Hazel De Nortúin
People Before Profit
The unaffordability of rent and mortgages is affecting people from all backgrounds in society. The latest figures show that the average rent in Dublin has reached two grand a month while the average house price is 383 grand.
Developers, landlords, vulture funds and the very wealthiest in society have benefited enormously from the housing crisis while everyone else has suffered. Fine Gael, propped up by Fianna Fáil, have not only facilitated the crisis but actively created it.
The main parties are ideologically opposed to building public homes on public land. They are deliberately aiming to keep rent and house prices high. The supply of homes has been reduced to a trickle in order to facilitate this shameless profiteering.
We need to fight to stop the government and councils selling off our public land. Our public land needs to be used for a mass programme of public housing. This country is now the richest it has ever been and yet we are not seeing the wealth reach most people in society. Ireland could have afford a mass programme of housing in the '50s and '60s when the country was at its poorest. This goal is perfectly achievable. The problem is that the government does not want to achieve it.
People Before Profit wants to see high-quality public housing available to everyone, regardless of their income. We see this model in other places in Europe, where people pay a proportion of their income and have long-term security of tenure without the threat of eviction or the stress of being unable to afford payments. High-quality public housing in Vienna, for example, means that 75 percent of the city rent their homes.
Aside from a state-led public-housing construction programme, I will also work to pressure NAMA to deliver social homes with its current portfolio. Any vacant or derelict properties which have lain unused for a number of years must also be subject to a compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) and renovated for public housing.
Any housing development must also come with proper consultation to ensure that the area has the facilities and green spaces necessary for a vibrant and sustainable community. "
More homes must be constructed without delay. Similar footprint to the 1930 scheme houses Ballyfermot, Cabra, Crumlin. Excellent houses built by pure tradesmen.
Insure that in Dublin City Council's annual budget, adequate money was allocated to social and affordable housing.
As a civil and structural engineer, the provision of housing is something I’m well experienced in. We have much greater capacity to build housing here than is currently being allowed for by the government. Like Fianna Fáil oversaw in the 1930s and again in the 1950s, the only way to meet housing demand is to allow the local authorities to directly build. It’s evident the Fine Gael government is not interested in doing this. Currently, the city council has not been innovative in proposing alternative solutions or finding innovative ways to raise the funds to build. Pointing at problems does not solve them. DCC should be looking to start a “housing bond” program that would allow the council to directly raise funds in order to start a wide-ranging building program in the city to both help people get on the property ladder and alleviate rents. The social-housing stock built under this initiative itself would act as collateral for the bond, meaning the rest of the DCC budget would be completely unaffected. The contracts to build this housing should be split up into smaller tranches to allow small- and medium-sized builders locally to compete for the tenders to build the housing, rather that it being solely restricted to big developers and massive construction firms. This would massively increase the rate at which social and affordable housing is being built.
I believe everyone has a constitutional right to a home. I will work with my fellow councillors who share the same vision and I will organise multi-party protests as soon as elected to show the council that Ballyfermot-Drimnagh will not fall under the hands of property investors. We propose tackling supply and affordability by rolling out a cost-rental scheme. Under such a scheme, the government would build housing on state land and then recoup the costs slowly over time through affordable rents.
We need to reverse the long-term trend that lead to the financialisation of housing. They are not investments but homes. Cost-rental model delivered by councils and the Housing Agency.
The housing and homeless crises is a national disgrace. It is a result of a policy by FF, FG and Labour to abandon public housing over th last 30 years and to rely soley on the private sector. The state is paying up to €1 billion a year now to private landlords for so called social housing. This is money that would be better spent building public housing. I believe only public housing should be built on public land. I fully support a mix of cost-rental apartments with affordable rent and long-term leases and local-authority differential-rent housing.
We have seen an astronomical increase in rent in the past few years while people have seen their wages stagnate or have received a pay cuts since the crash. Rents are 37 percent higher now than they were during the boom. This is a huge amount of money (imagine if you were given a 37 percent pay rise!) and yet the government expects us to put up with this situation because it keeps the developers and landlords happy.
