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FRONT COVER LAN Sept. 2016 31/08/2016 16:14 Page 1


• Cork County Council Achievement of ISO 50001 Certification • Progressing our Sustainable Energy Journey • Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

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ISSN NO. 1393-0394 LAN is available FREE OF CHARGE to all Local and Central Government Bodies throughout Ireland. Published bi-monthly it is disseminated to Local Authority Managers, Assistant Managers, County Secretaries, Finance Officers, Principal Officers, Department Heads, County Engineers, City Engineers, Chief Quantity Surveyors, Senior Architects, Plant Superintendents, Senior Executive Engineers, Town Clerks, Purchasing Officers, Administrative Officers, Inspectors, Park Superintendents, County Librarians, etc. in all Government Departments, County Councils, Corporations, Office of Public Works, Urban District Councils, StateSponsored and Development Bodies and Agencies.














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Cork County Council Achievement of ISO 50001 Certification “By being the first local authority in Ireland to meet the standard Cork County Council are now setting the standard for other local authorities” ork County Council has a long history of being a leader in the management of its energy portfolio. In 1995, they set up an Energy Office at Spa House in Mallow, the purpose of which was to research the relevance of the sustainable energy agenda, promote awareness in reducing energy consumption and establish linkages with other European partners with a similar agenda. During this time, they partnered with 100 organisations in over 20 countries on 40 projects. They also commenced a programme locally of visiting primary and second level schools in order to promote awareness of the energy agenda and to promote awareness of their ʻgreen flag programmeʼ. They received funding from the European Commission to engage with other European pilot projects, therefore encouraging the learning process and spreading good practices.


Currently, all public sector bodies are obliged by law to achieve a 33 percent efficiency in their energy usage by the year 2020. Cork County Council believes that if something has to be done it should be done well using the proper verification measures. It did not want to stop at minimum standards; Cork County Council wanted ISO 50001 accreditation so they gave themselves a higher level goal to work towards. In essence, Cork County Council were very aware of the fact that no other local authority had achieved such an accreditation and they wanted to stand tall as leaders and become an exemplar within the area of environmental awareness and energy management. Achieving the ISO 50001 and having the privilege of being the first local authority in the Republic of Ireland to do so, is of benefit to both the council, the people of Cork which it serves and future generations of the County. The Environment Directorate team was confident in the benefits of aiming for such an honour, explaining that by following all the necessary guidelines they could: • • • •

Make annual savings of 10 to 15 percent Save energy through lessening kilowatt consumption Reduce the negative impact on the environment Enhance customer satisfaction and quality of service

These are just a few of the many benefits associated with the ISO 50001 accreditation. In order to make ISO work, those in the know explain that 4 integral factors must first be implemented: • There must be a guarantee of commitment from the top members of a management construct and a well-versed team must be established



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• The baseline use must be identified (for Cork County Council it would be 2009 energy levels) • An action plan identifying key opportunities must be compiled and the plan must then be consistently implemented. • Finally, report and review your success. Cork County Council set up their multidisciplinary team, led by Sharon Corcoran, Director of Environment for Cork County Council in 2012. The team represented all functionalities within the organisation, including roads, public lighting, housing, recreation, fire services, libraries and waste management functionalities. They received significant assistance from the SEAI, who provided training and information and monitored their progress throughout the journey with the help of an EMAP –a structured energy management action plan. The team had a very hands-on approach, meeting 5 times a year. Each directorate set one significant goal that they would implement for that year Over the course of four years, the team put many energy saving measures in place. For example, business units that would have previously left lighting on overnight were now switching them off; libraries replaced old boilers; the islands off the coast of Cork switched from standard lighting systems to LED lights. Such thorough work was bound to have results and to date, Cork County Council have saved €637,807 which translates into 3.1 million kilowatt hours saved and all that translates into carbon emissions savings There have been a staggering 135 individual actions over 4 years, some of which include: • Swimming pool reducing electricity by 26 percent in Mallow • Libraries insulated and heating systems upgraded • Fire stations fitted with new drying room solution So what proved to be the real BIG challenge? Raising awareness amongst staff in the various departments and getting management buy - in to commit to the change proved to be the single biggest challenge. Many people never considered energy consumption as a priority and the years 2013 and 2014 were the most difficult, but once evidence of real savings came to light, the buy-in and commitment from management and staff increased. The second biggest challenge that faced the team was addressing the issue of public lighting. With 42,000 public lights in Cork County, €4 million a year is spent on public lighting, that accounts for over 43% of the Councilʼs energy consumption and thatʼs a mere 10 percent of the national picture. Almost all of the lights are fitted with old bulbs, so the aim is to switch to more energy efficient technology incrementally over the next 10 years. Together with the CCMA (representative body for City and County Managers nationwide) city and county Chief Executives are now developing a plan to tackle public lighting which is a major challenge and which will take a lot of time, work and capital investment. However there is a recognition within the sector that in order to achieve the national energy efficiency target of 33% by 2020, the challenge of public lighting energy consumption will have to be addressed. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, what have been the rewards for those who have worked so hard and pulled together to achieve the ISO 50001 accreditation? Very significant financial savings, for one. Cork County Council have been able to maintain a rates freeze for business owners in the county and have also managed to funnel those savings back into local projects, such as a new, state-ofthe-art swimming pool in Dunmanway, the extension of the Ballincollig regional park, the addition of new playground equipment in Fermoy including a special needs accessible area to name but a few. Cork County Council is trying to become exemplary in the way it reduces energy consumption, lowers carbon emissions and improves the quality of the environmental offering for the people of Cork. They have shown – and continue to show – commitment to innovation and strive to maintain a sustainable environment for future generations. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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Learn how Certification Europe provide a crucial service to local authorities for Environmental & Waste Management Certification Europe has always set its sights high and when the Irish owned company was established in 1999 the assessment profession had a new competitor with an ambitious goal, to become market leaders in both certification and inspection services. This was an ambitious statement to make by a new entry to the market at the time, but after 17 years the company has grown to become a market leader in its field. Based in Dublin with offices in London, Italy, Turkey and Japan the companyʼs goal is underpinned by its commitment to radical and energetic innovation across a range of services. The companyʼs mantra ʻconfidence, assurance and certaintyʼ has not only embedded a trusted reputation in the assessment arena but has propelled Certification Europeʼs inspection services into significant expansion. This expansion looks set to continue with the recent founding of the Environment & Inspectorate Division in June of this year. Headed by Marese Feeney, the division is at the forefront of novel environmental projects both regionally and nationally. The division provides unrivalled expertise across a number of key environmental disciplines: • • • • • •

Waste Enforcement; Waste Management Planning; Waste Regulation; Waste Prevention & Resource Efficiency; Environmental Investigations; and Project Management.

