Talking Politics - What have your local politicians talking about this week?

What were your politicans talking about this week?

150 derelict sites in Claremorris-Swinford MD

Mayo County Council will be adding 57 new derelict sites to its register in the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District, the elected members of the district were told at their recent meeting. The addition of these new 57 derelict sites will bring the total number of sites on the register in the district to 150. Senior engineer for Mayo County Council, Conrad Harley, informed the elected members of the results of a recent survey by council staff at the meeting. He told the councillors that 41 of them have been deemed to be in very poor condition and that 35 require minor works to bring them up to the required standard.

Cruise calls for footpath extension in Kiltimagh

Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise has called for Mayo County Council to look at extending a footpath in Kiltimagh to improve safety in the town. Cllr Cruise has asked the council to prepare a design and planning application to extend the footpath from Main Street in the town along the Cloonkedagh Road, with the path extending past Diamond’s Hardware and the car park opposite Super Valu and out the Cloonkedagh Road.

Call for traffic calming in Tooreen

There was a call for traffic calming measures to be put in place in the village of Tooreen by Cllr Neil Cruise at the recent meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District. Cllr Cruise had put forward a notice of motion for the meeting which read: “I respectfully seek an update on all traffic calming investigations, proposals being considered and funding applications for works that have been submitted for Tooreen. I wish to stress the necessity for the installation of physical traffic calming measures including the installation of a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing of the N83 from Tooreen School to the car park and amenity area on the opposite side of the road, given the plans of the community to significantly upgrade the playground area and its environs.” A written response to his call by Conrad Harley, senior executive engineer with the council, read: “The N83 Tooreen is not included in the current list of TII HD/15 high-collision locations and accordingly is not in our safety programme. To progress this issue, speed and pedestrian surveys have to be undertaken followed by a feasibility report detailing any measures which are deemed necessary at this location. This matter can be progressed once resources allow. A traffic count was completed during the Covid pandemic and was submitted to TII to progress this issue previously. No resolution to this matter materialised. We will reorganise a traffic/pedestrian survey and reapply for works at this location."

Kilcoyne seeks MUH staff numbers

Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne has forwarded a question to the next Regional Health Forum asking about a number of staff positions in various departments in Mayo University Hospital. He has asked: (1 ) What are the total number of Consultant positions in Mayo University Hospital? (2 ) How many positions are vacant and how many are currently being filled by locums and (3 ) What is the total number of agency personnel currently employed at Mayo University Hospital and state the number in each discipline/grade.

Emergency Works approved for St Joseph’s Community College – Ring

Michael Ring TD has welcomed the announcement that funding has been approved for Emergency Works at St Joseph’s Community College, Charlestown (Roll No: 76334I ). The funding is approved for Mechanical & Electrical Works to address leaking water storage tanks in the roof serving the main school, male and female toilets, engineering and science room and general classrooms. He said: "I look forward to the works being completed as quickly as possible for the Health & Safety of the pupils and teachers in this school."

Progress on new A&E unit at MUH questioned

Castlebar-based Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne has put forward a question for the next meeting of the HSE Regional Health Forum in relation to the progress of the proposed new A&E unit at Mayo University Hospital. He has asked: (1 ) Have the plans/drawings been finalised? (2 ) Has planning permission been applied for? (3 ) Has funding been provided for it? (4 ) What is the expected start date of the build? (5 ) What is the expected date that it will be operational?

