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Councillor Lombard: “We Need Long-Term Plan For Our Villages”

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Village and rural areas in the Carrigaline LEA need to be looked at with a long-term strategy in mind, according to Councillor Aidan Lombard (FG). The comments were made at July’s Municipal District meeting in County Hall, the second since the newly formed Carrigaline LEA came into fruition following the 2019 Local Elections.

Speaking from his experience sitting on the Bandon-Kinsale district from 2016 up until May this year, Cllr Lombard said that when it came to the Village Enhancement Scheme it was often the case that Bandon and Kinsale dominated the conversation.

He went on to say, “traditionally over the years in the Bandon-Kinsale MD, the Village Enhancement Scheme didn’t always run that smoothly and we felt that we needed to pick the village that we picked early on so that we had time to meet up with communities to see what they wanted and to see where things were.”

Speaking specifically about an update on Halfway village, which is due to benefit from the scheme, he went on to say, “I’m a small bit concerned that even though we picked it (Halfway Village) a year ago, that the community doesn’t know where it’s going or what it’s going to be.”

As a result of his trepidation, Councillor Lombard further to that point reiterated his belief that the Council needs to make a long-term plan for some of its villages. Speaking about Ballinhassig he said that village enhancement was crucial for even establishing badly needed footpaths and pedestrian crossings, and also for the likes of Minane Bridge, who Cllr Lombard is demanding needs an urgent path connected to the local primary school.

“I don’t even know if this is a motion or just a longer conversation that needs to be had about what we do need in our villages and what are the key things.” In support was Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF), who said that based on his experience from driving through Ballinhassig that “it is striking that there aren’t any traffic calming measures or pedestrian crossings and it is a place that has been overlooked badly”. 

Councillor Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) also commended his rural colleague for his motion and said that it was a constant issue brought up on the doors. In response, outgoing Senior Executive Officer, Jim Molloysaid that the Council would ensure that they would deliver for Halfway and agreed that it was perhaps worthwhile to look at the other villages in the area as suggested. 

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