Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 Docklands Business Awards

Government Chief Whip celebrates accomplishments of Dublin Docklands Business Community

Chief Whip Regina Doherty at the Dublin Docklands Business Awards

Meath East Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has joined the Docklands Business Forum in recognising and celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of the area’s business community.

The Meath based Minister said “I was delighted to speak this evening at the Docklands Business Forum’s awards ceremony which has recognised an impressive scope of achievements, ranging from excellence in innovation, lifestyle, local business and responsible business.

“These awards do not only demonstrate the community activity evident in the Dockland area but also displays to the wider national and international audience the level of vibrancy and economic activity that inhabits this area of Dublin.

“Despite living in Meath for over twenty years, as a Dublin native, I know that this part of the city was not always the shining example of city living and business activity that it is today. This area of the Dublin docks had for centuries been the hub around which the commercial life of the city revolved. The great, Gandon designed, Customs House was built as a gateway to dockland Dublin, and one of the many fine buildings dotted around Dublin which stand as examples set in stone of the ambition and optimism with which Georgian Dublin viewed its future.

“The members of the Dockland Business Forum are the inheritors of the ambitions of the past, both ancient and recent, for this area and this city. Chairman Michael Noel Harte, CEO Alan Robinson with the staff and members of the Docklands Business Forum are providing the leadership, hard work and vision for the future which is essential for this area to not just survive but thrive in the current economic climate.

“I know that the Forum is looking towards the future and how the untapped potential of the river Liffey and the wider Dublin Bay area, central to the historic function of the docklands, can be used to encourage tourism and the economic development of boating and marine activities. It is fitting that the river that was the life blood of the economy of the docklands in the past now has the potential to again contribute to the economic growth of this area in a different and innovative way. I wish those involved in developing that potential well.”

Concluding, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State, Regina Doherty said “It would be naive not to accept that the economic crisis of the last decade had a significant impact upon those working and living in the Docklands area. Like every part of our country the business people, employees and local residence in this area felt the devastating consequences of economic downturn. The businesses in the Docklands have been central to driving our economic recovery not just in Dublin but nationwide. The results of this recovery can be seen most clearly in the continuing decline in the number of people on the live register. We are now seeing the benefits of five years of focusing on job creation through initiatives such as the Action Plan for Jobs and that is thanks to the efforts of businesses such as those based in the Docklands and people such as those honoured here tonight.”

Friday, November 18, 2016

ESB Update - Ashbourne

Letter received from Seán Murphy, Manager Public Affairs, ESB

Dear Minister Doherty,

I write to brief you on the fault that occurred this morning.

At 7.15am this morning, a power outage occurred to the north of Ashbourne, with the initial loss of power to 2,915 customers.  This was quickly reduced to just under 200 customers who remained off until before 12:00 when the problem was rectified.  

This was not a transient fault, but was as a result of a line coming down in a field. ESB Networks are working to establish the root cause of this at present.
In recent months, ESB Networks has undertaken significant works to improve the quality of supply within the Ashbourne area, in particular it has implemented improvements which mitigate against transient faults and also, help to isolate and return supply to customers faster.  

Whilst this was not a transient fault, these modifications helped isolate the fault and expedited the return of supply to the majority of customers.  
ESB Networks is committed to improving the supply in this area and will be undertaking further improvements in the Ashbourne area over coming months.  

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this fault.  
Seán Murphy,
Manager Public Affairs, ESB

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme Update

Progress on low cost agriculture loan scheme is good news for Meath farmers

Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has confirmed that progress has been made on the establishment of the ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’, which she says is good news for Meath farmers.

“The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has confirmed to me that important progress has been made in the establishment of the ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’, which is very positive news for farmers in Meath. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has now invited banks and other lenders to take part in the new loan scheme that will make €150 million available to primary agriculture SMEs, including farmers. It is hoped that loans will be available through the participating financial institutions early in 2017. Minister Creed has spoken to the main banks and urged them to participate.

“Under the scheme, farmers will be able to borrow up €150,000 for up to six years, at a low cost interest rate of 2.95%, which is far cheaper than the rate they would get if they pursued other forms of finance. The loans will also be flexible, with interest only facilities of up to three years.

“The long period of lower commodity prices has had a real impact on the cashflow of many farmers here in Meath and this low cost loan scheme is going to be hugely beneficial to them in mitigating that. The whole idea of this scheme is to help farmers improve the management of their cashflow and reduce the cost of their short-term borrowings. 

“Fine Gael is working to ensure that the economic progress we have made in Government is used to benefit everyone in society. This means prioritising our agri-food sector and supporting farmers to face the challenges caused by price volatility, particularly in light of the Brexit vote.