CAP 2023 payment and stocking rate calculators now available online - Dillon

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has developed a payment calculator and a stocking rate calculator to help inform farmers of the changes in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP ) for the period 2023-2027, says Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon. He added: "The calculators are available on the Department’s website at The payment calculator allows farmers to calculate their indicative direct payments in 2023, including payment entitlement values. To complete the Payment calculator, you will need the following information: (1 ) Number of hectares, (2 ) Number of entitlements and (3 ) Your BPS and greening value per entitlement. The Stocking Rate calculator can be used to calculate stocking rates in terms of Livestock Unit and Kgs of Organic Nitrogen per Hectare. To complete the Stocking Rate calculator, you will need the following information: (1 ) Total area in grassland and tillage you will farm in 2022 and (2 ) Expected livestock numbers and age per month in 2022. Step by step guides have also been prepared for the calculators and are available on the same webpage. The scheduled public meeting in the TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar on March 22, will provide information about changes to direct payments, including entitlements, active farmer checks, agricultural activity and land eligibility changes, stocking rates, Eco-Schemes, details on the new Agri-Environmental Climate Measure (AECM ), organic farming and other important information that farmers need to know now so that they can best prepare for 2023, and I would encourage those who are in a position to attend to do so."

Kilcoyne seeks answers on who refuses Home Support Services applications

Independent Castlebar-based councillor Michael Kilycoyne is looking to find out who has responsibility to decide on grant applications for Home Support Services. Cllr Kilcoyne has forwarded the following question for the next HSE Regional Health Forum on the matter: “The following is an extract from the standard letter an applicant for Home Support Services receives when their application is refused: ‘The Forum considered your application including your clinical and social care needs and based on a standardised resource allocations and assessment process, it has been determined that your do not meet the criteria for a home support service at this time’.

“Can you please let me know: Who are the Forum? Who is on the forum and what grades (positions in the HSE they hold )? Where are they based and how often do they meet? What criteria are used to assess the clinical and social care needs of the applicant? Please explain the standardised resource allocations and assessment process. Why can’t the HSE state clearly the reasons why an applicant is being refused Home Support Services rather than issuing a generic refusal letter? Can you outline exactly what conditions / criteria qualify a person to receive Home Support Services?”

Significant Additional Accommodation approved for Coláiste Pobail Acla (Achill )- Ring

Michael Ring TD has warmly welcomed the announcement that significant additional accommodation has been approved from the Department of Education for Coláiste Pobail Acla (Achill ). Deputy Ring stated: "I am very pleased that the following additional accommodation has been approved for Coláiste Pobail Acla, namely- 1 x 118.6m2 Art Room, 1 x 88.6m2 Textiles Room, 1 x 88.6m2 Science Lab, 1 x 38.5 Science Prep Area, 2 Class SEN Base and 1 x 10.5m2 User Assisted WC. This is a great boost to Coláiste Pobail Acla. It will greatly expand their facilities. It is a welcome announcement for the pupils and the teachers of the school. The provision of additional accommodation to schools is vital. It improves the quality of school buildings and helps them to expand their capacity."

€10M project to provide tailored treatment for Motor Neurone Disease

Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon has welcomed the launch of a €10m Irish-led project to deliver more tailored treatment to those with Motor Neurone Disease (MND ), using analysis of big data and artificial intelligence. Deputy Alan Dillon said: "The launch of this project has potential to be life-changing for those living with MND. The research is supported by the Irish government through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI ) investment of €5 million, which will be leveraged with an additional €5 million from industry partners. A number of weeks ago in the Dáil I highlighted the struggles faced by MND sufferers and called on Government to respond with additional resources in neurology services and funding. I am pleased to see this announcement, which will offer some hope to those who suffer with MND and their families. This project links clinical research and industry, and will combine the best of our technologies, the best of our ideas, and the best of our medical expertise with the potential to change lives for the better. It will develop tools that facilitate clinical trials based on precision-medicine and has the potential to produce benefits for other rare conditions and diseases, supporting job creation and reducing drug costs. Recently I met with Paul Jennings from Balla, whose brother Barry has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. The family started a petition for Government to commit to funding research for a cure for Motor Neurone Disease. I committed to raise this topic on the floor of the Dáil and delivered the petition to Leinster House, which had 1911 signatures. I have to commend the Jennings family for their efforts and determination on raising the awareness of MND and this is certainly welcome news for them and many families impacted by this dreaded neurological disease."


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