My brief response to the consultation on a draft Fingal Climate Action Plan focussed on the importance of a more detailed public participation process for taking climate action to achieve the 40% reduction in emissions which is a target we signed up to in the Covenant of Mayors . I advocate a major focus by Fingal County Council on actions to reduce transport emissions, as transport is the largest emission sector and one for which Fingal has significant influence.
This will be coming back to the Council for final decision in either April or May.
At today’s Oral Hearing into the proposed sewage treatment plant, I am making this presentation focusing on the water quality aspects of the proposal. I have recently become aware of the important biodiversity along the sewer route at Ballymun and I am glad to have the opportunity to include the Ballymun Wildlife Group’s Report on Biodiversity at Northpoint in my submission.
A South Fingal Transport Study has been carried out for the Council. (This is in fulfilment of an objective in the County Development Plan which specified the Study would include public consultation; unfortunately the public consultation hasn’t happened.)
The Study contains strong recommendations about prioritising walking, cycling and public transport in the area, and will be discussed at a Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Policy Committee meeting on Monday 28th.
As a member of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, I was involved in drafting the Green Party submission to the consultation on the draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. The submission is quite brief and contains recommendations in the following areas:
- ensuring that effective sustainability indicators are used;
- halting and reversing biodiversity loss in line with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, including large-scale rewetting of peatlands and restoration of natural ecosystems including wetlands and woodlands across the region, taking account of the major social and economic benefits which could result;
- ensuring the implementation of the Water Framework Directive through the planning system;
- transitioning to the circular economy;
- measuring the greenhouse gas emissions from the plan and ensuring it puts us on a path to a low -carbon economy
- investing in walking and cycling, recognising their public health and environmental benefits
- investing in public transport, in particular rail.
The report on the Kinsealy Greenways Feasibility Study for which funding was obtained in 2017 following discussion in the County Development Plan process in 2016 has been published. It will be discussed at the Area Committee in March.
Overall, the report demonstrates the feasibility and value of providing dedicated greenway cycle routes between the towns and villages in the area.
There are a few aspects of it which I’m not clear about, and I’ll post updates when I receive them.
At the moment Fingal has no public drinking water fountains. This is in contrast to the situation in many other urban areas across Europe, where drinking water fountains are provided in public streets and parks. I raised it in the Howth/Malahide Area Committee in March and June, and this month I raised it at the full Council, as did Cllr. Barry Martin.
On foot of my motion, the Council established a policy of providing drinking water fountains in parks, on streets, and at beaches. The first step is the provision of two water fountains in the Howth Malahide Area in the next few weeks.
I have made the following submission to the consultation in advance of the drafting of a Local Area Plan for Dublin Airport: