Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Ballymun-Finglas

17 candidates competing for 6 seats
 

We need to change our housing system so that we deliver good quality housing at low cost to purchasers and renters rather than the highest possible profit to developers and land speculators.

To do this, we need to stop approaching housing and land like they are commodities and start building homes using the extensive resources of the state. Local authorities have a crucial role to play in this, especially in building on public land at their disposal and working with other government agencies to plan and deliver new homes.

We need to use the extensive residentially zoned public land that is available to public authorities to build homes that are affordable. The Ó Cualann housing model – which has very successfully delivered housing at low cost in Poppintree – should be rolled out in other areas of Ballymun-Finglas.

The next council should also make step-down housing a priority. More step-down housing would give older people the option to live in more manageable homes. In turn, it would free up family homes at a time when we desperately need them.

Sinn Féin’s position is that government policy needs to change so that the state builds houses. It happened in the past and can happen again. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael insist on depending on private developers to solve the housing crisis. Policies like this caused the economic crash in the first place, and are not a solution. Only a radical change in policy, with the state taking responsibility to supply social and affordable homes, will solve the problem. 

Currently, citizens in Ireland do not have a right to housing. Sinn Féin has continuously advocated for a rights-based approach. If you had a right to housing, amongst other things, then the government would have a legal responsibility to deliver on that right.  Currently, housing is a commodity and not a right for our people.

In our 2019 alternative budget, Sinn Féin doubled the government's spending commitment on social and affordable homes, delivering twice as many units. In the short term, this would help, but a change of policy is ultimately needed. 

Sinn Féin would push for the delivery of over 10,000 social homes per year. This government has delivered no affordable houses. Sinn Féin would initially push for the delivery of over 3,000 affordable rental units per year and greatly expand this sector of the housing share.

We advocate council-led mixed-income public-housing estates with social, cost-rental and affordable-purchase homes. And we propose reducing the time for the approval, tendering and procurement process for public housing from 18-24 months to 6-9 months.

The lack of an affordable housing scheme is clearly evident throughout the city . Successful schemes like Ó Cualann housing in Ballymun have been severely oversubscribed showing the clear need for similar schemes.

I am in favour of social-mix housing developments that cater for social, affordable , senior citizen , privately rented and privately owned dwellings. We now have a whole generation of young adults myself included who cannot afford to live in Dublin for the first time in the history of the state. It is very clear a shift in policy is needed.

In my home area of Finglas, there are approximately 5,000 3 to 4 bedroom housing units that have a sole occupant. In a lot of circumstances these are senior citizens who might like to downsize and stay in the area if senior citizens' accommodation was available. Selling their home back to council for a fee and moving into smaller more manageable rental accommodation in the heart of their communities should be a possibility. This in turn frees up larger houses for families on the relevant housing lists.

I will push for Dublin City Council to work intensively with the new Land Development Agency (LDA) to significantly increase supply in the short and medium term, given the need to ramp up the supply of social and affordable homes in a very short time frame. Like all city and county councils, Dublin City Council is dependent on government funding to build social housing. If the LDA fulfils its promise, it can work in partnership with DCC to rapidly build both affordable and social housing. It is critical, however, that public land owned by the council is used for public housing. This is the best tool available to councillors, as many other decisions regarding housing have been taken away from local government by central government, and is one of the key demands of the National Housing and Homelessness Coalition.

Lobby the government to fulfill their obligations within international human rights covenants that it’s already signed up to and the right of people living in Ireland to a safe shelter to call home.

I’d also call for support of a public-housing programme for a wide range of incomes. Providing affordable green homes is one way to keep Dublin’s economy competitive and to help nourish and protect our environment as we collectively develop our infrastructure.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Economies with far less land and far greater populations have made it work for the collective good of all the people. We can learn from the positives and the mistakes of development within other cultures in order to keep our policies environmentally friendly and socially proactive.

More cost-efficient turn-around time for council homes in Ballymun and Finglas.

The housing and homelessness crisis 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 rely soly 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 only 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 for housing.

