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Award Winning TM SolarStreetBin The SolarStreetBin™ from PEL Waste Reduction Equipment is a heavy-duty patented solar powered compacting litter bin, which utilises a standard wheelie bin as the internal waste holding liner. Manufactured in Co. Mayo and using local suppliers, an integrated solar powered motorised compaction system increases the SolarStreetBinTM’s litter holding capacity by up x10 when compared to a standard bin. SolarStreetBin™ alerts the council when it needs to be collected via a wireless bin-fill sensor which monitors litter levels/spare capacity and PEL’s BriteBin™ data management platform which issues an email or SMS alert when the bin needs to be emptied.

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This real time monitoring and alert capability allows the council focus their litter collection resources on only those bins requiring service. Additional benefits include an improvement on general street hygiene standards through the elimination of overflowing bins, a reduction in collection vehicle traffic and associated C02 emissions and as the bin is a sealed unit, no more vermin related emergency clean-ups. The SolarStreetBinTM is available in 120 Litre, 240 Litre and 360 Litre capacities and there are a range of customisation options available. There is a choice of colours and a stainless steel version of the bin is also offered; the size and shape of the litter flap can be customised in order to deter fly-tipping, the door mounted to the side or back and the top panel of the SolarStreetBinTM is available as either a flat panel or as a dome. The SolarStreetBinTM has been announced as a finalist for IrishTimes Innovation Awards – 2019 – a competition which showcases and rewards excellence in product and service innovation each year. The winner of this coveted award will be announced on Tuesday, November 5th 2019.

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CONTENTS Vol 38. No 4.








Published by:

CORK CITY HOUSING AWARD GILTRON LTD RIVERVIEW LODGE, DUBLIN ROAD, NAVAN, CO. MEATH. Tel: 00353 46 9072841 Email: info@localauthoritynews.ie Website: www.localauthoritynews.ie



ISSN NO. 1393-0394 LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS is available FREE OF CHARGE and ON LINE 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.











Managing Governance, Risk and Compliance in the Public Sector he general principle of a common risk management framework was established when in 2009 the International Standards Organisation 31000, Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines (ISO 31000) was published. It is a best practice standard and so not certifiable but nevertheless it remains an excellent approach for managing risk and by extension associated compliance. In February 2016, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform issued a new set of guidelines - Risk Management Guidance for Government Departments and Offices. These guidelines are largely consistent with the ISO 31000 and they establish what is expected of public sector organisations. They also, in part, inform how effective risk management should be implemented.


Each organisation should have its own risk framework based on its mission The ISO 31000 enterprise risk management standard is a series of connected business processes. Together these processes form a consistent methodology through which risk can be identified, assessed, mitigated, and monitored as part of a continuous improvement process. Properly implemented, it has the effect of eliminating ʻrisk hysteriaʼ and ʻcompliance paralysisʼ by focusing on the objectives of the organisation. Public sector organisations can be large and complex and have many objectives. There are often numerous internal risk contexts and associated department, section and function objectives. Complicated environments such as these might add challenge to the risk management effort but the reality is that the individuals who are best placed to manage the organisationʼs risk are those who own the objectives. How ISO 31000 is implemented will be largely determined by the nature, scale and complexity of the organisation. The guidelines suggest the evaluation and understanding of “the organisation and its context” before any meaningful planning can begin and offers a comprehensive list of the things that make up the “context”. This list includes; the social, cultural, legal, regulatory, financial, technological, natural and competitive environments as well as; policies, objectives, organisational structure, capabilities, standards and contractual relationships. (Gerard Joyce, 2009) The process of managing risk begins with establishing the context in which the objectives of the organisation are set. Including the external context as well as the internal one is important in order to make sure that all the potential sources of uncertainty are considered when identifying and describing the risks.


The risk assessment process is the identification, analysis and evaluation of risk. Risk identification is informed by the organisationʼs objectives and operating environment. Some of these will come from its legal and / or regulatory compliance requirements, some from sectoral norms, and some from the organisationʼs experience. Describing a risk is often challenging and it is important to remember that a risk is not an event. A risk is best described as something with a source, a cause, an event, and a consequence. Describing a risk this way allows the risk owner to consider mitigation actions or controls to be applied “along the chain of the risk lifecycle”. Risk analysis is to comprehend the nature of the risk and to determine the level of risk. The guidelines recommend the use of likelihood and consequence to describe it. ʻConsequenceʼ is very appropriate here as it conveys breadth, duration and the cascading effects of the occurrence of a risk. If the risk criteria are well defined and in particular the risk appetite, then the risk evaluation process – i.e. deciding on which risks need treatment and which risks are acceptable – will be relatively straightforward. The use of a 5 x 5 matrix to quantify the level of risk both at a pre-control value and following the application of controls / mitigations, has become the norm. However, the level of residual risk should be confirmed by the instinct of the individual who owns the risk. Part of the evaluation process is to make a decision on what to do with the risk. The usual options are to Treat, Tolerate, Terminate, or Transfer it. The risk appetite will inform the decision but Treat or Tolerate are generally the options that are taken. Managing Governance, Risk and Compliance is a continuous process that taps into the intelligence of the organisation in order to understand the threats to the organisationʼs objectives, and to take action to mitigate them before they become significant. ISO 31000 has an expectation that there will be connected processes where control effectiveness can be confirmed with some regularity. ʻControl Effectivenessʼ is informed by audit findings, incidents, near misses, good catches, complaints, and Policy and Process reviews, etc. – each one gathering indicators and making use of that data to continuously improve the entire process. CalQRisk provides a cost-effective, fully integrated, GRC software application that is based on the principles of the ISO 31000. Already widely used by public sector organisations to manage the complexity of their risk management process, CalQRisk will allow your organisation to utilise its collective wisdom and experience to effectively manage the threats to its objectives.

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For more information, please contact us on enquiries@calqrisk.com. You will find a lot of useful resources on our website at www.calqrisk.com. Useful Link:

• Gerard Joyce, 2009 - http://www.calqrisk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/WP-ISO31000-One-for-All.pdf


TRIPLE SUCCESS FOR GRANT WITH LEADING CONSUMER BODY WHICH? Leading Irish heating technology manufacturer Grant has received a Which? Best Buy for its range of Grant Vortex Pro Utility oil boilers. This is the third year running that the company has received the award, making Grant the only oil boiler brand in Ireland and the UK to be awarded Which? Best Buy awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The recognition further reinforces Grantʼs position amongst the worldʼs best-known home appliance brands. As a widely recognised endorsement that reflects confidence, trust and reliability in products, the Which? Best Buy logo plays an important role in the decision-making process for homeowners researching new appliances for their home. The results of the latest Which? Oil Boiler Survey once again acknowledged the excellent build, reliability and performance qualities that have become synonymous with Grant boilers. These qualities help homeowners achieve maximum home heating efficiencies and in turn reduce their fuel bills, making these models within the Vortex range the ideal replacements for older oilfired boilers. Stephen Grant, Founder, Grant Engineering

