Looking for information about a council service?
10th February 1998
Minutes of Meeting of Strabane District Council held in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, Derry Road, Strabane on Tuesday 10 February 1998 at 7.30 pm
Present:- In the Chair:- Councillor C McHugh Other Members:- Councillors Mrs A Bell, I Barr, D A Bresland, J Donnell, J Emery, D Hussey, T Kerrigan, T McBride, E McMenamin, J McNulty, I Murtagh, J O'Kane, E Turner MBE Total = 14
Apology:- Councillor E Mullen
In Attendance:- Clerk & Chief Executive, Chief Environmental Health
Officer, Chief Recreation Officer, Chief Technical
Officer District Chief Building Control Officer,
Technical Services Licensing Officer, Committee Clerk
Mr J McCormack, Northlands Centre
The Vice Chairman of the Council, Councillor McHugh, took the Chair in the absence of the Chairman of the Council.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, that item nos. 10 and 11 - receive and open annual tenders and supply, delivery and erection of play equipment be taken next.
It was further agreed that item nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 - minutes of meetings - be taken next in order to allow any points raised to be clarified with the respective Chief Officers who were in attendance to present their monthly Reports.
The Chairman informed Members that item nos. 13 and 14 - deputations from St Davog's GAC and 1st Strabane 3rd Tyrone CBSI - would be attending Council meeting on 24 February 1998 and not tonight's meeting. This was noted.
The Report of the Finance and General Purposes Committee Meeting held on 20 January 1998 was adopted as a true record on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor Murtagh, subject to the following amendment:-
Page 10 - Proposal to go "Into Committee"
Councillor McBride pointed out that his name had been mis-spelt in the minutes. It was agreed that the minute be amended accordingly.
Page 2 - Fir Trees Hotel - £1,033.17
Councillor Barr pointed out that a breakdown had not yet been provided, as requested by Council. The Chief Executive explained that the Economic Development Officer had been on sick leave. It was agreed that this information be made available for the next meeting.
Page 7 - Northern Ireland Peace Bell Project
In response to a query by Councillor Emery, the Chief Executive advised that the Chief Administrative Officer had written on 22 January, however, a reply had not yet been received.
The Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Council held on 26 January 1998 were adopted as a true record on the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor Murtagh, and signed by the Chairman, subject to the following amendment:-
Page 5 - Grant Aid Application - KDDL
Councillor McHugh pointed out that the 9th line of the last paragraph should read "After two years despite the best efforts of senior Counsel and those briefing them . . .". It was agreed that the minute be amended accordingly.
Page 3 - Grant Aid Application - KDDL
The Chairman, Councillor McHugh pointed out that the independent valuation of the property took place on 9 July 1996 whilst the offer from Council to the Group was sent on 27 June 1996.
The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 27 January 1998 were adopted as a true record on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor McMenamin.
Page 13 - Liaison Committee - NW College of Further & Higher Education
In response to concerns expressed by Councillor O'Kane regarding this matter, the Chief Executive advised that there had been a clerical error regarding arrangements for meetings the previous week at which Community Groups were present. He explained that he had a meeting since then with Mr Peter Gallagher and the matter had now been resolved. Councillor McHugh enquired if the Chairman of the Council was present at the meeting. In response the Chief Executive explained that he had been invited but was unable to attend. Councillor Barr indicated that he felt it was imperative that Council was represented on the Board, perhaps to the extent of all party representation, and the Chief Executive undertook to put forward this view. Councillor McBride concurred with these remarks. The Chief Executive advised that an Officer Working Group was presently preparing an agenda at which time the size of the Group etc. would be taken on board.
Page 13 - Economic Development Power - District Councils
The Chief Executive advised, in response to a query by Councillor Hussey, that a response had not yet been received and undertook to follow this up.
Page 13 - Appeals Commission
Councillor Hussey asked if a reply had been received yet from the Chamber of Commerce and the Chief Executive explained that it had not but he agreed to follow this up.
Page 13 - Roads Service Matters
Councillor Hussey informed Members that the smaller potholes at Lower Main Street, Castlederg, had been attended to. He explained that both himself and other Councillors from the area had requested that Lower Main Street be included in the programme and he understood that this was also the wish of DOE Roads Service and asked that Council also support this. The Chief Executive advised that he had spoken to the Divisional Roads Manager earlier that day and had arranged a meeting for Thursday 12 February 1998 at 10.00 am in Castlederg.
