Waterford PPN Metropolitan Plenary meeting 18th May 2017
The Viking Ramada Hotel, Waterford
A well attended meeting; good LAWCO presentation and PPN updates on JPC/CSNs, Greenway, Age Friendly Network, FLAG and Environment working group; various action points to be followed up.
Meeting (facilitated by John Hawkes, PPN Programmes Coordinator) opened with introductions of PPN Metropolitan Secretariat representatives – Alan Walshe (Waterford City East), Mary Foley O’Hanlon (Tramore – Waterford City West) and Nathaniel Ademoye (Waterford City South) and was followed by a well received presentation by Sheevaun Thompson (Local Authority Waters and Communities). The presentation focused on potential areas of funding which generated much interest. Copies of the presentation are available.
Ray McGrath (Environment Network FLAG rep and member of the PPN Environment working group) spoke briefly about the work of the FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) and praised the contribution of Donal O’Brien (PPN FLAG rep); Ray also covered the work of the Environment working group and the plans for a linkage group meeting. The focus was lobbying on national issues such as hedge cutting schedules on the impact of (for instance) bees and more local issues such as the Japanese Knotweed invasion. Donal Murphy made the point that Ragwort was probably more of an issue than knotweed – Ray promised to add this to the list of issues. Eddie Mulligan highlighted the work the Council are already doing to combat knotweed.
Mary Foley O’Hanlon spoke about the Greenway highlighting what an excellent resource it was for Waterford. There had however been virtually no engagement with the PPN and the elected reps were wondering what they were elected to or for. A meeting was planned with the Council for 25 May to hopefully clarify what was wanted from the PPN (if anything). There was also talk of a full Greenway Community Involvement Group meeting but again no idea whether this included the PPN. Lack of communication appears to be the problem.
John Devlin updated the meeting on progress with the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) and Community Safety Networks (CSNs) highlighting how well the JPC reps were working as a team which reflected in how much more successful the PPN were in getting issues on the JPC agenda etc.
Noreen McGrath discussed the PPN’s role on the Age Friendly Alliance – Strategy approved, concerns about implementation (and the lack of capacity); Strategy likely to be launched in September (although hopefully earlier). Noreen also spoke (in her roles as Inner City Residents Group) about the concerns about the Council’s temporary traffic management plans – development of the Apple Market etc. Concerns again about the Council’s lack of consultation/communication. The meeting shared these concerns – the problem’s not going away. There is a public meeting on 31st May which PPN groups who are City based are encouraged to attend.
John Hawkes touched on a vacancy as a PPN rep on the Sports Partnership, the Purple Flag (information leaflets were available), probable PPN elections next year, make sure people received the monthly newsletter, the results of the Training Needs Analysis (and next steps). Nathaniel mentioned the Africa Day celebrations on 25 May.
Any Other Business: Lynda O’Shea highlighted the cost of insurance for community groups; it remains an issue and something which the PPN nationally is pursing – we should keep the pressure on.
Michael Gallagher (The Moorings Residents Association) raised the issue the River Walk along the Suir (this has been an issues for quite a few years). Alan Walshe suggested that Michael might like to give brief presentation on this to the Environment SPC – Alan and Michael to pursue. Eddie Mulligan thought that once the Greenway was properly up and running the Council would turn its’ attention to the River Walk – next 18 – 24 months perhaps.
The meeting closed just after 2130
Anyone seeking further information/expansion etc for any of these issues should contact John Hawkes.