Grant Founder Stephen Grant commented, “We are very proud to receive this recognition from Which? for the third consecutive year. The continued recognition from Which? highlights the excellent standards to which we develop our products and reinforces our position at the forefront of the home heating industry in both the UK and Ireland.” Having been providing innovative heating technologies to homes throughout Ireland for over 40 years, Grantʼs extensive product portfolio which includes the award-winning range of Vortex condensing oil boilers and the popular Aerona3 R32 air source heat pump range has diversified in recent years. The portfolio now includes high performance, pre-plumbed hot water cylinders which can operate with both oil and renewable systems and modern heat emitters including Grant Uflex underfloor heating, the Grant Afinia aluminium radiator range and Grant Solo fan convector radiator range. Each of the ranges offer variety and versatility to fully meet the needs of both installers and property owners and all products are featured within the companyʼs multiple package solutions offering. Helping to take properties to a new level of efficiency, this latest offering from Grant involves the companyʼs technical team designing, quoting and supplying correctly-sized heating technologies for a property, which in turn provides greater long-term savings. “In addition to saving time for those working on new build and deep retrofit projects, our multiple package solutions offering also provides peace of mind from knowing that each of our heating products is designed to partner with one another,” said Stephen.\ “As a company we are committed to developing new and innovative heating solutions for our customers to ensure they can benefit from the most efficient and reliable heating solutions on the market that deliver real value for money,” added Stephen.

Visit www.grant.eu for more information on Grantʼs range of innovative heating solutions and how you can avail of the Multiple Package Solutions offering.

For more information visit www.grant.eu 7

Cork City Housing Award ork City Council has won two national awards Irish Social Housing Awards – one for its collaborative work in acquiring a city centre apartment block to fulfil local community requirements and a second for developing a best practice rightsizing housing scheme in Blackrock.


Cork City Council was selected as overall winner in the ʻcollaboration initiativeʼ category for its co-operation with the approved housing body, Cluid to acquire the 78 unit Leeside Apartment complex. And better still, it was the overall winner in the ʻhousing for older peopleʼ category for its architecturally-lauded Arus Mhuire ʻrightsizingʼ scheme. •

Arus Mhuire on Skehard Road, Blackrock is a 30-unit sheltered ʻrightsizeʼ housing development built by Cork City Council off the Skehard Road . A mix of one- and two-bedroom homes, the development is largely aimed at over 60s considering downsizing from larger homes. The scheme was designed by Mahony Pike architects and delivered by Lyonshall / Clancy Group and procured by an EU Competitive Dialogue process. By downsizing to Arus Mhuire, this frees up larger council and privately- owned homes to families on the housing waiting list. The scheme is open to private home-owners, where the council can acquire their former homes subject to eligibility criteria. The community scheme is managed by the approved housing body, Tuath and includes an onsite caretaker. This novel scheme, according to Brian Geaney, Housing Director ʻmakes perfect sense, is very sustainable and a taste of more to come, a no brainerʼ.

In late 2017, faced with emerging community challenges at the Leeside Apartments, the City Council took the initiative and facilitated the purchase of the 78 unit complex by Cluid through a combination of a Capital Advance and Availability Payment from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) and a loan facility with the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan said: “It is great to see the continued innovation by Cork City Councilʼs Housing Directorate being recognised. There is a high need for 1,2,3 and 4 bed apartments within the Cork city centre area and Leeside Apartments has provided a significant level of social housing provision. Furthermore, there is an enormous lack of step-down and sheltered housing options for older people in this country, compared to what is available elsewhere in Europe. Arus Mhuire is just the kind of rightsizing project that needs to be replicated elsewhere in this city and across the country”. Cork City Council Director of Housing, Brian Geaney said: “The acquisition of the Leeside was negotiated by Cork City Council and Cluid Housing and allowed the private and HAP supported tenants to remain in the development. Also, 59 no. new homes were immediately available for social housing tenants nominated by Cork City Council. There has been significant learning gained from this initiative in demonstrating what is possible through teamwork and collaboration and commitment to housing delivery. We are delighted that our interventions and the efforts of our team in Cork City has been acknowledged by our peers in the housing sectorʼʼ. “Furthermore, Arus Mhuire is a unique housing scheme, procured and developed by Cork City Council, to provide a sustainable housing solution for older persons living in both social and private housing which is no longer suitable due to layout, size, location or physical condition etc. Arus Mhuire provides ʻright sizeʼ and age friendly accommodation. This project was targeted to fill a gap in the provision of housing the elderly whilst also, freeing- up existing homes for younger families,” he said.


A New Era of Environmental Excellence for the Burner Retrofit Market Firebird Heating Solutions Setting New Standards for Low NOx Burner Technology

The Firebird by Elco low NOx burners, fitted to the Envirogreen range of boilers and currently available on the market, have exceeded all expectations since their launch in June 2018. The burners have consistently delivered outstanding combustion performances and clean burn technology. The key to this success has been the close co-operation between Firebird and Elco to ensure a perfect match between boiler and burner. The result has been proven in the market with increased sales, as engineers and installers recognise the superiority of the solution. Retrofittable on the full Firebird Condensing and Standard Efficiency Range A major advantage of the Firebird by Elco burners is that they can be retrofitted to the full Firebird condensing and standard efficiency boiler range. Engineers and installers who require any information, such as compatibility settings, please call our Technical Support on 026 45253 or visit our website.


Environmentally Friendly The Firebird by Elco low NOx burners were introduced to meet challenging and stringent NOx emission levels demanded by the September 2018 ErP Directive legislation changes (ErP Directive NOx emission limit at 120 mg/kWh). Independent evaluation of the NOx levels measured has demonstrated levels in the region of 60-80 mg/kWh depending on the model (outputs available from 12 to 100 kW) and has proven reduced carbon emissions. The Firebird by Elco burners easily beat the ErP Directive limits and are future proof against possible further legislation. By retrofitting a new Firebird by Elco burner to an existing boiler, or by purchasing a new Envirogreen boiler, you will contribute significantly to reducing NOx emissions into the environment. Saves Money on Running Costs The “light blue flame” single stage burner solution, based on Elco patented combustion technology and efficient settings means using less liquid fuel, good for the environment and costing less to run. Easy to install, Service and Maintain All Firebird by Elco burners are factory pre-set (12.5% CO2 when 20°C ambient temperature) in order to achieve the highest level of efficiency, requiring only minor adjustments in fuel pressure and air for field conditions. The Firebird by Elco burners have been manufactured with installers in mind, featuring a design that is straightforward to fit and simple to maintain. Key components can be removed and adjusted with a single 4mm Allen key. All parts are easy to access thanks to a dedicated servicing position and a simple layout, plus a “Plug & Play” system for component removal. There is a comprehensive warranty on the Firebird Elco burner on parts, for terms and conditions please visit our website, www.Firebird.ie.

