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CITY TRIBUNE

Anger over Council’s failure to address illegal dumping

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A city councillor has accused City Hall of neglecting law-abiding residents in a Ballybane housing estate who have had to deal with mounting health hazards as a result of illegal dumping.

Speaking at a meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) for Environment, Recreation and Amenity, Independent councillor Colette Connolly said that residents were “sick, sore and tired of the inaction of the Council” and claimed the local authority was “doing nothing” to improve the situation.

Fána Glas has become a black spot for illegal dumping with a small number of residents disposing of rubbish in common areas of the estate.

Items such as broken-down cars, dumped mattresses and scattered household waste – as well as illegally-parked caravans – have blighted the area for a number of years.

Several attempts to tidy the area in the past, by means of community clean-ups and Council-led operations have failed – with the status quo returning shortly after the work is completed.

Cllr Connolly said that it was unacceptable that a small number of residents were able to behave in this manner and called for action from the City Council.

“I am told that there are rats up there now – this is a repeat performance of what we had when Hillside was there.

“It is disgraceful to treat law-abiding residents in this manner,” she exclaimed.

Cllr Connolly demanded that the Director of Services for Housing take direct action and said that those residents who have no regard for their tenancy agreements should be severely reprimanded.

Administrative Officer in the Environment and Climate Change Department, Helen McDonagh, refuted claims that the Council were doing nothing and said that they would soon be piloting a new anti-dumping initiative in Ballybane.

The Council have secured funding for the pilot scheme and as part of its ‘Managing your Waste, Caring for our Environment’ campaign and has been working with residents’ associations and city councillors in the area.

“We held a public meeting in August and invited all the residents in Ballybane where we outlined the initiative. We want people to come in and work with us and we will be sending out press releases and leaflets.

“We will be doing clean-ups but they will only happen after the campaign; we need people to tell us when dumping is happening,” said Ms McDonagh.

In a recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey carried out by An Taisce, Ballybane was declared ‘clean to European norms’ – with a significant improvement in the area’s cleanliness noted in the results.

However, Fána Glas was highlighted as an area that remained in need of attention.

The survey found that many individual properties in the estate were very well-maintained while others were quite neglected.

It described the overall impression of the estate as one of terrible neglect – overgrown, weeded and heavily littered.

CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport

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From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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