South Dublin County Council

Annual Budget 2008

ROGRAMME GROUP 6 – RECREATION AND AMENITY

TABLE 1/2 : Expenditure/Income by Programme and Sub-Programme

chart showing income and expenditure for 1999-2008 in Programme Group 6

Libraries

South Dublin County Libraries aim to provide a space that can be used by all and a progressive, community-based public library service to all who live, work or study in South Dublin County.  The public library service is an important focal point at the heart of the local community and aims to be pro-active in addressing its ‘quality of life’ needs, particularly in the areas of information, culture and heritage, literature and lifelong learning.  Improvements have been made both to the library buildings and the ICT provision to enable access for all.  In keeping with this theme the core services of the library are provided free to all our users.

Key Indicators 2006

Number of Libraries   7

Number of Mobile Libraries  4

Number of Visitors      980,142

Number of Items Borrowed      986,054

New Items added to Bookstock    83,161

Number of Events/Exhibitions       2,044

Number of Internet Sessions     64,076

Schools Library Service      96 Schools

The libraries budget for 2008 will be used to carry out the following in keeping with the aims of the Corporate Plan, ‘Towards 2016’ and the recently adopted Library Development Plan 2007 – 2011.

Works on the major expansion and enhancement of the County Library are nearing completion. Plans are also being advanced for the extension of Ballyroan Library.

Further investigative works are continuing on the provision of a Digital Hub/Virtual Library in the palmerston area and plans for a similar facility are also being advanced in the North Clondalkin area.

Access (Physical)

- Continue the work in the area of equality of access.  In the past year ramps have been installed in Whitechurch and Clondalkin Libraries. 

- Expand the housebound service to more areas of the county.

- Improve signage throughout the library service taking the needs of all citizens into consideration.

- The newly extended and refurbished County Library will provide state of the art access to library services.

Children

- Promote reading schemes for children including the setting up of a Family Literacy Project.

- Design a new website for children that will include fun activities, what’s on and links to useful sites.

- Continue to develop children’s services in areas such as the layout of junior libraries, access, class visits and collections.

- Set up a Traveller Children’s Reading Project.

ICT / Access

- Expand the e-book service that was introduced in 2007.

- Improve the libraries ICT provision including the website and library management system to provide a better service.

- The website will have around 125,000 hits in 2007.

- Install more assistive technology to allow access for all users.

- Enhance digital library services.  There will be an increasing emphasis on ICT to reflect the many benefits that this can bring to the area of assistive technology and access in general as well as providing an efficient customer based service.

- The extended and refurbished County Library will enable the libraries to increase the amount of ICT available to the public.

Information and Promotion

- The Library will provide a gateway for e-government.

- There will be an extensive programme of ICT skills training provided to members of the public focusing on the new ICT training area in the County Library.

- An Expansion of the Short Messaging Service currently in use by the mobile libraries to the branch libraries to alert borrowers to upcoming events.

Local Studies and Heritage

  • The libraries will continue to publish and purchase items of work that document and preserve the county’s heritage.
  • Develop a GIS based heritage map.
  • Enhance and promote the libraries Local Studies collection.
  • Organise events based around the Local Studies collection culminating in History and Heritage month.

Multicultural Provision

  • Provide a range of multicultural materials and events to users and target their needs through drawing up of community profiles and surveying existing users.
  • Organise events that reflect the diverse cultures in the county such as FUSED.
  • Promote Irish classes and culture such as the annual Seachtain Na Gaeilge festival.

Marketing

  • The libraries will implement a marketing plan focusing on branding the service and the county.
  • The libraries budget in the marketing / advertising area has been enhanced to reflect the need to increase public awareness of the library service especially in light of the extended County Library.

It is proposed to further develop the concept of a Children’s Museum in the coming year.  A feasability study for the establishment of a County Museum will also be initiated.

