Election of Chairperson

Councillor McHugh thanked Councillors and staff for their input into the Environment Committee over the past year. He stated that from a Planning Service perspective, there had been a lot of changes to take on board and again thanked everyone for their contribution.

Councillor McHugh advised that under the D’hondt system, the Independent Candidate was due to take the Chair of the Environment Committee.

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor McHugh, seconded by Councillor McMahon, Councillor O’Kane was duly elected as Chairman of the Environment Committee.

Councillor O’Kane proceeded to take the Chair and thanked Members for nominating him. He also thanked Councillor McHugh for cf

arrying out his role as Chair of the Environment Committee fairly.

Councillor O’Kane then invited Members of the Sinn Fein party to make a nomination for Vice Chair under the D’hondt System.

The Chief Technical Services Officer (CTSO) presented his monthly report and the following was discussed:

Ballymagorry & District Development Association

The CTSO advised Members that the above group had folded and they would like to donate flower boxes and waste litterbins in the hope that Council would maintain bedding plants on an annual basis.

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor Donnell, seconded by Councillor Emery this was agreed.

Members stated that they were disappointed to learn that the group had folded, given the good work they had undertaken in the past.

Federation of Women’s Institute of Northern Ireland

The CTSO referred to correspondence received from the above, requesting Council to acknowledge their 75th Anniversary by considering planting a flowerbed. The CTSO advised that if Council agreed to such, it could be facilitated at the entrance to Dock Street Car Park from the Derry Road.

AGREED
Members stated that Council had already acknowledged the group’s anniversary by hosting a Chairman’s Reception, however on the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor Hussey it was agreed that if they identified a sponsor they could erect a plaque in the suggested flowerbed at Dock Street.

Reconstruction of Road at Railway Road/Lifford Road Junction

The CTSO advised Members that he approached ASDA in the hope of obtaining sponsorship for the planting of the new roundabout at Branch Road, Strabane however they indicated that they were not interested in undertaking such.

Members expressed their disappointment at their lack of participation, given that the roundabout was constructed to facilitate access to their new store

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor Hussey it was agreed that Council would advertise for sponsorship. It was also agreed to forward a letter to ASDA conveying Council’s disappointment re. the above.

Resurfacing of Car Parks

Councillor Hussey congratulated the CTSO and staff in relation to the above work recently carried out throughout the district.

As indicated in his report, the CTSO highlighted works for which tender documents were currently being prepared.

In response to Councillor McMahon, the CTSO stated that in relation to Strabane Cemetery, walkways in between the graves would be completed in the next phase of works.

In response to a query from Councillor McHugh, the CTSO stated that he would investigate who was responsible for the preservation of old graveyards.

Councillor Barr expressed his concerns in relation to the recent break in of a lady’s car and the subsequent theft of her handbag while she was visiting a cemetery in Strabane. He queried if it was possible to have an attendant at the car park particularly during funerals etc and also if Council had any liability for such.

In response, the CTSO advised that to the best his knowledge Council was not liable however would confirm such with Council’s Insurance Company. He also stated that he would explore the possibility of assigning staff to such duties during funerals as requested.

In response to Councillor McGill the CTSO advised that maintenance at the play area in Camus Park would be completed as soon as weather was permitting.

In response to Councillor Breslin, the CTSO acknowledged that litterbins at Strabane Cemetery were being used by members of the public to dispose of domestic waste. He advised that attempts have been made to empty them as regularly as possible.

In response the Councillor Emery the CTSO advised that he would provide a schedule of listed graveyards in a future report.

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor Bresland, seconded by Councillor Donnell, it was agreed to forward a letter to Roads Service requesting them to consider applying hardcore to the wide verge of the roadside at the opposite side of the Urney Cemetery Car Park to enable it to act as an overflow car park.

Technical Services Licensing Officer’s Report

The Technical Services Licensing Officer (TSLO) presented his monthly report and the following was discussed:-

Circuses

The TSLO advised Members that on week commencing 11 June 2007, Circus Sydney and Circus Dreamland both arrived in Strabane and performed for a number of days. He further advised that adequate notice had not been given; therefore proper consultation had not been carried out.

The TSLO stated that he made contact with both Circuses and advised them that the matter would be brought to the attention of Council, advising that in future adequate notice must be given to ensure full compliance with the legislative process.

Councillors McMahon and McGill left the meeting – 9.15pm.

In response to a number of queries by Members, the TSLO advised the following:

· Circuses were permitted to erect a limited number of hard backed posters, which they easily remove.
· Issues re. the welfare of animals could be passed on to the relevant authorities.
· Access issues could have been addressed if the Circuses had given adequate notice.

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor Breslin, it was agreed that Council write to both circuses advising that in future if required notice was not given, legal proceedings would be considered.*

Representations to Council re. Amusement Permit Applications

AGREED
It was agreed that in relation to the above, only new applications or licencees who had not adhered to legislation would be requested to make representation to Council prior to initial decision being made by Council.

Review of Designated Areas for Trading

Members were advised that the Department of Social Development (DSD) had confirmed that they were not agreeable to the Score Site, Dock Street, Strabane being designated as an area for stationary trading under the street trading legislation and therefore a review of the designated areas would take place.

In response to Councillor Hussey, the TSLO stated that the Farmers Market was exempt and that DSD had indicated that they were satisfied that it would continue trading from the Score Site.

Naming of Housing Development

AGREED
On the proposal of Councillor Breslin, seconded by Councillor Foley it was agreed that a housing scheme consisting of 19 No. Townhouses and 36 No. Apartments at the site of the former Hospital, Derry Road, Strabane be named as ‘Hawthorn Grove’.

On the proposal of Councillor Foley, seconded by Councillor Breslin the TSLO’s report was adopted.

Smoke Free Legislation

Councillor Hussey declared an interest in the above.

Councillor Hussey queried how many applications had been received by the Building Control department in relation to structures for smoking areas at licensed premises.

In response, the CBCO stated that to date, none had been received and added that it was not necessarily a building control issue. He further advised that it was an Environmental Health requirement that the structures be 50% open.

In response to Councillor Hussey, the CE assured Members that the Environmental Health Department continued to actively ensure that businesses were complying with the Smoke Free Legislation as well as offering support and guidance.

On-Street Drinking

It was agreed to forward a letter to the Vintners Association, highlighting Council’s concerns in relation to the level of on-street drinking, following the introduction of the Smoke Free Legislation.

Election Posters

In response to a query from Councillor Donnell, the CTSO advised that the matter had been addressed and the poster would be removed.

The Meeting closed at 10.00pm.