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22nd July 1997
Minutes of Meeting of Strabane District Council held in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, Derry Road, Strabane on Tuesday 22 July 1997 at 9.25 p.m.
Present:- In the Chair:- Councillor E Mullen Other Members:- Councillors Mrs A Bell, I Barr, D A Bresland, D Hussey, T Kerrigan, T McBride, C McHugh, E McMenamin, J McNulty, I Murtagh, J O'Kane, E Turner MBE Total = 13
In Attendance:- Clerk and Chief Executive, Committee Clerk
Adjourned Business (from Council Meeting on 8 July 1997)
The Chairman reminded Members that this meeting had been arranged in order to deal with adjourned business from the Council meeting on 8 July 1997.
Appointment of Representatives to the Urney and District Development Association
The Chairman invited nominations for position one on the above Association. Councillor McBride proposed, seconded by Councillor Mrs Bell, that Councillor Murtagh be nominated.
Voting took place on the proposal. Councillor Bresland asked for a Recorded Vote.
FOR Councillors Mrs Bell, Barr, McBride, McHugh, McMenamin,
McNulty, Mullen, Murtagh, O'Kane
ABSTENTIONS Councillors Bresland, Hussey, Kerrigan, Turner
The proposal was carried that Councillor Murtagh be nominated with nine Members in favour and four abstentions.
The Chairman invited nominations for position two.
Councillor Barr proposed, seconded by Councillor O'Kane, that Councillor McHugh be nominated onto the above Association.
Voting took place with nine Members in favour and four abstentions.
Appointments onto Rent Assessment Panel
Members considered correspondence received on 1 July 1997 from the DOE, Housing Policy Branch inviting nominations for appointment onto the above panel.
Councillor Bresland proposed, seconded by Councillor Turner, that Councillor Kerrigan be nominated.
Councillor Barr proposed, seconded by Councillor McNulty, that Councillor O'Kane be nominated.
Councillor O'Kane proposed that Councillor McBride be nominated. Councillor McBride withdrew his name.
It was agreed that the two nominations be put forward for appointment onto this Panel.
Cranagh Post Office
Members considered correspondence received on 24 June 1997 from Post Office Counters Ltd advising of its intention to re-open the above Post Office. Councillor McBride sought clarification on whether this was a proposal or if an individual had agreed to provide premises and a service for the Cranagh community. The Chief Executive undertook to check this out and report back.
Free Travel on Public Transport for Senior Citizens
It was agreed, on the proposal of Councillor O'Kane, seconded by Councillor Barr, that the Council support Newry and Mourne District Council in their request for an extension of the current scheme to provide free travel on public transport for senior citizens and write to the DOE, Transport Division, accordingly.
Funding of the Education Service
Members considered correspondence dated 24 June 1997 received from the Western Education & Library Board seeking the Council's assistance in its campaign to ensure that the education service in Northern Ireland and in the Western area, in particular, is adequately funded over the next two years and that the threatened reductions are not implemented.
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Barr that the Council write to the Secretary of State, Dr Mowlam and the Minister for Education, Mr Worthington, demanding that adequate funding be provided for the education service. It was further agreed on the suggestion of Councillor McBride that the Council forward written representations immediately and that a collective response from the five Councils would be sent in due course.
Discussion ensued during which Councillor Hussey commented that he had been advised that the other Councils in the West had sent a representative from each party to the meeting in Omagh District Council Offices earlier that day to discuss the education issue. In addition to Councillor Barr's proposal he requested that the Council also write to the Education Committee of the N I Forum as this was an area of concern for them. This was agreed. Councillor Hussey commented that the Government in the past used funds from the NIHE budget from the sale of houses and expressed the hope that the new Government would not use the disturbances of the Summer as an excuse for withholding funding for the education service.
The Chairman explained that he had attended the meeting earlier that day, however, Councillor McHugh was unable to attend. He undertook to circulate members with correspondence which was circulated at the meeting which included a breakdown of the financial implications of the proposed cutbacks over the next two years. He explained that the main thrust of the meeting was that a motion was passed that the five Chief Executives in the Councils in the Western Area together the Chief Executive of the WELB would prepare a joint response and present same to Mr Worthington in September. A strategy for education would be prepared.
In the event that a meeting in a similar forum met again, Councillor Hussey requested that there be all party representation from Strabane District Council given that the Unionists had no representation on the WELB. This was agreed.
Sewage Related Pollution Incidents
Members considered and noted letter dated 24 June 1997 received from Lord Dubs, Minister of Agriculture, regarding the above and enclosing a response to the Ulster Angling Federation Limited.
It was agreed that this letter be placed on the agenda for the next Council meeting at which the Water and Sewerage Service would be present.