Certification Europe has unparalleled experience in the area of waste enforcement and remains the only service provider in Ireland with local authority contracts for both a regional and national waste enforcement service since 2011. Since then the company has worked on a number of high profile environmental and enforcement investigations providing novel methods ranging from designing complex investigations, specialist surveillance and expert witness and legal file preparation. Following the rationalisation of Irelandʼs waste management regions, the companyʼs capabilities in project management, data analysis and waste management policy were realised with the publication of the Eastern-Midlands Region Waste Management Plan 2015-2021 in May 2015. Appointed by Dublin City Council, Certification Europe had the unique opportunity to co-ordinate the preparation and development of the first regional waste management plan on behalf of 12 local authorities in the Eastern-Midlands region. This project has provided a strong foundation for the provision of technical assistance to the Eastern-Midlands Region Waste Management office during the current waste plan implementation phase. Sustainable waste management practices have their foundation in behavioural change and Certification Europe is at the fore of driving this change through the provision of Resource Efficiency and Waste Prevention services to the Eastern-Midlands Region Waste Management office. Certification Europeʼs involvement in national campaigns, innovative solutions and initiatives in this LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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area has cemented its ambition to consistently adapt to the ever changing environmental landscape in Ireland. The application of expert and specialist environmental approaches such as pilot schemes, sampling and data analysis provide unrivalled experience in the area waste enforcement and specialised environmental investigations. Whilst there is no shortage of inspection service providers in Ireland, the team that forms the Environment & Inspectorate Division of Certification Europe are unique and highly adept in their skills and experience in this field. The division can draw on the talents of environmental scientists, biologists, chemists and sustainability professionals combined with the expert knowledge of former high ranking members of An Garda Síochána. The diverse blend of professional backgrounds equips the division with extensive capacity across the areas of waste crime, transboundary movements of waste and the enforcement of environmental legislation. The established partnerships with key stakeholders both in Ireland and internationally supports the effectiveness of the teamʼs efforts in intelligence gathering, profiling and detecting illegal activity on behalf of its clients. The capacity to draw on the companyʼs expert industry knowledge of the environmental sector ensures Certification Europe provides the trusted service it is renowned for. The ability to maintain and build on the established partnerships with key stakeholders has afforded the team opportunities attending international conferences, EU exchange programmes and multiagency groups on behalf of their clients. The extensive experience of the divisionʼs team has led to involvement in a number of regional, national and international working groups such as: • Waste Collection Permit Conditions Working Group – National Waste Collection Permit Office • ELVs, Battery and WEEE Working Group – Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government • Implementation of Pay By Weight Working Group – Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government • Shipment of Used Vehicle Working Group - IMPEL The future looks bright for this dynamic company as it continues to drive services in emerging areas of the environmental sphere. The application of consistent enforcement by the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority in the Eastern-Midlands Region has been supported by the technical assistance provided by Certification Europe since early 2016. As key challenges develop with the rationalised regions, the companyʼs involvement with the Celsius Research Group based in DCU on an innovative research project safeguards its position at the forefront of science communication. There is a need and desire to drive sustainable waste management policies at a regional and national level. The communication of existing and emerging policies is a key factor in achieving national targets and continuously improving Irelandʼs performance on a European stage. As we move from enforcement to ʻcompliance assistanceʼ the role of an expert service provider becomes even more crucial. Certification Europe has an excellent grasp of the regional and national significance of effective environmental approaches on behalf of its clients. The rare ability to provide a fully integrated service position the company to provide additional competencies their competitors simply donʼt have. If you would like to learn more about Certification Europeʼs Environment & Inspectorate Division contact Marese Feeney on 01 642 9300 LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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Progressing our Sustainable Energy Journey here are many reasons why we, as public sector organisations, should have a keen interest and focus on energy efficiency.


For starters, Government policy compels us as public bodies and leaders to address and embrace sustainable energy practices. The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan rightly set a stretch target for the public sector of 33% energy efficiency improvement by 2020. This is ahead of the general 20% target for the economy, recognising that the public sector should lead and be an exemplar for others.

Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

This commitment was reiterated in the Governmentʼs White Paper on Energy Policy ʻIrelandʼs Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015 – 2030ʼ, published late last year, identifying energy efficiency as a central platform in our transition to a low carbon economy. Perhaps what makes the case even more compelling is the fact that energy costs the public sector, and the State, almost €700 million annually. This makes it imperative that we explore and implement all potential opportunities to adopt sustainable energy practices and reap the benefits of those savings. It is a fact that the public sector has already reached the halfway point to the 2020 target. This has been achieved through the focused efforts of the public servants themselves and, in fact, behavioural change has been a large contributor to this success, evidencing the ambition that rests within the public sector to reach these targets. Indeed since the 33% target was set in 2009 and efforts started in earnest the energy efficiency gains achieved by the wider public sector, in getting half way to this target, are saving the exchequer up to €120 million on energy bills annually.



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Local authorities account for approximately one quarter of overall public sector energy use, and as a whole they are on track to meet 33% (reporting 15.7% in 2015). As with the wider public sector there are many exemplar local authorities are ahead of the curve in terms of performance. Participating in SEAIʼs ISO50001 Accelerator Programme, Cork County Council was the first local authority to achieve certification to this International Energy Management Standard. The participation of six local authorities in the first group of 18 public bodies to participate in the programme, thus committing to achieving the standard, is encouraging and we look forward to seeing more follow Cork in achieving their ISO certification over the coming months. Cork County Council at the time of certification articulated the case for this approach very well indicating that the benefits included ʻ10 to 15% annual savings, reduction in kw energy consumption and enhancing customer satisfaction and quality of serviceʼ. The challenges facing public bodies are very similar to those in other parts of the economy. While it might seem simple, the biggest challenge is ensuring that appropriate time and priority is allocated to the energy management role and activities while managing a busy operating environment. This becomes even more important when the so called low hanging fruit has been harvested, which is the case for many local authorities. These early stage achievements can include behavioural change among building occupants and lower cost investments in more efficient equipment, such as lighting. SEAI strongly believes that these basic steps should have been taken in all public organisations by now given the amount of case study precedent, information and organisational support that exists to help deliver them. Additional measures requiring greater investment of both time and capital can be difficult to prioritise ahead of service delivery. While conventional wisdom says that investments now will pay for themselves over time and continue saving thereafter, the public sector operates with annual budgets which can impede projects with long implementation timeframes and paybacks. However even these challenges can be overcome using innovative approaches to delivery including energy performance contracting - similar to outsourcing energy as a commodity. Dublin City Council (DCC) provides a great example of this when they recently signed the first local authority energy performance contact, following support from SEAI. The DCC contract, which will run for an eight year period, will deliver upgrades to three of the citiesʼ sports and fitness facilities and is expected to deliver average energy savings in excess of 30% annually. This form of contract not only provides the council with the security of guaranteed energy savings, it also saves on the cost and effort of maintaining these upgrades over the lifetime of the contract. Ultimately local authorities, and indeed all public bodies, must play their part in becoming more energy efficient, starting with senior management commitment which is critical to success. In addition, it has been the experience of both private industry and the public sector to date that a structured approach yields the biggest dividends, helping to identify the energy solutions offering the greatest return. SEAI is here to help, and has been providing this help to the public sector since 2009. We have a wide range of supports through our Public Sector Programme which are available to local authorities. We also actively facilitate networking activity so that organisations can share their experiences and learn from others not only with regard to the technical solutions, but also around the procurement, financial and organisational challenges and opportunities that can arise. It is our experience that local authorities recognise the value of innovation, and where there is innovation, there is always learning that can be shared. As we move towards 2020, we need to collectively grow this activity, so that local authorities can continue to show leadership both within the public sector and, as importantly, to the citizens you serve every day across the nation.