View from the centre of the blast tube of a Firebird by Elco low NOx burner after 3,000 litres of liquid fuel, still clean.

For advice on reducing NOx emissions and reducing your carbon footprint either by retrofitting our burners or fitting new boilers, please contact us at 026 45253 or visit our website: www.firebird.ie. .

Tel: 026 45253

Email: info@firebird.ie


Councilsʼ output rises year-on-year as hundreds of public services provided Performance Indicators report published as new #YourCouncil campaign highlights role of local authorities in our daily lives County and City Councils increased productivity in the areas of social housing supply and community participation last year, an annual audit of its services has shown. The publication of the report coincides with #YourCouncil, a new campaign aimed at informing the public about how their local authority impacts their daily lives and how they can engage with council services. The Local Authority Performance Indicator Report 2018 by the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) found that: • Irelandʼs 31 local authorities spent on average €978.91 per person in 2018, on hundreds of services, from roads and planning to libraries and animal welfare. • Council-run Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) assisted in the creation of 3,656 new jobs last year, a 12% increase year-on-year. • The number of new social homes added to council ownership increased by 57% - from 2,532 new units built or acquired in 2017 to 3,965 added to stocks last year. • A total of 19,808 new buildings were notified to local authorities in 2018, a 14% increase on the previous year. • Last year 15,043 community organisations were included in County Registers as part of Public Participation Networks, which enable the public to take an active role in their councilʼs policy decisions. Commenting on the report, Jackie Maguire, Chair of the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and Chief Executive of Meath County Council said: “Demand for council services is increasing. Housing is, of course, one of the major service challenges facing the local government sector and the country at the moment. As the NOAC report shows, we are working hard to meet that challenge, adding to our social housing stock and delivering additional social housing solutions, in line with our Rebuilding Ireland targets. “Meanwhile, it is very positive to see growth in the private construction sector, but this does add to workloads across council departments. Adverse weather conditions in 2018 put additional pressure on our emergency services and response teams.” Ms Maguire added: “The countryʼs 31 county and city councils have a responsibility to carry out services to a high standard, while ensuring the public gets value for money. That is why the results of NOACʼs Local Authority Performance Indicator Report are so important and provide us with an opportunity to assess our performance and identify where efficiencies might be found. “It is important that the public know where their money is going. Research has shown that one-in-two people know ʻjust a littleʼ about the work of their council[i]. We have developed the #YourCouncil campaign to better inform the public of how councils are working for them and how they can get the most from council services.”


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Crossing No 46: River Barrowʼs Latest Iconic Bridge The River Barrow bridge – a key part of the N25 New Ross bypass scheme – has an ambitious design which sets it apart from the bridges that have gone before and, in time, the 46th crossing will become one of the most recognisable structures in the country, writes Mary Bowe 'A great feat of civil engineering, this iconic bridge speaks to a future of infinite possibilities and wonder. In time, it will become one of the most recognisable structures in the country.

The River Barrow bridge – a key part of the N25 New Ross bypass scheme – has an ambitious design which sets it apart from the bridges that have gone before and, in time, the 46th crossing will become one of the most recognisable structures in the country, writes Mary Bowe. The N25 New Ross bypass PPP scheme involves the construction of approximately 15km of N25 and N30 national route and comprises 13.6km of dual carriageway and 1.2km of single carriageway and associated works. The scheme includes three roundabouts; one grade separated junction; eight road underbridges; three road overbridges; one railway overbridge and 16 underpasses. An extradosed bridge crossing of the River Barrow is the main structural feature of the scheme. The bridge extends 887m in length, and its two 230m main central spans have a navigation clearance of 36m above mean high water spring (MHWS). At its opening later this year, it will be the longest bridge in Ireland, and its two main spans will be the longest post-tensioned concrete spans of their type in the world.


Public private partnership procurement In February 2009, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the National Roads Authority) announced plans for a second Public Private Partnership (PPP) roads programme. This followed the successful award of contracts in the first PPP roads programme, which was announced in 2000. The objective of the second programme was to deliver new road construction with a capital value of 1 billion through private sector funding under a PPP mechanism. The N25 New Ross bypass was identified as one of the schemes to be procured within the programme. The tender process began with the publication of a notice in the ʻOfficial Journal of the European Unionʼ (OJEU) on March 22, 2010, but it was suspended later that year. Two years later, the government announced an infrastructure stimulus package to provide investment for a range of important public infrastructure projects, including the N25 scheme. Mott MacDonald Ireland was appointed as technical advisers to TII to progress the N25 scheme from NRA Project Management Guidelines (PMG) Phase 5 advance works and construction documents preparation, tender and award, through Phase 6 construction and implementation to Phase 7 handover, review and closeout. The tender process recommenced with the publication of a notice in the OJEU on March 22, 2013. Four consortia prequalified for the tender. The invitation to negotiate, including tender documents, was issued in November 2013 and, following several tender consultation meetings, tenders were returned in September 2014. Following a technical and financial evaluation of the tenders, a contract was awarded to BAM Iridium (PPP Co), and the contract was signed on January 26, 2016. BAM Iridiumʼs obligations included the design, construction, operation, maintenance and financing of the works. Responsibility for the design, construction, supervision and commissioning of the works lay with the New Ross Joint Venture (NRJV), comprising a joint venture between BAM Civil and Dragados SA. Arup acted as the designers for the NRJV, with Carlos Fernandez Casada (CFC) providing design services for the River Barrow bridge. Design and construction Design and construction requirements included: • 4km of Type 1 dual carriageway (mainline) between Glenmore, Co Kilkenny, and R733 Junction in Landscape, Co Wexford; • 9.6km of Type 2 dual carriageway (mainline) between the R733 Junction and Corcoranʼ Cross Junction; • 1.2km of standard single carriageway forming a tie-in between the mainline and the existing N30; • Three at-grade junctions at Glenmore, Ballymacar bridge and Corcoranʼs cross forming connections between the mainline and the existing N25 and N30; • One semi-compact grade separated junction at Landscape connecting the mainline to the R733 Arthurstown/Fethard Road; • 37km of mainline, national, regional, local and access roads; • Construction of in excess of 46 principal structures including three road overbridges, eight road underbridges, one railway overbridge and 16 accommodation underpasses; • Construction of an approximately 900m-long extrados bridge with two main spans of 230m carrying the mainline across the River Barrow; • Diversion of various services, landscaping and accommodation works. Additional structures of note: • Structure B01: Ballyverneen underbridge, which carries the N25 mainline over the local road (LS-7513) and the Graiguenakill stream; • Structure B02: Ballyverneen railway bridge, which is an 80m-long three-span bridge carrying the disused, but not abandoned, New Ross to Waterford railway line over the N25 mainline. The bridge is a post tensioned, reinforced concrete structure with a main span of 38m.