First we must build on what available DCC land there is, establish a state developer managed by DCC, building to an agreed set number of house and appartment designs, and compulsorily purchase any hoarded land that has been lying idle for years. Scrap [the government's flagship housing programme] ‘’Rebuilding Ireland’’, it has failed.

The state and various councils are sitting on many boarded-up houses. These could and should be brought up to standard in a short time. Take, for example the Dominick Luas stop in Dublin: at least half the flats there have been empty since before the Luas was completed (Google images of the Luas line). If half are still occupied then the complete blocks are at least compliant with safety standards so the empty ones need to be brought into a habitable condition.

My view on this is that we should set up a company under the councils to build social and affordable housing and not be depending on the private market and would use my voice in the council on that.

Support an ambitious public-housing programme for a wide range of incomes in mixed-income estates and demand from the minister to give greater resources for this programme. Providing affordable housing is the only way to keep Dublin’s economy competitive.

I would advocate for a system that makes the local authority take control of the building of social and affordable housing and not one that allows them to sell public land to private developers or purchase houses off private developers at over-the-top prices.

As a councillor I would:

1) Oppose the sale of any council-owned land for private, for-profit development, and ask all state bodies to impose a moratorium on the sale of public land to private actors;

2) Put forward costed proposals for 100 percent public, mixed-income housing on council-owned land like O'Devaney Gardens and in Ballymun. These new developments would remain owned by the council, and have a mix of both low- and middle-income tenants, many of whom would not necessarily qualify for traditional social housing, but can't afford Dublin rents. Homes would be rented with lifetime security, with rents linked to income – i.e. wealthier tenants would pay more – and with a strong emphasis on open, green space and facilities;

3) Introduce a new zoning category in the city development plan, for "affordable housing", justified by the fact that the current "residential" zoning category is not currently serving its intended purpose of ensuring sufficient supply of affordable homes in the city;

4) Use the development plan to introduce restrictions on for-profit development such as luxury apartments and unaffordable student housing;

5) Push city officials to increase applications for borrowing to invest in the delivery of cost-rental housing (as described above);

6) Campaign for a citywide referendum to nationalise institutional landlords, similar to Berlin;

7) There is much more that needs to be done at national level – nonetheless, councillors CAN stop the sell-off of public land, and this is the key first step to tackling the housing crisis.

In relation to height, the Workers' Party believes medium-height building – not sprawling suburbs – is the way to tackle the housing crisis, and build walkable, liveable neighbourhoods. We support appropriate multi-storey development, and believe Dublin must become a city in which apartments are lifelong homes, for families and everyone else. The "trade-off" to building more apartments must be that those living in them have lots of green space in exchange. However, currently, the housing crisis is being used as an excuse to push for high-rise developments that are either non-residential, or are either luxury apartments or extremely poor-quality, and targetting transient populations. This is not the way to build apartment living in Dublin.

 

The Social Democrats' clear overall objective is to tackle the housing shortage and homelessness crisis by ensuring homes are built and are made available at affordable prices to rent or buy and this will ease rental prices

We will continue to campaign strongly for improved rights for renters. Our Rental Charter plan includes a ban on rental-bidding wars, the extension of legal rent caps throughout the country, and a deposit protection scheme. We would also introduce extensive rent control, security of tenure, and regulation of short-lets. We will continue to campaign strongly for improved rights for renters.

The Social Democrats commit to ending the preferential tax treatment of REITs [real estate investment trusts] and use the savings from this initiative to provide increased funding to local authorities.

Across Europe, renting is much more prevalent than in Ireland. Some of this is due to historical reasons, but it also has to do with the legal structure. Renting can be good for some, but only if properly regulated. In Europe, the legal infrastructure is in place, with regulation on security of tenure and rent levels. These models are available, and whereas no two systems are the same this problem can be solved. Fixed long-term leases, backed by strong regulation on both sides, is necessary. This government has consistently refused to examine these alternatives, mainly because ideologically they give more importance to property than to people. 