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How Scott Cawley Ecologists Can Help Local Authorities?

Scott Cawley Ltd. provides ecological consultancy services and training on biodiversity and ecology (in particular on Appropriate Assessment) to both local authorities and public sector organisations. We are regularly called on by local authorities to help them fulfil their legal obligations to protect biodiversity in a number of ways: • Peer review services - reviewing and critiquing ecological documentation accompanying planning applications to assist planning authorities in making planning decisions. • Ecological surveys and impact assessments for local authority developments (including Part VIII projects), including large scale and complex development types in ecologically sensitive areas. • Preparing documentation and providing advice to assist local authorities in the making of Appropriate Assessment determinations and Appropriate Assessment Screening Determinations for planning applications and local authoritiesʼ own developments. • Appropriate Assessment services in the preparation of development and other land use plans. • Ecological surveys and specialist ecological advice, such as the preparation of local biodiversity plans and other projects for the protection and enhancement of local biodiversity. • Representing local authorities at Oral Hearings by acting as expert witness for ecological issues. • Providing training on biodiversity and ecology (in particular on Appropriate Assessment) to upskill local authority staff. We have a reputation as a leading authority in the area of Appropriate Assessment and its application to the public sector. We recently prepared guidelines on Appropriate Assessment for the Environmental Protection Agencyʼs inspectors.

Contact us for further or more specific advice at Scott Cawley Ltd., College House, 71 – 73 Rock Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Tel: +353-1-6769815 / Fax: +353-1-6769816 Email: Web:

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Japanese Knotweed and Knotweed hybrid species in Limerick: A Planning Policy Response Introduction: the newly established Limerick City and County Council is currently engaged in an programme of urban renewal based primarily on the its Limerick 2030 Plan which calls for the development of key sites within the city, which will play an important part in the economic future of the city. One of the issues which face the Council, in common with many other local authorities, is the presence of Japanese Knotweed and Knotweed hybrids on potential development sites. The lull in development activities in the last eight years or so has lead to this plant gaining a foothold on sites around the city. Current situation: the necessity for the development of key sites in the city area is beyond doubt. The question is whether or not species such as Japanese Knotweed with its reputation for being able to damage the built environment should serve as a brake on development. In parts of the United Kingdom there is reluctance on the part of financial institutions to lend monies for development purposes on sites with an infestation of this species as it is feared that its presence might compromise building integrity. It has also been suggested in some quarters that zoning and subsequent development should not take place on sites where these species are present. Need for a policy response: as indicated the presence of Japanese knotweed can cause doubt about the development potential of specific sites. With this in mind and to ensure clarity about the intentions of the Planning Authority, in the forthcoming Development Plans, policies will be included which will make it quite clear that the presence of Knotweed will not prevent development on these sites. Zoned urban land is a scarce resource and itĘźs non- development carries with it significant economic and social costs. This is particularly true in relation to the current housing crisis where central Government is encouraging local authorities to deliver increased amounts of housing. In terms of financial cost it makes sense to control the Knotweed rather than compromise the development capacity of suitably zoned lands. When viewed in terms of the overall cost of development, knotweed control measures form only tiny fraction of development costs. If the presence of knotweed is allowed to prevent development then this also removes any incentive on the part of land owners to deal with the issue. Dealing with the knotweed on development sites: Having made it clear that the presence of Knotweed will not curtail development how then is the issue of this invasive species dealt with? As part of the grant of permission conditions will be applied which will require the control and eradication of the knotweed on site prior to development. In larger development sites, development may be phased in order to allow development of parts of the site where Knotweed is absent or has been eradicated. This has the advantage of allowing development to proceed without having to wait for the whole site to be cleared, subject of course, to suitable measures which will both eradicate and prevent the spread of knotweed on the remainder of the site.

Figure 2: Stands of Knotweed along the banks of the Abbey River in Limerick. .

Figure 1: On site stands of Japanese Knotweed in the western part of the city in 2015. This has since been the subject of an eradication programme.



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How South Dublin County Council has precisel y met the needs of citizens and delivered a web-based ser vice to improve health and well-being in communities ver since Open Data became a government agenda, councils have been responding by making as much public information as possible accessible to everyone. Yet, for many citizens, Open Data can be too much data and, indeed, not necessarily the right data.


Recognising this, South Dublin County Council has taken a progressive approach in developing a new online information service that enables citizens to click on a web-based map to find information about community facilities. Significantly, this web app doesnʼt deliver all the public data that the council has available; nor does it deliver all the data that the council thinks citizens might find useful. Rather, it delivers precisely the information that citizens themselves have said they want (even if the council didnʼt, at first, have this information to hand.) The project was born directly from the councilʼs Corporate Plan 2015-19, which aims to make South Dublin County the “best possible place in which to live, work and do business.” This is underpinned by the Council's ICT Strategy which has amongst others Open Local Government and Community Engagement as central themes. In collaboration with their Community and Parkʼs servicesʼ, the Council began by gathering the information available in-house and prepared a list of the type of information that members of the public might want. It then harnessed its existing geographic information system (GIS) technology and used pre-configured templates from Esriʼs ArcGIS Online solution to create an interactive map viewer. The app was shown to a number of community networks including Comhairle na nÓg and the Older Persons Forum for feedback. The app then focused on the themes that citizens themselves said they would find useful. The Public Participation Network (PPN) then brought together a new focus group to interactively explore this new system.



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South Dublin County Council then went even further in its mission to add value for citizens. Taking advantage of the flexibility of the ArcGIS Online templates and the ability to use the Collector for ArcGIS app to collect data via any device, it began to gather and publish a whole new layer of information. It could tell citizens precisely what kinds of sports pitches exist in parks, the clubs using them, if there are changing facilities nearby, and details the many activities citizens can avail of at their local community centre. Consequently, for the first time, citizens in South Dublin County can see not just where facilities like leisure complexes are, but what activities they can do there.