Earthworks • By careful management, areas of cut generated sufficient material for the necessary formation of embankments, generation of road construction product, environmental berms and landscaping areas; • Cut slopes in competent rock were optimised by detailed design; • Blasting was used in cuts in Glenmore, Stokestown and Camlin; • Design in soft ground areas, located principally at Glenmore, comprised replacement with suitable material.

River Barrow bridge elevation showing pier numbering.

River Barrow Bridge Construction The River Barrow bridge comprises nine spans of the following lengths: 36m, 45m, 95m, 230m, 230m, 95m, 70m, 50m and 36m. Three reinforced concrete pylons located in the central median support the cable arrangement. The pylon at the central river pier is 27m above deck level (60m above foundation level), with the adjacent pylons in the order of 16.2m above deck level. Abutment 1 is on the western or Kilkenny side of the river, and the piers are numbered Pier 1 to Pier 8 from west to east, with Abutment 2 on the eastern or Wexford side of the river. The only pier within the River Barrow is Pier 4. The bridge is a continuous concrete box girder deck over its entire length, with the depth of deck varying between 3.5m and 8.5m and fixity at the approximate midpoint in the bridge at Pier 4.

Deck cross sections.

Construction Sequence The bridge was constructed in a series of 16 distinct sequential stages, some of which overlapped or began at the same time. Stage one Stage one involved the construction of the foundations. On the west side of the bridge, depth to rock was shallow, so foundations consist of pad footings on rock. On the east side, including at Pier 4, ground conditions were poor, so foundations consist of 1,200mm diameter piles, up to 40m deep and socketed 10m into rock. The pile cages were in the order of 40m in length. Pier 4 foundation had 43 x 1,200 diameter piles.


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Stage two Stage two allowed for the construction of the eight intermediate piers and the two end abutments using incremental lifts to deck level. This was achieved through the use of a climbing formwork system, effectively an external skeleton or cage, which enabled the next concrete stage to be poured while the system rested on the stage below. The entire cage rose up a level and the next stage was poured. This continued until the section was complete. Temporary piers were built to assist with the construction and support the deck at the three central piers (piers 3, 4 and 5). All the piers have bridge bearings to support the deck, with the exception of Pier 4 where the pier is fixed or integral with the deck. Stages three to six Work on the western approach spans began with the construction of the central box of the deck. This was constructed using a system of temporary steel supporting falsework that could be assembled, disassembled, moved and reused. The floor slab of the central box was built first, then the sides, and finally the box was closed with the cast top slab.

Piling works at Pier 4 showing pile cage (March 2017).

Before the walls were poured, ducting for the post tensioning tendons was placed. The heads of piers 3 and 4 were constructed separately in preparation for the main river deck span. Stages seven and eight Stages seven and eight required the assembly of a form traveller system. One type of form traveller was used for the approach spans, and this was constructed on, and travelled along, the central box laying down each section of the deck edges or wings as it moved. Climbing formwork system for pier construction.

Once the wing form traveller completed its work on the western approach spans, it was dismantled and transported to the eastern side to complete the eastern approach spans. A separate type and pair of form travellers were assembled together on Pier 4 in preparation for the construction of the main deck Pier 5 began construction on the eastern side during this stage, and the eastern approach spans proceeded from Pier 5 in a similar fashion. Ulma falsework system used to construct the deck spine for the approach spans.


Stages nine to eleven Stages nine to 11 began approximately halfway along the structure at Pier 4. Two construction techniques were used to construct the main deck spans – a balanced cantilever method on Pier 4 and a cantilever method at Piers 3 and 5. The differences between the two techniques are worth noting. At Pier 4, two separate form travellers progressed in tandem away from the pier, casting deck sections on opposite sides simultaneously. This allowed the weight of the deck to be balanced at all times, ensuring that unwanted rotations were avoided. At Piers 3 and 5, one form traveller progressed in one direction only toward Pier 4. In this instance, the cast cantilever sections were balanced by the previously constructed approach spans on the opposite side of the pier. At this stage, the pylons above the main piers were constructed incrementally once the corresponding form traveller began to move away from the pier. The pylon construction progressed in parallel with the deck below, and the cables were installed in unison. The cables were anchored to the deck either side of the pylons and passed through the pylons using a saddle system. 18 cables anchor the deck at Pier 4 while eight cables were used at Piers 3 and 5. Separately, the eastern approach spans continued to progress towards the end abutment with the form traveller forming the wings as it moved along using the same method as on the western side. Stages twelve to sixteen Stages 12 to 16 allowed for the three separate bridge constructions to join together as one. The cantilever decks from Piers 3 and 5 progressed towards the balanced cantilever deck from each side of Pier 4 until they met at the connection. The form travellers were then dismantled, and the finishing works on the bridge deck could commence.

Bridge deck construction and form travellers: L-R Pier 5 cantilever; Pier 4 balanced cantilever; Pier 3 cantilever.

Bridge deck There are 39 individual deck segments in each of the main spans. Each deck segment required the completion of steel fixing, pouring concrete, post tensioning and the installation of cables before the form traveller could move to the next segment. Unlike the approach spans, the full cross section of the deck on the main spans was constructed in one single stage for each segment. The deck included longitudinal and transverse post tensioning tendons. Once the concrete was strong enough, the tendons were passed through the ducts that had been set into the concrete during the pouring stage. Hydraulic jacks tensioned the tendons, which were then anchored to the deck and bonded to the concrete via grout injected into the ducts. The bridgeĘźs slimline profile was achieved using high strength concrete in key areas. The concrete possessed compressive strengths of up to 95N/mm2, which is more than twice the strength of standard concrete mixes. While the concrete allowed for better resistance of high compression loads and thus a narrower visual profile, the low water to cement ratios used in the mix meant the resultant material was less workable. Special mixtures were added to improve workability, but greater care and accuracy was needed in construction. The deck is designed to allow internal access to provide inspection galleries for future maintenance. Secure doors at each end within the abutments provide access inside the bridge. Clear access is provided throughout the entire deck, and as the floor of the deck inclined, suitable walking platforms and railings are installed. Lighting and a power supply are also provided. Cable system The bridge could not be called an extradosed bridge were it not for its cables. The cables have between 113 and 127 wire strands in each cable, with an overall cable diameter of 400mm. In total, approximately 500km of strand was used in the cable system.


Cable testing was undertaken by Chicago-based company, CTL, which owns the largest cable testing facility in the world. The test specimen comprised of a 127-strand arrangement, each 15.7mm in diameter with a Guaranteed Ultimate Tensile Strength (GUTS) of 279kN per strand. The overall cable GUTS is 127×279 = 35,433kN or 3,543 tonnes. Two tests were undertaken: 1.) A fatigue test whereby the system was subject to two million stress cycles (limited to two per cent wire breaks); 2.) A static tensile test whereby the system tensile load is increased and must achieve 95 per cent GUTS. Technology The design and construction teamsʼ use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) allowed potential issues to be addressed before they arose and provided visibility on how the different elements of the bridge interacted. An analysis of the complex spatial relationships of different levels of steel reinforcement and post-tensioning ducts in the bridge deck, for example, allowed the team to detect any possible clashes before the actual build. The teams also used 4D modelling, intelligently linking the 3D bridge model to the time dimension and enabling the model construction sequencing to be presented and reviewed against construction timelines.