People are forced to move out of our areas where they have friends, family or jobs in order to find somewhere to rent. Once they are renting, they find themselves at the mercy of landlords with unaffordable rent and no security. The cost and threat of eviction leads to serious stress and impacts people’s mental health.
Loopholes in current rent caps are being exploited or else regulation is being ignored altogether. Tenants are afraid to challenge these violations and most people do not know their rights. We need to strengthen regulation, close down these loopholes, and inform tenants of their rights. Rent controls must be instated to lower rent and keep it at an affordable cost. Tenants must also have the threat of eviction removed and be given long-term leases with security of tenure.
Short-term solutions like HAP [the Housing Assistance Payment] and RAS [the Rental Accommodation Scheme] have become the government’s main sticking plaster. These measures have seen a huge transfer of wealth into the hands of private landlords at a cost which continues to increase as landlords demand more money.
A mass programme of public-housing construction would see the cost of renting fall as options would open up and people would no longer be forced into the private rental market. I will fight at every opportunity to deliver public housing at local level, along with the facilities and public spaces needed for sustainable community living. For the radical shift in national housing policy that we need, however, it is necessary to build a people-power housing movement of activists, trade unions, political parties and other people who want to see an end to this crisis. We need a movement which will take on the landlord parties and secure the right to housing to provide homes for all.
To that end, I am proud that People Before Profit are active in building and promoting movements such as the Homeless and Housing Coalition and the recent Raise the Roof rallies. The victory we saw over water charges can be replicated if people organise in their communities and take to the streets to demand real change.
There was a time when every family payed a just rent to the Dublin Corporation. People were happy and the rented houses were of good quality. We need to get back to more affordable rents.
I would campaign for a rent ceiling where landlords could only charge a certain amount per room in a property no matter where the location.
As stated above, by getting more and more people into purpose-built social and affordable housing, the number of people relying on the private rental market for accommodation will decrease. The simple economics of supply and demand would dictate that rents would recede in line with the decreasing pressure on the private rental sector. Government attempts to place rent caps have had the opposite effect and led directly to landlords jacking up rents in response. The only way to meet the demand is to increase the supply. Only when the supply reaches sustainable levels will rents begin to fall to more affordable prices.
I will work with council officials to set cost-rental schemes interdependent with good planning, transport, infrastructural development, and land management. Under such a scheme, the government would build housing on state land and then recoup the costs slowly over time through affordable rents. Overall the scheme is cost neutral to the exchequer because the rent received matches the cost of providing the homes over time. I will use my position as a platform to push for the Green Party housing policy to remunerate tenants who make an improvement to the condition/energy efficiency of their property.
Again cost-rental model. For this to work it will need unused land in the city to brought into use. This will need more urgent approach to vacant sites and greater use of compulsary purchase orders.
We need a five-year rent freeze. The RPZ [Rent Pressure Zone] policy is not working. It is too easy for landlords to get around. We need long-term rental leases. It is increasingly impossible for the younger generation to even think of getting a mortgage and their own home.
The latest official figure place the amount of homeless people in Ireland at 10,305, including 4,000 children. The government’s official figures have been widely criticised. We know the real number of homeless people is much higher than what we are being told. There is the hidden homeless of people sleeping on sofas, staying in friends' houses or living in overcrowded accommodation. There are families staying in hotel rooms or family hubs, forced to comply with restrictions on visitors, the use of communal spaces and curfews.
People Before Profit is pushing for an immediate ban on evictions to stop the soaring homelessness figures. We demand real security of tenure for all tenants. An emergency programme of public housing would provide much-needed homes and we would no longer have the scandal of families being raised in hubs and hostels.
We have been told by successive governments that there are no solutions overnight. This has been the excuse now for years as we have watched the homeless figures climb up and up. It is not a question of the government failing to act overnight. Their deliberate policy is to actively facilitate the profits of landlords, developers, and vulture funds.
The market has not delivered. New developments on the market are instantly snapped up by landlords or the very wealthiest in society. The only solution is a programme of public housing on public land.
We are also calling for a referendum to put the right to housing into the constitution. This is a fundamental human need and it should always be the priority of any government to house its people.
