Thursday, 23 May 2013

Ballycastle - Carrickmore Road - In the Public Interest 2

The tussle for the conversion of part of a public road to something akin
to a gated private drive-way with pedestrian access continues. 

When Moyle District Council goes into committee to discuss the issue it increases speculation that Council does not wish ratepayers and other members of the public to know what is being done or being conceded in their name:

April 8 MDC Minutes

There is no mention of the Abandonment Order in the February minutes during a session which was also held in committee:

February 25 MDC Minutes

Sources tell me that the Council's current position is that it will no longer oppose abandonment should a request to Roads Service for abandonment be made. If correct, some folks have put the cart before the horse but have not informed the ratepayers or other members of the public that an about-turn has taken place. I'm informed that a recorded vote was taken and, when the minutes appear, we will know which councillors changed their stances.

Perhaps its also worth pointing out that Council minutes are now being published in a format that is not searchable and, presumably, this is in breach of the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme.

Planning Service continues to act in a peculiar manner. It strongly opposed the proposed redevelopment of the site and then just a few months later slipped the plans through in a batch of eight for recommendation of acceptance; the latter took place in a pre-Christmas council meeting.

In October 2012, the Enforcement branch ordered the site owner to remove unapproved works:

The lights, security hut and toilet have been taken away but the kerbing remains. The date for a positive response to the enforcement order has long since passed but I've found no evidence of further enforcement action.

Just recently Planning Service has put a new planning application through its streamlined procedure, a procedure that removes the application from the Council's monthly scrutiny function.

However, those applications considered of a straight forward non-contentious nature will be circulated to the Council on a weekly list of applications received under the Streamlined Application process.

You'd think by now that the Planning Service would have got the message that there is a measure of contention, that planning officers would have read the reports of their own enforcement officers! The local newspaper advert doesn't indicate that the application has been streamlined!

The new application seeks retrospective permission for the kerbing as well as permission to erect a gate that would straddle most of the public road:

Retention of Land for Use as Domestic Curtilage and Ancillary Works to Include Concrete Kerbing, Gate and Satellite Dish.

Is it really in the public interest that decisions, which may have wider significance, should be taken when the public have been deliberately excluded? Do such actions convey utter contempt by elected representatives and other public servants?

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival - May 24 to June 2

Bonamargy Friary

Do join the locals to celebrate this great event and enjoy the stunning scenery, diverse attractions and local culture of Ballycastle town and Rathlin Island in the heart of the Causeway Coast and Glens. The festival opens with an evening parade at Ballycastle seafront on Friday 24 May and continues through the week and both weekends until the closing event of music and The Big Lunch on Rathlin on Sunday 02 June 2013.

I just spotted this mouth-watering post by Shauna McFall of Krafty Kakes over on Facebook:

Muffins for the Maritime Festival market in Ballycastle on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th will include. Lemon Meringue, Rocky Road, Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Toffee Pudding, Honeycomb, Choc Orange, Mint Choc, Mocha, Summer Berries, Oreo, Raspberry and White Chocolate, Raspberry Sherbet Fluff, cake slices. Chocolate Tarts, Twix Tarts, and Chocolate Cups...

Enjoy the music, the food and the crack. Support local businesses - if you don't, they may disappear quicker than a krafty kake.

Ancestry dot Com - Military Records - Limited Free Access

The military records held by Ancestry are freely accessible from now until the end of USA's Memorial Day; this year's Memorial Day is Monday, May 27.

I found this record of my great-uncle George Taggart who was born at The Poole, Ballyoglagh, Mosside, Co Antrim; George William is his son.

George emigrated in 1908 and I found his passenger record and other details at Ellis Island Records:

He visited his folks in The Poole in 1956 and he picked me up at the Greyhound coach stop in Eureka, California, in the summer of 1965.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Ballycastle and the ECOSAL ATLANTIS Project

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You are cordially invited to attend a meeting to hear about the Ecosal-Atlantis Project and to meet others in the Cumbria, N Ireland and Scotland areas who have an interest in traditional salt making and the culture of salt.

To be held on
Monday 1st July
Solway Coast Discovery Centre
Liddell Street 
Cumbria CA7 4DD

2pm to 4pm

Please pass this information on to anyone you think might benefit from hearing about the proposed UK Salt Network.

RSVP to Andrew Fielding     
For more information call 07749765203

A team from Bournemouth University have been working with partners in Portugal, Spain and France for the last 3 years to prepare background information to inform a salt network and to establish an Atlantic Route of Traditional Salt Making.

The team have been meeting with people along the UK's Atlantic coast and gathering archaeological and historical data about where salt has been made along the coastline. Our EU partners aim to support the traditional practices of salinas, whilst our UK route is focused more on archaeology, historical sites, food, ceramics and cultural activities based on salt which can add to local, regional and national tourism and sustainable tourism and economic development. To do this we intend to create a Community Interest Company to act as a co-ordinating body to promote these aims on behalf of the wider salt heritage community across the UK and develop the Traditional Salt Route of the Atlantic Coast.

The 16 page leaflet describing the UK Salt network can be found on the Ecosal web site.

I look forward to meeting you at the Solway Coast AONB Discovery Centre on Monday 1st July and describing the project and the exciting future for salt heritage. Further local group meetings will be arranged specifically for Scotland and N Ireland as the project develops.

Andrew Fielding
A&A Fielding Ltd

30 May  - Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire cluster - Middlewich Town Hall, Cheshire
11 June - SW cluster - Helston Museum, Cornwall
14 June - Southern cluster - Bournemouth University, Dorset
1 July   - Cumbria, N Ireland and Scotland  - Solway Coast AONB Discovery centre, Silloth, Cumbria

TBC - Wales - Anglesey Sea Salt Company, Brynsciencyn, Anglesey
TBC - The East Coast - Heritage Lincolnshire, Heckington, Lincs