English encourages communities to apply for CCTV funding

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Johnstown, Killyon, Law and Order, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Summerhill, Trim, Wesmeath

–          Up to 60% of total capital cost available, up to maximum
grant of €40,000
–          Scheme remains open with funding of €1m available each year

Thursday, 26th April 2018

The Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, and Meath West Fine Gael
T.D. Damien English, has encouraged groups in Meath and Westmeath to
apply for the Community based CCTV grant-aid scheme established by the
Justice Department to assist communities in the establishment of CCTV
systems in their local areas. Under the scheme, community groups can
apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a
proposed system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000.

Minister English stated: “I am very anxious to ensure that all
interested groups, in both rural and urban areas of Meath West, take
advantage of the availability of this grant-aid scheme. Full details
of the grant aid package are available to download from the Justice
Department website www.justice.ie and officials in that Department are
available to provide additional guidance on the application process
should that be helpful.”

The scheme was developed in line with a commitment in the Programme
for a Partnership Government to support investment in CCTV systems at
key locations along the road network and in urban centres. The scheme
is currently due to run until April 2020 with funding of some €1
million being made available each year.

Minister English added: “The investment represented by the
community-based CCTV grant-aid scheme reflects the value that
communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of
deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders. I am
conscious too that An Garda Síochána have reviewed the effectiveness
of CCTV systems and indicated that it utilises CCTV in almost every
criminal investigation, during major public events and sporting
occasions, in the investigation of road traffic incidents and in many
other areas requiring police action.  Community-based CCTV systems
have therefore proven to be of significant assistance in the
prevention and detection of crime throughout the State.”

The grant-aid scheme is intended to supplement the existing network of
CCTV systems.  For example there are some 35 Garda CCTV schemes in
operation throughout the State comprising in excess of 500 cameras.
There are also some 45 Community-based CCTV schemes in operation,
established under a previous grant-aid scheme funded by the Department
between 2005 and 2013, encompassing some 367 cameras to which An Garda
Síochána have access. Regarding the road network, services under the
Garda Safety Camera contract commenced in May 2017 and provide an
annual minimum of 90,000 hours of monitoring and surveying vehicle
speed across 1,031 designated safety camera zones. Further expansion
of the use of technologies including CCTV and Automatic Number Plate
Recognition is included under the Garda Commissioner’s Modernisation
and Renewal Programme 2016-2021.

ENDS

Note for editors:

Application forms and guidance documents can be downloaded at
http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Community-Based-CCTV

The rules governing establishment of community CCTV schemes are
provided for in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, and in the
Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006. This legal framework requires
proposed community CCTV schemes to:

–          have the prior support of the relevant Local Authority,
which must act as data controller in respect of the system;
–          be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee; and
–          have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner in
accordance with Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

English thanks emergency services, local Councils and most importantly community spirit and human kindness

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Farming, Fire Safety, Firefighters, Housing and Urban Renewal, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Roads, Summerhill, Transport, Trim, Wesmeath

Monday, 5th March 2018

As the thaw well and truly sets in, and normal life begins to return
for the majority of our people, it would be wrong not to reflect on
the week gone by and thank those who did so much locally and
nationally during the most raw demonstration of nature’s power in our
generation.

I want to acknowledge and thank the exceptional work of local
emergency services like An Garda, Fire Services, Defence Forces and
Reserve Defence Forces, Ambulance and Hospital staff last week. i also
want to thank Meath and Westmeath County Councils – their staff, elected members and
contractors, and all of those who kept our roads open when safe to do
so, and who kept water and power supplies going or helped to restore
them if lost. As a once in a generation event Storm Emma really pushed
the resources of the State nationally and locally, and as a result so
many local people, especially our local farming community stepped into
the breach to our offer their expertise, experience and community
spirit in clearing local roads and local estates.

Community groups like Meath River Rescue joined the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Red Cross, Gardai and many others in delivering emergency workers, carers and
home helps safely to work, and helping meals and wheels and other vital services to do their work with the oldest and most vulnerable in our society.

Local media  like LMFM, Midlands Radio, the Meath Chronicle and Westmeath Examiner online, and Social Media platforms were all crucial in keeping people informed.

As a member of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group I saw how the work of our emergency services, communities and media nationwide was equally exceptional. I also saw first hand the quality of the research and modelling done by Met Eireaann, who are second to none in Europe. Their early warnings early last week gave people time to organise supplies and make all necessary preparations.  We thank them for that too.