Our candidates in People Before Profit are not just going to vote on committees, they are dedicated activists who are committed to building a mass movement to achieve real change.
Homelessness is a big social issue that needs an outside-the-box solution. Dublin City Council and the government of this country are not interested. There needs to be a workable solution to this matter. I have done some work with homeless people, and I talk to at least three homeless people every day.
Take as many properties under control of our banks and hand them over to local authorities.
With less pressure on the rental sector, the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme would become more attractive to private landlords across the city, who themselves would have greater availability. This means that getting temporary housing until such a time as a purpose-built social house was constructed should not be so difficult for the many homeless families in Dublin. Ultimately though, providing quality, appropriate permanent social housing has to be the goal.
I believe and the The Green Party believes in giving everyone the opportunity of living in a good home at a reasonable cost, in a stimulating, secure and sustainable environment. In particular, I believe housing policy should promote good outcomes for children, young people, disabled people and those most vulnerable in society.
I will use my position as a platform to push for the Green Party policy on reducing homelessness: state-funded constructed homes based on need rather than cost; allocation of housing officers to geographic areas for a consistent point of contact; restore welfare payments for under 25s at a parity with other recipients; urge the government to ensure HAP payments reflect the cost of rental in the private sector.
A housing or homes-first policy should be properly resourced and implemented.
Public housing is the short- and longer-term solution to homelessness. It would be possible to build 100,000 units on already zoned state-owned land.
There should be a tax on vacant properties and sites which is high enough to be effective. As it stands, land and property hoarders are still free to speculate on the value of land and properties. As the value goes up, these sites are sold for a huge profit. There is no incentive to build when these developers can simply wait and not lift a finger to alleviate the housing crisis.
There should also be a set time frame for developers to commence construction or else they forfeit the site to the local council. We have seen sites in Dublin sitting for so long that planning permission has expired.
I am in favour of a Derelict Sites Register which would include both council-owned and private properties. Properties which have been vacant for longer than a reasonable period of time should be subject to compulsory purchase order (CPOs) in order to provide homes for people.
People Before Profit proposed a motion on Dublin City Council for all derelict properties owned by Dublin City Council to be registered. Our motion passed. However, council management has completely ignored the democratic will of the local elected representatives. This is a constant pattern on Dublin City Council, where unelected management push the government’s agenda at the expense of elected councillors. This illustrates the need for local and national people-power campaigns. People Before Profit activists will give voice to these struggles both inside and outside the council chamber. In order to see substantial change we also need to see real action from people organising in their communities and rallying on the streets.
Dublin City Council must apply large fines for anyone who does not keep their building and sites in order.
Issue a fine that would increase each month it was not paid and after a certain amount of time the property comes under control of a local authority.
According to the 2016 census, there are roughly 1,000 vacant properties in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area alone. This in itself is a scandal. The council has utterly failed to make use of this housing stock. A substantive vacant property tax would motivate those hoarding housing privately to either sell it or make it habitable for renting. The huge number of social houses left vacant around the city is inexcusable. Both local and national government should be putting more effort into bringing these properties up to standard for renting urgently. There is also a great opportunity for DCC to start an apprenticeship programme in tandem with the refurbishment of this housing stock. In doing so, not only will there be more social housing on offer in time of crisis, but a new generation of skilled tradespeople will be trained up within DCC in order to allow the council greater scope to maintain its housing stock as well as giving employment opportunities across the city.
I will work with my colleagues on the Green Party's proposition to replace the property tax with a site value tax. This means that properties would be taxed based on the zoning of their property and the amenities available rather than market value. This would make it much more expensive for property owners to keep properties that are not being used.
At the same time I will actively make sure that such sites are known to all. I will publish a map of all derelict/vacant buildings and publish it in my newsletter to the residents. I will powerwash every footpath in front of such buildings to make the issue as visible as possible.
Levies need to be increased and greater use of compulsary purchase orders. We are in the middle of a housing crisis and the balance between private property and public good is unbalanced.
We need a more effective vacant site tax plus a policy of "use it or lose it" to stop land hoarding.
