Replies to motions at February Meeting of Council

1Can the council confirm the up to date position with safety measures at Cloney Bridge, Cloney, Athy and the Canal Bridge at Cardenton, Athy?
Report: The Kildare area office has examined the issue at Cloney Bridge in relation to the repairs to the bridge wall, however, due to the current level of the stream it is not possible to carry out the necessary repairs. This issue will continue to be monitored. There are no proposals for additional safety measures at the canal bridge at Cardenton, Athy. The members will be kept informed.

2Can the council consider extending the speed limit at Lennon’s Bridge on the Ballintubbert Road in Athy beyond its current limit as a matter of safety?
Report: All requests for special speed limits are being kept on file until the national review of the existing special speed limit regime is completed.

3Can the council open water cuts on the Ballybracken and Riverstown Roads in Kildangan to counter the flooding in these areas at the moment?
Report from the Kildare Area: The area office will list the area for attention however due to the current workload the Kildare area office cannot commit to a date for when the works will be carried out.

4That the council work with the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association and community alert scheme regarding the possibility of CCTV cameras where possible in the village.
A report will be available for the March meeting of the committee.

5That the council confirm the discussions they have had with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the shared ownership loans, the number of outstanding loans in arrears within the county and has the department given any assurances to the council regarding families that may be struggling to keep up their re-payments.
Reply: The finance section has not had any discussions with the Department of the Environment regarding borrowers, under the shared ownership scheme, who are not meeting their repayments or who are struggling to do so. However, there are continuous discussions taking place, at a national level, regarding the issue of local authority housing loans arrears cases and how best to resolve the difficulty from a long-term perspective. During 2012 the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with local authorities, put a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (M.A.R.P.) in place which is similar to that which the central bank requested of the private sector banks and other lending institutions. We are currently inviting borrowers to meet with us, on a case by case basis, where we become aware that their loan is falling into arrears. In addition to this, we have information on our website which also advises those in difficulties to make contact with us as soon as possible.
As at 31st December, 2012 we had 723 live loans accounts. Of those –
47 loans between 1 and 2 months in arrears
16 loans between 2 and 3 months in arrears
56 loans between 3 and 6 months in arrears
346 loans greater than 6 months in arrears.
The finance section continues to work with all borrowers who are in genuine difficulty and only resorts to legal proceedings after exhausting all other methods of working with those in difficulty.

6That the council work with the community alert schemes existing, reforming and new throughout the Athy area, providing information on how the council can help, what grants may be available and assistance to use, provide new or existing sign-posts.
Report: Conor O’Leary is the Community Alert Development Officer for the Kildare Area. He is employed by Muintir na Tir and Garda Siochana. His role is to work with Community alert groups to enable them to develop their existing group or for areas to set up new community alert groups.

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