As your County Councillor, Mayor, and now Senator I have been a strong political voice for Cork the last decade. Investment in our communities and public services is essential and some of my priority local issues include a new hospital for Cork, sufficient long-term housing infrastructure and rural broadband connectivity.

The Best of Irish Cuisine

The annual Foodie Destinations awards have recently announced Kinsale as Ireland’s Foodie Town of 2018.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard, who opened his constituency office in Kinsale earlier this year, has commended the town on this success.

“Kinsale is a thriving town that works hard and is deserving of its many accolades. This recent award is another acknowledgement of the community’s collective effort and achievement.

“Our small town has much to offer in terms of foodie experiences and will help to boost the profile of Irish cuisine, both at home and abroad.

“I congratulate all those who have contributed towards this accomplishment, and am confident that more shall follow in future.”

 

03 September 2018

€685,904 investment in Cork aquaculture

Cork Senator and member of the joint Oireachtas committee for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Tim Lombard, has welcomed Government EMFF grants of €381,342 towards a total €685,904 investment in 4 of our local aquaculture companies.

Cormorant Mussel Ltd is to receive €22,928 towards a total investment of €57,321 for the introduction of a continuous rope mussel system; Seal Harbour Enterprises Ltd is to receive €21,469 (total investment of €53,674) for the upgrade of mooring system and engine; Bantry Bay Premium Seafoods is to receive €20,000 (total investment of €40,000) to develop microwavable product for the French retail market; and Castletownbere Fishermens Co-operative Society Ltd is to receive €296,945 (total investment of €494,909) for landing obligation infrastructure, as well as €20,000 (total investment of €40,000) for developing an oven ready product for the Spanish market.

Senator Lombard said: “I want to thank my colleague Minister Michael Creed for this very welcome grant aid for our local aquaculture companies, which are so critical to the sustainability of Cork’s economy.

“Fine Gael believes the marine economy can be a major contributing factor to new growth in an overall Irish economic context and we will prioritise the sector accordingly.

“This recent funding is part of a €240m investment over six years in the industry nationally.

“The continued and increasing level of capital investment in our aquaculture sector will underpin our ambitions to significantly grow our production in the coming years, which is of course good news for those working in the seafood sector here in Cork.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “I am delighted to announce a further tranche of grant awards to 20 seafood enterprises that will support a €4m of investment in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing.

“It is very encouraging to see a continued increase in investment in aquaculture and these investments will positively contribute to our sustainable growth targets for the sector.  It is also reassuring to see our fisheries cooperatives continuing to invest to position themselves to handle unwanted catches under the new Common Fisheries Policy discards ban,” the Fine Gael Minister said.

 

24 July 2018

Park & Ride for Inchydoney beachgoers

Cork Senator Tim Lombard is calling for a Park and Ride service to be established in Clonakilty in order to provide sufficient, alternative parking for Inchydoney beachgoers during the summer months.

Senator Lombard said: “The incredible summer we are experiencing has driven many to spend their time at the beach. Unfortunately, at Inchydoney, there is nowhere to park when they get there.

“The frustration of this has led to many misaligned or illegal parking manoeuvres that create congestion and, alarmingly, restrict vehicle access.

“Last weekend Gardaí issued public notice that they would tow cars that were badly or illegally parked on the approach to Inchydoney beach, and asked people to park responsibly as to ensure emergency vehicles were able to pass if need be.

“Enforcement of the current parking laws and regulations at Inchydoney is necessary to ensure the collective safety and enjoyment of all beachgoers, however we need to find a more productive, long-term solution to the issue of parking availability at this popular summer destination.

“The location of Inchydoney beach does not allow for adequate expansion of parking amenities at the beach front, so I have been in contact with both Cork County Council and Bus Eireann about establishing a Park and Ride system that would service the beach from nearby Clonakilty.

“This increase in available parking would reduce traffic congestion, but also remove vast numbers of inappropriately parked vehicles at the beach front as to ensure unobstructed vehicle access in case of emergency.

“Inchydoney is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in West Cork; we need to reduce traffic congestion and disorderly parking by providing alternative options that will ensure safety and access for all beachgoers.”

 

11 July 2018

Local link to pilot evening service for South West Cork

Cork Senator Tim Lombard is encouraging rural residents to avail of the new Local Link evening/weekend service being trialled between Kinsale and Clonakilty from this Friday onwards.

The Fine Gael Senator, who opened his constituency office in Kinsale earlier this year, has welcomed the pilot service saying it will empower our local communities, businesses, and rural residents.

“This new night bus scheme is a great result for rural Ireland. It is a welcome, practical solution to helping combat potential isolation in our rural communities.

“The extended evening/weekend service between Kinsale and Clonakilty, operating a pilot scheme from July to December, will facilitate social gatherings and activities.