The IPCC report made it clear that we have 12 years to avert a climate catastrophe. We need to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions to tackle climate change. We are also seeing 1,500 people in Ireland die premature deaths every year due to poor air quality. There is therefore an urgent need to reduce the amount of cars on the road.
An underfunded public transport system encourages people to choose cars over public transport. We need to oppose the privatisation agenda of Fine Gael, which has seen several of our bus routes handed over to private operators Go Ahead. Our public transport must not be run for profit. Any money made should be invested back into the service to improve its quality and ensure the employees are fairly paid.
People Before Profit are in favour of significant investment in our public transport services to put more buses on the road and provide a better service for people overall. To encourage more people to use public transport, we also propose that the service is free to use and funded by progressive taxation. This model has worked in other European cities and has proven to be effective.
There are aspects of the BusConnects plan we would support but we have great concerns about the absence of proper consultation. The previous version of the plan would have seen many parts of our local area without any bus service at all. The elderly, people with disabilities and people with children, in particular, would have suffered the most with these plans.
In my mind we need more Luas-type systems. But not at all costs, and not with the removal of mature trees, and not with the removal of public open spaces. There has to be more transport, but not at all costs to communities.
Have small buses run into areas with an ageing population linking them to the main bus routes.
Public-transport improvements are vital for environmental, public-health and economic reasons. Congestion on our roads could be greatly reduced with proper public transport. We need to increase capacity on the Red Line Luas. Orbital bus routes are vital to get people out of their cars and onto public transport. These should be prioritised ahead of any of the proposed BusConnects programme, which requires much greater scrutiny in order to bring about a bus system that works for the people. Furthermore, the public-transport system should remain in public ownership. Greater coordination of the Leap card system to make it cheaper and easier for commuters to travel across the various public transport options is also a must. If travelling by public transport takes longer and is more expensive than travelling by private car, we cannot possibly win the hearts and minds of people to travel by bus/tram/rail. Greater-frequency, quicker journey times along prioritised routes and cutting the cost via increased public subvention are all required.
I will push for the reduction of car traffic and road surface for cars. Less cars would ease bus flow, decreasing travel times and increasing public-transport efficiency. I will use my position to oppose the National Transport Authority (NTA) taking people’s gardens and cutting public trees: road surface for public transport and soft modes of transport need to be created by reducing car journeys. I will work with council officials on making sure that all human movement-related infrastructure is 100 percent disabled accessible and usable.
More investment. New flat fare structures. Biggest obstacle to improving public transport though is congestion due to sharing road space with cars. Dublin City Development Plan 2022 needs to move us towards a carless city.
The "bus disconnects" proposals will undermine services for our communities. We need much more investment in affordable and clean energy public transport. The subsidies for public transport here are the lowest in the EU.
Cycling infrastructure, along with better public transport, needs to be improved to reduce our city’s reliance on cars. As it stands, it is often unsafe to cycle in many parts of the city. We need to provide more cycle lanes to ensure both children and adults can cycle for recreation and as a form of transport which produces no emissions.
Cycle paths can be developed in tandem with green spaces in our city. This would be hugely beneficial for both physical exercise and mental health.
The rental bikes have proven to be a success in Dublin city centre. This system should be expanded to other areas of Dublin, particularly the suburbs.
My vision is people cycling to work, or school or college, families out cycling, all in a safe cycle street or route only for bikes. No no no no cars or trucks or buses. There would be a dedicated number of routes through the city for people on bikes. Happy days for all if we can do this.
Encourage more people to avail of existing infrastructure and insure they are properly maintained.
I recently launched a plan for improved cycling infrastructure across the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area, including a "West Dublin Historical Cycle Route". This route would bring greater tourism to the area, connecting the Phoenix Park, the historical sites in Kilmainham, down through Inchicore via Richmond Barracks, on through Lansdowne Valley Park in Drimnagh before meeting with the Long Mile Road in Walkinstown, adjacent to Drimnagh Castle. Enhanced, segregated cycle paths would encourage more people to cycle further reducing congestion on the roads and overcrowding on public transport. The Metropolitan Greenways plan must be prioritised to give cyclists safe radial routes in and out of the city. The appeal to Europe's large cycling tourism market would bring greater investment to the city also. The expansion of the DublinBikes scheme into our suburbs is vital if any worthwhile cycling program is to succeed. The short-term tourism benefits and long-terms health benefits would pay for the investment in cycling infrastructure many times over.
