Public lighting now being considered ‘public amenity’
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It’s a sign of the times. Even with members being told repeatedly at the Fermoy Electoral Area committee this week that Cork County Council has no money for various road repairs, public lighting and other works they were requesting, it came as a surprise when the area engineer suggested that people seeking public lighting should apply under the amenity grant scheme for the money for them.
Funding under the scheme is usually availed of by community clubs and groups, residents associations and the like to provide public amenities and facilities.
“We give out amenity grants, what greater amenity is there than public lights in communities?” the engineer, Brendan O’Gorman said. His comment was made during a discussion about the need for public lighting at Clondulane national school and surrounding housing areas.
Cllr Noel McCarthy had tabled a motion calling for the lighting to be done. He said school staff are concerned at how dark it is there. He asked if they could get a costing at least. He was told the estate lights in the vicinity of the school hadn’t been taken in charge and so are not the responsibility of Cork County Council. As for public lighting near the school gate, Cllr McCarthy was told there was merit in placing an additional light there and ESB poles opposite the school could possibly be used. However, there is no funding for new lights. The written reply to the request, from Brian Burke of the Management and Development section of the roads department of the county council, ended by stating: “The public lighting office is constantly receiving requests for new lights in spite of the absence of funding.”
Cllr Frank O’Flynn felt the engineer’s idea that an application be made for the lights to be funded from the amenity grants scheme was a good one and he proposed that this be done. Michael Cremin, senior executive officer with the county council suggested that the chairman of the school’s board of management apply for an amenity grant.
Cllr McCarthy had another public lighting request. This time it was for a cul-de-sac in Ballynoe, Kildorrery which, he said, had five houses on it, two of which were occuped. The absence of public lighting made security and safety an issue for two residents there. He’d been refused when he made the request for public lighting two years ago. Despite having his motion supported by Cllr Frank O’Flynn he was again told there was no funding. The engineer suggested that people could put in additional lighting themselves.
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