Parks, Open Spaces and Recreational Facilities

Parks Improvement Schemes

During 2007, a significant number of pro-social behaviour improvement schemes were undertaken in parks and open spaces throughout the County.  These were financed by development levies, sports capital, RAPID programmes, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government grants and the revenue budget for specific Parks Works Improvement Schemes.  These works included the following:

Corkagh Park, Clondalkin
  • Surfacing and extension of pathways, tree planting.
  • Installation of vehicular speed ramps along the Oak Avenue.
  • Additional car-parking and paths being provided from the Outer Ring Road to the fisheries and the football pitches.
  • Upgrading of the rose garden and its entrance, including the installation of a cast iron pergola image.
  • Improved accessibility by the installation of new signage at the entrances, at the playground and K Barriers to allow greater accessibility.
  • iWalk and video download for those who wish to visit the park and be informed of the various aspects of the park.
Aylesbury Park
  • Boundary treatment works completed at the Church Grove side of Park.
  • Tree planting and shrub planting enhancement works carried out.
  • Path improvements works and the installation of K Barriers to increase accessibility to the park.
Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght
  • Improved accessibility by the installation of a new park sign at main entrance, upgrading of footpaths and bridges.
  • The installation of seating and litter bins for users of Sean Walsh Park Phase II.
Killinarden Park, Tallaght
  • Improvement of pitches and boundary walls.
  • Construction of footpath link between the park and Killinarden Community Centre and landscaping of areas damaged by vehicle incursions.
  • Painting of the park’s boundary railings.
  • Footpath improvement works as part of the NDS programme.
  • Boundary improvement works at Donomore Park by the installation of a new stone wall and railing.
Rathcoole Park
  • Painting of railings along Fitzmaurice Road.
Kiltalown Park, Tallaght
  • Tree planting funded by RAPID funds.
  • New Children’s Playground and Youth Shelter.
Butler McGee Park
  • Construction of two new football pitches.
  • Installation of K Barriers to reduce access by
  • unauthorised vehicles and increase access for those using wheeled apparatus such as wheelchairs and buggies.
  • Drainage of  No. 1 Soccer Pitch.
Tymon Park, Tallaght
  • Fountains were installed and new public toilet facilities provided at the lake area at Willington.
  • Entrance from Tymon North Road was upgraded with new planting, replacement of boundary railings and hard landscape treatment.
  • First phase of upgrading of car park at Limekiln Road entrance including new layout, drainage and surfacing.
  • Visitor Centre was officially opened on June 28th, 2007 with an exhibition of wildlife photographs.
  • Allotment site developed in conjunction with the Council’s Development Department catering for 13 allotment holders and incorporating a schools plot which is tended by St. Joseph’s School and used to conduct environmental workshops for teachers.
  • New park signs installed at Tymon North and Willington entrances.
Bancroft Park, Tallaght
  • Upgrading of boundary comprising new wall and railing at entrance from Bancroft Crescent
Dodder Valley Park
  • Anti-cycle gates installed at entrances in the Oldbawn area.
  • A new boundary wall and railing incorporating a formal vehicular and pedestrian entrance to the newly developed parklands at Firhouse was provided as part of the Firhouse Road Improvement Scheme.
Greenhills Park
  • Entrance upgrade completed.
Improvement Works Open Spaces
  • Pedestrian pathway improvements carried out at open spaces in Cremorne, Brookvale Downs, Cypress Downs, Boden Park, Hillside Park, Tamarisk View, Tymon Park and Wilderwood Grove.
Ashfield Avenue
  • Public lighting has been installed along pedestrian route.
Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan
  • The Skate Park was enhanced by the addition of an organised Graffiti event organised with the skateboarders.
  • 4.2 km of new footpaths and cycleways were completed.
  • Improvement works to the Haydens Lane car park commenced.
  • Facilitated construction of new all weather hockey pitch for Weston Hockey Club which was officially opened in July.
Ballyowen Park
  • New headquarters building and changing rooms opened by South Dublin Football League (SDFL).
  • Also one pitch drained.
Glenaulin Park, palmerston
  • A Sli na Slainte route was officially launched in May 2007 connecting South Dublin and Dublin City in a joint project.
palmerston Village
  • Landscape upgrading of the entrance to the village
  • palmerston Village Master plan
  • pre plan consultation with residents was held and a Master plan design is currently under preparation for advancement to the Part 8 phase.
Liffey Valley, Waterstown Park
  • A new car park is currently being constructed in conjunction with Stewarts Hospital.
  • Construction of a new boundary wall between Riversdale Estate and Waterstown Park in conjunction with local residents.
  • An Ecology Study and Report was prepared for the park and which identified 18 different habitats.
Willsbrook Park
  • Installation of new toilet facilities to cater for camogie club.
St. Cuthbert’s Park, Deansrath
  • The construction of 400m of new boundary treatment along the Melrose estate side of the park which incorporates some open space in Melrose estate into St Cuthberts Park to help prevent anti-social activities in the area.
  • The construction of two 5 a side All Weather Pitches in Deansrath Community College adjacent to St. Cuthbert’s Park has commenced.
Composting Workshop  
  • Composting workshop held during EcoWeek in conjunction with Environmental Services Department.  Gardening Workshops continue to be held with Women’s Groups in Rowlagh & Bawnogue and led by staff from the Parks and Landscape Services Department.
Halloween Bonfires
  • Material removed from parks and open spaces throughout the county in cooperation with residents groups and the Gardaí and other Council Departments.
  • Supervised bonfires held in Fettercairn and Neilstown.
Christmas Trees  
  • Facilitated the collection and sustainable disposal of Christmas Trees.
Rapid Works
  • Quarry Resource Centre/shops landscaping, (Planting of trees and shrubs).
  • Planting of semi mature Oak trees in Quarryvale Park.
  • Construction of new main entrance to Collinstown Park.
  • Shancastle / Fonthill Rd eliminate unwanted paths and ASB blackspots.
  • Elimination of broken stone area at Neilstown Crescent.
  • Elimination of ASB site beside new infill housing scheme, erect bollards and reinstate grass area.
  • Elimination of ASB along the side of the Neilstown Road
  • Erect Name stone at Glenfield Estates
  • Removal of old timber bollards at Glenfield Estates.
Arboricultural  Programme 2007/08 Bulbs, Corms and Bedding
  • 9,411 Trees and Shrubs planted.
  • 158,650 Bulbs & Corms.
  • 46,240 Spring Bedding.
  • 62,270 Summer Bedding.

