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Tag Archives: Minister Alan Kelly

Fire without smoke countrywide

On the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the smoky coal ban for Dublin, Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly outlined plans to extend the health benefits of the smoky coal ban nationwide. It is expected that it will come into effect in 2018. At present, the ban covers Ennis/Clarecastle and areas of South East Clare bordering Limerick City. ‘It is right to extend the benefits of the ban on smoky coal nationwide. These benefits include very significant reductions in respiratory problems and indeed mortalities from the effects of burning smoky coal. In the region of 8,000 lives have been saved in Dublin since the introduction of the smoky coal ban in 1990 and further health and economic benefits, estimated at €53 million per year, will be realised when the ban is extended nationwide,” Minister Kelly said in making the announcement in Dublin. Minister Kelly went on to say that the success of the introduction of the ban in Dublin, …

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bill slattery

A child ‘would have drawn better boundaries’

  A child would have drawn better boundaries for the municipal electoral areas in Clare, it has been suggested. At a meeting of Clare County Council, Councillor Bill Slattery said the West Clare Municipal District, which stretches from Ballyvaughan to Loop Head, is crazy and is actually creating a disconnect between officials in the district. “If you were to give a crayon to a child he or she would have drawn better boundaries,” he said. The council is calling on Minister Alan Kelly to review the impact of the new structures put in place last May under the reform of local government programme – Putting People First – Action Programme for Effective Local Government. West Clare independent councillor Christy Curtin moved the motion and told the adjourned April council meeting that the new organisation structures at the council’s headquarters and municipal district levels in relation to service delivery, customer response, engagement with councillors on policy implementation, cost-savings in overhead expenditure …

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Building control regulations under review

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Paudie Coffey, together with Minister Alan Kelly have initiated a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014). The new regulations commenced in March last year and the department is now initiating a review, as the regulations have now been operational for 12 months. The review will focus particularly on the cost burden involved for one-off houses, including self-build, and extensions to existing dwellings. Minister Coffey said,”The regulations were introduced last year to ensure competence and professionalism in construction and to bring accountability to bear within the industry following the scourge of defective building works that had become all too common. Owners, builders, construction professionals and local authorities have gained a lot of practical experience of the new regulatory requirements on some 6,000 projects, big and small, that commenced since March 1, 2014. I am confident that a lot of learning will come through in the …

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Alternative to Lough Derg abstraction proposed

A plan to take water from the Comeragh Mountains to deal with water shortages in the Dublin region would eliminate the need for the controversial Lough Derg water abstraction project, a retired Cork businessman has claimed. William K Loftus, who previously ran a plant hire and civil engineering business, has drafted proposals for what he described as an “elaborate plan to utilise the southern side of the Comeragh Mountains for freshwater storage and a hydro electric scheme by seawater in the lower lakes”. Mr Loftus maintains it can be achieved without interfering with the scenic aspect of the mountains on the Mahon Falls side. He has sent his proposal to Irish Water (IW), who hadn’t responded to a number of Clare Champion at the time of going to print. A Department of Environment spokesman stated the matter is for IW, while Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s private secretary acknowledged press queries from The Clare Champion but didn’t respond with a comment …

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Investment in independent living homes

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has directed all local authorities to invite approved housing bodies to develop and submit cost effective and sustainable proposals to provide independent living accommodation for people with special housing needs under the Capital Assistance Scheme. Local Authorities will issue a “call for proposals” to invite construction and/or acquisition proposals from aproved bodies to meet this important need. Minister Kelly said, “The Capital Assistance Scheme is my department’s main capital funding scheme for the provision of independent living accommodation for the more vulnerable in our society. I have earmarked €71 million for this scheme in 2015 and I am delighted that with this funding, the Government is enabling additional social housing accommodation to be delivered throughout the country to meet these specific and important needs”. This new “call for proposals” is being made in the context of the Social Housing Strategy 2020, which targets the provision of 35,000 new social housing units over a six year period …

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New social housing fund

Clare County Council has been urged to apply, without delay, for its share of the €3.8billion social housing fund announced by Environment Minister, Alan Kelly. “We have a real social housing need in Clare, and today’s announcement by Minister Kelly to deliver 35,000 homes across the country over the next six years is greatly welcome,”commented Clare TD, Michael McNamara. “I am urging Clare County Council to submit applications to this fund, to address the social housing problem. New rules put in place by Minister Kelly mean that the county council will take a strong leading role in social housing provision in the county, where previously it was mainly the job of private operators,” he added.

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Conway supports JPC improvements

Clare Senator , Martin Conway has called on his fellow senators to support the Fine Gael Private Members Motion, which calls on the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, to improve the operation of Joint Policing Committees (JPC) throughout the country. Senator Conway said  JPCs provide a forum where a local authority and the senior Garda officers responsible for the policing of that area consult, discuss and make recommendations on matters affecting the policing of the area with the participation of Oireachtas members and community interests. “I am convinced that we need to deal with crime at a local level. Whilst JPCs do great work throughout the country in identifying, raising awareness of and finding solutions for issues impacting on, or causing concerns for the local community, I believe the role of JPCs could be enhanced and strengthened. “I welcome the new revised guidelines for the operation of JPCs which were recently published by the Minister for Justice and …

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