The new Community Facilities web app will be formally launched later in the Autumn, but has already received high praise from a wide cross-section of people since its introduction as a beta project in April. Now, it is very easy for anyone to find information about their local community such as the locations of Luas stops, parking spaces and where local recycling facilities are available. The citizen can also discover information about facilities that they may not previously have been aware of and those that they might like to take advantage of (such as art exhibitions, libraries and hiking trails). Consequently, it is believed that the Community Facilities web app will play a key role in helping more citizens access facilities available to them and take advantage of opportunities to improve their health and enhance their sense of well-being. “By working with citizens and engaging them very early in the process, the Council have been able to produce an application which delivers information requested and adds value to current Council data,” says Stephen McLoughlin, GIS Officer at South Dublin County Council. “This project was about listening to citizens and giving them the information which they actually wanted. Now, in one simple GIS-based application, citizens can see what is available in their neighbourhoods to improve their quality of life.”

Interested to know more contact: LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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When the PPN focus groups asked for information that South Dublin County Council didnʼt have, it didnʼt say no. It's ICT Strategy has a mobile first approach so it was natural to use a mobile GIS solution - Esriʼs Collector for ArcGIS app, to empower the Council's staff to go out into the county and collect the information which citizens wanted to see. This was accomplished using a wide range of tablet devices and smart phones. For instance, citizens requested information on allotments and accessible parking spaces across the county. Data on both these categories was collected specifically for the app to meet this demand.



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THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WATERS AND COMMUNITIES OFFICE Water; more than a resource, it is a heritage. The EU Water Framework Directive (2000) requires all EU Member States to protect and improve where necessary the quality of water in our rivers, lakes, groundwater, transitional and coastal waters, and for these natural waters to achieve good ecological status by 2015 or, at the latest, by 2027. This Directive was given legal effect in Ireland by the European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 and requires that management plans be prepared on a river basin basis with public consultation a major part of the development of these plans.

Coastal waters off west Kerry

(Photo: John Foley)

The Local Authority Waters and Communities Office (LAWCO) was set up in March 2016 by Local Authorities to promote and facilitate greater public participation in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Ireland. This office will also help coordinate the activities of all 31 Local Authorities and other public bodies in areas connected with water quality management and the requirements of the WFD.

Kayaking on the River Suir in Co. Tipperary. (Photo courtesy of Michael Butler)

The second cycle draft River Basin Management Plan and associated Programme of Measures is currently being prepared by the EPA and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and will be made available through Local Authorities for public consultation from December 2016 to June 2017. A regional ĘťWater and Environment Management CommitteeĘź structure has been put in place by Local Authorities which will operate as a forum for discussion and collaboration on water quality initiatives and the evolving role for all Local Authorities under the WFD.



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Fly fishing Rye Water, Leixlip, Co Kildare.

(Photo: Ken Whelan)

While Local Authorities already have a range of statutory functions in relation to the protection and improvement of water quality, LAWCO will provide an additional resource, focusing specifically on regional coordination and public engagement. Public participation in the protection and management of our natural waters is core to the WFD and experiences in Ireland to date have shown that the success of any improvement measures will require collaboration between local communities, public bodies and all water stakeholders. Good examples of what can be achieved through similar collaborations at a local level are evident in the annual Tidy Towns and Pride of Place programmes. Sharing of information and good scientific data is critical Community litter pick up Emy Lough Co. Monaghan. to successful water quality (Photo courtesy of Enda Fields) management and new tools are available to facilitate this. A range of environmental protection information is available online to Local Authorities through the EDEN portal and the public can now access a range of maps, data and local success stories through a new website This website is a collaboration between LAWCO, the EPA and the DHPCLG. The Catchments Newsletter combines all of this information in a quarterly publication that is also available through or by emailing Local Authorities now have a real opportunity to lead the way with this new approach and in doing so we will not only achieve good water status, we will ensure that our waters can benefit present and future generations.

For further information, visit email or phone 0761 065 262. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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REMOVE THE GUESSWORK WITH EI ELECTRONICS NEW AUDIOLINK TECHNOLOGY FOR CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS. Renowned for its innovation Ei Electronics AudioLINK™ is a revolutionary new data extraction technology integrated into all of its CO Alarms. AudioLINK allows for invaluable real time data to be acoustically extracted via the Alarmʼs sounder - all you need is an AudioLINK enabled CO Alarm, a tablet or smart phone and most importantly the free AudioLINK App. This data is converted into an “Alarm Status” report, which is simple to review and store. The report is created for the life of the Alarm, and is colour coded to identify the urgency of any issue. The report displays useful information about the Alarm, such as battery life, alarm sensor status, number of times tested, power on duration, Alarm head removal and detection levels of CO, including background CO, with details of when it occurred - all in a simple format. As the information is generated in real time, any issue identified can be dealt with there and then. Additional information about each section can be obtained simply by tapping onto the desired area on the tablet or smart phone – this will then provide more detailed guidance to the user. The report can accommodate additional information such as a site reference number, address or location before being forwarded via email or to be stored in a key location for future reference. Data is stored for the life of the Alarm and can be extracted as many times as required, enabling historic information to be retained. As such, AudioLINK is proving extremely popular with social landlords as it improves the level of protection their tenants will receive whilst being more time, budget and resource efficient. The reports provide physical records of Carbon Monoxide levels in the properties they manage. It can be used as part of the property checks prior to changing over to new tenants, contributes towards the annual Gas Safety Checks/ Annual Boiler Maintenance and generates real time information should CO leaks be detected or the safety of a fuel burning appliance reported. AudioLINK has been installed as standard into Ei Electronicsʼs Ei208 Lithium battery powered CO Alarm range and the Ei261ENRC powered CO Alarm range. The Ei262 mains powered CO Alarm will be available from April. The Alarms all feature a proven CO sensor which is pre-calibrated and tested in real CO gas to ensure accuracy and attains the Irish Standard for CO detection in residential dwellings - IS EN 50291-1:2010+A1:2012 or IS EN 502912:2010. The Ei208 series Alarms support both audible and visual indication for end of life. To clearly identify the new AudioLINK featured Alarms, the units will carry a readily identifiable AudioLINK symbol. Ei Electronics have worked with local authorities and housing association across Ireland and the UK to develop AudioLINK and believe that this innovation will benefit both tenants and social housing providers. Also, if that wasnʼt enough all Ei Electronics CO Alarms now come with a 10 Year Life proving the best value protection. All Ei Electronics alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet EU standards and regulations. For more information please contact Tom Meehan, Technical Sales Manager, Mobile: 086 2619357 Office: 061 471277, e-mail: or go to



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Minister Coveney announces the locations for over 450 new social housing units being developed through Public Private Par tner ship he Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., announced that he has approved site locations for over 450 new social housing units which are to be delivered through a public private partnership (PPP) programme. The social housing with a capital value of approximately €100 million is being developed at eight sites in co-operation with the local authorities in each area. Three of the sites are located in County Cork, with one each in the cities of Galway and Waterford. There is a further one site each in counties Clare, Kildare and Roscommon.