“The ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’ forms part of Minister Creed’s ‘three pillar strategy’ in response to income volatility, announced in the recent Budget.  Along with tax measures and farm payments, it will alleviate some of the pressures being caused by the current market difficulties, including currency fluctuation in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

“We are determined to support farmers here in Meath to improve their working capital position and provide them with longer-term financial stability”.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Meath Towns and Villages to benefit from €380,000 under Renewal Scheme

Minister Regina Doherty TD
Government Chief Whip
Meath East

4th November 2016
Meath Towns and Villages to benefit from €380,000 under Renewal Scheme – Doherty

Meath East Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has said that towns and villages in Meath are to benefit from funding under the €10m Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

“My colleague, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, has today (Friday) announced that 172 towns and villages across the country are set to benefit from €10 million in funding under the 2016 Town and Village Renewal Scheme. 

“The delivery of an enhanced Town and Village Scheme in time for Budget 2017 was a commitment in the Programme for A Partnership Government. Under Budget 2017, Minister Humphreys also announced that she has secured increased funding for the scheme for 2017, when €12 million will be made available to towns and villages in Meath and across the country. 

“The funding awarded to towns and villages in Meath is being used for a wide variety of projects, identified by Meath County Council, in conjunction with local community groups and businesses in Meath. These include improving playgrounds and footpaths, tourism amenities, public art pieces and a wide range of works to improve the streetscape and public realm of towns and villages nationwide, to help make towns and villages in Meath more attractive and more sustainable places in which to live and work.

The following local projects are to receive funding:
    - Duleek - €63,300 for Streetscape and Traffic management
    - Dunshaughlin - €31,450 for footpaths
    - Ratoath - €31,450 for Signage, road surfacing and footpaths
    - Skryne - €31,450 for footpaths
    - Stamullen - €31,450 for pedestrian crossings & footpaths
    - Dunderry - €63,000 for provision of footpaths
    - Enfield - €62,900 for footpaths
    - €65,000 – final project TBC with Meath County Council

“We are determined to get this funding out to rural Meath as quickly as possible. Now that the projects have been approved, work can get underway on improving Meath’s towns and villages.

“This scheme is an important part of Fine Gael’s commitment to rejuvenate and revitalise rural Ireland. We are also rolling out a range of other initiatives, including the REDZ scheme, the recently reopened CLÁR scheme and the Rural Recreation Scheme. In addition, work on the Action Plan for Rural Development is progressing well.

Rural development is a key priority for Fine Gael. Our towns and villages are the heart of our rural communities, but many of them are still recovering from the economic downturn. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is designed to help breath life back into our rural towns and villages here in Meath.”

Significant investment in Ashbourne will prevent future power outages

    Minister Regina Doherty TD
    Government Chief Whip
    Meath East

    November 2016

    Significant investment in Ashbourne will prevent future power outages - Doherty

    Meath East Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has said that Ashbourne is to receive significant investment which will prevent future power outages in the town following a meeting with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughton.

    The local Minister said “We have recorded a total of 25 power outages in Ashbourne town throughout the summer months of June, July and August, which is the known peak time for outages nationally throughout the calendar year. Hundreds of Ashbourne based businesses and residents were affected as a result of this high occurrence of power outages. 

    “I have been working closely alongside local Councillor Alan Tobin with the key stakeholders affected by these power outages including business owners, residents and the Ashbourne Chamber with a view to collecting information as to how the intermittent supply of power to Ashbourne has been affecting people’s daily lives. 

    “I subsequently arranged a meeting with Minister Denis Naughton and invited his Department Officials and representatives from the ESB with a view to establishing a solution for Ashbourne and eliminating such high instances of power outages in our town. 

    “Both the Department and the ESB were incredibly co-operative and accommodating as to the concerns presented to them at our meeting in Government Buildings yesterday. Minister Naughton and his delegation presented us with a number of reasons identified as the cause of our outages and the solution and investment which is already underway with a view to eliminating future power cuts in the town.

    “The nuts and bolts of this solution will see a separation of supply between rural and urban Ashbourne to allow for greater continuity on the basis of needs of a particular demographic.  

    “Some of the 25 outages were due to lightening, others due to bird strikes, whatever the reason there is no doubt about it – this issue can be rectified and will be. 

    “I await a complete breakdown from the ESB as to the investment in our local critical infrastructure, however, Ashbourne is without doubt a priority for the Department and the ESB with on the ground works and network amendments to be completed no later than the second quarter of 2017. Without the provision of a long-term solution for Ashbourne’s power supply issues will see hefty regulatory fines placed on ESB which I know they are keen to avoid. 

    “Many of the technical and infrastructural solutions currently in progress by the ESB could be implemented much sooner, however, due consideration must be given local landowners to allow for seasonal tillage and construction projects.”

    Concluding, Minister Doherty said “I will circulate the specifics of the solution for continuity of power supply for Ashbourne as soon as I have received them from the Department. I look forward to next summer when these works will be completed and we will see a noted reduction in power outages during its peak season. This is a priority for the Minister, his Department and the ESB and I will continue to make representations to all bodies until we see this solution through to its fruition.”