Again I will push for the reduction of car traffic and road surface for cars . I will work with council officials to increase the 30km zone. Less cars driving more slowly will make cycling in the city a safer experience. I will organise road-closure events during the year for an afternoon so kids can play on the street in a car-free zone, so all can enjoy an afternoon with no noise and exhaust pollution.
As above. Also need to dedicate percentage of transport budget to cycling infrastructure. Cycling office rather than cycling offier in Dublin City Council.
Cycle lanes are a good idea. We need an awareness programme for motorists but also we need to make cyclists aware the rules of the road also apply to them.
The relentless pursuit of growth and profit by the world’s corporations is leading to environmental destruction. We are heading towards a cliff edge and, rather than applying the brakes, the people in charge are pushing the accelerator. The IPCC report gives us 12 years to prevent a climate catastrophe. The government has consistently failed to meet its targets for climate change. [Taoiseach] Leo Varadkar himself has admitted his government have been “laggards” on climate change. The target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent from the years 2005 to 2020 has failed spectacularly. The government is on target to reduce emissions by just 1 percent.
[People Before Profit TD] Bríd Smith’s climate emergency bill would ban the government from issuing any further licences to extract fossil fuels. Fine Gael have vigorously opposed this measure as they do not want to upset their allies in the oil and gas industry.
A hundred of the world's corporations are responsible for 71 percent of carbon emissions, yet Fine Gael would rather punish people for heating their homes than tackle the real culprits. The right-wing tactics of blaming the individual will not solve climate change. Fuel poverty in Dublin is already a serious problem. We need to retrofit homes to reduce energy usage, target the profits of fossil fuel companies and shift away from regressive methods of energy production. Ireland can provide a cleaner, greener alternative by investing in wind, solar and wave energy.
A key issue when shifting towards renewable energy will be a just transition for workers. Workers in the existing fossil fuel industry should be trained for these new jobs. Energy production should also be state-owned to provide maximum benefit for the taxpayer.
Ireland’s beef and dairy herd is responsible for 33 percent of emissions. Rather than move towards more sustainable farming, the government is flying around the world to find new markets in Asia and the Middle East. We also need to reduce the amount of plastics, packaging and food waste that we see in our local supermarkets.
A programme of afforestation would be hugely beneficial to the quality of our air and would allow local wildlife to flourish.
Crucially, we must also reduce the reliance on cars by expanding our rail and bus networks, investing more in these services to improve their quality, and making public transport free to all.
It has been inspiring to see the school students’ strike and the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations here in Ireland and across the world. These movements should give us all hope for the future and the courage we need to tackle one of the greatest threats to humanity.
Climate change is a very urgent and important matter that cannot wait. My immediate part solution is simple. If we in this country were to wake up in the morning and do one thing to reduce the effects of climate change, I would say we should get rid of every plastic item in our houses and workplaces. This would have a major impact on the planet. The question needs action on a number of fronts by our goverment, and if there is not action within the next two years, the government will be fined by the EU.
More information and awareness is needed on this issue, so a door-to-door campaign telling residents how they can help reduce climate change.
As a climate-change ambassador with An Taisce, one of the main things I hope to achieve as a city councillor is for a greater focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly policies. The moves for greater public transport and cycling will have a positive impact on the fuel emissions released each year by Dubliners. That's just a start. I would like to see the City Development Plan changed such that all new commercial buildings being built above a fixed square metreage footprint would be obliged to incorporate a mix of green roof and solar panels to promote renewable energy production and sustainability. Grants for community gardens should be made available by DCC in order to promote people to "grow their own" and live more sustainable lives. Greater recycling facilities should be rolled out across the city in order to make it easier for people to live greener lives. Our public-transport fleet simply must move away from diesel. From 2020, all new mass-transport vehicles acquired for use in Dublin should use electricity, bio-fuel, hydrogen fuel cells or similar. We also require a greater number of electric charging points for electric cars around the city. A better public-lighting system should be designed to reduce the 30 percent energy waste lost to "sky glow", which also has negative ecological impacts via light pollution.
