Local Minister Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed the opening of public consultation on the primary legislation needed to establish a new Office of a National Food Ombudsman or Regulator.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “Government have given a clear commitment to establish a National Food Ombudsman as a matter of priority. I know this will be of major benefit to many of our food producers here in North County Dublin.
“As a Senator I submitted amendments to the 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Bill seeking the establishment of an Ombudsman to oversee fairness and transparency in the agri-food industry.
“A fair return for primary producers is pivotal to the long-term survival of the industry. I want food producers here in Dublin Fingal to be protected. We do need to ensure fairness, equity and transparency in the agricultural and food supply chain and the establishment of the new Ombudsman or Regulator is an important step towards achieving that.
“The outcome of this public consultation will help to determine the principles and policies to be included in the new legislation and the powers to be assigned to the new Office. I encourage all stakeholders to participate in the consultation,” he concluded.
Notes to Editor: The consultation can be found at gov.ie - Public Consultation by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine on the functions to be assigned to a new Office (National Food Ombudsman/Regulator)/Equivalent (www.gov.ie) and at ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/NationalFoodOmbudsmanorRegulatorConsultation2021 and will be open until Wednesday 26 May 2021.
-€140,000 for Guinness 'Silver' Bridge Strawberry Beds in 2021 & 2022-
-€30,000 for Carnegie Free Library, North Street, Swords-
-€25,000 for St George's School & Schoolhouse, Balbriggan-
-€20,000 for Rowlestown House, Swords-
Local Minister Darragh O’Brien TD has announced funding of €215,000 for Built Heritage Projects in Fingal.
Under the Historic Structures Fund, €30,000 has been allocated by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to Fingal County Council for Carnegie Free Library in Swords, €25,000 for St George's School & Schoolhouse, in Balbriggan and €20,000 for Rowlestown House in Swords.
€140,000 has been allocated to Fingal County Council for Guinness 'Silver' Bridge also known as Farmleigh Bridge for 2021 and 2022.
This funding will assist Fingal County Council as they carry out a range of conservation projects to repair and safeguard these historic and protected structures.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “These schemes help to safeguard our rich built heritage, keeping many buildings in use and helping to bring many others back into use. They help us to preserve our connections to past generations, something I believe is very important.
“The awards announced today also have a welcome knock-on economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country. These allocations come as we have just announced a full return to construction but all funded works under the scheme must, of course, be carried out in full compliance with Government/HSE guidance on Covid-19.
“Budget 2021 set aside €95.5m in heritage funding - an increase of 51% on 2020. I think this demonstrates clearly the seriousness with which we treat our heritage,” he concluded,
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD, has confirmed that over €10m in Serviced Site Funding has been approved in principle for the delivery of 238 affordable purchase homes at Ballymastone in Donabate North County Dublin.
This funding is in addition to the €10.6 million previously provided to Fingal County Council through the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) for the construction of the Donabate Distributor Road.
The objective of the Serviced Sites Fund is to support local authorities in the provision of key enabling infrastructure on their land, to get the sites ready for the delivery of affordable housing.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “Following on from the positive news last month that a preferred bidder had been selected for the development of approximately 1,200 homes in Ballymastone in Donabate, I am delighted to confirm that my Department has given approval in principle to Fingal County Council for €10,478,400 in Serviced Site Funding.
“This funding will ultimately result in 238 homes being available for purchase at rates which are significantly discounted. Fingal County Council has previously indicated its intention that the affordable homes will be priced between €250,000 and €270,000 and I believe this will be warmly welcomed by many first-time buyers.
“From the outset, the vision for this project included the provision of high quality homes, with a range of house sizes, types and tenure to meet a variety of household needs and to promote balanced communities with accessible community and recreation facilities. Donabate is a beautiful seaside village with so much to offer new residents.
“I’ve worked closely with the local representatives in the area and want to thank them, and indeed Fingal County Council for their work and determination in progressing this site,” he concluded.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the support of regulations to assist restaurants and cafés at the Oireachtas Committee today.
The two sets of regulations which received cross party support include the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2021, which concerns planning exemptions for restaurants to operate as takeaways for the remainder of 2021, and the Planning and Development (Street Furniture Fees) Regulations 2021 which waive the section 254 street furniture license fees for the remainder of 2021 for tables and chairs associated with outdoor dining.
A third set of Regulations, which do not require the approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas, are being progressed simultaneously and provide for the erection of awnings, coverings and other similar apparatus for outdoor dining to be a licenced activity under section 254 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, when it is linked with a street furniture licence for tables and chairs under that section.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “We are all aware that the hospitality and restaurant sector, and indeed the wider tourism sector, have suffered the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, both this year and last year. They have been the subject of both temporary closure of business for considerable periods of time as well as other restrictions which have taken a massive toll.
“We know this summer will see a lot of outdoor dining and these regulations will offer some respite to businesses who otherwise would pay significant street furniture licence fees and have to make planning applications for coverings and awnings.
“Government are committed to providing necessary supports to assist these sectors as much as is possible with a view to facilitating their recovery as the current restrictions are eased and eventually lifted over the coming summer months,” he concluded.