In 2008, it is intended to continue improvement works in parks and open spaces with funding from development levies, Sports Capital Funding, RAPID Schemes, DOEHLG and the revenue budget.  This funding will be used for the following projects:

- palmerston Village Master plan and Phase 1 Upgrading

- Grange Castle Golf Course extension to a 27-hole course.

- Collinstown Park – Construction of a pavilion in the grounds of Collinstown Community College in association with the VEC to serve the clubs using the pitches in Collinstown Park.

- Griffeen Valley Park – Continue pedestrian and cycleway, construction of three football pitches.

- Liffey Valley Park – Construction of a car park at Waterstown Park and Mill Lane.  Development of a promenade at Lucan Weir.

  • Tymon Park, Tallaght - Construction of a playground and construction of the TASC Pavilion
  • Rathfarnham Castle Park - Construction of a playground
  • Greenhills Park - Construction of  Bowling Green
  • Dodder Valley Park - Construction of a Pavilion, construction of three football pitches, landscape improvements at Oldbawn Weir, construction of new car park at Firhouse Road entrance, development of green route cycle paths.
  • Owendoher Valley Park- Construction of pedestrian pathways and connecting bridges and installation of boundary fencing at Brookwood.
  • Corkagh Park - Construction of a Pavilion near Outer Ring Road.  Continue improvement of former courtyard building.  Redevelopment of the car park at the entrance at St. John’s Estate, continue restoration of walled garden.  Complete the construction of new public car-park accessed from the Baldonnel Roundabout on the Outer Ring Road. Cycle Route from Clondalkin Village to Citywest.  Cycle Race track in association with Cycling Ireland.

- Sean Walsh Park - Construction of a Playground and installation of bridges in Phase 11.

