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.

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

Aid required for Grain Sector

The plight of the farming community has been a recurring issue brought up this year, one sector that really requires focus and support is the grain industry and our grain growers.

Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, said: “Over the past few years the grain sector in Ireland has been declining and unfortunately is now on the verge of collapse. A fourth year of bad weather, mediocre prices and reduced volume has been severely detrimental to the grain industry.

“We are looking at a situation from Cork to Donegal where grain has not been harvested, prices are as low as €135 per tonne, and moisture content is anything up to 30%. It is a massive issue for all those involved in the agriculture sector; the grain industry has always been an important sector for Irish agriculture and we cannot let it continue to slip through our fingers. We must act now, before Irish grain growers and our grain industry can no longer persevere.

“Last weekend I met with grain farmers from all around West Cork and all of them presented the same predicament. Years of struggle and adversity are paying its toll; grain farmers are at the end of their tether and they need assistance.

“During a debate in the Seanad last week I called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, to come to the Seanad and discuss this issue as I believe we need to go to Europe for an aid package that will help support and resuscitate Irish grain farmers and industry. A package of €11.2 million has been put in place for the livestock sector this year but none has thus far been allocated for the grain sector.

“There needs to be funding available for this collapsing industry. If aid is not forthcoming soon we will face a situation that the grain sector may not survive, and the resulting loss would be an awful shame for Ireland’s agricultural sector and our farming community.”

03 October 2016

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

Proposed upgrade of Lee Road Water Treatment Plant

Irish Water have submitted a planning application which proposes enhanced security of water supply to over 100,000 in Cork city by upgrading the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant.

Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, said: “Roughly 70% of Cork city’s total water supply is provided through the Lee Water Treatment Plant so I think this proposal will be beneficial in futureproofing the efficiency and reliability of water supply and service to Cork city.

“The proposal is intended to provide for a 40,000 cubic meters per day capacity water treatment facility. This will involve the upgrading of existing sedimentation tanks, construction of new raw water tanks and pumps, filters, ultraviolet treatment and sludge treatment facilities. Also included will be new chemical dosing, monitoring and control systems.

Delegation visting Lee Road Water Treatment Plant

“Providing Cork city with a reliable water supply is a priority, and I am confident that this new proposal will improve the efficiency of the Lee Road facility and subsequently deliver a more secure water supply for the city.

“There are a number of additional benefits. One is the enhanced protection of water supply during flooding events, and another is that the upgrade proposed would facilitate the removal of the Cork City Water Supply from the Environmental Protection Agency’s remedial action list.

“Further investment is also planned for the upgrade and expansion of the Inniscarra Water Treatment Plant, which also provides water supply to Cork city. The enhanced connections between Inniscarra and Lee Road Treatment Plants will improve the resilience and security of water supply, as well as establishing capacity for future growth.

“Water supply is critical for the public and private functioning of any city. The proposed works will be greatly beneficial for Cork city and I hope to see such benefits reach wider localities in the future.”

07 December 2016

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

Rural Cork benefits from Eir’s rural rolllout

Cork based Senator Tim Lombard is pleased to announce that the exchange in Minane Bridge, Co. Cork has been fibre enabled which means that premises within the required 1.5km distance that are served by the exchange can now access a high speed fibre broadband network with speeds up to 1Gbs. Approximately 140 premises around Minane will benefit from this development, which comes as a great boost for the local community.

“As a resident of Minane Bridge I can say that this is of huge benefit to our community. We are a largely farming community, and modern day technology and connectivity is crucial for development and survival of our livelihoods.

As part of its 300K rural extension Eir is rolling out in a number of other areas in Cork, enabling a high speed fibre broadband network by the end of 2016 for many more Cork residents and businesses. Whitegate for example is expected to have 840 premises enabled with a high speed fibre network, while 530 in Midleton can expect the same.

“This is great news for Cork residents; modern and reliable broadband has been highlighted by the Government as crucial for the progression of modern-day Ireland, for both residential and commercial premises.

“As a member of the Joint committee on Communications, Climate Change & Natural Resources I am pleased with the ongoing improvements being made with regard to broadband connectivity in rural Ireland. It is crucial for the development and modernisation of our rural communities and businesses that fast and reliable broadband be accessible for all citizens and businesses no matter their location.”