“Residents, communities, and local businesses in our smaller, rural towns of Ballinspittle, Kilbrittain, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, Butlerstown, Lislevane, Grange, Garretstown, as well as Clonakilty and Kinsale, will be able to organise new activities and events to attract residents in the evening, now that they know those residents will have this evening bus service available to them.”

More information about the service can be found online at locallinkcork.ie, or through the following enquiry lines: 027 52727, or Info@locallinkcork.ie.

 

10 July 2018

€63,072 funding for playgrounds in Beara

Cork Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, said children in Beara will benefit from a significant allocation of CLAR funding for local playgrounds.

Glengarriff Tourism and Development Association has been allocated €45,000 for the refurbishment of Glengarriff Playground, and Scoil Chaitigheirn €18,072 to extend the play area.

Senator Lombard said: “This is great news for children and families in and around Beara, it will ensure the local communities continue to enjoy high quality and safe playgrounds.

“At a time when outdoor activities are often overlooked for hi-tech games, we must ensure our playgrounds and areas are exciting, and engaging for young minds.

“This funding will ensure our children enjoy state-of-the-art facilities here in Beara.”

Senator Lombard continued: “Since 2016, the CLÁR Programme has provided funding to over 1,100 projects under various measures, including funding for 265 play and multi-use games area projects around the country.

“Communities throughout Cork have fundraised and worked with the Cork County Council to put forward these projects for funding, and this cooperation is to be acknowledged and welcomed.

“These projects are excellent examples of what can be done when everyone works together: new and improved recreational resources provided for children and communities in rural areas in Cork.

“This is a further testament to the passion and commitment of local communities to make rural Ireland and Cork a place where people want to live, work and prosper.”

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, said: “I am delighted to be in a position to announce funding under the CLÁR programme of €2.78 million for play areas in rural communities. This follows on from last week’s announcement of funding of €4.8 million for safety measures around schools and community facilities in CLÁR areas.

“I have again decided that all applications that qualify under the Play Areas Measure of the programme will receive funding this year.

“These projects will make the areas in which they are located more attractive places for families to live in and settle, in line with the aim of the CLÁR programme.”

“Partnership and community involvement is vital in all areas of life and that partnership and the community spirit that has been evident to me in the small rural towns and villages all across the country in recent years under my Department’s initiatives such as the CLÁR programme, the Rural Recreation Schemes and the Town & Village Renewal Scheme.”

 

06 July 2018

€74,000 in capital grants for West Cork childcare providers

Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, has confirmed that over €74,000 in capital grants has been awarded to West Cork childcare providers. The announcement was made by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone. A total of €6.87m in Capital funding will be awarded to providers of Early Years and School Age Childcare across Ireland.

Senator Lombard said: “Today’s announcement follows on from the childcare measures we introduced last September, giving up to 70,000 children extra supports.

“This funding will contribute towards the creation of new childcare places, natural outdoor play areas and the essential maintenance and repair of services here in Cork.

“The capital funding has been awarded following the completion of a very competitive application and appraisal process. The approved Early Years and School Age Capital funding for 2018 has been made available to the following childcare providers here in West Cork:

  • Rosscarbery Community Playschool ltd; €4,711
  • Timoleague Community Playschool and Afterschool Club; €19,553
  • Gráinne’s Montessori School, Clonakilty; €6,920
  • Teach Na Nog, Bandon; €6,988
  • Happy Days Montessori Pre-school, Bantry; €6,697
  • Hillcrest Montessori School, Dunmanway; €7,000
  • Drimoleague Community Playgroup; €6,876
  • Caha Childcare, Adrigole; €15,451

“I am very pleased with the progress we are making with childcare. Fine Gael is delivering on its election commitment to support families and to help ease the financial cost of childcare.

“The extra supports announced last September included a universal childcare subsidy, of up to €1,040 per year, available for children aged from 6-months up to starting their free pre-school year (ECCE Scheme) at 36 months.

“Families on lower incomes, who qualify by way of a means test, are eligible for supports worth up to €7,500 per year for children aged 6 months to 15 years of age. The aim is to ensure that parents previously prevented from taking up jobs, training or education because of the cost of childcare, are now able to join the workforce.

“In addition the free pre-school year (ECCE scheme) we introduced and later extended to two free years has been hugely beneficial to families saving them on average €4,000 per child.

“We introduced two weeks paid Paternity Leave for new fathers for the first time in the history of the State.

“Under 6s now benefit from GP care and an extra 10,000 children now qualify for a medical card thanks to it being extended to those on Domiciliary Care Allowance.

“We have provided for 47,000 extra breakfast club places to benefit children and the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance has increased by 25%,” the Fine Gael Senator said.

Minister Zappone said: “I am delighted to announce the €6.87m which will create over 2,000 new childcare places across the country.