Cable testing at CTL in Chicago.

Lighting To complement the slim design of the bridge selected architectural lighting will be used to illuminate the bridge at night. Discrete feature lighting will illuminate the pylons and stay cable arrays with spill controlled uplighting. A continuous row of LED luminaires will illuminate the bridge deck edge. Navigational lighting will provide safety and security to ships sailing below and aircraft flying above. There will be no road lighting at deck level. Monitoring A suite of structural monitoring equipment has been installed on the bridge to monitor wind, temperature, movement and so on. Equipment includes: • Anemometers at four locations; • Load indicators to record stay cable loads and bearing loads at each pier; • Movement indicators to record movement and rotation of bearings; • Temperature sensors to record the temperature of various elements.

Conc lus ion The River Barrow bridge is the 46th crossing of the River Barrow, but its bold, ambitious design sets it apart from the bridges that have gone before. The project teamʼs willingness to push the boundaries of engineering and work together in the true spirit of partnership is evident in the magnificence of the structure. A great feat of civil engineering, this iconic bridge speaks to a future of infinite possibilities and wonder. In time, it will become one of the most recognisable structures in the country. As the date of the scheme opening approaches, we look forward to the N25 New Ross bypass delivering safe, shorter and more reliable journeys for commuters and improved quality of life and economic prospects for all living in New Ross town and the wider region. Author: Mary Bowe is a senior engineering inspector with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). She is responsible for the delivery of national road projects in the south-east region and is TIIʼs representative on the N25 New Ross bypass PPP scheme. She has more than 25 yearsʼ experience in the planning, design, construction and administration of major road projects. A native of New Ross, she is a past chairperson of Engineers Irelandʼs South East region and has served at both council and executive within Engineers Ireland. A chartered engineer, she graduated from UCD in 1993


World Lung Day – Irish air quality is not meeting the World Health Organizationʼs guideline values for health •

EPA publishes its annual air quality report to mark World Lung Day. The report shows that during 2018, Irelandʼs air quality complied with the legally binding EU standards but did not meet the WHOʼs guidelines values for health.

According to latest estimates there are 1,180 premature deaths in Ireland per year due to poor air quality.

The two main culprits for poor air quality in Ireland are:

Particulate matter from domestic burning of solid fuels

• •

Nitrogen dioxide from vehicle emissions in urban areas Solutions include:

Moving towards cleaner ways of heating our homes. There is a spectrum of heating choices and any movement towards better choices will improve our air quality

Implementing the transport options outlined in the Governmentʼs Climate Action Strategy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its annual Air Quality report, on World Lung Day. The report shows that while air quality complied with the legal limits, the World Health Organizationʼs healthrelated guideline values were not met. Air quality impacts peopleʼs health and there are an estimated 1,180 premature deaths in Ireland per year due to air pollution. Levels of particulate matter – fine particles - in our air is of growing concern. Levels of this pollutant are particularly high during the winter months when peopleʼs use of solid fuels such as coal, peat and wood impacts negatively on air quality, especially in small towns and villages. The EPA report notes that any movement along the spectrum of home heating choices and solid fuel choices towards cleaner modes will have a subsequent improvement on air quality. In urban areas, transport related emissions of nitrogen dioxide are increasing, and it looks probable that Ireland will exceed the EU annual legal limit value for nitrogen dioxide in the near future. In launching the report, Air Quality in Ireland 2018, Dr Micheál Lehane, Director of the EPAʼs Office of Radiation Protection & Environmental Monitoring, said, “We all expect that the air we breathe is clean, but we cannot take this for granted. Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, so it is now time to tackle the two key issues that impact negatively on air quality in Ireland – transport emissions in large urban areas and emissions from burning of solid fuels. The choices we make affect the levels of pollution in the air we breathe. We need to decarbonise our public transport system and in general reduce our reliance on internal combustion vehicles. Moving to cleaner ways of heating our homes will also significantly improve air quality in our towns and cities.” Dr Ciara McMahon, EPA Programme Manager, said, “The EPAʼs air quality monitoring has shown that, while Irelandʼs air quality complied with the EU legal standards in 2018, the levels of fine particles in the air we breathe did not meet the World Health Organizationʼs guideline values. Our monitoring also showed that in urban areas, the impact of traffic-related nitrogen dioxide pollution is increasing. These pollutants have a negative impact on peopleʼs health and that is why we are


Dr Kevin Wyche at the air quality monitoring station at Falmer

continuing to install more monitoring stations across the country under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme. This programme has now more than doubled the number of real-time monitoring stations providing air quality data across Ireland since 2017.� The EU has introduced and implemented a range of legal instruments to improve air quality, these standards are still not in line with the tighter WHO air quality guidelines. The EPA has previously called for movement towards the adoption of these stricter guidelines, as legal and enforceable standards across Europe and in Ireland. The Air Quality in Ireland 2018 report is available on the EPA website. The EPA continually monitors air quality across Ireland and provides the air quality index for health and real-time results online at www.airquality.epa.ie. Results are updated hourly on the website, and people can log on at any time to check whether the current air quality is good, fair or poor.

Further information: Niamh Hatchell/Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office: 053-91 70770 (24 hours) and media@epa.ie


Minister Ring allocates €1.4 million to support work of Tidy Towns groups A record 918 communities entered competition this year

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan Irelandʼs Tidiest Town

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan named as Irelandʼs Tidiest Town for 2019. The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is now entering its seventh decade and Glaslough was judged to be the best from a record number of 918 entries to the competition this year. The announcement was greeted with great celebration and excitement at the awards ceremony at The Helix in Dublin. On hand to present the prizes were Mr. Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development and Mr. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, the competitionʼs sponsor for the 28th year. The Helix was packed with representatives of Tidy Towns groups from all over the country, eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners. Glaslough, Co. Monaghan also claimed the award of Irelandʼs Tidiest Village. Other winners included Blackrock, Co. Louth receiving the award for Irelandʼs Tidiest Small Town. Westport, Co. Mayo received the award of Irelandʼs Tidiest Large Town, while Ennis, Co Clare. was declared as Irelandʼs Tidiest Large Urban Centre. Speaking after the awards ceremony, Minister Ring said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Glaslough who are very deserving winners. Glaslough, who first entered the SuperValu TidyTowns competition in 1966, have great passion and pride in their community. They have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, regional and European level. Today, all that commitment and dedication has paid off with the top prize being awarded to them. This is the second time that Glaslough has been awarded Irelandʼs Tidiest Town, which is a re-markable achievement and shows that the commit-ment and enthusiasm of the TidyTowns committees continues to remain strong. I want to congratulate Glaslough and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today. The work of all those involved in the Tidy Towns effort results in the attractive and welcoming towns and villages we see all over the country, and from which we all bene-fit. It is this passion and pride that has made our towns and villages not only attractive and welcoming for visitors, but have created a ʻsense of placeʼ for those who live, work and raise families there. That is why this competition has continued to flourish for more than 60 years.