Councillor Kerrigan advised that at the last Development meeting in Castlederg it had been requested that a meeting be held at the Castle Site with the Chief Technical Officer and the five Councillors for the area. Councillor Hussey commented that the purpose of a meeting with the Divisional Roads Manager was to meet on site, however, he felt that the meeting which was being referred to was an evening meeting with the DOE Traffic Branch. The Chief Executive undertook to liaise with the DRM the following morning to clarify the matter and advise the respective Councillors and Officers accordingly.
Page 13 - Strabane Hospital
Councillor O'Kane informed Members that he had attended the meeting at Board HQ on behalf of the Council and had made an impassioned plea for the retention of the Hospital, however, this seemed to have fallen on "deaf ears". He then quoted from letter dated 3 February 1998 which the Council's Chief Executive had received from Mr Frawley wherein it was stated that the Board accepted at its meeting on 29 January 1998 the recommendation of its Administrative Services Committee that Strabane Hospital should be closed and that the patients presently accommodated there should be transferred to Waterside Hospital in Londonderry. Mr Toland, Chairman of the Board, had written to Mr Worthington, MP, seeking formal approval to implement this recommendation and a reply was awaited. Mr Frawley had expressed the assurance that if the recommendation was ratified the transfer would be carried out in a sensitive and caring way which would take full account of the individual needs of patients. Councillor O'Kane expressed concern at this decision given that Mr Worthington had not visited the Hospital at any time despite many requests to do so.
Councillor O'Kane proposed, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the Council take a stand on this issue by writing to the MPs and MEPs highlighting the fact that Mr Worthington had not visited Strabane Hospital to date, despite several invitations and requests to do so. It was agreed that the letter be copied to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for their attention.
It was further agreed that a letter also be sent to Mr Worthington voicing the Council's concerns that he did not visit Strabane Hospital.
It was also agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, that the local MPs, be requested to raise this issue during Question Time in the House of Commons, if this was appropriate.
Page 14 - Orange PCS Limited
Councillor Emery pointed out that he had not yet received the information regarding the various locations of the transmitter sites from Orange PCS. The Chief Executive undertook to contact Orange PCS directly on this matter.
Page 14 - Economic Development Minutes - 3 November 1997
In response to a query by the Chairman, Councillor McHugh, the Chief Executive undertook to arrange for the details of the directorship of the C&DDA and CEA to be available for the next meeting.
Page 14 - Recycling
In response to a query by Councillor McBride regarding this matter, the Chief Technical Officer advised that a letter had been sent to Lord Dubs and a few Councils accordingly and a reply was awaited. This was noted.
Page 17 - Access to Public Gallery
In response to a query by Councillor Hussey, the Chief Executive explained that this matter would be included for discussion at the next All Party Committee meeting. Councillor Barr urged that an All Party Committee meeting be held shortly as there was sufficient business for discussion. This was agreed.
Page 19 - LEAP Meeting
Following a query by Councillor Hussey, the Chief Executive advised that the Economic Development Officer was arranging a meeting at present.
"Stop All the Killings" - Public Demonstrations
Councillor Hussey informed Members that he was in Belfast on 30 January 1998 and had attended the demonstration at the City Hall. He withdrew from the gathering, however, as a result of the actions of some people who were in attendance as he felt they were following a 'political' rather than 'caring' agenda. He asked that his comments be recorded.
Page 23 - Weight Restriction - Clady Bridge
In response to a query by Councillor McMenamin, the Chief Executive advised that an update had not yet been received in relation to this matter.
CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Scott, Chief Technical Officer, presented his Report, a copy of which was previously circulated. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Land at Sunnyside, Ardstraw
It was agreed that the District Valuer's recommendation be accepted and the transfer of the land proceed.
Provision of Skip Reception Area at Killeter
It was agreed that the District Valuer's recommendation be accepted subject to planning permission. Mr Scott pointed out that the preliminary plans for the replacement skip reception area at Tievenny Road, Ardstraw to replace Castlederg Depot and Speerholme Road, Killeter, for to replace the skip site currently in the village were on display at the Council meeting. Councillor Hussey invited the Chief Executive to comment on concerns within the Castlederg area which he was aware of. The Chief Executive advised that he had discussed the matter with those concerned and invited any member of the Association to put forward any suggestions. Councillor Turner explained that he had visited the site with Councillors Kerrigan and Hussey at which time it was acknowledged that this was the only site available. Councillor Hussey remarked that the Tievenny Road site had to be valid and be used. Mr Scott explained that he had talked to the landowner and if Council was in agreement, the District Valuer could be instructed to proceed. Councillor Hussey commented that there was also an issue re. the sporting club and Mr Scott explained that he talked to the individual concerned and would forward a copy of the sketch plans if agreed by Council.
It was agreed that the District Valuer be instructed to negotiate for the site at Tievenny Road and that plans be prepared for both sites and submitted as planning applications.
