THE NEGLECTED beach area of Balbriggan has again become the focus of Balbriggan Town Council who want Fingal County Council to address the problem area as a priority for the town.
Cllr Gráinne Maguire (NP) proposed a motion at this months meeting of the town council calling on Fingal County Council to 'immediately start work on the town car park on Quay Street with a view to landscaping the area, taking out the path and cleaning the river in the interest of using this area to attract tourists and encourage local people to enjoy the facilities of the beach area'. But she was disappointed with the council's answer, which explained: ' There are no current plans to extinguish the pedestrian link from the car park to the beach. 'If the area is to be redeveloped as a civic space to meet the criteria of attracting tourists and local people, a plan meeting clearly defined objectives will be required. 'A consultation process with stakeholders should feed into the design and layout of the facilities to attract tourists and local people such as seating, paving, additional planting, events area, built features etc. ' This process should be led by the Parks and Heritage Properties Division as it is they who have responsibility for the strategic development of parks and public open space.' The council added: ' The operations department has scheduled the pruning of the shrubs along the river and public footpath as part of our winter pruning schedule. The area is subject to scheduled visits from the Litter crews and regular clean ups of the river are also carried out as resources allow.' Cllr Maguire said that the town council needed to take control of this issue and meet with the parks division of Fingal County Council and put a plan together for the area. She said she was ' tired of Fingal saying no all the time and the blame coming back on us'. Cllr Terry Kelleher (SP) agreed and said there was a feeling in the town that Fingal County Councils 'don't care' about the beach and harbour area. Cllr Monica Harford (Lab) said if there was no money in the council budget to tackle the issue this year then it should be set as a priority for funding next year by the local authority. Cllr Gráinne Kilmurray (Lab) said the beach ' seems to be a very neglected area' while Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Town Council, Cllr Larry Dunne (FG) said that there was a ' deep sense of frustration' that the issue wasn't being tackled.