- Kiltalown Park-Construction of low wall and railing in front of Kiltalown House.  Tree removal and replanting management programme.  Relocation of Teen Shelter.  Planting project for Kiltalown House Walled Garden.

- Rathcoole Park - Construction of a Children’s Playground and Installation of fountain.

- Miscellaneous Works

- Drainage of sports pitches in Ballyowen Park, Aylesbury, McGee Park, Griffeen Valley Park, Esker and Clondalkin Park.

- Renewal of signs at parks entrances and provide directional and information signs within parks.

- Provision and improvement of pathways and boundaries in parks and open spaces.

- Installation of seating, planting of trees and hedges.

- Provision of “MUGA” and Teen Shelters in RAPID areas.

- Landscaping of selected roundabouts.

- Parks Works Programme

Provision has been made in the sum of €470,000 for this programme.  As in previous years, a draft Parks Works Programme is available and will also be presented to the January Area Committee meetings for discussion by the members.

In addition to projects being undertaken directly by the Parks Department, the staff have an ongoing programme of assisting various sports clubs in their quest to provide facilities on land leased from the Council.  These projects include mainly clubhouses and all-weather pitches.

Derelict Sites

Development Department will act to eliminate dereliction throughout the County by agreement where possible and failing this, will make full use of the legislative powers available to ensure compliance. In 2007, the Development Department issued statutory notices in respect of 54 sites.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

2007 saw a major investment in pro-social behaviour projects, Programmes and Initiatives in the Community Services area.  The Community Infrastructure Programme accelerated with the completion of Clondalkin Sports & Leisure Centre and Brookfield Youth and Community Centre.  This is in addition to continued progress in numerous other projects such as the County Arts Centre due for completion mid 2008, Ballyroan Community Centre, Ballycragh Community Centre, Neilstown Boxing Club and Community Centre refurbishment, Rowlagh Community Centre, St. Cuthbert’s Community Centre, Whitechurch Community Centre.  Templeogue House Restoration & Refurbishment Project will be going to tender in January 2008.

The review of the Water Leisure Strategy recommended the provision of a Swimming Pool for the Lucan area and this is progressing to the Part 8 process.

The Council entered into an agreement with the F.A.I. to co-fund the engagement of three ‘Football in the Community’ Development Officers over 2007 and a further Officer for the Terenure/Rathfarnham area for 2008 has been provided for. 

Also continuing are the Community Employment Schemes and the Sport Teic Progamme, with the initiation also in 2007 of the Junior Sport Flexibility Programme, the Sports Bursary with the Institute of Technology Tallaght and provision has been made in the 2008 budget for the continued Educational Bursary for students of schools in Clondalkin and Tallaght.

 Family Days continued to be held during the year.

 Deputations meetings were held monthly.

The Community Team developed a Community Information pack that includes:

  • Draft Constitutions, Information and tips on calling public meetings and AGMs, Roles of Officers within Committees, Funding and Funders and a simple to use Accounts Book.   This pack is being distributed to all relevant Centres and Groups through information days. 
  • The Community Awards continue to go from strength to strength and 2007 witnessed our most successful to date.  The Department was also active with Comhairle na nÓg who have developed a position paper on Youth Cafes and made a presentation to the Sports Recreation Community and Parks SPC and County Development Board.  Other community development areas include Community Linkage Funding, South Dublin Community Forum and Platform activities, Young Peoples Facilities and Services Funding Projects, National & Local Drugs Strategy activities, the Local Sports Partnership.
  •  The Halloween Bonfires Pilot Projects continued in 2007.

The Community Teams also advise and assist on the various grants available under the Council’s Community Grants Scheme which was reviewed following extensive consultation during 2007 and adopted by Council.  A sum of €860,000 has been provided under Community Grants for 2008.

The Department also supports two Community Employment Scheme Area Framework Groups.

Sport Teic Training Programme graduated 28 young people in May 2007 and 27 trainees have now enrolled for 2007/2008.