Market Yard Car Park
It was agreed, following discussion, to proceed with the leasing of the car park to the DOE on a yearly lease of £11,500.
Castle Site, Castlederg
Mr Scott invited Members' views on the naming of this new park. It was agreed, following lengthy discussion, on the proposal of the Chairman, Councillor McHugh, that the park be named "Derg Castle Park". It was further agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, that Council have site of the proof of the signage for the park before it was finalised.
Paraplegic Fishing Area - Sion Mills
Members welcomed the provision of this facility at this location. The Chief Executive commended Mr Scott on his skilful negotiation with the respective groups as a number of problems had arisen.
Maintenance of Automatic Public Conveniences
Councillor Hussey remarked that there was not much of a differential in relation to both types of public conveniences. Mr Scott pointed out that the automatic units were available 24 hours per day whilst the traditional units had restricted opening hours. In response to a query by Councillor McBride, Mr Scott advised that the traditional units were sited at Market Street, Strabane, Sion Mills, Newtownstewart, Cranagh and Donemana. Councillor McBride expressed amazement at the cost of maintaining the traditional units and Mr Scott pointed out that public toilets were subject to a lot of vandalism and abuse. Councillor McMenamin reiterated his view that the public convenience at the SCORE site was a waste of ratepayers money. He pointed out that it was continually vandalised and he had personally witnessed, recently, that a piece of wood had been put in place to block the doors open and he questioned whether the cctv had recorded the perpetrators in action and if any follow up action had been taken.
Provision of Bus Shelter at Envagh Cross Roads, Drumlegagh
Councillor Kerrigan advised that he had been advised by a number of persons that letters had been sent to Council, Ulsterbus and the WELB requesting provision of a bus shelter at this location, however, to date this request had not been followed up. In response Mr Scott advised that to date his Department had not received such a request.
(g) Carlton Drive/Melmount Road, Strabane
In response to a query by Councillor O'Kane, Mr Scott advised that despite discussions with the objector, during which the need for a shelter was highlighted, there were still objections to the siting of a bus shelter at this location. Councillor O'Kane reiterated the concerns of the parents of the young children who would avail of the shelter as they were currently exposed to the elements. He urged that further representations be made to the objector and Mr Scott undertook to follow this up. Councillor McMenamin indicated that he had spoken to two different objectors and was aware of their concerns but he was also aware of the great need for a bus shelter at this location to facilitate the young children in particular. The Chief Executive remarked that Council had listened to the objections raised and would now have to make a balanced opinion on the way forward. Councillor Barr suggested that contact be made with the community group at Carlton Drive and Mr Scott to follow this up and report back in due course.
Donemana (Berryhill Road)
Councillor McBride remarked that from a pick up point of view the proposed location for the bus shelter would be safer. He also pointed out that the current shelter was not large enough to cater for the number of children using same and he suggested that proposals be held for a short time in order to address this issue. He suggested that Mr Scott liaise with the local Development Group in order to obtain their view and this was agreed.
The Report of the Chief Technical Officer was adopted on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, subject to the foregoing.
TECHNICAL SERVICES LICENSING OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Turner, Technical Services Licensing Officer, presented his Report, copy of which was previously circulated. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Presentation by Northlands re "On Street Drinking"
The Chairman invited Mr McCormack, Northlands Centre, to make the presentation to Members regarding the roles of statutory and voluntary bodies and the development of a strategic approach re. "On Street Drinking".
Mr McCormack circulated handbook, annual report and information leaflets to Members for their perusal. He outlined, with the aid of a multi-media presentation, the current levels of use in relation to heresay evidence and survey information. He outlined survey information which had been undertaken. He quoted from Blaney's Report (1978) - "This study estimated that there were 40,000 problem drinkers in NI - one in 25 of the adult population, of whom 11,300 can be classified as alcoholic". He then quoted from Harbison & Haire (1982) "This study confirmed the findings of Blaney and identified a pattern of concentrated heavy drinking. The fact that heavy drinking is the norm and there is no established pattern of moderate drinking, contributes to problem drinking."
He commented that Blaney applied to Strabane could perhaps show the following statistics - Strabane town - 484 problem drinkers, 124 alcoholics; Strabane District Council area - 1445 problem drinkers, 370 alcoholics. This was an indication of the level of problems which might be found in the Strabane area. He then quoted from the Barbara Ward study in Omagh 1995 - There was a varied range of problems identified - problem drinkers as a result of family and relationship problems, work problems, homelessness, deprivation etc. Strabane was often quoted as being an area with deprivation. This was matched in personal and psychological terms by stress and depression.