The funding is part of a programme of investment totalling €300 million in social housing through the public private partnership model. The programme is to deliver 1,500 social housing units. To enable delivery to commence as quickly as possible, the PPP programme is being rolled out in three bundles. This announcement is for the second bundle of sites. The first bundle comprising six separate sites located in the greater Dublin area was announced in October 2015. The eight sites being announced today are located across the country in six different local authority areas. Sites for the third and final bundle with a further capital value of €100 million will be announced by the Minister before the end of 2016. The location details of the eight social housing PPP sites announced today by the Minister are: Site

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


The Walk, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon The Miles, Clonakilty, Co. Cork Slievekeale, Waterford City Ballyburke, Galway City Shannon East, Co. Clare Poundhill, Skibbereen, Co. Cork Oakwood, Macroom, Co. Cork Butterstream, Clane, Co. Kildare

53 50 50 73 50-60 50 50-60 80 Total




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In making the announcement, Minister Simon Coveney said: “ I launched Rebuilding Ireland: An Action Plan for Housing and Homelessess, and PPPs are part of the plan to accelerate the supply of social housing, which is the second pillar of that Plan". The Minister added, “ I am announcing eight locations where over 450 social houses are being developed through public private partnership. €100 million is being invested to deliver these new homes. We have a significant shortage of housing supply and need to use every feasible means to meet this challenge. PPP provides us with an effective mechanism to fund and deliver additional badly-needed social housing units. Each of the sites is being delivered with the full co-operation and participation of individual local authorities in the relevant locations.

PPP is a complicated, but worthwhile initiative. It allows central and local government to harness the private sector to deliver social housing. €300 million is being invested overall. This is money that would otherwise not be available for the development of social housing. This announcement is for the second of three bundles of sites and I expect to announce a third bundle with a value of €100 million later in 2016." The investment announced today is part of the wider commitment by the Government to deliver social housing and to tackle the major housing supply problem facing the country. The PPP model now being used for social housing is distinct from previous housing PPP projects in a number of ways. Principally the new model is purely to facilitate the delivery of social housing units for the State. It does not include private housing. The ʻavailability basedʼ model being applied has been used successfully in Ireland for over 15 years to deliver roads, schools and courthouses. It involves the procurement of a consortium to design, build, finance and maintain (for 25 years) social housing units on sites provided by the State. During the 25-year contract period the sites remain in State ownership (as distinct from previous housing PPP projects). The housing units are returned to the State after 25 years in a predefined, good quality condition. The relevant local authorities will retain responsibility for tenant management during the contract period.



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Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week Irelandʼs fifth annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place from 26th September to 2nd October 2016.

new or replacement boilers, fires, heaters and stoves are installed. Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is a public safety i n i t i a t i v e supported by organisations across the energy sector and related industries as well as safety and public health bodies including the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Gas Networks Ireland, Register of Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII), Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Health Service Executive, Health and Safety Authority, Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland, National Irish Safety Organisation, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Chief Fire Officersʼ Association and major Irish energy retailers.

Each year, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and highlight the measures that can be taken to prevent it. Carbon monoxide (CO), often known as the ʻsilent killerʼ, is colourless, odourless and can kill in less than three minutes. On average, six people die every year in Ireland as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and many more are made ill. Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fuel when burned – coal, turf, oil, gas or even wood. And the fuels donʼt have to be burned for just cooking or heating purposes: Vehicles engines, generators or pumps for example, all produce carbon monoxide as will burning fuels for industrial processes.

Extensive advertising will run throughout the campaign including TV and radio promotions. Interviews with experts in the field and people who have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning will also feature across the media. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., is expected to launch the campaign in Dublin City centre on Monday 26th September. Tommy McAnairey, the animated ballad-singing canary created to drive awareness about carbon monoxide, will feature prominently in the campaign again this year. Keep an eye out for his activities throughout Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week!

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week promotes a number of key preventative measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. These are:

Organisations that are interested in supporting the campaign can avail of free Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week posters, flyers and information leaflets for display and distribution to staff and customers. Please contact the Gas Networks Ireland contact centre on at or on 1850 200 694 for more information.

1) Make sure to have your fuel burning appliances serviced annually by a Registered Gas Installer, registered OFTEC technician or qualified service technician for your fuel type; 2) Keep vents and flues clear and ensure chimneys are swept annually; 3) Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm where fuel burning appliances are used. In fact, building regulations now require that householders must install carbon monoxide alarms when most kinds of

For further information on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2016, please visit



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1916 Commemorative Manhole Covers o mark the 100th anniversary of one of the most significant periods in Irish history, EJ have designed a range of manhole covers commemorating the raising of the Irish Republic flag by Eamonn Bulfin on the GPO.


Complementing the historical events that have taken place around the country, the Birr based company felt a lasting tribute to Mr. Bulfin would be fitting, one which the public could view on a regular basis in an informal setting on our streets.

These manhole covers (designed with the help of Siobhan Bulfin, grand-daughter of Mr. Bulfin) will be available from all local builders merchants in the country and the covers can be used on most drainage works in either roadside or pavement applications.

Pictured at the official launch of their 1916 Commemorative Manhole Cover by Mr Tom Parlon, Director General of Construction Industry Federation are the staff of EJ , Birr.

EJ manufactures an extensive range of access solutions in a variety of materials -galvanised steel, stainless steel, aluminium, ductile iron and composite -in our world class production facilities, certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management systems. Suitable for water, sewer and waste networks, our access covers are available in hinged or drop-in formats, with lift assistance. Fall through protection safety grids and a range of bespoke locking variants are also available.

For more information please contact 057 91 23100 or visit LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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Tel: 0404 66111 • Email: • Website: LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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NSAI wins Best Public Sector Campaign at Excellence in Public Relations Awards

Pictured L-R Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association, Sharon Murphy, PR Account Manager with Carr Communications Sinéad OʼDonnell, and Director of Corporate Services, NSAI, Patrick Bracken

The National Standards Authority of Irelandʼs campaign ʻCheck Your Insulation Products and Installers are NSAI Certifiedʼ has been named Best Public Sector PR Campaign for 2016, at the recent Excellence in Public Relations Awards. A record number of organisations entered the competition this year, with 217 taking part in the awards, which have been dubbed ʻThe Oscars of PR.ʼ Announcing the winner of the Best Public Sector Campaign, MC and Dragonʼs Den star Gavin Duffy said: “The judges said this yearʼs category winner demonstrated how ambitious targets can be reached, within a modest budget, and a short time frame, when a professional focus is applied. “With considerable detail and depth, the PRCA judges said every media avenue was explored to drive strong interest in the subject matter. The hard working approach was thorough and the achievements considerable,” he added.