Minister Ring also announced a special allocation of €1.4 million to support the work of individual Tidy-Towns Committees around the country to assist them in their continued efforts to enhance their towns and villages. This is the third year in a row that Minister Ring has allocated this funding to support the work of the Tidy Towns Committees. The Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that I am making available €1.4 million in order to directly support the TidyTowns committees who work so tirelessly to bring out the best in their towns and villages. Blackrock, Co. Louth

All of the towns and villages involved in the competition across the country should benefit from this investment. Wherever you have active Tidy Towns committees, it gives the town a real sense of pride and engagement, and creates a great atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.” The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competi-tionʼs sponsor. He said: “I want to pay tribute to SuperValu, who are now in their 28th year as sponsor and who continue to work with us to grow the competition. It is getting stronger every year with increased participation, an increased number of awards and a notable increase in the efforts of the communities involved. SuperValu have shown fantastic support for the com-petition, not only through their financial sponsorship but also through the support provided to local Tidy Towns groups by their network of local retailers.” Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said: “I would like to congratulate Glaslough for being named Irelandʼs Tidiest Town for 2019. It is really a remarkable achievement and is testament to the commitment, dedication and passion of the Glaslough SuperValu TidyTowns committee. “I would also like to congratulate the category winners who all made an outstanding effort to make their communities better places to live and work in. The immense pride in where youʼre from shines through every part of what you have achieved to reach these high standards. “Since SuperValu started sponsoring TidyTowns almost 30 years ago, the competition has steadily grown from its initial focus on making our villages and towns neat and tidy, to the present day, where it is now the greatest sustainability initiative in Ireland. “2019 was another landmark year for the SuperValu TidyTowns competition. The competition tagline, ʻCar-ing for our Environmentʼ, underlines our shared commitment to having a positive impact on our surroundings. This year it has inspired thousands of passionate volunteers and a record number of 918 TidyTowns committees to deliver a range of extraordinary projects across the country. “SuperValu shares this desire to build sustainable communities and the SuperValu TidyTowns competi-tion is one of the best ways for us to achieve this. We are delighted to have been involved in the competition for the past 28 years and we look forward to SuperValu TidyTowns reaching 1,000 committees.”

The SuperValu Tidy Towns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have supported the competition since 1992.


Athea to reap social, environmental and economic benefits from state-of-the-art wastewater

New Wastewater Treatment Plant to improve level of environmental protection The opening of AtheaĘźs new Wastewater Treatment Plant is the equivalent of upgrading from 1970s Cortina to a 2019 Hybrid Electric Vehicle, bringing greatly improved performance and much higher levels of environmental protection. That was the message to members of the local community and elected representatives who joined staff from Irish Water, Limerick City and County Council and contractors for a tour of the newly opened plant in Athea.


What is involved? The new plant, which was developed by Irish Water in partnership with Limerick City and County Council, represents an investment of almost €2m in the local community which will help protect the environment and support ongoing growth and development in Athea. Speaking at the opening event, Minister of State Patrick OʼDonovan said the plant would bring very significant benefits to the local community. “I am delighted see this new wastewater treatment plant up and running. This is an important investment which will bring big benefits to Athea now and for many years to come. Athea is a thriving community which has always taken enormous pride in its local environment and heritage through the great work of groups like the Tidy Towns and the Community Council. “The completion of this treatment plant is a further boost to the community after so many years and its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The state-of-the art wastewater treatment it provides will protect the River Galey and other local waterways while also ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to ensure Athea can continue to grow and thrive.” Irish Waterʼs Alan Morrissey explained that the new plant represented a big leap forward in the quality of wastewater treatment. Why is it needed? “The original wastewater treatment plant was built in the 1940s and was no longer fit for purpose. Environmental standards have improved a great deal since then, while population growth and lifestyle changes have added to the need for much improved wastewater treatment. This new plant will ensure that wastewater from Athea will be treated to the high standards set out by the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations, safeguarding water quality in the River Galey and other local waterways and ensuring the treatment capacity is in place to support growth and development in Athea for years to come. “The old plant provided many years of good service but standards, expectations and technology have moved on and this new system means better performance, higher safety standards and enhanced environmental protection. That is very good news for the local community.” TES Group Limited and Nicholas OʼDwyer Consulting Engineers were the main parties involved in delivering the project on behalf of Irish Waterʼs Capital Programmes. Construction got underway in summer 2018 and the new treatment plant was completed and commissioned in recent weeks. The work involved decommissioning the old primary treatment system and building a new wastewater treatment plant, upgrading the existing pumping station and constructing a new 500m rising main from the pumping station to the treatment plant. This project has upgraded and modernised several elements of the wastewater treatment process at the plant. More information During the site visit, staff from TES Group, Nicholas OʼDwyer Consulting Engineers and Irish Water showed the guests around the plant and explained the complex processes involved in treating wastewater so that it can be returned safely to the environment. A video on how wastewater is treated can be viewed on the Irish Water website at https://www.water.ie/wastewater/treatment/drain-to-sea/.



Significant investment into Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant in Roscommon The works will increase capacity, and provide a platform for growth and development

Irish Water, working in partnership with Roscommon County Council, is investing €2 million to complete essential upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant at Monksland, Co Roscommon. The works, once complete will increase capacity, and provide a platform for growth and development in Monksland and the surrounding areas; enable the wastewater treatment plant to handle increased storm water overflows protecting the receiving waters of the River Shannon, and reduce the risk of non compliance with the Wastewater Treatment Regulations. What is involved? The works are being carried out by Glan Agua, and are due to be substantially completed in December. The new works include the construction of a preliminary treatment works including inlet works, screens, grit removal, improved controls, improvements to the sludge handling facilities. The construction of a storm tank and overflow system will allow the wastewater treatment plant to handle increased flows in high rain fall events to ensure compliance with the Wastewater Treatment Regulations. Commenting on the programme, Eunan Canvan Irish Water said “The Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest, and one of the most important in County Roscommon. As a utility, Irish Water is responsible for returning treated effluent safely back to the environment. This upgrade will protect the receiving waters of the river Shannon, and ensure that waste from homes and businesses meets all Wastewater Treatment Regulations”. Project forms part of Irish Waterʼs investment plan This project forms part of Irish Waterʼs investment plan. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Waterʼs Business Plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5 billion investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.