Key players and stakeholders were - individuals and families in difficulty; GPs and health visitors; drinks and leisure industry; police; Accident & Emergency; housing (statutory and voluntary); social workers; probation; extern; licensing authority; specialist services such as Northlands (statutory and voluntary) AA; police, teachers and youth service and clergy. Mr McCormack pointed out that the Technical Services Licensing Officer had in his report suggested that a strategic approach might be developed to address problems by involving the respective bodies.
Mr McCormack explained that a half day seminar could be held over the next few weeks to discuss these issues and individuals would be invited to speak about their experiences.
Members were then invited to put forward any points. Councillor McNulty enquired what would be considered moderate drinking? In response Mr McCormack commented that this would be 3 or 4 units per day i.e. 3-4 glasses of wine per day. Councillor McMenamin commented that he had attended a similar type presentation the previous week in St Pat's Hall and found it very informative. In relation to alcoholism, he enquired if this was as a result of a gene in the person or was it through heavy drinking and Mr McCormack commented that it was felt that it was through heavy drinking. Councillor McMenamin queried if alcoholism carried through in families and Mr McCormack pointed out that everyone's lives were disrupted and problems were very often generational. Councillor McMenamin expressed disappointment that figures for the Strabane schools were not available and he was of the opinion that there was a dramatic increase in the use of drugs over the past few years. Mr McCormack explained that it was felt that a seven year period had now reached a plateau and a data base was presently being investigated.
Councillor Kerrigan remarked that there was a great need to address this issue as was highlighted in the findings of the survey carried out in Omagh. Councillor Hussey remarked that he was a teacher and a publican and welcomed the liaison for the key players. He felt that one of the key elements for young people was the peer influence. Mr McCormack explained that eight weekly sessions would be commencing the following night in Strabane with a peer educator and this person would be training a number of young people. When these trainees were ready in April, some of them would be kept on for six months to carry on similar type work throughout the Strabane District Council area. Councillor Hussey remarked that the French promoted responsible social drinking. He asked Mr McCormack how valuable he considered the imposition of the fourth condition of counselling to be. Mr McCormack advised that a certain amount of work had been carried out and one group invited the respective parents along and it had proved very effective. Reference was made by Councillor Hussey to the practice of repeat offenders under the Street Drinking bye-laws and enquired if it was felt that this was a better alternative to imposing a fine or warning. Mr McCormack commented that like the bye-laws, it was not going to answer the problem entirely but that follow-up support was important. He remarked that the bye-laws could be compared to the "broken window syndrome" whereby if a car window was broken and not repaired it was not long until all the windows were broken. On the other hand where the window was broken and repaired quickly, the community knew that at least someone was trying to stop the situation worsening.
Councillor Barr enquired if there were any statistics to confirm that the existence of the bye-laws had played any part in the reduction of street drinking. He was of the opinion that the perception was that since the street drinking bye-laws were brought into force that young people who had congregated in the town centre for late night drinking carried on the same practice, however, in the housing developments etc. out of the town centre He felt that the On Street Drinking Bye-Laws had in fact exacerbated the problems which have arisen in the past Young people were now facing prosecutions and had a criminal record as a result of the introduction of the Bye-laws.
Councillor Emery commented that alcohol was obviously more easily available now than years ago particularly among 13-14 year olds and he asked how Northlands intended to tackle this. Mr McCormack remarked that one could not force a young person to do anything, however, the appropriate circumstances could be created.
The Technical Services Licensing Officer explained that the Council needed a body to take a lead role on the issue and to this end it was felt that Northlands could do so. He then enquired if Council would be willing to facilitate future meetings by use of its premises and/or act as a secretariat. This was agreed on the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor O'Kane.
The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, thanked Mr McCormack for his most informative presentation and looked forward to close liaison with Northlands Centre on this issue. Mr McCormack responded accordingly and left the meeting at this juncture.
Bye-laws Prohibiting the Consumption of Intoxicating Liquor in Designated Places
Mr Turner explained that it was recommended that legal proceedings be initiated against the listed person under the above bye-laws. Councillor Hussey indicated that he agreed with the recommendation and he asked that the courts be requested to consider imposing the fourth condition. Mr Turner undertook to liaise with the solicitor and the listed person accordingly. Reference was made by Councillor Hussey to cases whereby an individual re-offended on three or more occasions and queried what effect this had on the overall figures.
Councillor Hussey proposed, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the option of a fourth condition be offered. This was carried by four votes in favour, none against and four abstentions.
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1995
Naming of New Housing Development - Bells Court, Clady
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, that the housing scheme located on the Urney Road, Clady be named Bells Court.
