Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen reports…

Kenmare Fastest Growing town
The recently published census figures show that Kenmare is the fastest growing town in Kerry, it experienced a population growth of 9.2% between 2011-2016. The overall population of Kerry is 147,707. Interestingly Waterville and Sneem also had population increases all of which is positive for South Kerry.
Kenmare Hospital:
Following my representations I received the a reply from the HSE that Negotiations have yet to be resolved between Staff, the INMO and Management in relation to the first floor or the Kenmare Community Nursing Unit. Wards are furnished and ready to be occupied. HIQA have inspected the facility and all beds are registered with them. Upstairs is to be opened on a phased basis. Hopefully it will be opened as soon as possible.
Monthly motions:
That Kerry County Council call upon Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to rectify the anomaly of places being used for post codes and address which are not appropriate. I.e. Lauragh, Killarney or Blackwater, Killarney.
Rural Development Unit:
I have a motion before our next meeting as follows: That Kerry County please set up a dedicated Rural Development Unit.
I am asking the Council to put in place a similar unit to the one set up by Clare County Council. Thankfully more funding is flowing into rural areas through initiatives such as the Town & Village Renewal Scheme, the re-introduction of Leader Funding and measures in the Action Plan for Rural Ireland are being implemented. However much more needs to be done and it would be best to have a section of the Council dealing with Rural Development issues only. Pat Spillane the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas
(CEDRA ) Rural Ambassador has been of great assistance to Communities fighting rural decline.
Shortage of chefs and catering staff:
I have contacted the Minister of State at the Department of Transport Tourism & Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD requesting that incentives to be put in place to entice more chefs and catering staff. The Industry also needs to make it more attractive for people to take up such jobs.
Macroom bye-pass:
Fencing works on the N22 Baile Bhuirne Macroom Project are now underway. On completion, the upgraded N22 will bypass both Macroom and Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera. The Fencing Contract is the first part of a Programme of Advance Works. The Advance Works will also include an archaeological assessment of the entire route and this will get underway in the next 2-3 weeks. Ground Investigation Works started after Easter and it is hoped to progress a significant diversion of ESB overhead lines at the western end of the Scheme towards the end of this summer.
The Advance Works are being carried out in anticipation of future funding for the Main Works and the expectation is that the Advance Works will be completed by Quarter 1 2018.
Fine Gael leadership contest:
When Enda Kenny decides to step down as party leader, the leadership contest will take approximately 3 weeks with 4 regional meetings throughout the Country addressed by both contender’s Minister Leo Varadkar TD and Minister Simon Coveney TD. The Parliamentary Party will have the majority of votes however Councillors and members will also have votes. Transport will be organised for members for the regional meeting, the closest for us I presume will be Cork. Voting will take place on a separate day. Although I believe either Leo or Simon would be excellent as leader and Taoiseach, I will be backing Leo Varadkar. In my opinion Leo is exceptionally intelligent, hardworking and honest, he has a good track record in improving the lives of ordinary people. He would be one of the youngest leaders of a Country in the world. Also a Dublin based leader of any political party is a big advantage especially as none of the other leaders of the large political parties are based in Dublin. On a personal level I have known Leo since we both started out in Young Fine Gael when we were 17. He has often visited Kenmare and different parts of Kerry. He has assisted me with representations I made to him when he was Minister for Health, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport. When he was Minister for Transport he allocated the funding for the Bye pass, Kenmare and for the road improvements in Sneem Village and Bonane.
Political Team:
I work with Political representatives of all sides for the good of the area and I am part of a team of 9 on Kerry County Council, my other Fine Gael Colleagues whom I work closely with can be contacted as follows:
Deputy Brendan Griffin TD 066 9795666
MEP Sean Kelly 061 468788
Clinics: Available most evenings at 5 Main Street, Kenmare or I can meet people after work in Kenmare, Kilgarvan, Tuosist, Lauragh, Sneem, Tahilla, Blackwater, Templenoe, Bonane. I also have clinics throughout South and Mid Kerry on a monthly basis.
Cllr Patrick O’Connor-Scarteen
087 2904325