Go straight to survey results here:
See resident comments here:
Some residents may be aware that €50k has been allocated to SDCC by the NTA to progress plans along the old Esker and Lucan-Clondalkin Road between Castle Riada and Moy Glas estates.
While there are many positives to such a plan, there are also huge concerns in the estates beside the embankment about the nature and number of any openings. While nobody has a veto on projects aimed at improving community infrastructure, it's vitally important that those living closest who will be most impacted by any plans have their views taken fully on board.
I know from experience that once a public consultation process begins, it's difficult to reframe after it has commenced. It's also difficult to amend in a "Part 8" vote of Councillors. We are precluded from making amendments that cost more than €127,000 (a 'material alteration') and so can only take parts out of a plan or vote to reject overall. And I also know from trying to improve the tourist cycle route linking the Grand Canal to the Royal Canal (incorporating some school routes) that not every Councillor will reflect the views of residents in supporting or tabling motions to amend such plans, so it's important to get as much input in the early stages as possible.
SDCC had previously stated they did not have the funding to go directly to the estates most affected to seek the views of people. So, in an effort to frame the official public consultation process, I carried out my own survey, which received 156 responses in Moy Glas and Castle Riada as well as a smaller number in Elmwood.
The findings of this survey were presented to Council officials at a recent Area Committee meeting, the wording phrased as follows: "That the Chief Executive and Design Team ensures that any future scoping and formal consultation for the "Esker Permeability Scheme" as part of the €50k NTA allocation received for 2023 is informed by and has regard to the considered opinions of a significant number of residents living in those estates immediately adjacent who expressed their views about the overall plan in some detail as part of the recent survey facilitated by this elected representative."
The reason I phrased it this way was to ensure that all Councillors would support it, or at least not vote it down. The Council officials for their part stated in their report: "A concept design is in the final stages of development, and this will be used as a starting point for discussions with local representatives to exchange views on the form of the proposed link and the degree of permeability to be included. A key element of this scheme will be incorporating the views received during the consultation process from local residents, potential users, and those who feel they will be affected by the scheme. Surveys undertaken by elected representatives with individual residents and residents’ groups will be a valuable addition to the wider consultation that will be carried out in order to find the best fit for a potential scheme."
I've done my job, the findings have been passed on and I hope that the consultation will take on board the feedback from this survey. This is only an early stage and residents in the estates mentioned, as well as elsewhere in Lucan are strongly encouraged to let their views be heard.
Survey results link here again:
Comments link here again:
Details of most recent Council draft plan:
Addendum - Errors and clarifications:
As well as the comments made by residents, there were a few observations/complaints about the format of the survey itself, which are not in the comments section but which deserve a response
“The questions on the previous page are likely not to be captured correctly. ‘Strongly agree’ can end up being a score for example of 28/100. This is illogical. Another question on the same page works in the opposite way. The name of the proposal excludes and sounds pompous. “Permeability Scoping plan”! What does this mean? How many neighbours in our estate have English as a second language. Your response rate will be low as you do not explain well what you are asking. What’s wrong with ‘proposed new walkway between MG and CR’?
“Take a step back from jargon you are familiar with to see where your constituents are coming from so you can be more inclusive and, in the consultation process you can really see what we want.”
Paul response: Regarding the score on the scale, I take your point in that it would appear illogical if presented as such and so my final presentation reflected this. However, if I was doing the survey again I would phrase those types of questions differently. Thanks for pointing out.
Referencing “Scoping” - The project is called the “Esker Permeability Project” by the Council and they reference scoping in the presentations I gave people links to. This is not within my control and was not my language. I gave a very detailed explanation in my leaflet and links to the plan. My own survey did not use the word ‘scoping’, but for sure I need to be careful in terms of simplifying the language somewhat. At the same time a balance has to be struck as nuances need to be communicated and some issues are unavoidably complex.
“Your first question slider doesn't have a scale”
Paul replies: I tried out the scale on several devices, eg mobile and laptop and desktop. I acknowledge it may not have worked out on some devices and if this is the case, I am assuming it would not have skewed the results significantly. Apologies for any inconvenience and again an issue to examine more closely going forward in future surveys.
“I live in the Vale but couldn’t see an option to pick that”
Paul replies: Please accept my apologies. This was an error on my part which I later amended. I asked the question about specific areas for my own benefit in terms of which residents were most engaged from particular roads and this was not used in the overall results presented.