Requested Road Name Change - Section of Dunnyboe Road to Drummond Road, Donemana
It was agreed that this section of roadway be renamed Drummond Road.
Naming of Roadway off Woodend Road
Councillor Donnell requested that a section of roadway off Woodend Road be named and Mr Turner undertook to follow this up.
Betting, Gaming, Lotteries & Amusements (NI) Order 1985
Relaxation of Legislative Controls
Members considered the package of changes which the Government intended to introduce regarding betting and gaming laws as listed in Mr Turner's report. In response to a query by Councillor O'Kane, Mr Turner explained that the current ban on Sunday bingo in licensed bingo clubs would still remain.
The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries & Amusements (NI) Order 1985
Amusement Permit - Mr Paul Leonard
Mr Turner reminded Members that Mr Leonard and his solicitor had attended the meeting on 13 January 1998 and that Council must now decide on the application for the provisional grant of an amusement permit. He explained in his report that the details under legislation, conditions and appeals were as previously reported. He advised Members that under the individual details of the application that planning permission had now been obtained and that the applicant had stated that the video rental business would cease completely if the amusement permit was granted. He also stated that since the previous report a fire certificate had now been issued by the Fire Brigade.
Discussion ensued during which Councillor Barr commented if Council did not have good reason for rejecting an application then an applicant could appeal the decision and have it overturned in his/her favour at a great cost to Council. Mr Turner explained that the Council could refuse to grant such permits but it had to be on relevant grounds.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor Turner, that the Council grant a Provisional Grant of an Amusement Permit for premises at 79 Main Street, Castlederg. There were no objections to the proposal but three abstentions.
Councillor Hussey pointed out that everyone should be aware that the proposed premises was a de-bussing point for a lot of school children of an older age group. He urged that the situation be closely monitored. It was agreed that this point be taken on board and Mr Leonard informed of the Council's concerns accordingly.
ADDENDUM TO TECHNICAL SERVICES LICENSING OFFICER'S
Members considered Addendum to the Technical Services Licensing Officer, copy of which was circulated at the meeting. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) NI Order 1995
Naming of Housing Development and Roadway
Meadowview Court and Meadowview Road, Castlederg
Mr Turner advised that the developer proposed that this housing scheme be named "Meadowview Court" and the approach road "Meadowview Road".
Councillor Hussey proposed that the housing scheme be named "Parkview" as opposed to "Meadowview" as it would be in keeping with the area. Councillor McHugh supported this proposal. Mr Turner advised Council that with any new naming he always consulted the Post Office to ensure that there was no confusion. It was agreed that any Member wishing to submit further proposals should submit same to Mr Turner as soon as possible for consideration with the Post Office prior to the next report to Council in March.
Request for Use of Melvin Park All Weather Pitch from Cullens Amusements
Mr Turner explained that he was recommending approval of the above request from Cullens Amusements and he had drawn up a contract re. same. He stressed, however, that the Council reserved the right to request Cullens to vacate the site within 24 hours if necessary.
Councillor Barr enquired if the proposed fees included use of electricity from Melvin as it was his understanding that a cable was connected to Melvin Hall in the past and they should be charged accordingly. Mr Turner indicated that he understood Cullens would be using their own generators, but undertook to check out any possible usage of electricity from Melvin Hall.
The Report of the Technical Services Licensing Officer and the Addendum to the Report were adopted on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor McBride, subject to the foregoing.
The meeting adjourned for a tea break at 9.45 pm and recommenced at 10.00 pm.
CHIEF RECREATION OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Morrison, Chief Recreation Officer, presented his Report, copy of which was previously circulated. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Best Value Regime
It was agreed to proceed with quotations from recognised Best Value experts to assist in the overall implementation.
Tender for CCT for Leisure Management
It was agreed that the tender received for the Leisure Services Contract, as per item no. 12 on the agenda, be opened and an assessment brought back to a future meeting.
Local Government Association Leisure Tourism Conference
Councillor Barr urged Members to take stock of expenditure and costs for attendance at conferences etc. such as this. It was agreed that one official attend the conference in Eastbourne from 30 March to 1 April 1998 at a cost of £305 plus VAT and expenses per delegate.
Monaghan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd/Monaghan County Council
It was noted that one Officer would be attending this conference to be held in Monaghan on 20 and 21 February 1998 at a cost of £150 per delegate plus expenses.
Tourism Seminar & Workshop - Marketing Ireland Northern Counties on the Internet
It was agreed that one officer attend this conference to be held in Portaferry on 27 February 1998 at a cost of £130 plus expenses.
Ulster Tourist Development Association
It was agreed that the Council make its annual contribution to the UTDA for the year 1997/98 in the sum of £500.
