Bray Municipal District Council’s November meeting had several notice of motions items on the agenda on Tuesday, November 8 that were deferred due to time constraints, including calls for more staff to help with homelessness, a meeting with bus providers TFI and Go Ahead and improvements to two car parks.
The councillors and Bray’s district administration team agreed to address the motions in writing the following day.
It was Cllr Rory O’Connor who proposed a TFI and Go Ahead Ireland representative be called to meet the elected members to give a presentation about bus services, in light of well-publicised issues.
The response from Bray District Administrator Linda Healy stated: “If the members agree I can issue an invitation to TFI and Go Ahead Ireland. Agreement received to issue invitation to TFI and Go Ahead Ireland to attend a future BMD Meeting.”
Cllr O’Connor also submitted a motion regarding bee bus stops – a bus stop with a roof that contains bee-friendly flowers. He called for Bray to be home to Wicklow’s first bee bus stop, and was informed that there are three bee bus stops planned in Bray.
However, these will take time as it is likely installation will only be considered for new shelters or where shelters need replacing.
Councillors Grace McManus and Dermot O’Brien sought to have the district recognise “the severe demand on our homeless team and all who work in housing in Wicklow County Council.”
Their motion proposed a review is done “to ensure there is sufficient staffing in homeless services, including HAP support, to meet current and projected demand and to protect staff well-being.”
The response: “Homeless services is provided on a county wide basis, in addition to specialised housing staff there are a number of supporting teams i.e. allocations, homeless HAP and HAP general among others.
"While it is accepted that housing in general and homelessness in particular deals with challenging cases on a day to day basis in addition to a heavy workload this is reviewed on a regular basis. Whereas at times it may not be possible to allocate extra staff, outside specialised bodies (i.e. specialised approved housing bodies) have been recruited and assist when applicable.”
A second motion from Cllr McManus requested that Wicklow County Council explores the potential and possibility of providing a trauma informed HAP place finding and housing support, and advice service in Bray, to be provided by additional Council housing staff.
The Council wrote that “this matter will be examined in the context of the upcoming budget” and asked Cllr McManus to explain her understanding of trauma-informed HAP.
Councillor Melanie Corrigan was told that the cost of completing a new car park in Kilmacanogue Village has been estimated at €70,000 for 32 parking spaces (including two disabled), after explaining in her motion that the car park is being relied on by parents of the school, the church and regular walkers.
He motion asked: “That this Municipal District seeks funding to complete the car park in Kilmacanogue Village, to full Tarmac and properly mark out spaces, including disability space, and for the provision of EV charging points for this area. This car park is being relied on by the parents of the school, by the church and by regular walkers to the area, and valuable space is being lost by haphazard parking as there is no clear delineation of spaces.”
The Herbert Road car park was the focus of Cllr Joe Behan's motions, with calls for electric vehicle (EV) charging to be installed, along with widening of the entrance and the planting of a dividing hedge along the boundary wall between the Herbert Road and the car park.
He was told in a written response that “Suitable hedging options will be costed, but no funding has been allocated for the installation EV charging points.
"However, there is an EV installer interested in installing and operating both fast DC and AV chargers in the car park.” A meeting was set to take place last Friday to discuss.
There are also plans to install bollards and lining to confine motorists to a width of 5.5m. Further measures, including the realigning of the roadway and widening of the footpath to the east of the entrance and changing the surface treatment of the path at the entrance are being considered. The outcome of the planned safety audit will be considered before developing further.
Cllr Behan also motioned that the Municipal District complies with the Part VIII commitment to place two on-street car park spaces on Herbert Road south side adjacent to Herbert Road car park.
The response: “As the Herbert Road car park is currently under-utilised, there is no need to provide additional on-street parking outside the car park at this time. As the road is narrow on-street parking would interrupt the movement of traffic and may be an unjustified increased risk to traffic safety.”