Creating Safer Communities
For the past five years I have volunteered on the North Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown Local Policing Forum. I am coordinator of the longest running official Garda Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the Palmerstown/Fonthill area.
I know that strong working relations between An Garda Síochána, County Council and Residents is essential in preventing and addressing issues that enable criminal activity in our community.
I will ensure that you are aware of the issues being raised on your behalf. I will ensure that you are aware of the work being done to tackle these issues and I will ensure that your views are submitted to influence workplans of all the local agencies through the existing local policing forum, the Joint Policing Committee and by having our elected TDs raise legislative matters in Dail Eireann.
A balanced and effective county development plan
The County Development Plan is the single most important policy document for the County as it signifies an agreed economic, social, cultural and environmental outlook for the future planning, growth and development of South Dublin County. The current plan runs from 2016 until 2022. The plan is created through a consultation with the public, the managers recommendations and the councillors amendments and adoption of the plan.
The county development plan is very important because it has the power to increase or decrease building density, height, land zoning, economic plans, tourism and heritage plans and much more.
I will ensure that the new county plan protects the biodiversity of the area, particularly our beautiful valley along the Liffey, our parks and our residential areas. I will work to protect our heritage, our lived and shared history as an ancient place and to ensure that this is promoted to develop tourism and local business in our communities.
The Councillors you elect on May 24th will be the ones who vote for the final plan. Make sure you ask them what their priorities are for the county development plan when you meet them over the coming weeks.
Work in collaboration with South Dublin County Council and all elected representatives to increase the services and funds available for community and voluntary projects in the Palmerstown, North Clondalkin & Lucan areas.
In September 2013, Cllr Dermot Looney launched the Lord Mayors fund as part of his Mayorship for the county. The fund was made up of €7,000 from the mayors allowance and €3,000 from the Deputy Mayor.
This was a very welcome show of leadership and one that should continue to be built upon to make more funds available in the form of small grants to local community and voluntary groups.
The Participatory Budgeting Scheme (AKA 300K Have Your Say) was first trialled in Lucan & Palmerstown in 2017 and then again in Clondalkin in 2018. It has produced some excellent projects and it is vital to build on this form of democracy to ensure that residents and rates payers have a direct input to where and how their money is spent.
Local sports clubs, special interest groups and volunteer led initiatives must continue to be supported by South Dublin County Council. It is County Councillors who amend and support the county budget each year, I will ensure that the voice of the people who give most to community life is listened to when discussions on funding are happening.
Work to increase the potential for the people of Palmerstown, Lucan & North Clondalkin to shape the priorities of the County Council
To increase the potential for local people to influence council business, as well as being available by phone, email and social media, I will host public meetings with a view to being better able to represent your views at county level and also to take a more strategic approach to informing the future priorities of the county council.
Councillors are elected to represent you for five years at a time. The issues you raise now, may not be the issues affecting you in one, two or three years time, so I intend to ensure that as your elected councillor I will be presenting the most contemporary matters raised by you.
County Councils comprise of elected officials and executive staff. The county manager has overall responsibility for the implementation of policies developed by elected councillors.
All county councillors meet together once a month to discuss county wide matters and each electoral area e.g. Palmerstown / Fonthill electoral area, also meets once per month. This meeting is where questions relating specifically to constituents concerns can be raised with the county manager and staff of relevant departments within the council.
It is my view that councillors are often on the back foot, reacting to events that have already happened because there is a lack of authentic public engagement. I am very clear that for local democracy to function well, the people who live in the area must be at the fore of influencing future policies.
Continue to serve our communities through various networks and community groups
To me, community is about more than a geographical place. Community is a value, an energy and a vehicle for transforming the quality of life for people.
I have been involved in community groups as a volunteer since I was a child and I have seen how the most challenging situations can be addressed in a constructive and healthy manner when people are invited into conversation.
My involvement in various community initiatives throughout the county is borne from a sense of responsibility, a belief that while I can offer something, I should. This work will continue and if elected, it will grow as I work hard from within the chamber to represent the views of constituents at county level.