Newtownstewart Community Development Association
Councillor Turner indicated that it was his understanding that the Association wrote to its representatives. He felt that unless discussions were held regarding the funds from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts that the money may be lost. Mr Morrison advised that he had written and explained that the Council would be using the funding. Councillor Barr commented that given that a decision was taken regarding the Council Offices and that a small museum could be provided, that this might qualify for grant aid. Mr Morrison undertook to follow this matter up with the Foundation and report back.
St Oliver Plunkett Accordian Band
It was agreed that the above Band be granted use of the facilities at Melvin Hall for a competition on 3 May 1998 and that normal opening hours be extended accordingly.
Calverts Community Association
It was agreed that a seeding grant of £200 be paid to the above Association.
Community Economic Development Grants 1997/98
In relation to Derg Valley Care, Councillor Hussey asked if this could be updated and the actual purpose listed. This was agreed.
Strabane Youth Initiative
Reference was made by Councillor Barr to the presentation by Strabane Youth Initiative and their request for Council's support for the lease of premises for a drop-in centre in Strabane. Mr Morrison undertook to check the up-to-date position and report back.
Northern Ireland Millennium Programme
Councillor Hussey suggested that plans should now be formulated for the Millennium Project and that the Council should discuss this in the near future. Mr Morrison undertook to report back on this.
Requests - Council Minibus
It was agreed that the respective Groups, as listed in the report, be granted use of the Council's minibus as requested.
It was agreed that tenders be sought from local contractors regarding the reconstruction of Ballynamallaght Footbridge in the next financial year.
Sustrans Routes for People
It was agreed that Mr Patterson from Sustrans NI be invited to address a future Council meeting.
Sion Mills Recreation Club
Mr Morrison advised Members that the Club was seeking grant aid from Council towards the major developments undertaken on football pitches, spectator viewing and the surroundings. Councillor Barr pointed out that Council had supported the Club in relation to the vandalism. He suggested that Council defer the request for further financial assistance and that perhaps the Sports Advisory Committee could reconsider the request. Councillor Hussey remarked that the Club was to be applauded for their efforts to date, however, he enquired if the total package could have been considered for Lottery funding.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, seconded by Councillor Mrs Bell, that the Club be invited to make a presentation to Council at a future meeting.
After School Sports Recruit
It was agreed that Donna Caldwell, Ballymagorry, be recruited onto this programme.
North West Railways Interpretative Group
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Barr, that the Council's Community Relations Department match fund this exhibition in the sum of £606.
Community Relations Day for Church Representatives
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department fund this project in the sum of £500.
Race Relations Order - It Effects You
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department provide funding of £220 towards this project.
Pyramid Theatre Company
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department provide funding of £250 plus hall hire for this project.
The Shopper and the Boy
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department provide funding of £900 in respect of the two performances in the District.
People, Poetry and Place
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department contribute the sum of £3000 towards this Festival.
Brush Up Your Oils - Stage 2
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department meet the deficit towards the cost of employing a professional tutor.
It was agreed that the Council's Community Relations Department contribute the sum of £200 towards this project.
It was agreed that Council, through its Community Relations Department, host an ongoing programme of exhibitions and events to facilitate cross community contact and an appreciation of cultural diversity through arts related activity.
Focused Training: Churchtown Community Association
It was agreed the Community Relations Department provide funding in the region of £1,100 to facilitate training for the group including a two day residential with professional trainers.
American Theme Festival
Mr Morrison advised Members that every effort would be made to spread this across the district. Councillor Hussey remarked that he assumed such a festival would include American connections which emanate from this area.
ADDENDUM TO CHIEF RECREATION OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Morrison circulated Addendum to his Report. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Grays Printers Museum
Mr Morrison explained that he was recommending that PHA Associates be appointed to provide the interpretive elements to the Ground Floor of the new Museum as their performance and quality of work in carrying out the contract for the Council in the past had been most satisfactory and professional. Councillor Hussey queried why local businesses could not be supported. Mr Morrison explained that interpretation was a very specialised field and both himself and the Chief Executive had inspected PHA Associate's work in Manchester.
Newtownstewart Museum Collection
Mr Morrison advised Members that the sum of £30,000 had been awarded by the District Partnership in relation to this. In response to a query by Councillor Barr, Mr Morrison advised that the collection would be put into the archives and could be moved to a chosen location as necessary.
It was agreed that the Council purchase the Newtownstewart Museum Collection at a cost of £33,000.
The Report of the Chief Recreation Officer and the Addendum to the Report were adopted on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor Murtagh, subject to the foregoing.