The Department supports the Area Committees of the Council and two Strategic Policy Committees i.e. Sports, Recreation, Community and Parks and Arts, Culture, An Gaeilge, Education and Libraries.

South Dublin County Council’s Arts Programme for 2008 features many projects and activities which have been supported over a number of years, and others which have emerged as the result of strategic research and development, in particular the Music Education Programme will be in place during 2008.

South Dublin County’s adopted Arts Development Strategy 2006-2010 to be launched by the Council in 2007 identifies Youth Arts as an area for focused development in the County and a Youth Art Co-ordinator is provided for in 2007 and 2008.

Support for research and development enabled production of a Youth Arts Policy in 2006 to inform best practice and to underpin the County’s approach to youth arts.  This has resulted in a challenging five year programme.  Initial interventions from this programme include a Theatre Residency in conjunction with the Civic Theatre and the development of a NOISE South Dublin County Project.  FUSED 2007 proved to be a very successful event and planning is underway for the 2008 event.

Construction of the County Arts Centre project is progressing and is due for completion mid 2008.

In Context Public Art Programme - % for Art Scheme – which has been presented to the Arts & Culture SPC and Area Committees is progressing.

image of connect logo

Connectcontinues to flourish with much being achieved in 2007 to raise public awareness and support community leadership by encouraging data sharing enabled by technology.  In 2008, the concentration will be on consolidating and mainstreaming the work of the project to date in terms of integration with the Council’s website (www.sdcc.ie) and the County Portal (www.southdublin.ie ) to provide excellent inward and outward communication channels from and to our citizens and the business community in our county and beyond.

Connect St. Aidan’s Community School is leading the way in the development of Student-Centered Technology for a more engaging learning experience for the students and teachers involved. A review carried out in Summer 2007 revealed the teachers view that c.60% of the students engaged significantly better in the classroom and 46% of the students themselves saying they were more interested and active in their own learning through participation in the project. In 2008 the roll-out will continue and a formal Evaluation Framework will be established in partnership with the Department of Education to independently assess and document the project’s impacts and outcomes for the school, students, and local community.

The Community and Voluntary Sector is also embracing technology with the Connect Web initiative now supporting over 200 groups to get online and develop new ways of engaging effectively with their members and each other. This number will continue to grow in 2008 with the marrying of this training and support programme with the new ICT resources available in our new state of the art County Library which will enhance the learning experience for all our e-Champions.

Connect Me is an online search facility of every service and business in South Dublin County which is mapped to show relevant facilities in your area and the best route from your house to its location. 2008 will see significant progress following completion in 2007 of extensive quality control checks to ensure accuracy of the spatial data held. A major publicity drive will be undertaken which will include multi-media campaigns directed in particular at new residents in South Dublin County. The online Report-A-Fault facility will also provide a valuable tool for citizens, local businesses and residents associations.

2008 will also see the end product of much groundwork, particularly by the Community Services Department, in Connect Centre with all Community Centres  coming online to show the type and volume of activity taking place and providing local internet access points to the local community, in addition to the traditional role of providing sports halls and meeting rooms. The Digital Hub in Jobstown will be in construction alongside the Youth Drop-in Centre, and the new Community Centre opening in Brookfield will be well equipped with ICT for the local community. The Adopt a Centre initiative is being developed with Tallaght Volunteer Bureau in securing the assistance for our local centres of the best ICT expertise of our local businesses through this excellent volunteering initiative.

The most innovative development in 2008 will be The Big Picture, a new multi-media permanent public exhibition space in Tallaght Town Centre which will bring the future of South Dublin County to life in a visual and engaging manner to inform, stimulate and then capture the participant’s / audience’s views as an integral part of the exhibition. This facility will bring the emerging city character of Tallaght to life, by digitally building a picture of new developments proposed and under construction and superimposing these images onto the existing streetscape to give a unique view of the future form of the county town. It will also serve to showcase the many Council initiatives underway or proposed across all areas of the county and bring these to life in an engaging, visually attractive and interactive way. The exhibition area will serve to bring information in a unique form to a wide audience ranging from the citizen, student, tourist, community and business groups.