New wastewater treatment plant and sewer network upgrade for Castlemaine Wastewater will be treated to a significantly higher standard Irish Water working in partnership with Kerry County Council is building a new wastewater treatment plant in Castlemaine and upgrading the sewer network to replace the existing system which is no longer suitable to meet the needs of the area. The new wastewater treatment plant and network will treat wastewater to a significantly higher standard which is crucial in order to ensure that Castlemaine complies with the requirements of both the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations and the EPA wastewater discharge authorisation illustrating Irish Waterʼs commitment to safeguarding our water for our future. It will also allow for future growth. Speaking about the project, Irish Water Regional Lead, Anthony Kavanagh said, “This is a hugely important investment for the Castlemaine community and illustrates Irish Waterʼs commitment to tackling the size and scale of the wastewater challenges around the country by upgrading wastewater facilities in both urban and rural locations. River Maine The most important aspect of this project however is that it will ensure that the River Maine is protected and that Castlemaine complies with the requirements of both the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations and the EPA wastewater discharge authorisation. This upgrade will also allow for additional capacity and growth in the area assisting future social and economic development” Glan Agua will deliver this project for Irish Water and will see them build a new wastewater treatment plant at Castlemaine that will serve a population of 750 people. The plant can be further expanded at a later date if required. In addition to the plant itself, the project will see the development of a new pumping station with storm water storage, the replacement of over 600m of sewer pipe, construction of a new inlet pumping station and storm water storage at the outfall to the River Maine. It will also require installation of pumping and a refurbished header manhole at the outfall to the River Maine. Irish Water would like to thank the community and businesses for their continued patience and cooperation during this project and ensure business owners that the utility will work continuously with them to endeavour to maintain effective traffic management during working hours.


Works to begin on the Cobh Town Networks Contract– next step to eliminating raw sewage in Cork Lower Harbour Cobh Town Wastewater will be collected in this sewer network and pumped via the estuary crossing to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant for safe discharge to Cork Lower Harbour Works on the pipelines and pumping stations as part of the Cobh Town Networks Contract are planned to commence on the 7th October 2019. This contract is part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project, which represents an investment of €144 million by Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, to end the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage directly into Cork Lower Harbour. When works on this contract are completed in 2021, the raw sewage from Cobh Townʼs public networks will be treated, completing the connection of 20,000 homes and businesses to the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project, protecting the environment, facilitating economic development and providing for a growing population. Pumping stations and pipes The Cobh Town Networks contract includes the construction of 5 pumping stations and approximately 7 km of sewer pipes required to end the practice of raw sewage discharging from 19 outfall pipes around Cobh Town, directly into Cork harbour. Works will are expected to begin at 4 locations around Cobh in October, with construction of sewer pipes beginning in the West Beach/East Beach area of the town centre and the R624 at Ballynoe, while works commence on the pumping stations at Old Town Hall, Lynchʼs Quay and at Station Carpark. The works will take approximately 2 years to complete. Farrans Sorensen Joint Venture, the contractor working on behalf of Irish Water to deliver this project, has carefully planned these works in consultation with the local community. The programme of works takes into consideration the considerable feedback that we received from the Cobh Community throughout the planning of the works. This engagement will continue throughout the project, with information available below. We also have a full time community liaison officer dedicated to the project. What is involved? Déaglán Healy, Project manager for Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project said “When we started construction of this project in 2015, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage was discharging into the Harbour every day. We are now treating the equivalent of 30,000 of that 40,000 wheelie bins figure by completing the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant and pipelines and pumping stations on the south side of the harbour so that wastewater from Ringaskiddy, Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Passage West and Monkstown is now being treated. Works will begin in October in Cobh Town. We are committed to working with the local community in Cobh to minimise the impact of these works. I would encourage Cobh residents and businesses to contact the project team and register for regular project updates at corklowerharbour@water.ie to help us keep you informed as we work together to clean up our harbour.” Having adequate wastewater treatment infrastructure is essential to safeguard the environment and to facilitate housing and commercial development. We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation as we work together to Clean Up Our Harbour.


Works progressing on the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant Irish Water is progressing with works on the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant (WwTP). This project, when completed, will result in significant improvements to water quality in Arklow by ending the current practice of the discharge of raw sewage directly into the Avoca River, safeguarding the wastewater system. With over 15,000 people set to be connected to the new treatment plant on completion, this project is important in terms of protecting the environment, facilitating economic development and providing for a growing population.

What is involved? Irish Water has this week submitted an application to the Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government for a foreshore licence for to progress the development of the Arklow WwTP. John Joyce, Infrastructure Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water, said “Since Irish Water took over the responsibility for water and wastewater services in January 2014, addressing the need to eliminate the discharge of raw sewage into the River Avoca has been a top priority. The proposed new WwTP will have huge benefits for the residents and businesses in Arklow and the tourists that visit the area as it will improve the water quality in the River Avoca and enable future economic growth in the area. This project is critical in safeguarding the wastewater system in Arklow for the future. The foreshore licence application is another significant step in progressing the works on the plant.� Irish Water will continue to provide updates on this project in 2019 on the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant Project page, in addition to updates to local media and all relevant stakeholders.

More information For further information on this project https://www.water.ie/projects-plans/arklow-wwtp/


Murphy Eoghan Murphy welcomes €2.6 Billion Housing Budget Housing • €2.63 billion – 11% increase on 2019 and highest investment in housing by any Government in a single year • Social housing needs of 27,517 households to be met in 2020 • 11,167 new homes will be added to the stock of social housing through build, acquisition and long-term leasing • We will build 7,736 more social housing homes – more build homes than in any other year this century • 5,500 adults and their children will exit homelessness • €45 million will facilitate energy efficiency improvements to social housing homes • Increased funding to €17.5 million for the Residential Tenancies Board and local authority rental inspections and to implement reforms for the short-term letting sector • €130 million is being provided for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, with a second call for proposals to be made shortly • €59 million to adapt the homes of up to 12,000 older people and people with a disability • €1.3 billion investment in water services • €156 million contribution to the Local Government Fund Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has welcomed the increase of funding of over €250 million for his Department in 2020. With a budget of over €2.6 billion in housing alone, this investment will see the social housing needs of over 27,500 additional households being met in 2020, of which in excess of 11,000 will have their needs met in a home provided by a local authority or Approved Housing Body.

Addressing Homelessness A critical focus of 2020 activity will continue to be on prevention and the delivery of services for those experiencing homelessness. An increased allocation of €166 million will address the increased demand for emergency homeless services and will support more than 5,500 adults and their children to exit from homelessness to a home. 35

It will enable the continued delivery of family hubs to minimise the use of hotels for families who experience homelessness. It will also increase prevention activity to support individuals and families at risk of homelessness and will enable local authorities to move rough sleepers and long-term users of emergency accommodation into homes under Housing First. Significantly, it will facilitate the continued work of the InterAgency Group established by Minister Murphy, including the delivery of a new €30 million detoxification and drug treatment centre in Dublin city centre, which will be funded under the Departmentʼs Capital Assistance Scheme.