Outreach Provision in Newtownstewart
Mr Morrison informed Members that the Christian Bookshop no longer required the old Tourist Information Office in Newtownstewart. It was, therefore, proposed that the Citizens Advice Bureau be granted use of these facilities for outreach provision in Newtownstewart.
This was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Turner, seconded by Councillor O'Kane.
It was further agreed on the suggestion of Councillor Hussey that MARI be advised that there were 26 spaces available in Castlederg.
Irish Museums Conference
It was agreed that Miss Roisin Bradley, Community Relations Officer, attend the above conference to be held in Kilmore Hotel, Co Cavan, from 20 to 22 February 1998 at a cost of £35 plus expenses.
DISTRICT CHIEF BUILDING CONTROL OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Stewart, District Chief Building Control Officer, presented his report, a copy of which was previously circulated. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Report on Applications
Mr Stewart informed Members that the new computer system had itemised an application and also included the master plan on page 4 of the report. This would not be the case in the future and only the master copy would be shown.
Mr Stewart advised Members that the necessary information had not been received in respect of application nos. S/317/97 - WELB and S/370/97 - Billy Doherty. Councillors McHugh and O'Kane undertook to contact the respective applicants with a view to having the necessary information submitted. It was agreed that a refusal be issued after 14 days in the event that the necessary information was not submitted.
It was agreed that the recommendation of refusal in respect of application no. S/364/97 - Billy Wilson, be withdrawn as the necessary information had been received.
1998 Annual International Building Control Conference and Exhibition
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that one Officer attend the above conference to be held in Liverpool between 9 and 12 June 1998 and bring a report back to Council in due course.
Induction Loop System - Council Chamber
Mr Stewart informed Members that the induction loop system had now been installed in the Council Chamber, as agreed by Council. This was noted.
The Report of the District Chief Building Control Officer was adopted on the proposal of Councillor Murtagh, seconded by Councillor O'Kane, subject to the foregoing.
CHIEF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICER'S REPORT
Mr Cosgrove, Chief Environmental Health Officer, presented his Report, a copy of which was previously circulated. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:-
Appointment of Group Environmental Health Officer
Mr Cosgrove advised Members that money would be made available from central government as a result of the Pennington Report. This money would be audited for special areas and he would bring details of the scheme to members as soon as possible.
Planning Service Code of Practice
It was agreed that Council adopt this Code of Practice.
Service Level Agreement - Public Analyst
Mr Cosgrove reminded Members that Mr Oliphant had highlighted this matter at the Environmental Committee the previous evening. He explained that the Council tended to sample more within Category 3. Councillor Hussey commented that within the principles of the agreement there was a target level and he enquired if that posed any problems for the Council. Mr Cosgrove stated that there had been some concerns expressed in the past about return of sample results but this would be overcome with the agreement. He said that it was the Department's major concern to respond to the public and in the past if there were staff shortages then sampling took a lower priority. However, with this arrangement there would be financial penalties incurred for failure to provide samples at the contract rate. The first year was a trial period and he would keep Members informed.
Race Relations Order
Mr Cosgrove informed Members that this matter had been raised at the Travelling People's Liaison Working Party meeting recently. He urged Members to attend the seminar to be held in the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh on 5 March 1998. He then quoted from a letter dated 6 February 1998 which he had received from the Commission for Racial Equality for NI in relation to the query concerning providing a Traveller with a key to the barrier in which they stated that it would not be advisable to comment on a situation which may be decided upon by a Court and also in view of the fact that it may receive a complaint from the individual concerned.
Lengthy discussion ensued concerning the responsibilities of Council in relation to this particular piece of legislation. There were also concerns about the tenancy agreement and how this would be affected by this legislation.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the Chief Executive seek legal advice on the matter and report back to Council in due course.
Local Government Action Committee
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Donnell, seconded by Councillor McBride, that Councillor Kerrigan be appointed onto the above Committee.
Authorisation of Group Officers
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor Mrs Bell, that Larry Dargan, Aileen Gillespie and Catherine O'Neill be authorised to act in those matters listed in the report arising under the Food Safety Act 1990 and any subordinate Regulations and Orders.
The Report of the Chief Environmental Health Officer was adopted on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor O'Kane, subject to the foregoing.
Removal of Ban on the Sale of Beef on the Bone
It was unanimously agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the Council write to the Prime Minister and also seek the support of all the other Councils in calling for the removal of the ban on the sale of beef on the bone.
Alterations to Speed Limits at Barnhill Road, Strabane
It was agreed to defer correspondence dated January 1998 received from Roads Service regarding alterations to speed limits at Barnhill Road, Strabane and that each Councillor be provided with a copy of same for discussion at the next meeting.