I will be against any urban sprawl. We need to prioritise brownfield sites for new developments and preserve greenfield sites for recreation. I will propose a motion in City Hall to implement a minimum population density limit for all housing projects. This would help to reduce car dependency, to create better public transport services, to offer more public amenities, to keep more green spaces. I will work with council officials to create sustainable living neighborhoods to live and to work.
I will work with council officials to build self-sufficient sustainable neighborhoods with water-collection systems, using solar energy and wind energy. I will use my position as a platform to push for legislation to allow homeowners and businesses to sell surplus energy to energy providers. I will use my position as a platform to create more co-op type or social enterprises as recycling centres, compost centres. This will save every resident money by recycling organic waste.
Transport and housing are big areas where carbon reduction can happen as are commercial buildings. Passive standard for new build needs to be implemented, mandatory use of energy-recovery systems. Move from private cars to public transport as norm. Dublin City Council's Climate Action Plan should be at heart of next city development plan.
Climate change is the number one problem now facing human society. It needs an international and radical solution. Just 100 major fossil fuel companies are responsible for 70 percent of all carbon emissions. Unless this is tackled no amount of piecemeal measures such as the Paris Accords will work. We need an international agreement to replace fossil fuels with renewables. To achieve this we need a "new world order" based not on profit and the interests of the 1 percent but on rational and sustainable planning to use the world’s resources for the many not the few. Single-use plastics must be banned immediately.
The privatisation of waste management has been a complete failure. This is a fact which is growing increasingly popular and it is now common sense to the majority of people that waste management needs to be brought back under the control of local councils. We would see an immediate drop in illegal dumping once privatisation was reversed. Local councils should also promote recycling.
To reduce the amount of litter we see on our streets, we need to see more litter bins available throughout Dublin and for the councils to have proper funding available to them for effective street cleaning.
The problem of dog fouling also needs to be met with more dog litter bins, street cleaning and education programmes.
This is my favourite topic. Litter, dumping, dog shit. The first thing I would say is it starts at all families' kitchen tables. Showing our children the correct way to dispose of different types of waste, including dog shit. I think the children get the correct guidance. Now, dumping: recently I was driving around my area and I spotted three bags that was not there three hours ago so I stopped to investigate, thinking maybe I would find an address in one of the bags. I went over to the bags ready for a search, when I discovered one bag, the middle bag was not a bag but a homeless person fast asleep, on let me say a very cold night. I put the person's bags into the car and I said we will go into town and get you a hostel bed. Wt 11.55pm I found a bed for that person. Fines for litter, dumping, and dog shit. I had a dog Sandy and with the dog you must have a shit-lifter and a bag. But the bag must be taken home and not left in the park.
More litter and dog poo bins in our parks and streets and investment in waste enforcement and litter wardens.
Waste disposal services must come back under the control of DCC. Privatisation of the waste collection services has not worked and has led directly to a huge increase in illegal dumping. What's more, the cost of private waste collection to households is greater than it would be if paid for via the local property tax, which is what the property tax was supposed to be for in the first place anyway. The DCC policy of removing public waste bins has also been a disaster. This was done in an effort to stop illegal dumping but, again, this has proven a massive failure. We need more public litter bins and with them, dog litter bins. On top of this, we also require enforcement. There is no point is having a parking warden, litter warden and a dog warden if none of the three are effectively doing the job in front of them. All three roles should be amalgamated into one "Street Officer" who could then tackle the issue of dog dirt, littering and anti-social parking concurrently. Enough of these street officers would act as a good deterrent. It's not good enough that in all of Dublin last year there were only four fines for dog fouling when the problem is so prevalent. With the correct disposal facilities in place, which must be the priority, people should know that if they ignore their obligations to clean up after themselves, they face a high risk of receiving an on-the-spot fine.