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MC Gavin Duffy said competition was tough as a record number of firms entered this yearʼs Excellence in Public Relations Awards

Working with the NSAI, Carr Communicationsʼ PR Account Manager Sinéad OʼDonnell devised a communications strategy in September 2015, to try and make consumers aware of the importance of high standards in retrofit insulation work and warn them of the potential dangers of not using certified insulation products and installers. The NSAI also hoped the campaign would highlight to traders the benefit of being a registered NSAI insulation installer and encourage others to register. Since the campaign was launched, five new insulation installers have applied to NSAI and were audited, certified and added to the NSAIʼs list of 269 registered installers. Traffic to the List of Registered Installers page on the NSAI website grew by over 147%, while the campaign also achieved widespread media coverage reaching an estimated broadcast audience of over 4 million, as well as an estimated 776,456 readers. Carr Communicationsʼ PR Account Manager Sinéad OʼDonnell said the campaign would not have been possible had it not been for the support received from NSAI registered installers. “We engaged with the NSAIʼs registered installers, asking them to send us pictures of substandard insulation work they may have been asked to fix by customers. These images really helped drive the message home to consumers of the damage that can be caused to your home, if insulation is not properly installed or the right materials are not used,” said Ms. OʼDonnell. “NSAI registered installer, Terry Tracy of Warm Nation Insulation put us in touch with homeowner Celine Rickard from Dublin, who unfortunately fell victim to substandard insulation work two years ago. Celine kindly agreed to share her story as part of the campaign, in an effort to prevent other homeowners from ending up in a similar predicament,” she added. Listen to Celine and Robin speaking on Newstalkʼs Pat Kenny Show: A ʻsix stepʼ guide on getting your home insulated for consumers was drafted and a press release was prepared and issued to media. Former journalist, Sinead OʼDonnell of Carr Communications recorded a quality audio interview with NSAIʼs Robin Byrne and also produced a simple, short online video, outlining tips for consumers. Watch Robin Byrneʼs insulation tips here: NSAI Director of Corporate Services, Pat Bracken said this is the first time the National Standards Authority of Ireland had entered the Excellence in Public Relations Awards. “We were absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for an award, but to win on our debut submission, is testament to the skill, expertise and hard work of the entire PR and Marketing team,” said Mr. Bracken. A total of 21 awards were presented to a range of public relations consultancy firms, companies, state bodies and NGOs at the ceremony on Friday, June 17th, in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.



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Grasping the Nettle ith few local authorities having in-house ecological expertise, many are grappling to deal with issues regarding biodiversity. The following are currently hot topics which local authorities are having to deal

W with.

Hedgerow and scrub clearance and conflicts with the bird breeding season When and how can vegetation clearance take place? What consents, if any, are required and from whom? When are breeding bird surveys required? Bats in trees and conflicts with felling and pruning When and how can trees be pruned or felled? What consents, if any, are required and from whom? When are bat surveys required? Invasive Species What responsibility does the local authority have to control, manage and eradicate invasive species within their administrative areas? Appropriate Assessment of Part VIII local authority development projects When and how is the Appropriate Assessment screening undertaken? When does An Bord Pleanala become the competent authority for these projects?

Exempted development and Appropriate Assessment How to regulate and deal with projects where the need for Appropriate Assessment de-exempts development which would otherwise be regarded as exempt of planning permission requirements. Acting as competent authority for Environmental Impact Assessment (covering biodiversity) and Appropriate Assessment of Planning Applications How can the local authority be sure that the documentation supplied by applicants for planning permission is fit for purpose and meets legislative requirements of EIA and AA? Scott Cawley ecological consultants are working closely with many local authorities to assist them in compliance with these issues, either through advice and ecological consultancy services, or by providing training to upskill local authority staff.



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C oveney provides €9m in 2016 for Taking in Charge of Residential Estates inister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D., today announced the allocation of €9 million to assist local authorities in taking in charge 356 developments (accounting for over 17,000 households). In addition to the €9 m allocation almost €4.5m of funding will be sourced by local authorities through bonds and other sources.


The Minister stated that, “the dramatic boom and bust that our residential construction sector experienced over the last 15 – 20 years has left considerable issues for households in developments that would previously have been taken in charge in the normal way. There has been significant progress in tackling these most acute cases, providing for the completion of the majority of unfinished developments. Through the funding I am providing to local authorities we can now map a path towards all residential developments being taken in charge by local authorities. Residents can be confident that the housing developments they live in will be properly finished out and maintained into the future.

The funding is being provided under the Ministerʼs new National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) to accelerate current applications within the taking in charge process relating to around 1,500 developments. The funding will also assist in developing new and more efficient approaches to the taking in charge process. Prior to the construction boom and subsequent crash, local authorities usually would either take an estate in charge (including roads, footpaths, water services etc) or could be requested by residents to do so once a residential estate was complete. However, where work had not been completed to satisfactory standards, there were

This work on taking in charge should also be seen in the context of the Governmentʼs forthcoming Action Plan for Housing and the funding provided through local authorities to support the provision of new infrastructure to support the development of high quality homes for all.”



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sometimes delays in the taking in charge (TIC) process as enforcement proceedings including the calling in of bonds can be complex.

submitted to the relevant local authority. Proposals under the NTICI from the local authorities were evaluated by a Steering Group, composed of representatives from the Department, Irish Water and the EPA, who considered the eligibility and selection criteria under three measures namely:

The initiative has been guided by the results of a survey of housing developments not taken in charge that was carried out by the Department in December 2015 (and available on the Departmentʼs website). This survey showed that at that point in time there were 5,655 completed housing developments nationally which were not taken in charge by local authorities, 1,500 of which had applications for TIC

Measure 1: Housing Estates not containing Developer Provided Water Services. Measure 2: Housing Estates served by Developer Provided Infrastructure. Measure 3: Technical Assistance Funding.

€10m for Local Authorities to support the revitalisation of rural towns and villages Consultation and collaboration will be key elements of the scheme. It will be administered through the Local Authorities, who will be required to partner with local businesses and local communities to develop and implement ideas that can make a real and lasting impact in revitalising rural towns and villages.”

he Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, announced that €10 million will be made available to Local Authorities this year to support the regeneration of rural towns and villages across Ireland.


Speaking at the launch of the Rural Town and Village Renewal scheme for 2016 in Clones, Co. Monaghan, Minister Humphreys said: “Rural development is a key priority in the Programme for a Partnership Government. Irelandʼs towns and villages are the heart of our rural communities, but the economic downturn had a significant impact on many of these towns and villages. It is incumbent on us to help them achieve a recovery. I am launching the Town and Village Renewal Scheme today to begin breathing life back into our rural towns and villages. It is critical that towns and villages become areas where economic activity can flourish, where people can live and work, and where people can meet at a social level.”

The Town and Village Renewal scheme is part of the Governmentʼs commitment to ensuring that the benefits of economic recovery are felt in every part of the country. The scheme also addresses one of the recommendations in the CEDRA report, which was published in 2014. A particular focus will be placed in 2016 on supporting smaller towns, with populations of less than 5,000. A smaller number of projects can be supported in each county for towns with a population of up to 10,000.

Minister Humphreys continued: “An allocation of €10 million is being made available by the Government this year for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. I have more than doubled the allocation for the scheme in my Departmentʼs Vote this year, from €4 million to €10 million, reflecting the Governmentʼs commitment to the development of rural Ireland. Up to 200 towns and villages right across the country will benefit from the scheme this year.