Councillor O'Kane requested that the following matters also be raised at this meeting (I) sluice gates at Strabane Bridge and Waterside Wall (ii) open pipe at end of bank from Melvin Park, Ballycolman. Councillor Hussey stated that raw sewage from Eden Park, Castlederg, was entering the river and asked that this be investigated. The Chairman suggested that the Chief Environmental Health Officer carry out a survey of emissions into the rivers system throughout the area for discussion at the meeting with Water and Sewerage Service.
Various Roads Matters
Members considered letter received from Roads Service on 30 June 1997 regarding various roads matters. Councillor O'Kane reiterated his previous concerns at the dangerous condition of the wall at Melmount Villas, however, Roads Service had made no reference to this matter despite an assurance having been given that this would be attended to. The Chief Executive undertook to follow this matter up with Roads Service.
Sale of Railway Line Land at Orchard Road
It was agreed that the Chairman and Chief Executive sign and seal conveyance for sale of railway line land at Orchard Road - the Council to Robinson.
Springhill Community and Tenants Association
The Chief Executive advised that representatives of the Association had met with him requesting permission to make a presentation to Council re. community facilities. He explained that a request had also been received from Fountain Street Community Association re. community facilities. It was agreed that a deputation be invited to a Council meeting in September.
Lebreh Limited re. Bradley Way Site
The Chief Executive informed Members that representatives of Lebreh Limited had indicated that they would not be meeting with Council at this time in view of the impending planning appeal. Appreciation had been expressed, however, at the Council's support to date. This was noted.
Springhill Park Community Association - Development Plan 1997-2002
Councillor O'Kane advised that he had received an invitation from Springhill Park Community Association, as had other Councillors, to the launch of its Development Plan the following day. It was agreed that any Councillor wishing to attend should do so. The Chief Executive stated that it was necessary for Groups to extend invitations, such as this, through Council in order that Officers could register attendances.
Car Boot Sale - The Park, Art Road, Artigarvan
The Chief Executive informed Members that a request had been received for permission to use the Park on Art Road, Artigarvan for a car boot sale in aid of the Royal National Institute for the Blind on 7 August 1997 from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm. This was agreed.
Information Leaflets - History of Council Offices Building
It was agreed, on the request of Councillor Barr, that information leaflets be produced "in house" on the history of the old Workhouse etc. Councillor Barr felt this would be extremely beneficial for visitors to the area and in particular those who visited the Council Offices from overseas who showed a great interest in the history of the building.
In supporting Councillor Barr's comments, Councillor McBride queried whether it would be possible to have an "information wall" in the Council Offices outlining the history of the building itself and the local area. He felt this would be particularly useful for visitors at receptions etc. to browse over whilst waiting for speeches, serving of food etc. He remarked that this had been highlighted at the Council reception on Saturday for the Sioux Falls delegation at which the visitors were extremely interested in the local history. The Chief Executive stated that such a facility, of a portable nature, could be provided.
Various Publications - Members Library
The Chief Executive informed Members that the following publications had been received and would be placed in the Members Library:-
Business Management Forum - Summer Workshop Documentation;
NI Economic Council - A Response to the Long-Term Unemployment Consultation
NI Health and Personal Social Services - Performance Tables for 1996-97 - The
Charter for Patients and Clients;
The NI Ombudsman Annual Report 1996;
Environment and Heritage Service Corporate Plan 1997/2000 and Business Plan
Rivers Agency Business Plan 1997/98;
European Commission - Quality of Bathing Water;
WHSSB - Complaints: Creating Opportunities for Service Improvement - The
First Annual Report of The Board's Convenor
Reception - Visiting Team from Dublin to Sigersons
Councillor O'Kane advised that an under-14 team from Dublin would be playing a match on 8 August at Sigersons GFC. He requested that the Council host a reception for the visiting team and this was agreed.
Refuse Collection - Millbrook Gardens
It was agreed, on the request of Councillor Hussey, that the Technical Services Department be requested to provide a refuse collection service to the new housing development at Millbrook Gardens which was now occupied.
Killen District Development Limited
Councillor McHugh asked that it be recorded that prior to any discussions on Killen District Development Limited that Councillors should be provided with a full valuation of the property as this had been omitted from the correspondence previously circulated. The Chief Executive explained that he had written to Mr Bell requesting same but was awaiting a response. Councillor McHugh remarked that Mr Pollock had dealt with the valuation and the information should be obtained from him, if possible.
The meeting closed at 9.55 p.m.
DATED this 22nd day of JULY 1997
Clerk and Chief Executive
DATED this 26th day of AUGUST 1997
Chairman of the Council