Proposed Plebiscite on the Office of Directly Elected Mayor for the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Copied below is the letter from Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the proposed plebiscite on the office of Directly Elected Mayor for the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

The proposed plebiscite is not to decide for or against a directly elected mayor for Dublin but rather for a particular type of directly elected mayor with specific powers and responsibilities based on a resolution and statement. The Minister has not included any costings on the office of mayor, the cabinet or the assembly which would be added on top of an already expanding, costly and unwieldy local government system in our capital city and county.


HSE and Dublin Local Authorities Announce Review of Ambulance Service

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The HSE and the Dublin local Authorities have jointly commissioned a review of the current arrangements for the provision of emergency ambulance service operated by Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) in the Dublin City and County area.

The review will be conducted by;

· Mr Martin Flaherty, OBE, Managing Director, Associate of Ambulance Chief Executives, London
· Mr Derek Brady, former Deputy City Manager, Dublin City Council and County Manager, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

The review will compare the DFB service with that provided by the NAS and will examine the current arrangements for the provision of the emergency ambulance service in the Dublin Area. The review will be focussed on indentifying the optimal model for the provision of emergency ambulance services and patient care taking account of quality, patient safety and value for money.

The Review team will invite submissions for key stakeholders and it is anticipated that the review will be completed by mid 2014.


Pyrite Remediation Scheme Launched

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Minister Hogan yesterday welcomed the publication of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme and the announcement by the Board that its online application system will begin to accept applications from homeowners affected by pyritic damage from 26 February 2014.

· From the middle of next week affected homeowners will be able to submit applications under the scheme
· All homeowners who have registered an interest on the Pyrite Resolution Board’s website will be notified when the application system goes live.


Public consultation on credit unions

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Noonan T.D. yesterday announced the commencement of a public consultation process in advance of the introduction of a levy on credit unions to fund the provision of stabilisation support.

The levy was recommended in the agreed report of the Commission on Credit Unions and has been provided for in the Credit Union and Co-Operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012.
The Act enables the Minister for Finance to provide stabilisation support to a credit union where it has been approved by the Central Bank. 

The Central Bank can only approve the provision of stabilisation support to a credit union if

· the credit union’s regulatory reserve is equal to or greater than 7.5% of the total assets of the credit union.
· the credit union is in the opinion of the Central Bank viable as a credit union.
· the Credit Union Fund contains funds for the provision of stabilisation support. · 

The consultation period will last until 25 April 2014. Interested parties are invited to make submissions by email 


Working group report on citizen engagement with local government is published

Monday, March 3, 2014

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, T.D. today  published the report of the working group on citizen engagement with local government, which makes recommendations on extensive input by citizens into the decision-making process at local government level.

The Working Group, which was set up in September 2013 under the chairmanship of Fr. Sean Healy proposes a mechanism to enable the community and voluntary and environmental sectors to take an active formal role in the policy making and oversight activities of the Local Authority.


Summary of New Building Control Regulations

How will the new system work?
Building Control Regulations require:
· Submission of compliance drawings and documentation to local authorities;
· Development of an inspection plan by an Assigned Certifier, who can be a registered architect, engineer or building surveyor;
· Signing of mandatory certificates of compliance by the designer prior to construction and by the Assigned Certifier and the Builder when a building is complete.

Local authorities in their oversight role, will now take a more practical risk-based approach to inspections. Given the incidences of serious failures in relation to apartment blocks in particular, they will be expected to prioritise compliance in relation to this category of buildings in future.


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