The Friday View 18/11/22
A Choctaw storyteller is visiting libraries in Cork, Music Generation is celebrating 10 years with a big gig, and Cork County Council is better than Cork City Council at environmental enforcement.
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News in brief
Cork County outperformed Cork City when it came to environmental enforcement in 2021.
This according to a new report on how well local authorities carry out inspections and enforce environmental laws published by the Environmental Protection Agency this week.
Nationwide, 500 environmental enforcement staff from the 31 local authorities carried out 205,000 environmental inspections in 2021, and received 81,000 environmental complaints.
Cork County was rated “strong” or “excellent” when it came to environmental governance, ranking amongst the top six local authorities in the country. However, when it came to waste enforcement, the county did not meet the minimum criteria in three out of five categories.
For the monitoring and enforcement of Construction & Demolition Waste, End-of-Life Vehicles and Household & Commercial Waste, Cork County was only given a score of “moderate,” which is below the minimum standard set by the EPA.
However, on monitoring the impacts of Agriculture on water, Cork County Council was one of just three in the country to achieve an excellent standard. Only 34% of local authorities even achieved the minimum standard required standard for enforcing the protection of water in Agricultural settings.
€50 million city spend on housing in 2022
Cork City Council has spent €50,333,300 on housing this year so far, 66.4% of its €75,855,800 budget for 2022. Housing is by far the largest service division. €21,488,00 has been spent overall on roads, for example: just 45% of the annual budget, with just one month left of the year. Other areas where less than 50% of the annual budget has been spent, according to a report presented at this week’s council meeting, includes:
Road safety promotion and education: €449,000 of a €1.29 million budget, or 34.8%, spent.
National primary road maintenance and improvement: €202,000 of a €1.53 million budget, just 13.2%, spent.
Operation and maintenance of water supply: €2.65 million of a €6.85 million budget, or 38.5%.
Heritage and conservation services: €190,900 of a €576,000 budget, 33.1%, has been spent.
With such a massive underspend on heritage and conservation, perhaps the council could put the remainder into conserving the quay wall next to the South Gate Bridge, which dates to 1713 and which is the oldest triple span bridge in Ireland.
With a spate of winter flooding and storms underway, the three-month delay while Cork City Council “tries to engage” with the landowner is looking increasingly likely to result in a full collapse.
In an emailed response, Cork City Council’s press department told Tripe + Drisheen that the full budgetary allocation “will be spent in full in 2022. Projects and programmes that are currently in progress will be completed and invoiced for by the year end.”
The numbers: Cork City Christmas decorations
St Patrick’s St was officially made festive last night, with the Lord Mayor turning on the lights for the main street and several Christmas trees; other streets will be illuminated “in the coming days.”
Some councillors had complained about the low-key nature of this year’s switch-on at Monday’s council meeting, with no large planned event, as there has been in previous years, planned for 2022 due to “safety concerns” over crowd numbers. Plenty of people showed up on Pana for the occasion anyway.
7: the number of kilometres of LED Christmas lights switched decorating city centre streets this year
120,000: the number of low-watt LED lights used
60: the number of Christmas trees Cork City Council has installed in the city centre, suburbs and villages.
17: the number of electricians employed to light up Cork City
6: the number of council staff involved
60: the number of years the Lord Mayor’s Gala Christmas Concert has been running
Image of the week
Self-taught painter Keith Anderson has created some amazing cityscapes of Cork, some based on the eagle-eye view from the top of the Elysian that make Cork city look like a hyper-real Toytown. He’s done it again with this night-time view of Shandon. Shandon at Night has been sold, Keith tells us, but you can find more of his work on his website.
Out + About
Celebrating the stories of the Choctaw Nation and Cork
Oklahoma Choctaw author and storyteller Tim Tingle is coming to Cork to join forces with local storyteller Maria Gillen for a celebration of storytelling in Cork City and Cobh Libraries. The Choctaw nation famously raised what funds they could muster to send to Ireland during the Great Famine, having suffered their own hardship on the so-called Trail of Tears just a over a decade before famine struck Ireland. Their generosity and solidarity is commemorated by Kindred Spirits, a public artwork by sculptor Alex Pentek, in Midleton.
Time, date, place: 10am on Monday, November 21 in Cork City Library and 11.30am on Tuesday, November 22 in Cobh Library.
Ten Years of Music Generation Cork
Music Generation, the national musical education non-profit part-funded by U2 and based on the idea of universal musical education for young people no matter their background, is celebrating ten years in Cork with a showcase concert MCed by LyricFM’s Evelyn Grant, with a special performance by Rebel Brass, next Monday evening. Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance.
Time, date, place: 8pm, Monday, November 21 at The Everyman Theatres. Tickets here.
Photography for young and old
Over-55s can try their hand at analogue photography with a free introductory workshop courtesy of the Slow Camera Exchange at Hollyhill Library on Thursday morning, which is also the closing date for a photography competition for secondary school students, PhotoGo 2022, held by Sample-Studios. The theme of the competition is “Home and Heritage” and winning photos will be exhibited in the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion in Fitzgerald’s Park.
Time, date, place: The Analogue Photography Workshop is from 10am on Thursday, November 24 at Hollyhill Library. Booking is by phone at (021) 492 4928. For the PhotoGo competition, students must submit digital photos by email to email@example.com before 5pm on Thursday, November 24. There’s a full set of competition guidelines here.
This week on T +D
On Monday we told the tale of Orla Egan, whose new book, Diary of an Activist, launched this week.
We also reported on the sale to a private developer of two derelict properties on Barrack St that Councillor Mick Finn said had been “a blot on the landscape on Barrack Street for a long time.”
We’ve covered this story through from An Bórd Pleanála deciding the properties were eligible for Compulsory Purchase Order and the city council acquiring them and now their resale in the hopes that a private developer will take them out of dereliction faster than the council can.
On Wednesday we spoke to what we believe is the first Cork recipient of the Basic Income for the Arts to talk openly about the experience: painter and sculptor Serge Vanden Berghe, whose Sacred Earth and Other Stories exhibition is on in Outlaw Studios in the Marina Park.
On Thursday Musician and filmmaker Myles O’Reilly, whose short film A City Under Quiet Lights is screening this weekend as part of Cork International Film Festival, talked breaking up and making up with his inner musician, how his film informs his music and vice versa, and how musicians can and should grow up.
Edit: This article was amended at 16.29pm on Friday, November 18 to add Cork City Council’s statement that no budget monies would remain unspent by the end of 2022.
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