the matter of the time lag when houses need to be built.

Either way we must face up to this crisis and ensure that we build as much housing as soon as possible in tandem with purchasing units on the open market. We can no longer countenance the situation where people have to call hotel rooms or hostels home. This must be dealt with.

The Recreation and Amenity reports always surprise me. In this case we have a range of good news stories that seem to get bogged down in controversy and local opposition. Some of it is justified, some of it in my view less so.

The revamp to the Blackrock Diving Tower is slower than anticipated because of much strenuous opposition to a series of railings dissecting the amenity and causing much justifiable public outrage. I agree with the position taken by the interested parties and hope the next proposal due shortly will be acceptable to all.

The development of sports facilities at Cappagh Park is progressing nicely and we must continue to develop this fine facility and expand the lands and footprint of the amenity. The upgrade to the goalmouths is due in a matter of weeks which will also enhance these grounds immeasurably. Users of the park must be conscious of the residents in the locality and avoid parking outside houses and causing obstruction. We always need the goodwill of the locals in any developments and we must be conscious of their right to peaceful living.

Kingston Lands in Knocknacarra are also due for a major development and will in time become a brilliant and much-needed public amenity and park. It is planned to be parkland, playground, walking area and a multi-purpose playing area. Contrary to rumours and erroneous reports this will not be a pitch under the sole control of one club or code. It will be used by many codes under licence from Galway City Council in a fashion that facilitates all stakeholders.

This is public land, developed with public money and will be provided for the use of the public at large and not simply for one or two vested interest groups. This is a great news story and will in time radically enhance the quality of life in the west side of the city.

Salthill Park is also becoming rather dilapidated and I suggested at the last meeting that we work towards upgrading this premier facility as it is used by all, including many tourists and needs to reflect the quality image of our city. The poor quality and sporadic nature of grass cutting, the provision of new burial sites, dealing with stray horses, parking of caravans, the poor condition of the playing surface of McGraths field were all items of discussion and debate.

Other reports were noted and will be debated in the near future. Productivity this month was excellent. We must keep to our agendas and ensure that where possible we get through everything.

All in all we are on the right track. I will keep you posted.

Follow me - Facebook: www.facebook.com/MayorPearceFlannery/ Twitter: @PearceFlannery

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