Councillor Peter Flynn

  • Areas in west Mayo – including Newport, Westport and Louisburgh  -will not see the benefits of the National Broadband Plan rollout until 2023, which is a long wait, according to  local councillor Peter Flynn.

    The Fine Gael councillor urged that the timeline be reduced in light of the vital need for broadband in an area already seriously impacted by the pandemic and that relies so heavily on attracting tourists into the region.

    Joe Lavin, the Chief Commercial Officer at National Broadband Ireland, addressed this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council. He outlined the timeline of about 18 months for the National Broadband Plan to be delivered in the Ballina and Castlebar areas, but admitted that areas further out in the county will have a longer wait for the service.

    At present up to 40 percent of householders and businesses in the county are without an adequate broadband service.

    Cllr Flynn spoke to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about the less than good news for West Mayo businesses and householders awaiting this basic piece of infrastructure....

     

  • The increase in campervans across Co Mayo, particularly since the start of the Covid pandemic, demands additional facilities to accommodate the tourists that choose to travel this way.

    That’s the view of Westport based councillor Peter Flynn, who raised the issue at a recent Tourism Committee meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Councillor Flynn is proposing the introduction of  “aires”- a service facility where you can empty waste, refill water, and recharge batteries for your motor home.

    He says these motorhome stopover facilities should be placed at different locations around the county and he has called on the local authority to investigate the matter further, for this new niche market...

  • Director of Services with Mayo County Council Catherine McConnell insists there is no “sweet deal” between the local authority and the Hughes family in connection with the sale of almost seven acres of land in Westport.

    The sale of land on Westport’s Golf course road from Mayo County Council to Inishoo Management Ltd , a Hughes owned company, was given the green light by elected councillors of the Westport- Belmullet Municipal District at the monthly meeting of the district earlier this week.

    That now opens the door for the sale of the land to be approved by the entire council at the next monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    There was extensive, and at times heated debate, at the Municipal District meeting, as some councillors argued that they had not been given all the necessary information to decide on the sale of the land in question and the value of land secured and surrendered by Mayo County Council, in the process.

    The situation is  more complicated than the simple sale of a piece of council land to a private company.

    There are in fact three parcels of land involved. Westport GAA urgently requires land to extend its facilities as its membership increases, Mayo county council had some land to provide for their needs under a lease agreement, but not enough. That introduced a third party Inishoo Management Ltd who had appropriate land for the GAA expansion but have a company policy not to sell land. But Mayo County Council and Inishoo Management Ltd are prepared to swop land in an effort to address the situation.

    Eventually, councillors without taking a vote, approved the sale of 6.7 acres of land at Westport Demesne to Inishoo Managent Ltd for 360,000 euro, Inishboo management takes ownership of 4.1 acres of Mayo County Council land in exchange. And at Monday’s meeting councillors also approved the lease of land at Westport Demesne to Westport GAA.

    FG Cllr Peter Flynn  had many questions about the deal between MCC and the private company at the meeting and asked for a decision on the matter to be deferred. While FF councillor Brendan Mulroy was adamant that the matter needed to be resolved immediately or it could scupper the deal that Westport GAA needed to expand its facilities.

    Both councillors joined Midwest News Editor Teresa O'Malley on the lunchtime news. Teresa began by asking Cllr Flynn what were his  concerns about these transactions and if he still has concerns..

     

  • Westport councillor, Peter Flynn is calling for clarity on how GMA in the West Mayo Municipal District is to be halved next year, when revenue from car parking charges is up 45 percent this year.

    The General Municipal Allocation (GMA) budget for the West Mayo Municipal District, has like the other Municipal Districts in the county, been halved for 2020, under Mayo County Councils budget plans for 2020.

    GMA is funding allocated to voluntary and community groups.

    According to the Fine Gael councillor, councillors who agreed last year to introduce on street car parking charges in Westport were promised by council management that the additional revenue brought in by on street car parking in the town would go towards additional GMA funding  - but that has not happened.

    He told Midwest News today that the budget figures show that since on street car parking charges were introduced in Westport so far this year they have brought in 45,000 euro extra in car parking revenue, but at the same time council management want to reduce the GMA by 50 percent

  • A Mayo Councillor has outlined his frustration, following attempts over the past number of months to have a tap installed at Newport pier.

    Westport-based FG Councillor Peter Flynn is hoping to get a tap installed to allow local boat owners in Newport to wash down their boats and to assist with general maintenance work.