Sinn Féin were the first party to advocate for an immediate rent freeze for a period of three years, preventing any further rise in rents. This would be accompanied by a renters’ tax relief equivalent to one month's rent.

The council, with the help of housing agencies, need to build more homes. The over-reliance on the housing assistance payment (HAP) for those who meet the threshold for social housing has inflated the rental market. In 2014, €390,000 was paid to private landlords through HAP. In 2018, the figure has inflated to €276.6 million. This is gravely affecting the rental market. Fine Gael have failed the people of Dublin on housing, Rebuilding Ireland's budget has already reached capacity.

I would also be in favour of the Vienna model of renting in Dublin where the council build apartments and houses and individuals can rent them. The rent is linked to the individual's income.

I will push for a major expansion of both social housing and "cost-rental" housing. This will reduce rents for many people who are currently at the mercy of market rents, which are unaffordable for most tenants. Vienna and other European cities have shown how a hands-on and proactive approach by city councils can deliver. This, combined with a cost-rental model which can reduce rents significantly through removing profits from the equation, can ease the pressure on tenants if we can ramp up our ambition and achieve scale.

But it’s not just about the cost of renting, it’s also about security of tenure. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that tenants renting in the private rented sector are afforded all the protections of the law as it stands, and that the Residential Tenancies Board is provided with the powers and resources it needs to ensure that tenants’ rights are enforced and enhanced. There are weaknesses in current regulations in this area, and I will add my voice to NGOs and others who advocate for greater protections for tenants.

Support current schemes like HAP [the Housing Assistance Payment].

Incentivise landlords to take up long-term leases.

Compulsory buying orders on derelict or abandoned properties. Green environmentally friendly redevelopment of such spaces so that they're feeding back into our national grid.

Rejuvenate and renovate neglected city-centre neighbourhoods.

Support community-development infrastructures so that all generations are empowered and educated to make a positive change in their local communities. The Men’s Sheds are an excellent example of this.

Seek local, regional and national Investment in the commuter areas including Ballymum/Finglas.

We need a five-year rent freeze. The RPZ [Rent-Pressure Zones] 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 gettng a mortgage and their own home.

Ban Airbnb in the city and its suburbs and fast-track funding to all existing DCC housing projects. More homes on the market will apply downward pressure on rents. At present, the Department of Housing is slowing the finance to projects. This has to stop. The private rental sector needs to be challenged by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) issuing fines and jail sentances for breaches of rules on rental costs and standards. Rental costs need to be slashed and rental caps enforced.

Part of the high rent issue is caused by the lack of council/affordable houses, compounded by what seems to be a block on state funding for new social housing. So bringing the existing stock up to standard can start a move towards stabilising rental prices. I would also look to bring forward rent control and ban "viewing fees". Alongside these measures I would look at the issue of vulture funds and pension funds buying up complete housing projects and apartment blocks as developers will sooner sell complete blocks/projects in one lot as opposed to individuals over a longer period of time.

The selling of distressed mortgages at discounted prices must be halted. All banks should offer the same discount to the home owner before it is offered to any other group with housing organisations being offered them before any vulture fund. We need only look at how Clúid worked with Cork County Council and bought the Leeside apartment block, enabling the current tenants, who were fighting eviction, to remain and the remaining empty apartments will be filled with tenants from the council housing list.

A major build of public housing supply is the way to go. This is what i would be pushing for if elected but that's not what is happening. Depending on the private market will never work or pushing families in to private landlords under HAP is driving up rents. Profiteering is going on.

Continue to increase the rights of tenants, including incentivising landlords to take up long-term leases.

Rent and house prices are determined by supply and demand, and in areas where there is less supply and more demand prices will be hiked up. This should be stopped by placing a cap on rent prices in areas where demand is high, in line with the minimum wage.