The work of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group was mirrored in every County by similar local groups, and Meath and Westmeath County Councils are to be congratulated for their leadership and team work of this group locally along with all the members groups and agencies.

The danger with saying thanks is that someone is left out, but that
never happens on purpose.  The gratitude of Meath West and the whole
country goes out to those who went above beyond the call of duty last
week, and put themselves in harm’s way in helping their community and
country.

Please continue to use common sense during the thaw and heed the
warnings on local media. Please watch out for potential flooding on
our roads and continue to stay safe.

ENDS

Additional funding for Seniors Alert Scheme in Meath West after applications quadruple nationally – English

Active Retirement, Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Fire Safety, Funding, Health, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Trim, Wesmeath

Additional funding is available for the Seniors Alert Scheme in Meath West following an upsurge in applications nationally for the free personalised alarms for people over 65, local Minister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English T.D. has said. He is urging local older people to sign up and avail of the funding.

The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.

Minister English’s colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, initially allocated €2.3 million for the Seniors Alert Scheme in October. The rate of applications for personal alarms quadrupled nationally in November after Minister Ring widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme and launched a nationwide publicity campaign, leading the Minister to also allocate an additional €400,000.

Minister English, the Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West said “It’s very positive to see a good uptake for this scheme nationally, but we need to see more older people in Counties Meath and Westmeath be made aware of it and to avail of this important scheme.

“We need to make sure that as many of our older people avail of this scheme as possible, which is why I am encouraging everyone reading this to get the word out there as widely as possible.

“All you have to do is make contact with your local Seniors Alert group. You can find out about your local group by logging on to http://www.pobal.ie or phoning 01 5117222.

“The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.

“This measure exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.

“There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months after which the person pays a small fee. This measure contributes greatly to the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens in their homes.

“This funding for Meath West seniors demonstrates this Government’s commitment to the safety of older people in our community,” the Minister for Housing and Urban Development said.

“The best New Year’s resolution you can make is to get an older relative or neighbour to sign up for free a personalised alarm, or help them to do so.

“I want to urge people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours at this time of year. The Winter months can be a challenging time for some older people. Small gestures can make a big difference for someone who is living alone. Reaching out to an older person in your community can help brighten up their New Year, whether it’s popping in for a chat, or lighting the fire or bringing someone some food.”

ENDS

Vacant shops could be turned into homes to tackle the housing shortage across Meath and Ireland – English

Action Plan for Housing, Agher, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Housing and Urban Renewal, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Rebuilding Ireland, Trim, Wesmeath

Friday, 15th December 2017

Vacant shops could soon be turned into homes to help tackle the
housing shortage in Meath and Ireland.

This is the proposal of local Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal
and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English which was brought forward
to Government during the week so that vacant commercial premises can
be made into housing without the need for planning permission.

Minister English said: “These draft regulations, if approved by the
Oireachtas, will allow the conversion of certain vacant commercial
premises here in Meath such as empty retail units and “over the shop”
type spaces to homes without the need for planning permission.

“This will have the dual benefit of creating urgently needed housing
supply in high demand areas, while at the same time breathing new life
into our towns and urban areas- many of which have been adversely
affected by the economic downturn.

“Fine Gael in Government, and myself and Minister Murphy in our
Department are fully committed to bringing as many vacant properties
as possible back into use and maximising the use of existing
resources.”

“These new regulations, brought forward by myself and my colleague
Minister Eoghan Murphy, will make it easier for property owners to
re-imagine the use of vacant and under-used buildings without having
to go through the planning process.

“These are the first of a series of measures being developed by my
Department to streamline the various regulatory requirements relating
to the conversion of vacant spaces for residential use”.

“We want to once again show how the planning system can be responsive
to current needs and demands, by removing the need for planning
consent where appropriate and thereby provide greater efficiencies in
the system.

“All elements of the three sets of proposals brought forward today
have the potential to have a very real and positive impact on the
people of Meath and beyond.

“The Joint Oireachtas Committee will discuss these proposals in early
2018 so that the new provisions can be brought into operation as soon
as possible” concluded Minister English.

ENDS

Note to Editors:

The Planning Act provides that the Minister may make regulations to
provide that certain classes of development shall be exempted from the
requirement to obtain planning permission.  The three sets of draft
exempted development regulations now proposed relate to exemptions
for:

Ø  development by Irish Water related to the provision of water
services and the undertaking of normal day to day activities relating
to same, such as maintenance type works,

Ø  the change of use, and any related works, relating to the
conversion of vacant commercial premises for residential use (subject
to certain limitations), on foot of the commitment in Rebuilding
Ireland in this regard, and

Ø  amending existing provisions relating to certain works by statutory
undertakers in providing telecommunications services, to support the
rollout of the National Broadband Plan and extended mobile phone
coverage.

