Galway Advertiser 2004/2004_01_29/GA_2901_E1_008.pdf 

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8 N E W S

Galway Advertiser

January 29 2004

City and county council's performances to be scrutinised every year
BY KERNAN ANDREWS The performances of the Galway city and county council will be thrown wide open for scrutiny each year following the Government's launch of a new system to monitor local authorities. The Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen this week announced the Delivering Value for People - Service Indicators in Local Authorities initiative. It includes 42 service indicators against which the public can measure the performance of their local authority. Indicators on which Galway's local authorities, along with the councils in Ireland, will be judged include; Housing, Traveller accommodation, water pollution levels, percentage of households provided with segregated waste collection, percentage of household waste recycled and going to landfill, recycling facilities, litter prevention, environmental campaigns in schools, planning applications' decision making, planning enforcement, revenue collection, refuse charges, internet services, recreational services, and the number of children's playgrounds. Local authorities will report on their performance against the indicators by the end of the first quarter of the following year. Minister Cullen also announced an independent system of monitoring and verification of performance against the indicators carried out by an independent assessment panel. An annual report on the performance of local authorities against the 42 indicators, incorporating the independent assessment, will be issued to the minister by the Local Government Management Services Board. "Accountability is not and should never be an optional extra," the minister said. "It underlines local authority commitment to value for money, efficiency, and effectiveness, and it re-emphasises an openness to change and new ways of doing things."

Curleys Furniture Carpet & Floor Covering Specialists
M a i n S t reet, Craughwell and now at B r i a rhill Business Park, Ballybrit, Galway

Barna professor wins major UK award
BY MARY O'CONNOR A team led by a Barna professor and NUI Galway graduate has won a prestigious national British award for its groundbreaking research. Rose Anne Kenny, a professor of cardiovascular research at the School of Clinical Medical Sciences at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Falls and Syncope Service in Newcastle Upon Tyne - which researches why older people faint and fall for no apparent reason clinched the 2003 BUPA foundation award for excellence in the development of care for older people. She was presented with the award at the annual BUPA foundation awards ceremony in London recently. The Falls and Syncope service saves the NHS about 2.5 million each year - the cost of running an entire ward. It treats around 2,500 patients annually and is the largest unit of its kind in Europe. BUPA's medical director in the UK, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen says the Newcastle falls and fainting unit is an outstanding example of best practice and teamwork. "The benefits to both older patients and the NHS speak for themselves." Kenny says the specialist unit is committed to looking after older people. "Fundamental to the success of our unit is our focus on caring for older patients. Our policy is to give them the care they need, when they need it and where possible in one out-patient visit to minimise inconvenience." The unit has also won praise from the Commission for Health Improvement. It hails the centre as a "beacon of good practice".

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Hopes that Star Party will pull in the tourists
BY JULIE TIERNEY The latest research into the mysteries of the cosmos was one of the subjects discussed at the inaugural Connacht Star Party in The Westwood House Hotel, Newcastle last Saturday. The event which was attended by more than 120 professional and amateur astronomers was launched by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Terry O'Flaherty. Four prominent scientists delivered lectures to the gathering including NUI Galway's Professor Mike Redfern, Dr Andy Shearer, and Emeritus Professor Paul Mohr as well Dr Lambourne from Open University. Star Parties are held throughout the world and have become big occasions in their respective locations. The Galway Astronomy Club hopes the Connacht Star Party will become as popular as the Birr, Co Offaly event which attracts large numbers and extends the holiday season in the area.

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