Housing , Athy Business Rates, Monasterevin 

CouncillorWall

That the council update its members on the programme of road works for the town of Monasterevin and its environs including timeframes.

Report: The Municipal District Office intends to undertake the following works in Monasterevin in the current year – there are a number of drainage issues at Passlands and St Evin’s Park that need to be resolved; the main road through the town (R448) requires attention in the current year and it is intended to surface dress a section of this road; there are a number of side roads ie Drogheda Street that will require surfacing in the coming months. Monasterevin and environs has only recently come under the aegis of the Athy Municipal District Office. The Office is compiling a plan of works for the next three years which will address the main issues in the town. This plan is dependent on finance being made available for the proposed works. At the moment the Office is undertaking extensive road works in the Coolagh/ Derryoughter /Clarey/Rathconnell area which is part of the extended Athy Municipal District.

Motions 16.Councillor Wall

Given the ongoing and almost daily issues surrounding homelessness in the municipal district, that we are informed of what plans have the council put in place to deal with the increase, have they made the department aware of the problems and issues , will additional staff be put in place and has the issue regarding rent caps being discussed with the department.

Report: The Council continue to assess each presentation we receive for access to homeless services on a case by case basis. Persons presenting to Housing are advised to utilise their family and friends support network until they can source alternative rented accommodation. Where individuals have support needs we utilise our emergency beds available in Athy and Newbridge and where necessary commercially available family units. The Department of Social Protection (DSP) review and provide, on a case by case basis, rent supplement increases for persons at risk of being homeless or those who have secured accommodation at higher rents to ensure that the property is secured. The Council also continue to source additional sources of housing supply identified under our Housing Strategy. 

Councillor Wall

Can the council confirm the up-to-date position with the application of rates to commercial premises in the town of Athy, has the authority informed rate payers of any proposed changes and has the authority any method of adjusting rates for previously unoccupied premises?

Report: Commercial premises in Athy have been charged the exact same rates for 2015 as they were for 2014. Section 29 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for the harmonisation of commercial rates between the former town council rating authorities (Athy and Naas) and Kildare county council. In order to ease the transition to a single county rate, while avoiding a negative impact on the overall local authority revenue, the harmonisation of rates has been agreed by Kildare County Council Members to take place over a 5 year period. The rate payers of Athy will be sent a letter mid-year informing them about the changes for their 2016 rates bills. Section 31 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 provided for a change to rating law in relation to the refund of rates on vacant properties, it gives the power to the Member to vary the levy of rates refunds that apply in individual local electoral area’s within the authority’s overall administrative area. The Kildare County Council Members decided the vacancy relief should remain at 100%. This vacancy relief is applied to the relevant customers account each January on foot of an inspection by the Revenue Collector.

Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 provided that the owner of a rated property must inform the local authority within 2 weeks of a transfer of interest in a property, where the transfer results in a change in the person liable for the rates on the property. 

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