“There was an unprecedented amount of applications this year which shows the appetite for expansion within the sector. I will continue to seek increased investment in this area in order to increase capacity and deliver the highest quality of childcare for families in Ireland.”

 

01 June 2018

Fine Gael in Government continues to deliver school places for Cork

€344 million, 12,656 school places for Cork since 2011

Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, said recent figures from the Department of Education and Skills show an investment of over €344 million in Cork’s school’s since Fine Gael entered government in 2011. The national investment of over €3 billion in the last 6 years has created 95,000 new school places around the country, and demonstrates Fine Gael’s commitment to our education system.

Senator Lombard said, “Fine Gael in government have prioritised education. We have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. We are investing more in education than ever before to help us deliver on this ambition – over €10 billion in 2018, the biggest ever budget for education.

“Education is key to our ambitions as a nation. It helps us to grow a strong economy and gives everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“This means being the best at supporting all students, particularly disadvantaged pupils, providing the skills needed for a growing economy, and ensuring our children are educated in high quality facilities.

Senator Lombard concluded: “We all know there is more to be done; we must invest in maintaining as well as creating educational facilities, but the investment in recent years is a positive and reassuring start towards Fine Gael’s high ambitions for our education system.”

 

11 May 2018

Smart lighting fund for SME’s can lead to 90% savings on lighting costs

Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has confirmed that national applications are now open for €3 million Lighting Upgrade Grant Scheme.

Senator Lombard said that funding has been increased this year following a successful pilot scheme in 2017, the scheme will be administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and applications are open until May 31st 2018.

“The grant is open to small businesses across all sectors, including retail, hospitality, tourism, private education, health facilities, and manufacturing.

“Applications can be submitted by individual businesses or by coordinators [who group applications and can deliver lighting upgrades for a number of businesses].

Senator Lombard continued: “The Programme for Partnership Government committed to providing additional resources to help support start-ups and small businesses across the country.

“There are currently over 200,000 SMEs operating in Ireland and this scheme aims to support energy efficient lighting upgrades across all SME sectors.

“Collectively small businesses account for a significant portion of national and global energy demand. The smart lighting grant will significantly help businesses reduce their energy-use, supporting our local economies but also helping to protect our environment.

“We in Fine Gael believe that our small businesses need these types of support to help them thrive in our resurgent economy. I would like to thank Minister Naughten for making this funding available.”

 

09 May 2018

Investment in Cork respite services

People with disabilities in Cork are to benefit from new Government investment in respite services. Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, announced that the Government funded Respite Development Programme for 2018 will mean additional services for Cork, with the following service providers receiving investment:

  • Brothers of Charity Services Southern (Rosmini Resource Centre Bandon): development of a “post day” service programme for clients living at home.
  • Co-Action West Cork: day/evening provision in the community, day socialising respite.
  • St. Joseph’s Foundation: weekend sessions from base, increase service level at Liskennett Centre.
  • COPE Foundation: develop Saturday club for family respite

Senator Lombard said: “These service increases, projected for delivery in Q2 2018, will be of great benefit to people with disabilities in Cork, as well as their families and carers.

“Fine Gael is using the economic recovery to support the most vulnerable people in communities around the country. In the last Budget an additional €10 million was allocated to improve respite services. This is now being use to provide new centre based residential respite and alternative respite services for people with a disability and their families and carers.

“Today’s announcement is designed to help people with disabilities in Cork to lead more independent lives and to have more of a say in their care.

“It is also hugely important that carers look after their own health and well-being, and ensuring we have appropriate respite services available locally is critical to that.

“This €10 investment in respite care nationally is additional to the respite services the HSE has already committed to provide as part of its National Service Plan 2018. This plan targets the provision of more than 45,500 day places and 182,500 overnights for more than 6,320 people with a disability who avail of these services.”

 

27 April 2018

€30m Regional Enterprise Development Fund

Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, is encouraging Cork groups to apply for the new €30m Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which was launched by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.

Senator Lombard said: “The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is looking for innovative proposals that are based on collaboration; they want to see groups in both the public and private sectors working together to build on our regional strengths.

“Categories include ‘Major Regional Change Projects’, ‘Regionally Significant Change Projects’, ‘Local and Community Enterprise Development Initiatives’ and ‘Industry Clusters’.

“I strongly encourage all companies who are interested in applying to check their eligibility and apply to the fund.

“The Fund is already open for applications and closes on 27th June 2018. Each region will secure a minimum of €2 million once projects meet the necessary standards.

“Regional jobs are a big priority for the Government, which is why it has developed this Fund as part of the strategy to boost growth in rural Ireland.

“The June deadline may seem like a long way off, but the process is highly competitive so I would urge anyone in Cork with an idea to start working on their application immediately.

“The Fund is being administered for the Government through Enterprise Ireland and you can find out more at www.enterprise-ireland.com.”

 

19 April 2018