€586,186 vote of confidence in Meath West towns and villages – English

Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballivor, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Funding, Meath, North Meath, Oldcastle, Tourism, Wesmeath

Wednesday, 4th October 2017

8 Meath West projects to benefit under 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme

The Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, and Meath West Fine Gael
T.D. Damien English has today welcomed news that 8 rural towns and
villages across the Meath West Dáil Constituency are set to benefit
from over €900k in funding under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal
Scheme. The scheme is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for
Rural Development.

Commenting on the success of the 8 Meath and Westmeath rural town and
villages Minister
English stated: “Fine Gael in Government have placed a particular
emphasis on projects in rural Ireland which have the capacity to
support the economic development of rural town and villages as well as
their neighbouring townlands.  This scheme will also support
improvements to public amenities in town and village centres, to help
make them more attractive places in which to live and work and to
visit. I congratulate the local community groups concerned in
achieving this funding, and the local Councillors and Meath and Westmeath County
Council officials whom they and I liaise with to ensure this vital
funding for local communities. Congratulations again to all concerned”
concluded Minister English.

The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which was launched in April
this year, focuses on projects which can help to enhance and develop
rural towns and villages, with a particular emphasis on stimulating
economic development.

The full list of projects funded in the Meath West Dáil Constituency
are set out below:

Athboy Convert Community Centre €100,000.00
Ballinacree Village Enhancement €29,200.00
Ballivor New Playground €90,000.00
Oldcastle Walkway Improvements €78,986.00
Dromone Village Enhancement €72,000.00
Collinstown Develop Village Centre €72,000.00
Delvin Signage,Surface dressing of Laneway,Improve lighting, Provide
Parking. €68,000.00
Killucan/Rathwire Improvement enhancement Town Park,Restoration of
Mass path,Address high level of derelection. €76,000.00

Meath West Dáil Constituency Total: €586,186

ENDS

English urges Meath West Community Youth Groups to prepare to apply to €4m Capital Fund

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Local community youth groups can apply from late September

Monday 31st July 2017

Meath West community youth groups are set to benefit from a €4m
capital fund being established by Government, Minister for Housing and
Urban Development Damien English T.D. has stated.

The money is being made available to allow clubs buy equipment which
will support their work with young people, and applications open in
late September. The Meath West Fine Gael T.D. is urging local
community youth groups to begin thinking about and preparing for their
application.

Minister English stated: “Nationally, over 1,500 volunteer led clubs
will be eligible to apply, reaching practically every community in the
country. I want to see Meath West getting its fair share. I encourage
Meath West clubs to examine which sports, arts, adventure or other
equipment they need the most and be ready to apply.’

Minister English saluted the youth group volunteers, stating: “These
volunteer led youth clubs do so much good work on the ground. They are
in the frontline providing young people with indoor and outdoor
activities to prevent them falling into trouble. They also improve
health, wellbeing and build team spirit in our communities.”

“The value of this work is not under-estimated by Government, hence
this new fund.The Application process for the funding is expected to
open in late September. I am happy to help local community youth
groups with their applications” concluded Minister English.

ENDS

€20 million in funding available for rural towns and villages – English

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Friday, 14th April 2017

The Government has announced €20 million in funding for rural towns
and villages as part of the Action Plan for Rural Development

Damien English T.D., Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, and Meath
West Fine Gael T.D. has said this will bring tangible benefits to
people and revitalise rural communities in Meath.

“The funding announced this week by Minister for Arts, Heritage,
Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, is great
news for rural Ireland and I strongly encourage Meath County Council
to apply.

“The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an initiative under the
Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural
Potential, and is part of a package of national and local support
measures to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.

The Scheme will be funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage,
Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and administered by the Local
Authorities.

“Fine Gael in Government, is using the resources created by our strong
economy to deliver real benefits to people and communities all across
the country.  The Government’s new Action Plan for Rural Ireland
contains over 270 targeted actions that will help to deliver these
benefits to people here in Meath.

“Up to 300 towns and villages will benefit from funding under the 2017
Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which will be made available through
Local Authorities over the next 15 months to support rural
regeneration.