12 September 2016

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

National Task Force required to deal with Japanese Knotweed

Senator Tim Lombard has called for a national task force to deal with the invasive plants currently causing problems in Ireland.

“Invasive plants, in particular Japanese Knotweed, have become very prevalent in Ireland over the last few years. It is presently a substantial financial and labour-intensive burden that will continue to endure and will only accrue a much larger future obligation if not dealt with now.

“To give an international example of the cost involved, £70 million was required to clear Japanese Knotweed from the Olympic village site in London 2012. Appreciating the magnitude of the issue, the UK today has allocated a national budget of £5 billion per year towards addressing this problem.

“Local authorities in Ireland have struggled to deal with the issue of Japanese Knotweed because the current strategy of all state agencies working individually is not extensive enough to eradicate such invasive plants. A local social housing project, which has the potential to deliver 56 housing units in Beechgrove Clonakilty, has been delayed because invasive plant eradication works are required on site. The resulting financial consequence is high. The estimated cost of construction for the Clonakilty housing project is €8.7 million, which will only increase due to these eradication delays. To save the future cost, which will only increase incrementally the longer it is left, action must be taken now.

“The responsibility of dealing with invasive plants comes under the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht and this issue needs to be dealt with directly by the Department of Environment, which would have the ability to coordinate the local authorities, the NRA, the Inland Fisheries, and Iarnród Éireann in a national task force.

“To gain an understanding of the magnitude of this issue, all local authorities should carry out a survey on all their lands to record the prevalence of invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed. Once the size of the undertaking is known, a national strategy can be put in place to eradicate this issue so that crucial infrastructure projects, such as the Clonakilty housing project, are not delayed in future.”

09 August 2016

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

44 additional Rural Social Scheme places for Cork

Cork Senator and member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tim Lombard, has welcomed the addition of 500 Rural Social Scheme places.

“This is the first increase since 2006, bringing the total national number up to 3,100, and there are a number of RSS implementing bodies in Cork receiving a total of 44 additional places. This is a welcome expansion for our largely rural and coastal county.

“The RSS is aimed at supporting low-income farmers and fishermen/women by boosting social welfare payments for participation in providing services which benefit local communities. Involvement in the scheme is voluntary and dependent on the local vacancies available. Participants provide 19.5 hours a week in services to a local rural or community project, and in return they receive a top-up on their social welfare payments as well as an opportunity to develop new skills.

“This scheme provides critical assistance for our communities, supports countless sports clubs, amenities and rural facilities. Given the benefits of the scheme, both for those taking part and the local community, I would strongly encourage all eligible to apply.

“With the continued economic recovery, Fine Gael is determined to ensure that the benefits of this are experienced in every community across Ireland, thus I am delighted to see the expansion scheme here in Cork.”

21 January 2017

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite

Funding for Water Mains Replacement in Rosscarbery

Update for Rosscarbery residents regarding Irish Water’s plans to solve the water disruption issue in their locality.

Seantor Lombard said: “I have been communicating with residents of Rosscarbery who have had to contend with significant disruptions to their water supply the last year. The supply was not available on approximately 6-8 separate occasions during 2016 and on three separate instances between the 12th and 16th of January this year. This is totally unacceptable.

“These reoccurring disruptions are understandably causing a lot of frustration for the residents of Rosscarbery and cannot continue. Water is a necessary resource and a regular, reliable supply must be acquired as soon as possible.

“The cause of the disruptions has been identified as a significant amount of old asbestos pipes between Clonakilty and Rosscarbery which supply the local water. It is necessary to replace these old pipes in order to reconstruct the local water infrastructure.

“Irish Water have today confirmed to me that they have approved funding for extensive mains replacement for this area which will resolve the highlighted issue. At this point in time Irish Water was unable to confirm a specific timeline for when the works will be undertaken, but it is expected that they will commence in late 2017.

“Unfortunately for the residents of Rosscarbery, any project of this scale takes time for proper planning and preparation to be executed. I cannot imagine the frustrations of the people affected by this issue and I want to reassure them that I will continue to communicate with Irish Water as to ensure that this project is a priority and the issue is resolved as soon as possible.”

27 January 2017