The pride of Palmerstown Awards
Volunteering is the backbone of every positive and vibrant community. Over the past decade, I have encountered numerous people within our community who contribute to building a sense of pride by doing what they do, for the love of what they do. Sports people, Authors, Fundraisers, Scholars, Artists, Adventurists, Environmentalists and more, they are all part of what makes Palmerstown the place that it is. They live their lives with dedication to their crafts and they set a wonderful example for all of us.
I have made several applications for funding to host an annual awards ceremony to recognise these achievements. I’ll keep making applications until we are succesful, in the meantime, if you have any leads, commercial or otherwise, I’d love to hear about them.
Campaign for the return of household tax from central government to county council to fund local services
One of the powers county councillors will hold is to increase, decrease or leave alone the current rate of household tax by a maximum of 15%. Alan Hayes has pledged not to increase the Household tax and will vote to decrease it.
In 2012 the Irish Government introduced The Household Charge as an interim measure and a full Local Property tax (LPT) was introduced 1 July 2013 by the Revenue Commissioners. 80% of the taxes raised were meant to be returned to the local authority area from which they came, to fund local services.
This has not happened, and almost €500 Million has been given to Irish Water to fund the initial set up costs, which included the controversial payments to consultants.
According to the Irish Government “The [Bailout] Programme reflects the need, in the context of the State’s overall financial position, to put the funding of locally delivered services on a sound financial footing, improve accountability and better align the cost of providing services with the demand for such services”
The Irish Government have done the complete opposite of what they promised the taxpayer and they have left County Councils in a worse off position by refusing to honour their agreement that most of the property tax would be returned.
I will campaign to ensure the Irish Government adheres to it’s promise of adequately funding local government and services via the property taxes paid by local residents.
Work in collaboration with South Dublin County Council and elected representatives to increase the services and funds available for community and voluntary projects in the Palmerstown & 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.
If elected, I will allocate a part of my expenses to fund local community services in Palmerstown & Lucan. I will support the enlargement of the Mayors fund with a campaign to encourage all elected officials to contribute from their allowances. If each of the 40 elected councillors donated just 10% of their fixed expenses, it would yield an annual fund of €25,000 to fund voluntary services for he betterment of our communities.
Where funds have been budgeted by the county council to be spent on expenses which are not paid out to councillors, I will campaign to have these unclaimed expenses made available to support this initiative.
Work to increase the potential for the people of Lucan and Palmerstown 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 every quarter. i.e. Q1, Palmerstown, Q2, Lucan, Q3, Palmerstown, Q4, Lucan – 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.
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. Lucan 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 feeling 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 his community 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 to represent the views of constituents at county level.