    After making his initial request last Summer, Mayo County Council eventually referred him to Irish Water, who have said they must make a submission to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities before a tap can be installed.

    Councillor Flynn received a similar response when he asked if drinking water fountains could be located along the Greenway, eliminating the need for plastic water bottles.

    He told Midwest News that the amount of red tape involved "is just bonkers"....

  • Concerns over the potential impact on local traffic with the proposed development of 50 council houses on the golf course road in Westport, and the type of housing proposed, has led to local councillors calling for a special meeting of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District to discuss the issues.

    Mayo County Council is about to put in a Part 8 planning for the proposed housing development and councillors insisted that they need more data on how it may impact on traffic flow in an already very busy location.

    In addition, some councillors believe the development of 50 local authority houses at this location is the wrong housing mix, and exceeds demand for local authority housing in Westport.

    Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why councillors have secured a special meeting of the district next week on the issues.

     

  • There may be a need to impose compulsorary purchase orders, CPOs, along main roadways for cycle/ greenways if the long anticipated Clew Bay Looped Trail is to be delivered any time soon. That’s the view of Westport based Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn.
    The councillor raised the issue at a recent Tourism Special Policy Committee of Mayo County Council.
    He suggested that the “permissible access “ means of acquiring routes for greenways in the county to date, may no longer be the best way forward. He argued that the process appears to be taking too long, if you consider that the new Murrisk to Bertra greenway is underway now for five years, and not completed.
    He called on Mayo County Council to outline to the Tourism Committee by next month definitive times lines for the delivery of a greenway/ cycle route from Murrisk to Louisburg and on out to Roonagh Pier, where local ferry companies are  open and willing to add new routes to facilitate the Clew Bay looped trail from Roonagh pier across to Achill.
     Cllr Flynn has been outlining his concerns to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • There's hardly a house to be bought or rented at present in Westport, Newport or Louisburg.

    That's according to Westport-based Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn, who says housing shortages are no longer confined to Dublin, and the situation needs to be addressed urgently.

    Councillor Flynn is calling for an urgent meeting of West Mayo Councillors with the Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien to discuss the crisis.

    There are plans currently for new social and affordable housing in Westport - including 50 new social housing units on the Golf Course Road and 16 social housing units at the old convent building site in the town, with an application being made for 25 affordable homes also at this location, but Councillor Flynn says these will not be ready for several more years, and the problem needs to be addressed urgently.

    Speaking with Midwest News, Councillor Flynn said a lot more is required to tackle the demand for housing in West Mayo....

  • If small businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector in Mayo are to survive the Covid 19 pandemic, then the VAT rate nationally this year needs to be reduced to 0 percent.

    That was the call of Westport based Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn at this week’s meeting of Mayo County Council’s Special Policy Committee meeting on Tourism and Food.

    He acknowledged that it was a Fine Gael led government that increased the VAT rate to 13 and a half percent, up from 9 percent some years ago, but insists that in the present climate if we are to keep hotels, restaurants and coffee shops open in areas of county Mayo than the rate must now be reduced down to 0 %.

    Cllr Flynn has been telling Midwest News that this is just one of a number of measures now needed at government level to ensure that tourists will have a place to go and eat and sleep in the future when they visit Mayo.

     

  • The public is invited to submit their views on a Newport Village Design Statement that will go on public display next week.

    The Statement outlines proposed development in the area and will be available to view on Mayo County Council’s website.

    Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn is encouraging anyone with an interest in Newport and its environs to engage in the process and make their views known.

  • "Something dramatic" has happened with the administration of parking fines in Westport town this year with a five-fold increase in revenue collected from the fines, according to local Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn.

    On street car parking charges were controversially introduced in Westport last year.

    Councillor Flynn says that between 2016 and 2018 the average revenue collected in parking fines in the town was 5,000 euro annually, that has now risen to 25,000 euro so far this year.

    He raised the issue at a budget meeting of West Mayo Municipal District, where he questioned the administration that considered the value in having two car parking wardens on Westport streets for three years, on average issuing 2 parking tickets a week between 2016 and 2018.

    Councillor Flynn spoke to o Midwest News today.

  • An attempt to shake up the structure of the Audit committee on Mayo county council failed to get enough support from councillors, at this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn had sought to make a number of changes to the make-up and operation of the committee, as he sees the present structure as outdated, costly and  lacking in gender balance.

    But the 5 member Audit Committee of Mayo County Council, the group that oversees the local authority’s finances remains as it was,  made up of 3 external members and 2 elected councillors, all five receiving the maximum remuneration for their input, despite the strain at present on the local authority’s finances.