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Minister Coveney announces funding of €12million for 67 Rapid Build Units in Dublin inister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, has announced the allocation of some €12 million for the development by Dublin City Council of 67 new social housing units as part of the rapid build programme of housing for homeless families. The homes, consisting of a mixture of two and three bed units, will be built at two locations in Dublin, 29 units at Mourne Road, Drimnagh on the Southside and 38 units in Belcamp, Darndale on the Northside. They are part of the programme to deliver 1,500 rapid build units to re-house homeless families from hotels and bed and breakfast accommodations under Rebuilding Ireland, the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.


hope to be in a position to make further announcements in respect of more rapid build homes as soon as possible . He added: “I am glad to see Dublin City Council taking the lead on this rapid build programme and I note the commitment of the Council in playing its part in the provision of homes to address the homeless problem. Rebuilding Ireland, is made up of five pillars of concerted actions right across Government; this latest investment will address homelessness and will also serve to accelerate social housing delivery, the first two pillars of the Action Plan. These new homes will be fast-tracked over the coming months and I expect to see families moving in to them before year-end.”

Minister Coveney said, “I am pleased to approve this very significant new social housing investment. What I am announcing today is an example of the commitment to social housing for families currently living in inappropriate settings who deserve to have good quality homes. This is the first announcement of rapid build units under Rebuilding Ireland, and I

Minister Coveney announces €22million for the development of 72 units of social housing and community facilities on Dominick Street, Dublin 1 challenges in recent times. The investment reflects this Governmentʼs commitment to an urban regeneration programme that empowers people to work together to improve their communities and the quality of life for all who live within them.”

inister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney, T.D., has announced the allocation of funding of €22 million for the development by Dublin City Council of new social housing apartments on Dominick Street, Dublin 1. The Minister was accompanied by his cabinet colleague Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr.


Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure said, “This project is a tangible example of this Governmentʼs investment in urban regeneration. The development of this site has been long anticipated by the residents of Dominick Street. This announcement is proof of the Government's commitment to invest in the North Inner City and it is a pleasure to be associated with an event that will have positive outcomes for north inner city residents.”

Minister Coveney said, “I am very happy to approve the funding for this social housing project, located in the heart of Dublin City. The residents of Dominick Street and its environs have been strong advocates for the redevelopment of the east side of Dominick Street for some time now and I think that this project will make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the area as a whole.”

Speaking at the announcement, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said, "I am delighted that the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has approved funding of €22m for the regeneration of Dominick Street. The development of this site will make an important contribution to the regeneration of the area and the lives of local residents.”

He added, “An investment in this area is also a priority from a social policy perspective, encompassing social housing improvements as well as supporting social, community and economic renewal. This development is one of the first new major regeneration projects in Dublinʼs north inner city, which has seen more than its share of



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Minister Coveney issues a Call for Proposals to local authorities under the €200m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, announced that he has issued a Call for Proposals to local authorities under the €200m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF). The funding is part of the programme of investment under Rebuilding Ireland: An Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness,(link is external) published by the Government on 19 July 2016. It will target investment in enabling infrastructure to activate large housing development areas to deliver additional supply of social and private housing. The Call for Proposals outlines the general approach to the operation of LIHAF, including a broad template for funding proposals and assessment framework. LIHAF will be funded through €150m in Exchequer funding, matched by €50m in local authority funding, and will operate over the period 2017-2019.

projects, by moving key sites from inactivity and slow release to active and accelerated delivery of homes. I would urge local authorities and developers to take advantage of this opportunity to cooperate closely on the ground and to provide much needed housing which the availability of this fund presents.” The call for proposals announced today is part of the wider commitment by the Government to deliver social and private to tackle the major housing supply problem facing the country.

In making the announcement, Minister Simon Coveney said: “This is a key element under the third Pillar ʻBuild More Homesʼ of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan in order to support the delivery of critical infrastructure to accelerate the supply of social and private housing. LIHAF has the potential to release the delivery of at least 15,000 to 20,000 new homes, which would otherwise not be delivered.”

The Minister highlighted “With such substantial Exchequer commitments, we do need a sufficient level of guarantee that developers will produce the housing units as quickly as possible to have an immediate impact on new housing supply. Proposals must demonstrate very strong prospects for substantial housing delivery from early 2017 onwards on strategically located sites that can deliver housing at scale. Itʼs also critical that we optimise the social housing dividend and improve synergies between private and social housing developments through the Fund. These are among the criteria in deciding on successful proposals.”

LIHAF funding is aimed at (but not restricted to) enabling off-site infrastructure such as access (e.g. distributor roads, bridges, pedestrian/cyclist facilities), environmental improvements (e.g. site remediation, surface water management, utility diversion), and community and amenity facilities (e.g. parks, sports/recreational facilities). For the purposes of LIHAF, off-site infrastructure is defined as infrastructure that would normally fall to the local authority to provide in its infrastructure delivery role or which would straddle a number of individual development sites, requiring a cross-developer/land owner funding solution.

Local authorities will now prepare LIHAF proposals, working in conjunction with housing providers, including private developers and home builders and/or Approved Housing Bodies, for submission to the Department by mid-October. It is anticipated that provisional allocations under LIHAF will be announced by mid-December at the latest to enable commencement of relevant projects in early 2017.

The Minister added, “Today I am issuing a call for proposals to local authorities under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund which will help improve the economic viability of the new housing



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Flooding project commenced by Geological Survey of Ireland - Roscommon, Galway and Longford Turloughs to be studied in unprecedented detail The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) has commenced a three year project on groundwater flooding related to turloughs. This project will both provide an advisory service and also collect valuable flood data from high priority groundwater flooding sites in the Shannon Catchment and Gort lowlands. The GSIʼs collaboration with local authorities and the Office of Public Works (OPW) will help to effectively understand the subsurface role in flood risk zones and assess potential solutions. Groundwater flooding is an issue of significant importance with two recordbreaking flood events occurring since 2009. Unlike river or coastal flooding, where the floods are concentrated along a river or coastline, groundwater flooding is more widespread and is controlled by regional and local geology.

real life impact of Climate Change. “ Turloughs are complex subsurface systems, and each one behaves differently. It is therefore crucial to develop a better understanding of their flooding patterns so that they can be managed more effectively. Koen Verbruggen, Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland added “the GSI groundwater division has long been studying karst features, including turloughs, due to the critical role they play as potential pathways for pollution. This same approach and expertise can be readily enhanced, with additional resources and collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, to develop a monitoring programme and advisory service in relation to Groundwater flooding.”

Groundwater flooding predominantly occurs in the karstified limestone of West and North-West of Ireland and has historically been most severe in the Gort lowlands in Co. Galway. Rural areas are predominantly impacted by floods, which are typically linked with seasonal lakes known as turloughs. Excessive flooding in turloughs rarely poses a risk to life but does cause damage to properties and prolonged disruption due to the relatively long flood duration. At present, a number of turloughs in Counties Roscommon and Longford are still severely inundated due to the high rainfall from November and December 2015.

