Your Daily News plus an overview of all the latest resources and insights from LGIU, including a new briefing on the Irish local authority “taking in charge” policy, a Global Local on the council and the car, and a new article on the circular economy.
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Good morning LGIU members! Grab your morning brew ☕ and let us catch you up on everything happening in the world of local government, from news stories to our latest briefings and more.
The latest for LGIU Members
To be or not to be ‘taken in charge’
Guidance | 9-min read ⏳
This briefing explores the Irish local authority “taking in charge” policy and its legal ramifications in a recent High Court judgement. This will be of interest to elected members and staff of local authorities, as well as to Irish Water and other statutory undertakers who carry out works on, over or under public roads.
Our weekly Global Local newsletter offers a topical overview of the best innovation, ideas and experiences to be found in local government around the world.
Find out more here.
The council and the car
In this issue of Global Local, we look at the role of councils in facilitating and improving transportation within their communities.
LDA to acquire privately-owned sites for new housing
The Land Development Agency (LDA) has set out new plans to begin acquiring privately-owned sites in order to build affordable homes, expanding its remit from building on existing State-owned lands. LDA chief executive John Coleman says the agency "is already delivering affordable homes on state-owned land and in partnership with developers through the Project Tosaigh initiative", but it now "makes sense to also look at potential opportunities involving the outright purchase of privately-owned land and we are now seeking expressions of interest from landowners in this regard". "We believe", he added, that "it is possible to acquire sites in the country’s main cities at costs that allow for the development of affordable housing, particularly in cases where we can deploy the LDA’s expertise and experience at scale on projects that will deliver the right housing in the right place."
BreakingNews.ie Irish Times Online
Council CEO to lead Greyhound Racing Ireland
Tim Lucey has announced that he is stepping down as chief executive of Cork County Council at the end of September, telling councillors on Friday that he has "been offered the position of Chief Executive Officer of Rásaíocht Con Éireann – Greyhound Racing Ireland, formerly the Irish Greyhound Board, and will take up that role later this year". Mr Lucey said he will "over the next number of weeks be making the necessary arrangements for this transition".
Irish Examiner Irish Times Online Limerick Leader The Southern Star
Council backs 'positive' replacement to controversial bonfire
The health and communities committee of Derry City and Strabane District Council has unanimously backed a proposal to replace a controversial republican bonfire next month with a more "positive" celebration. The motion was proposed by SDLP councillor Lilian Seenoi Barr and Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy, to replace the burning of a pyre on August 15, which marked the Feast of the Assumption and the anniversary of the introduction of internment in Northern Ireland. The event sparked outrage last year after an image of the late Queen was placed on the bonfire. Cllr Barr said the council will form a group to work with other organisations "to plan an event that everyone in the area can enjoy".
Farmers targeted by 'spurious' planning objections
Kerry County Council member Cllr Aoife Thornton has raised concerns around what appear to be "blanket" objections being raised with An Bord Pleánala over attempts by farmers to secure planning permission for slurry storage and slatted units - saying farmers are "trying their best to comply with the regulations that are there", but are in many cases left waiting for as long as 18 months by "spurious" objections and appeals. Cllr Thornton has asked the Government to "see what could be done" through reform of the planning process "to stop this type of blanket objection".
Family's legal challenge to data centre permission rejected
A father and daughter's bid to block the construction of a data centre near their home at Bracetown, Clonee, Co. Meath, has failed - with High Court judge Mr Justice David Holland rejecting all grounds of Mannix and Amy Coyne's arguments against An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant planning permission to EngineNode Ltd. A second bid to quash the board's approval of a substation and grid connection works was also rejected.
Irish Times Online
Cllr Awards 2023: Global Local Cllr Showcase
As part of our annual Cllr Awards we are seeking nominations for the Global Local Cllr Showcase. The Showcase celebrates councillors from outside the UK whose projects, engagement and representation have had significant impact on the communities that they serve.
Find out more and nominate your most deserving colleagues!
LEISURE & TOURISM
Hotel owner secures injunction against siren-sounding neighbours
Lefgem Limited and Wave Prime Limited - the owner and operator of the well-known Johnstown Estate hotel and wedding venue in Co. Meath - have secured a temporary High Court injunction against three individuals who purchased three of 40 holiday lodges at the site when the hotel was bought out of receivership in 2015. The hotel owner and operator cut off the water and electricity supply to the lodges not owned by the hotel - with the lodges' owners reportedly having since begun setting off airhorns and a generator-powered siren late at night, and recently for as long as six hours at a time.
Kildare Nationalist Irish Examiner Irish Times Online Meath Chronicle TheJournal.ie
Donegal hit by flash flooding
Met Éireann has warned of more flash flooding and severe rainfall in the coming days, after parts of Co. Donegal were hit by flash floods on Saturday night. Donegal County Council member Cllr Frank McBrearty said flooding in the town of Raphoe and its surrounding villages was the worst he had seen, and urged the council to develop a coordinated emergency plans with the local community and businesses. "Over the last 25 years", he added, "there has been multiple properties built in the town similar to other towns but there has been no upgrading of sewage or storm drainage within the town itself and this has played a big factor in the continuation of the flooding problems."
Irish Times Online
Council to stop cutting grass verges
Dublin City Council has announced that its parks and landscape division will no longer be cutting grass verges beside footpaths as part of a "more sustainable policy with regard to amenity grass maintenance to support the establishment of wildflower rich swards". The council has also urged residents who cut grass verges not to pick up grass clippings, "to allow for return of valuable nutrients like nitrogen back into the soil". Councillors were divided on the policy, with Cllr Racheal Batten saying the "idea of reducing services and using the excuse of biodiversity doesn't fly with me and it doesn't fly with residents", while Cllr Claire O'Connor said councillors "have to be very open-minded that there's a change in the discourse and the debate here very fundamentally".
Irish Times Online
Minister signals further energy costs support on the way
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has told RTÉ that the Government expects to see energy companies pass on reductions in wholesale costs to consumers - and said that he anticipates "that the Government will be providing support to households to meet the energy bills in the months ahead". However, he added, no decision has yet been made on whether support will be provided to all households. Mr McGrath also said the Government still intends to return the VAT rate for the hospitality sector back to 13.5% at the end of August.
Irish Times Online
More from LGIU...
Key insights from local government around the world
What is a circular economy and what can local government to support growth?
This article explores the purpose of a circular economy and how it can be used to put an end to the current ‘take-make-waste’ global economic system that is unsustainable. For tangible success within our communities, local government must be at the centre of this critical change.
Want more content? Last week's And Finally wraps up everything you may have missed from LGIU! Highlights include brand-new research into innovative parking strategies, an exciting summer reception at the House of Commons, and new insights into circular economies.
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