Posted by Old Boy
Fears Over Wind Frms
Medical expert claims up to 120 people could suffer health risks
A medical expert has claimed that up to 120 people who live within 1.5km of a proposed wind farm in Donegal could suffer health risks if the development goes ahead.
Dr Christopher Hanning, an honorary consultant in sleep disorders medicine at the University Hospitals of Leicester, was giving evidence at an oral hearing on the proposed wind farm at Straboy, near Glenties.
Dr Hanning said there is compelling evidence from recent studies that wind turbine noise can impair the health of people living too close to them.
Donegal County Council says it is adhering to national policy and guidelines.
Wind energy guidelines here state that “in general noise is unlikely to be a significant problem where the distance from the nearest turbine to a noise sensitive property is more than 500 metres.”
In its submission to the oral hearing the council, said: “It may well be that there are emerging concerns in relation to adverse health affects rising from wind farms, which may ultimately require greater separation distances to houses and centres of population.”
Clare county councilors have been stripped of their power to direct County Manager Tom Coughlan to make major planning decisions in exceptional cases that may be in contravention of the County Development Plan.
This is just one of the changes, which includes the abolition of the four local town councils in Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush and Kilkee with a combined membership of 36, as part of the most dramatic overhaul of local government in over 100 years. Councilors have been given the thankless task of levying rates for the introduction of a new property tax next year, which looks set to cause major controversy at council meetings.
Although the number of county councilors could be cut from 32 to 24, no decision has been taken on the exact number of members, which will be decided by a new independent statutory committee.
[Source: Clare Champion]
Local taxi drivers have slammed the government’s plans for new taxi branding signage as another money-generating stunt.
Two weeks ago, Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly welcomed the move, developed by the National Transport Authority, which will see semi-permanent taxi stickers applied to the front doors of all taxi cars.
It’s intended to be a cut-price version of New York’s yellow taxis, or London’s black cabs, aimed at preventing licenses being switched between different cars. It has been estimated the cost for the signs will be between $195 and $325.
Longford taxi driver Paddy Boyle described the news as “another gimmick for money.” While Minister Kelly said the change will “make it harder for rogue drivers to continue operating in the sector,” Paddy doesn’t believe it will make any difference.
[Source: Longford Leader]
Minister for Local Government Phil Hogan was expected to announce radical changes to the local authority sector last Tuesday in a bid to bring savings of more than $92 million per annum.
Speculation has been rife in the lead up to the minister’s announcement, with strong signals that town councils face the axe and that the number of councilors on local authorities will also be substantially reduced.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]