Approximately 20 vulnerable sites will have fixed telemetric water level monitoring stations installed. Data from these stations will be assessed to monitor, understand and delineate groundwater flooding in Ireland. Aerial surveys such as LIDAR and UAV imagery will also be utilised to improve current groundwater flood mapping in hazard zones. Furthermore, satellite remote sensing data will used to provide up-to-date flood mapping for unmonitored turlough systems.

Minister Denis Naughten TD congratulated the initiative saying, “The communities which have been affected by the devastating flooding events over the past number of winters will benefit from this cutting edge project over the next few years. An understanding of how these complex subsurface drainage systems work is crucial to managing the



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PRODUCT PRODUCTinfo info n these ever changing times, with renewed focus on a greener planet, everyone is looking for the edge when it comes to energy efficiency and limiting carbon emissions. Firebird Heating Solutions have been at the forefront of innovation in heating products for almost four decades. Since 1979, when Firebird first started manufacturing in the west Cork Gaeltacht, we have consistently improved our boiler efficiency and reduced our carbon emissions, so much so that now, Firebird stand on top of the pile when it comes to energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. The innovative Enviromax Blue Supreme is the first boiler of itsʼ kind to embrace blue flame burner technology which simultaneously saves you money whilst also helping to safeguard our planet. With a record breaking 97.4% efficiency and greatly reduced CO2 emissions combined with levels of NOx which already surpass EU 2022 obligations, the Blue Supreme is ideal for anyone looking to build a new house or upgrade to the most efficient boiler money can buy.


Speaking of money, we could all do with a little bit extra at the end of each month. By switching to a high efficiency condensing boiler you can realise savings of up to 30% on your heating bills whilst also reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, Liam Maddock, Technical Manager at Firebird estimates that for an average 140 sq. metre house, the savings could be in the region of €150-€200 per annum. Simply by upgrading your boiler and taking additional steps as per the SEAI guidelines, such as zoning your house, you can save an additional 1014% on top of this. Schemes such as the SEAI Better Energy and Warmer Homes scheme and the newly announced London Mayor Boiler Scrappage scheme, show that there is a huge appetite out there for replacing older inefficient units.

Liam Maddock further states “Our analysis shows that our top rated condensing boilers have cut CO2 emissions by 30%, which is saving the planet the equivalent of two return air trips from Dublin to New York annually. In addition to this, because we have the only true blue flame burner on the market, our NOx emissions have been decreased by over 33% in comparison to standard efficiency boilers and this is equivalent to taking a diesel car off the road for 4 months.” At Firebird, we are focused on giving our customers the best savings possible in efficiencies, developing the most eco friendly products and providing installation advice and guidelines to help our customers save even more money.

Contact our technical team for more information Tel: +353(0)26 45253 Email: • Website: LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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Since it was founded in 2006 by Dominic Dunne (Managing Director), METAC has established itself as both a market leader and as a provider of best quality training provision. METAC provides training in Oil, Gas, Electrical, Solid Fuel, Electrofusion, Welding, Renewable Energy as well as Sustainable Systems such as Rainwater Harvesting.

METAC Training is dedicated to assisting installers and service technicians working in the energy field, in achieving the highest possible standards through a theoretical and practical approach to training using the most up to-date equipment and technology available. The training facility permits a high degree of live and simulated training which effectively reflects an authentic work environment for the trainees. METACĘźs training centre based in Mountrath, Co. Laois, is equipped with 13 theory rooms, 11 practical rooms, 2 canteens and on-site parking.

For more information on courses please visit or contact us on or call 057 8756540.

Bus Shelters for Hire Safety Storage Systems Ltd. who have been manufacturing and installing Shelters throughout Ireland for the last 15 years have added a new Hire Shelter to their range. If you need a Bus shelter on a temporary basis, it can be delivered to site fully assembled, offloaded by hiab and is ready to use straight away. The 4m x 2m shelter can provide weather protection for 10-12 persons and has a full length bench seat, non slip flooring and access ramp. Other Hire shelters in their range include a 10 Bike Shelter and Smoking Shelters in two sizes.

For more information, contact Safety Storage Systems Ltd. on 061 225005 or email LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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PRODUCT PRODUCTinfo info Introducing the Asbestos Management Company…

Established in 2004, Asbestos Management Company ( Ireland ) Ltd has rapidly become a recognised name in the field of asbestos management, and not without good reason.

Headed up by Managing Director Jim Black, the Asbestos Management Company operates a growing range of services combined with an insistence on total professionalism and unrivalled customer service. The company, which has grown steadily and today is capable of carrying out work for large blue chip companies throughout the north and south of Ireland, is ideally placed to facilitate most requirements – from asbestos testing, surveys and management to asbestos removal and disposal. It is also planning to expand its services to include dealing with Invasive Species such as Japanese Knotweed. AMCI surveyors are fully qualified to carry out all types of asbestos surveys. They also have a wealth of knowledge of the construction industry and use this to complement those asbestos qualifications. “Depending on the type of location and condition of the asbestos that is found, our recommendations vary from managing the asbestos in place to clearly marking and not allowing disturbance with warning labels. In extreme cases it will need to be removed immediately by a licensed asbestos removal contractor,” explains Jim. “However, encapsulation or sealing may allow asbestos to be retained in place, deferring the need for removal to a later date and we can arrange to have this work undertaken using one of our partners in this area.” As a licensed waste carrier, too, AMCI can collect asbestos waste and transport it to a licensed facility, providing documentation to show that this materials has been disposed of under current waste regulations. Japanese Knotweed (JK) is a real problem in Ireland and increasing rapidly. The damage caused can range from the following, paving and tarmac / retaining wall structures, to building foundations, reduction in land values, reduction in biodiversity through out-shading native vegetation Restriction access to riverbanks for anglers, bank inspection and amenity use. Furthermore lending organisations are Tel.of028 7032 1319 • Email: • Web:

Breakthrough in war on Japanese Knotweed The rapid spread of Japanese knotweed is posing major challenges for many local authorities, landowners, developers and state agencies. However, we can report some good news in the fight against this highly invasive weed. The use of the systemic herbicides, Garlon Ultra or Synero, has been shown to give excellent control of Japanese knotweed, with some county councils reporting over 80% control in the year after the first application. Both herbicides contain the powerful active ingredient aminopyralid. The chemical should be applied as a foliar application over the top of the plant from the summer months on. The optimal application time is the autumn. And follow up treatments should be given for up to three years to ensure complete eradication. Garlon Ultra or Synero have the flexibility of being applied as a broadcast spray or, for smaller, difficult to reach infestations, using a knapsack sprayer. Whelehan Crop Protection, the main distributor of the two herbicidess, has wide expertise in the control of Japanese knotweed.

For further information go to or call 01 4688900. LAN LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS


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