New Fermoy Mayor wants to concentrate on local issues
New Mayor of Fermoy, Olive Corcoran wants to keep national issues off the agenda and the town council to concentrate instead of local matters.
"Some councillors push the agenda of their parties at meetings. I'm not going to do that. I'm not telling other members what to do but I think we should be, for the most part, Fermoy focused, have Fermoy and Fermoy only on the agenda," she told The Avondhu this week.
Explaining her reasoning she said she saw little point in their present practice of writing to Government Ministers expressing their dissatisfaction with this matter or that, only to get a one or two line dismissive response.
"That's no good. I don't see the point of it," she said. "The only things we can change are our own local issues. I hope members will work with me on those in the year ahead and leave national issues to our TDs. I have no interest in listening to a regurgitation of what I heard on Oireachtas Report the night before. Let's concentrate on Fermoy," she stressed.
Pointing out that it is the last term of the town council, the new mayor said they should get as much as possible done for the town. Her priority is a new playground for the town park.
"I'd like to have that in place in my term. I'm hoping the tenders will go out shortly." She'd also like to see picnic tables and more litter bins provided there. The public toilets too require more maintenance, she said, given the numbers, especially children, using them. Another amenity she says she's particularly fond of is the reservoir. "It's a huge asset to the people of Fermoy." She'd be against it passing into private ownership. She concedes however that money needs to be spent on it.
Another thing she'd like to see tackled is the derelict buildings in the town. She wants them cleaned up. She'd like to see more street cleaning being done and litter bins emptied more often. There are certain efficiencies which can be made to cover the cost of extra cleaning, she believes. Townspeople can make a contribution, she points out, by keeping streets clean by not dropping cigarette butts and litter. Business people could be prevailed upon to water the flower tubs placed outside their premises by the council.
Traffic is a major issue which she believes must be tackled. Part of the flood relief works should be done at night to minimise disruption. "They should follow the example of other European countries and do the works at night" she says of the OPW and contractor.
She's been contacted by 'ordinary shoppers', she says, who are frustrated at the time it takes to get down the town. She has met with the motorway toll operators and sought a reduction in the toll rate to encourage traffic to stay on the motorway and not use Fermoy while the flood relief works are ongoing, 'but the response wasn't encouraging', she reports. Overall she'd like to see a restriction on the height and size of lorries going through the town and particularly to see those carrying hazardous chemicals restricted.
She has already raised, with Lagan Construction, her concerns about traffic on the bridge being reduced and access to O'Neill Crowley Quay being cut off, but says she's satisfied with their assurance that the work will be finished by September 1st and the finishing date for the entire flood relief works is April next year. She was shown the stone to be used in the new riverside walls and said that, when complete, the new walkway will greatly enhance the town. She plans to meet regularly with the contractors to keep up to date on progress.
Meanwhile, she says, she wants to be a mayor 'for all the people of the town'. She'd like to invite the public to some town council meetings, believing it would help people be more engaged with the work of the council.
"Consulting people is a priority. I want to be a mayor for all of the people. I hope they will get behind me and I hope members will work with me," she concluded.
Friday 28th June 9:37am