“The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with
populations of less than 10,000. Applications from towns can range
from €20,000 to a maximum of €100,000. Funding of up to €200,000 will
also be considered for a limited number of projects which can deliver
exceptionally strong economic benefit to a town and its outlying
areas.

“A number of towns and villages across Meath were badly affected by
the recession of recent years and part of Fine Gael’s Action Plan will
review planning legislation to allow the change of use of vacant
commercial properties in rural towns and villages. I hope to see this
having an impact on our local towns and villages.

ENDS

English encourages local community groups to apply for newly available CCTV funding

Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Enfield, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Summerhill, Trim, Wesmeath

Thursday, 13th April 2017

Meath and Westmeath communities are set to benefit from a new grant
scheme for community CCTV.That’s according to Minister for Housing and
Urban Renewal, Damien English T.D. who was informed by the Minister for
Justice and Equality, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, that her Department
has announced a grant-aid scheme to assist community groups with
establishing community-based CCTV systems.

“Under the scheme, eligible community groups can apply for grant-aid
of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up
to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the
applicant will receive an up-front payment of 50% of the grant with
the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational.

“Some of the key objectives of the Scheme are to enhance existing
policing provision within the community, to assist in the prevention
and reduction of local crime, disorder and anti-social activity and to
increase community involvement in the provision of legitimate,
integrated responses to prevent and reduce crime in local areas in
association with appropriate agencies.

“These CCTV systems will act as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour
and enhance existing policing provision here in Meath and Westmeath.
It is intended that the scheme will run for 3 years with funding of €1
million being made available each year.

“I am delighted to see the Government following through on the
commitments set out in the Programme for Government.

“Fine Gael is committed to continuing to strengthen and update
Ireland’s laws to tackle new and emerging crime trends.

“We will also continue to work with Garda management and the Policing
Authority to implement reforms that will provide greater confidence,
protection, transparency and efficiency to crime reduction, detection
and prosecution, here in Counties Meath and Westmeath.

ENDS

Minister Damien English welcomes €127,600 in funding under the CLÁR scheme for 2016 in Meath

Ballinacree, Ballinlough, CLAR, Funding, North Meath, Oldcastle, Roads

Friday, 2nd December 2016

Councillor Sarah Reilly joins in welcome for projects in the Kells Municpal Area

Local Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West and Minister for Planning and Urban Renewal Damien English, has welcomed the allocation of €127,600 in funding for Meath projects under CLÁR 2016. “Many parts of North and West Co. Meath suffer from disadvantage because of their rural location, and I am delighted to have worked with Cllr. Sarah Reilly as the local Fine Gael Councillor in these areas to lobby for this investment. It is good to see CLÁR money return to rural areas like North and West Co. Meath for the first time since 2009” Minister English said.

Councillor Sarah Reilly stated: “I congratulate the local communities in North and West Co. Meath like Ballincaree who have benefited from the reopened and renewed CLÁR scheme under this Fine Gael led Government. Their voluntary efforts on behalf of their local communities are being rewarded and supported. Rural Ireland and rural Meath is important, and we must fight to protect it. This funding is part of that fight.”

Funding for Meath is as follows:

CLÁR Safety package for Schools/Community Facilities CLÁR approved projects for 2016
County DED Description OFFICIAL SCHOOL NAME / COMMUNITY FACILILTY Requested CLÁR funding Agreed CLÁR funding
Meath Killeagh Constructure Footpath between St Fiach’s N.S and Ballinacree Community Centre St Fiach’s N.S €85,600.00 €85,600.00
Meath Ballinlough Purchase and Installation of signs Ballinlough N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
Meath Newcastle Purchase and Installation of signs Ughtyneill N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
Meath Kilskeer Purchase and Installation of signs Kilskyre N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
Meath Killeagh Purchase and Installation of signs Ballinacree N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
Meath Trohanny Purchase and Installation of signs St Anne’s N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
Meath Moylagh Purchase and Installation of signs Moylagh N.S €7,000.00 €7,000.00
€127,600.00

 

Notes to Editors:

CLÁR is a targeted investment programme that aims to provide funding for small infrastructural projects in rural areas that have experienced significant depopulation.

The aim of CLÁR is to support the sustainable development of identified CLÁR areas by attracting people to live and work there. The funding works in conjunction with local funding and on the basis of locally identified priorities. The programme has been effectively closed for new applications since 2009 but was reopened by Minister Ring on the 6th of October 2016.

 

ENDS