I will support my Green Party colleague Councillor Patrick Costello and his proposed motion on dog poo. One of the actions his motion proposes is to get the Minister for the Environment to increase fines related to dog fouling. The other one is to introduce a pilot scheme of DNA testing. I will use my position as a platform to push for the government to increase funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tackle illegal dumping and to remove unnecessary red tape so the council, the Gardaí and the EPA can do their job.
I will organise a roundtable with my fellow councillors, affected communities, council officials and any interested private parties to discuss ways to prevent the problem: could we use incentives to encourage people to stop illegal dumping? Could we use incentives for people to clean up litter? Would it be less costly and less damaging for the environment and safer for all? I will use my position as a platform to encourage local businesses to reduce the amount of packaging they supply to customers.
I am in favour of councils being responsible for waste collection and support the #morepowertoyou campaign. I believe that charges for waste collection has led to needed behavioural change but that a purely commercial approach is neither fair nor produces the best result. Also there needs to be greater pressure on producers to eliminate packaging .
Illegal dumping or the threat of same has lead to dog poo bins being withdrawn in some places due to misuse. More bins needed. However only lasting solution is change in dog owners' behaviour. Just as it is now unthinkable for most people to smoke in proximity of babies, same social change needs to happen re: letting dogs foul in streets and parks.
Part of this problem is the huge cuts in council staff which have taken place over the last 20 years. These need to be reversed.
A community is not just somewhere where we live but somewhere where we should be able to feel a sense of belonging, interact with others, and have the facilities and services we need for an enjoyable life. Parks and green spaces are vital for a sustainable community and important for our mental health.
Community consultation must be central to any new developments across Dublin to ensure that communities have the parks and green spaces they need.
Our existing parks must be properly funded to ensure they are maintained. People deserve to have a local park which is clean and vibrant.
In developments which I have designed there are always open spaces provided and in some sites a small playground. The Australian model should be adopted here in this country. When you build houses, a large amount or a small amount, you must provide a green space with grass, trees, shrubs, and a small or large playground for children. The larger the development then more green spaces provided so that children are no more than a determined distance from a park with a playground.
Combat the use of scramblers and quids in our green spaces by seizing them and destroying them.
With huge pressure to provide housing across the city, planners could be tempted to build on any and all space that becomes available to them. However, it's important to ensure that appropriate green space is incorporated into all development plans into the future. Already we have a dearth of playing pitches and parks in many areas of Dublin. The Dolphin Park situation is a good example of this issue, where playing pitches are being sold off for housing development in an area that already does not have enough green space. Local sports clubs are vital for the community spirit as well as the general health of people in all areas. As a sports enthusiast I see this regularly. Another example is in a club I'm a player and committee member. Our playing grounds have recently been bought by a private interest and as such, the club's rents have dramatically increased, putting the club's future viability, and that of our partner clubs in other sports, in question. The loss of these clubs in Dublin 12 would be a huge loss to the area as, given the lack of appropriate alternative playing facilities locally, the future is one where we either get a major, sustainable cash injection to meet even-increasing rents or the club may fold. This has been driven completely by the lack of playing facilities/green spaces in the city, which has led to schools and institutions in the city centre moving out to the suburbs and buying up green spaces there for private use. DCC must look at providing better green areas and playing facilities right across the city. Dublin cannot become another concrete jungle. The council should also ensure that playing facilities bought privately should have a stipulation that protects the future viability of local clubs that have a noted historical association with the grounds in question.
I will push for areas with higher but moderate population density to preserve space for nature. I will work with council officials to make our existing green spaces places for active biodiversity. I have already contacted Dublin City Council's Parks Department to ask for a playground in Chapelizod. I will propose a motion to City Hall demanding that brownfield sites left derelict for six months be made automatically available to local residents on a temporary basis to use as community gardens.
When derelict sites are being developed , a "greening" provision should be introduced. In many cases this may be relatively small strips, in others larger. Good recent examples of both e.g. Weaver Park and strips of land at North King Street and at Dolphins Barn.
In the area I hope to represent we would have a decent amount of green space and parks. I feel we need to preserve and protect what we have and ensure we maintain and improve these areas an example of that would be playgrounds bio-diversity etc.
