We in Fingal live in a coastal County, yet we do not have a focused approach to how our coastline and its resources are used or protected. Currently, the County Council operates three Area Committees, based on geographic areas rather than on their synergy. The committees are Mulhudart / Castleknock, Howth / Malahide and Swords / Balbriggan.
The Council operates a number of other committees covering areas such as Policing, Sport, Management of the Liffey Valley and the Balleally Landfill Liaison Committee.
There is no Coastal Committee. The area of the coast is spread across two Area Committees and four Local Electoral Areas. The Coast is an extremely valuable resource, not only to the county but also nationally. It requires management and minding.
We have in the past months seen serious damage caused to our section of coastline. Remedial action is required, along with longer-term preventative measures.
I am calling for the establishment in the new council of a Coastal Committee, comprised of nominees from both affected Area Committees along with Community and Special Interest Groups drawn from the commercial and leisure sectors.
The terms of reference should cover coastal defences, management, asset protection and development plus the promotion of the leisure resource. This committee might be based on the Balleally Landfill Liaison Committee model, which has proven its worth since its establishment some fifteen years ago.
During the current election campaign, many people have spoken to me of their concern at the level of coastal erosion. The erosion that is occurring along the coastline strikes me as an especially urgent issue. As a community we must take action.