Speed Limit - Sion Mills
Councillor McMenamin requested that Roads Service be requested to extend the 30 mph speed limit out of Strabane towards Sion Mills. Councillor O'Kane pointed out that Council had in the past met with Roads Service, Road Traffic Branch, regarding this matter, however, the outcome was not fruitful.
It was agreed that further written representations be made to Roads Service regarding this matter.
30 mph Speed Limit - Cranagh
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, that Roads Service be requested to erect 30 mph speed limit signs in Cranagh.
Cummings to Spamount & District Cross-Community Association
It was agreed that the Chairman of the Council and the Chief Executive sign and seal the licence agreement - Cummings to Spamount & District Cross Community Association and Strabane District Council - Lands at Spamount for recreation.
NI Anti-Poverty Network re. Social Security Cuts to Lone Parents
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor O'Kane, that Council support correspondence dated 16 January 1998 received from NIAPN by sending a copy of the letter to Tony Blair to demonstrate opposition to cuts to lone parent benefits.
Department of Education Consultation Document - Targets for the Future
Members considered letter dated 30 December 1997 received from the Department of Education seeking comments on its Consultation Document "Targets for the Future" by 6 March 1998. Councillor McBride commented that this was very important for the future of the economy and he undertook to submit comments directly to the Chief Executive on same.
It was agreed that any Member wishing to submit comments should do so as soon as possible and the Chief Executive would collate same and forward to the Department of Education.
It was agreed that the meeting go "Into Committee".
It was agreed that the meeting go "Out of Committee" in order to discuss the remainder of the business.
Foyle Health & Social Services Trust
The Chief Executive informed Members that the minutes of the above Trust would be placed in the Members' Library for perusal by anyone interested.
Criminal Procedures Investigations Act 1996
Review of the Northern Ireland Housing Market
It was agreed that the above documents be placed in the Members' Library for perusal by anyone interested.
"Investing for the Future" Conference
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Hussey, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the Council's representative on the Early Years Committee, Councillor Mrs Bell, attend the above conference entitled "Promoting and Safeguarding Children's Early Experiences" to be held on 9 and 10 March 1998 in the Dunadry Hotel & Country Club, Islandreagh Road, Dunadry, Co Antrim at a cost of £160 per delegate plus expenses.
Local Government "Best Value" Conference
The Chief Executive advised Members that correspondence had been received in respect of the above conference to be held on 31 March 1998 in Belfast and Chief Executives/Mayors/Councillors were invited to attend at a cost of £75 per delegate plus expenses. The Chief Executive suggested that two Senior Officers attend given the importance of the "Best Value" concept.
It was agreed, on the request of Councillor Hussey, that a copy of the correspondence be circulated to Members for discussion at the next Finance meeting.
Sperrin Lakeland Trust
The Chief Executive informed Members that correspondence had been received from the Sperrin Lakeland Trust advising of its next meeting to be held on 4 March 1998 in the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen. It was noted that Councillor O'Kane had attended previous meetings of the Trust.
It was agreed, following discussion, that one Member from each Party attend together with the Independent Member.
Somme Association Ltd - Turkish Visitors
The Chief Executive informed Members that visitors from Turkey were here in Northern Ireland and would be visiting the Council area on 18 February 1998.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the Council host these visitors and arrange a sightseeing trip of the Council area.
Three Members abstained from this decision.
International Practice Firm - Exchange Programme
The Chief Executive informed Members that an HND student from Orchard Road and two other students would be taking part in an IPF exchange programme in March 1998 in New York at a total cost of £1500. They had undertaken fund raising activities and there was a shortfall of £300. The Chief Executive explained that the Economic Development Officer had examined this request under her budget and was recommending that the three students be granted the sum of £100 each.
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, that the Council contribute, through the Economic Development budget, the sum of £100 each with a total sum of £300.
It was further agreed on the proposal of Councillor McBride, that students who received funding from Council should bring back a written report to Council upon their return and that they should be encouraged to promote the Council area. The Chief Executive advised that Council had given a plaque or similar type memorabilia in the past to persons who had received a financial contribution from Council and that these be presented to their hosts.
50th Anniversary of the Strabane United Soccer Team
Councillor McMenamin informed Members that he had received requests for Council to hold a reception to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Strabane United Soccer Team who had won the Irish Junior Cup in 1948. Councillor Hussey supported Council hosting such a reception and suggested that this be held in May to coincide with the actual anniversary.
The meeting closed at 11.30 pm
DATED this 10th day of FEBRUARY 1998
Clerk and Chief Executive
DATED this 24th day of FEBRUARY 1998