As part of my commitment to building stronger communities, I am calling for a community groups bailout for the South Dublin County Council area. When the new councillors are in place from May 2014, I believe there is a real opportunity to support the local community and voluntary groups.
I proposes that at least 10% of councillor expenses be donated to a fund similar to that initiated by Mayor Dermot Looney in 2013. This innovative fund provided €10,000 to over 50 community and voluntary groups throughout the county and consisted of €7,000 from the Mayor’s allowance and €3,000 from Deputy Mayor Eamon Tuffy.
Currently, the council budget allocates €6,486.87 for each elected councillor to cover domestic travel, subsistence and attend certain meetings. After the May elections, our county councillors will increase from 26 to 40 members. If each elected member contributed only 10% of their allowance, this would create a fund over €25,000 per year that could be allocated to community and voluntary groups operating in our own communities without any state funding. This should be done on top of supporting them through advocacy and representation, these funds would allow them to plan effectively to deliver the vital services they do.
The initiative would work well with groups like Meals on Wheels in Palmerstown, who provide dinners to over 100 elderly residents in the community on a weekly basis. The group receive no state funding and a contribution from this fund could allow them to reach more people and ensure that they have the resources required to care for those who helped build the community we enjoy today
My background is in youth and community work, it’s time to start prioritising the needs of the community and this proposal is one of many ideas that I am proposing in this election campaign. I am committed to the 10% offering from expenses and I’m urging other candidates to follow suit.