In a world where the privatisation agenda is constantly pushed by those in power, it is necessary to fight back on the streets and in our communities. As an activist, I will support any local campaign to keep our public spaces out of private hands. Residents should be entitled to have their amenities such as community centres and sports facilities in public hands. We should also be free to enjoy ourselves in our city without having to pay.
Football pitches, community gardens, allotments, playgrounds, equine centres and skate parks would be welcome additions to many communities who do not have these facilities. Vacant land should be used to promote more public spaces which would be beneficial to people’s health and allow our communities to flourish.
Well I am always in favour of protection of public spaces and to protect them from privatisation and make them nicer places. Now I don't just talk the talk, I can talk, but I take action as well. I was part of the restoration of Kilmainham Goal. This was done by men and women who had great insight into the future. We worked on that building for circa 20 years, and no one got a penny in pay for their work, which was blood, sweat, and at times tears. But it was all done by total volunteers people with a vision. Look at what thoses men and women left for future generations. If you have not been to Kilmainham Goal go and visit this fantastic public building and as you are walking around think of the people who restored it to its present glory. Just to say a different group of people including myself have managed to convince the Dublin City Council to purchase the Kilmainham Mill and that project is under way as we write, due to the enormous efforts of the Save Kilmainham Mill group. This mill building and site is now saved from privatisation and I am very happy to say this building will be there also for future generations to enjoy and learn about our industrial heritage. Both of the places I mentioned above are or will be nicer places due to the voluntary efforts of local committed people.
I do agree with this that our public space should be kept public and maintained with adequate benches and play areas.
Dublin needs a central civic plaza. With the failure of the College Green plaza idea, we must go back to the drawing board and find something on this site that is agreeable to all. Additionally, all public spaces need improvements, from the provision of drinking-water fountains, to more public toilet facilities, to benches and trees and flower planters. Brightening up the city and making it more welcoming to locals and visitors alike will do wonders in getting people out and about and enjoying the city. The Metropolitan Greenway initiative would encourage Dubliners to explore more of their city and lead to more healthy, active lifestyles outdoors, separate from heavily trafficked streets. There is huge scope to look at civic spaces all over the city, which would not only act as a great amenity for Dublin, but also help protect some of our cultural heritage. As a descendent of a 1916 combatant and War of Independence martyr, it sickened me that the government allowed the Moore Street site fall to private development rather than transform it into a new cultural quarter celebrating the birth of the nation. We need large-scale visionary ideas for Dublin like that to rejuvenate the city. One area crying out for such large-scale thinking is the Davitt Road green- and brown-field sites along the canal in Drimnagh, mostly owned by the HSE currently. The scope is there for a new "canal village" incorporating public buildings, like a theatre, apartments, retail units, public services and a civic plaza, all along an existing public-transport route. We need a greater vision for Dublin when it comes to councillors drafting the City Development Plan.
I will work with council officials to make Dublin a World Health Organization Healthy City. A healthy city is one that creates and improves the physical and social environments and expands the community resources which enable mutual support among people to live and develop each and everyone of us to our maximum potential. I will work with public health and town planner officials to create Dublin, the healthy city for the common good and not for shareholders.
I will propose a motion requesting the erection of public benches. I will propose a motion requesting the erection of markets for fresh produce, fish, meat, etc on public spaces. I will propose that there is at least one market taking place daily in Dublin City on a rotation basis. Again I will use my position as a platform to publicly push for all new and retrofitted public spaces to be 100 percent disabled accessible and usable. I will work with council officials to keep all public spaces chemical free to protect local fauna and flora and people’s health.
Firstly the public spaces that are there need to be reclaimed from the profusion of clutter (junction boxes, unnecessary signage, overspill from shops etc) that make them unattractive and also hamper easy mobility. Biggest available land bank for public space is roads. As we move to reduce car usage we need to reclaim road space as public space and develop it in an attractive way.
Yes. I am extremely proud of the role I, along with Cllr Pat Dunne and Joan Collins TD played at the height of the '90s property boom in defending our green spaces and sporting facilities in Dublin 12. We stopped the city planners and developers from building in Lansdowne Valley, Pearse Park and Brickfield. We also led a successful campaign to stop the closure of the Crumlin swimming pool.