Affordable Housing Budget 2020 will also see increased funding for the Serviced Site Fund. This scheme for subsidised housing will increase to €126m in 2020, making thousands of homes more affordable (at least 6,200 overall affordable homes will be delivered with support from this scheme, with 3,200 homes already approved). The funding being made available under the Serviced Site Fund will be additional to: • €60 million in Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund investment in 30 major public infrastructure projects, which will support the delivery of almost 20,000 new homes across public and private sites. Over half of these will be either social housing homes or private homes sold at a price which is discounted on the open market; • the Land Development Agency and its ambitious targets in this area including the potential to deliver approximately 3,000 more affordable homes on its portfolio of sites, in the near term; and • the new Cost-Rental projects that are being progressed and, with the help of the European Investment Bank, the development of a new policy framework to allow the roll out of the Cost Rental model at scale and on a national basis.

Rental Sector Following on from the significant reforms to the rental market, additional resources for the RTB have been secured so that they can fully enforce compliance with tenancy protection measures and the restrictions in Rent Pressure Zones. A further €2 million has been secured for the Board for 2020 to enable more recruitment as well as development of systems and organisational changes to ensure that the legislation introduced this year is fully implemented and having the desired effect. This funding will also enable the annual registration of tenancies, which will further improve our understanding of the rental market. Funding for the RTB has risen from €4.4 million in 2018 to €7 million in 2019 and will increase to €9 million in 2020.


The quality of rental accommodation is also critical to the success and sustainability of the residential rental sector, and an additional €1.5 million has been secured in funding for local authorities to achieve their inspection targets under the Strategy for the Rental Sector. Inspection rates have increased considerably over 2018 and 2019, and this additional funding will help build on this achievement, with the long-term goal of achieving a 25% annual inspection coverage rate by 2021. Funding of €2.5 million is also being provided to support local authorities in the implementation of the new planning legislative reforms for the regulation of the short-term letting sector.

Other important housing delivery and supports Funding is also being provided for other important housing supports and services in relation to homelessness, regeneration and programmes to upgrade existing housing (energy efficiency improvements, adaptation grants, housing for Travellers, pyrite, etc.). Supports that will be funded through the increased resources under Budget 2020 include – • Funding of €20 million will be provided for the implementation of a new scheme to support necessary remediation works to dwellings in Donegal and Mayo affected by defective concrete blocks. • In addition, a further €20 million will fund the remediation of some 300 additional dwellings under the pyrite remediation scheme. • Funding of €10.7 million for the Repair and Leasing Scheme will allow local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to provide financial assistance to property owners to remediate over 150 vacant private homes so they can then be leased for social housing. • €23 million will support the continuation of the Mortgage to Rent Scheme and will allow for at least 400 additional households to be supported to remain in their own homes. • A further 1,000 social homes will be improved under the energy efficiency programme in 2020 through funding of €25 million. • In addition, a further €20 million, derived from the proceeds of the Carbon Tax, is being provided towards a new programme of deep retrofitting of social housing stock in the midlands. • The National Regeneration programme, which targets some of the countryʼs most disadvantaged communities, will be supported through funding of €72 million in 2020. • Funding of €10.5 million will support the operational costs of the Housing Agency during 2020 and support the Agency in its role in the delivery of housing services and supports.

Brexit As part of preparations for Brexit, and to ensure that manufacturers, distributors and importers of construction products placing products on the Irish market are fully compliant with EU regulations post Brexit, a funding provision of €0.5 million is being made available in 2020 to support increased monitoring and compliance by local authorities.


Other Areas of Activity Budget 2020 also means significant progress across the other areas of the Department. In total, next year will see nearly €1.7 billion available for the Water Services, Local Government and Planning Programmes, as well as Met Éireann.

Water Services In the Water area, capital and current funding to Irish Water will amount to nearly €1.2 billion in 2020, including revenue and capital funding in respect of domestic water services. There will also be capital funding of €25 million in 2020 (+€2m) for the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme, which runs from 2019 to 2021. In addition, €11million is being provided for investment in Water Quality to ensure enhanced environmental compliance, and 8 million will be available for Developer Provided Infrastructure to secure the progressive resolution of housing estates with problematic developer-provided water services infrastructure.

Local Government Turning to Local Government, 2020 will see a contribution from the Departmentʼs Vote to the Local Government Fund of €156 million. This will provide significant support to the local government sector, including assistance towards increased pay/pensions costs arising under national pay agreements and resources for important local government initiatives across the country. There will also be an increase of €1.3 million in capital investment in fire and emergency services, bringing the total to some €12.5 million in 2020.

Planning The main provisions in this area in 2020 include the following: • €130 million is being provided for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, with a second call for proposals to be made shortly. • €17.5 million is being provided towards the cost of the activities of the Land Development Agency (LDA) in 2020, ahead of its expected capitalisation through ISIF following the enactment of the relevant legislation. • Some €0.5 million in increased funding is being provided for the operational budgets of An Bord Pleanála and the Office of the Planning Regulator, as part of measures to enhance the effectiveness of the planning system. In addition, the capital budget of the Board will increase by some €0.7 million, while a further €0.6 million is being provided to fund additional activities by the Department on marine spatial planning and environmental planning.

Other Agencies There will be significant increases in the resourcing of other agencies to meet increased operational costs and investment needs: Ordnance Survey Ireland (+€2 million); the Valuation Office (+€3.5 million); and the Property Registration Authority (+€1.3 million).


Our severe and unpredictable weather conditions require the upskilling of our people in order to be adequately prepared for snow and ice Get Prepared, Be Competent, Be Safe FRS Training are running LANTRA and FRS certified winter service operation courses to train operators to be prepared, safe and efficient when operating winter service vehicles. Becoming proficient in operating winter service equipment and vehicles is an essential and valued skill to obtain for any work associated with clearing snow and ice from our public roads and pathways. This training will equip the learner with the knowledge and skills to operate machines safely and effectively. On completion the learner will be able to work safely, effectively and efficiently, reducing risks to oneself and others. Courses offer a range of certification options: Fixed spreaders Demounted spreaders Towed spreaders Snowploughs Brine application Courses cover a range of weights: • Up to 3500kg including agricultural tractors • From 3500kg to 7500kg • Over 7500kg (large LGV) – 16 tonne would be applicable under this category Course outline includes: • Health and Safety Legislation • Methods of Application and Snow Clearance. • Pre Checks on Equipment • Defect reporting • Maintenance & Service Operations • Rates of spread for de-icing materials • Emergency procedures • Personal Protective Equipment • Working Safely • Avoiding Hypothermia

For further information on course duration, fees and assessments contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 info@frstraining.com FRS Training also offer a wide range of QQI, SOLAS, City & Guilds, LANTRA and PHECC accredited health and safety and chainsaw courses.




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LAN 38 No4 Cover 2:Layout 1



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Profile for Giltron

Local Authority News - Vol. 38 . No. 4  


Local Authority News - Vol. 38 . No. 4  


Profile for giltron