    Councillor Flynn’s motion to change the structure was lost on a vote of 16 against changes and 14 for the proposed shake-up.

  • Village Design Statement is to be compiled by Mayo County Council for the popular village of Lecanvey, located between Westport and Louisbourgh.

    The purpose of the exercise is to get joint up thinking about how the village can effectively develop, in partnership with all the stakeholders – the local community and the various state agencies and utility providers.

    Local Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn says Design Statements like this, are vital for the futures of many villages and small towns, across the county.

    He says the present pandemic has highlighted many new possibilities on how people can live in rural Ireland and work from home for global companies.

  • A Westport councillor has called on Eirgrid to consider a 220 KV power line to run from Ballina to Ballaghaderreen instead of the 110KV line planned.

    Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn believes that it is vital that the county has infrastructure ready for the future, not just to meet present needs.

    He was speaking at the monthly meeting of Mayo County yesterday where Aidan Corcoran Transmission Project Manager with Eirgrid addressed the monthly meeting of the authority.

    It’s about a decade ago when Eirgrid proposed a controversial 400KV line for this area, and it resulted in mass public protests and was eventually shelved.

    The new proposal includes options to have the line either overhead or underground, and a number of preferred routes have been established. The company now wants the views of local residents, landowners and others on the proposals, and eventually a single option will be adopted and the company will seek planning permission to construct the line.

    The public consultation process was due to take place at the end of this month but due to coronavirus concerns has been postponed.

    It’s planned that the line will be in place by the third quarter of 2024.

    Cllr Flynn has been telling Midwest News today why he believes that the county needs to be ambitious and seek a higher powered 220 KV line, while the planning for the 110KV line continues.

  • Mayo needs to be ready, with “shovel ready” land banks, when the green light is given by government for a scheme that will support affordable housing.

    That’s the view of West Mayo Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn

    At the monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District councillors called on council management to identify land banks in their area suitable for such housing.

    Cllr Flynn says any household earning in excess of 25,000 euro annually is excluded from social housing, and he says affordable housing is the only solution to the housing needs of many families across the county.

     Speaking to Midwest News Councillor Flynn explained that while he does not want to give false hope to potential homeowners, he believes progress is being made on the affordable housing option.

  • Councillors in the Westport/Belmullet Municipal District , earlier this week, approved a Part 8 planning to allow the development of 50 local authority houses at Golf Course Rd in Westport to be constructed.

    Funding of 11.5 million euro has been secured by government for the development, however, a number of councillors on the authority voted against it.

    Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn was among the three objectors, on the grounds that he believes affordable housing units should be included in the development.

    Cllrs Johno O’Malley and Christy Loftus concurred with that view and they insisted that with so many young couples in Westport who cannot afford to buy homes on the open market, and yet fail to qualify for social housing, that these families need to be accommodated in any new housing estate in the town.

    However, council management were quite clear, that what was on the table at the monthly meeting of the Municipal District was to approve or reject, the construction of an 11.5 million euro, 50 unit social housing development at this particular location.

    After extensive and heated debate a vote was taken on the matter and approval for the development was secured on a vote of four to three. Cllrs Mulroy, McNamara, Carey and Coyle voting for the development.

    Midwest news Editor Teresa O’Malley asked Councillor Flynn why he opposed the building of 50 social housing units in the town?

     

  • A Westport Councillor is calling on Government to introduce two different VAT rates for the hospitality industry.

    Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn believes hotel rooms being sold for €150 euro or less should be subject to the lower rate of 9%, while the higher VAT rate could apply to more expensive hotels.

    The VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector was increased to 13.5% in the last Budget.

    He's also proposing the introduction of a tourist tax, which would see visitors paying a small tax on their arrival at a hotel, which would be ringfenced for projects in that town.

    Councillor Flynn's comments follow concerns expressed by the Restaurants Association of Ireland that one in 5 Irish restaurants could face closure in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

  • Westport based Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn says he’s frustrated with the level of engagement between elected councillors and the CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes in terms of strategic planning for the county.

    He raised the issue at the 2020 budget meeting of the local authority earlier this week.

    Councillor Flynn claims that since the new council came into operation last May, the CEO has not engaged directly with elected councillors to get their individual views on the way forward for the county.

    He says he has no problem with the day to day running of the authority as it operates, but believes that there needs to be more engagement with elected councillors on the bigger picture, -where and how Mayo will develop over the term of this council – over the next 5 years.

    Councillor Flynn has been speaking to Midwest News about the concerns he raised