Radically increasing the supply of publicly owned housing (for both low- and middle-income tenants) is the best way to drive down rents. Most changes to private-rental-sector legislation must come from national government, and I will continue to campaign for measures to drive down rents, and introduce lifetime leases as standard. In addition, in terms of what I can do as a councillor, I would:

1) Increase funding to monitor illegal short-term lettings, and lobby for changes to national legislation to ban them entirely;

2) Amend the development plan to prohibit changes-of-use for buildings from residential to holiday letting/commercial;

3) Introduce a reference to "affordability" into the City Development Plan so that when a new building is applying for planning permission, it has to submit an "affordability assessment" along with its environmental assessment, which shows the likely affordability for an average worker of whatever accommodation is being proposed.

 

The overall aim of the council’s housing policy should be to reduce the cost of housing so that housing is affordable and homelessness is prevented. The council alone can’t effectively address homelessness – urgent action is needed at government level to strengthen tenants’ rights to prevent homelessness and exploitation. I support increasing housing supply by drastically increasing funding for not-for-profit building, co-op housing, and renovation of derelict buildings. The council should also ringfence a higher proportion of all new development for affordable housing in addition to the existing 10 percent social provision.

This cannot be separated from the previous two questions. An adequate supply of social and affordable homes, alongside a properly structured rental market, will reduce homelessness. It won’t solve it all, as there are many reasons people end up in homelessness, but it would go a long way.

On top of our above proposals to tackle the severe undersupply in the housing market, and to reduce the financial burden on hard-pressed renters, Sinn Féin have advocated for an increase in investment in homeless emergency accommodation and support funding in our alternative budget. We also proposed to allocate more funding for accommodation of survivors of domestic violence.

I believe the two policies above will help to reduce homelessness. I also believe the majority of rough sleepers need to be dealt with separately . If they have addiction issues, supports should be put in place to help them in the form of addiction support services, outreach workers and education programmes.

I will advocate strongly for a change in the law to ensure that tenants are not evicted into homelessness as a result of their homes being sold or being refurbished. Research by Focus Ireland has clearly established that the most common reason for people becoming homeless is that their landlords have provided them with notice to quit from their homes on the grounds that the landlord is selling the property, is providing it for family use, or is refurbishing it. Unfortunately, councillors have little say on this, as responsibility lies with central government, but we can exert some pressure to change the current regulations to tighten up in this area, alongside NGOs and tenants themselves.

In terms of direct actions the council can take, as set out above, I will push for the provision of more public housing and more affordable rents to stem the tide of homelessness, as people will have affordable secure accommodation and no longer be pushed onto the streets. Most directly, the best thing we can do in Dublin City Council is to build more public housing.

Quicker, more cost-effective turn-around of council houses.

Collective negotiation to control interest rates to enable working-class families to get on the property ladder. Affordable, accessible mortgages.

Accessible, affordable education so people are empowered to take back control of their lives and not be dependent on state handouts. Resist intergenerational poverty through accessible, affordable education in the local communities with childcare and university fee-free access.

Lobby the government to invest in culturally appropriate, local housing that suits the needs of the local populations.

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 Iand.

The homeless will not be helped until government decides it wishes to help them. Funding is required to build proper accommodation with care staff and facilities. The system of night shelters is inhumane and this problem has to be tackled head-on by government. Presently, the homeless sector is buckling under the pressure of the demand for its services.

The positive moves from my answers to questions 1 and 2 would be a good beginning to reduce the numbers of homeless. Proper funding to the likes of Peter McVerry Trust, iCare Housing and Clúid would be another way. Those charities and trusts seem better capable of erecting housing schemes that deal with this issue as opposed to private developers who are motivated by profit. The sale of semi-completed or completed Nama properties and portfolios at knockdown prices is little short of criminal. I will work to end this immediately.

A major increase in building homes. Supply and demand, it's a no-brainer. This is connected to your first question. Our party has being saying this till we are blue in the face but no change. Rent freeze for three years will go some way to help in this regard.

The solution to the housing crisis is simple: build more houses. While we will always have an element of rough sleeping, which is different than the housing crisis, the reason we have people sleeping in hotels and other emergency accommodation is because Fine Gael squandered a housing surplus and failed to prepare for the housing needs in Dublin and elsewhere.

This problem is nationwide, and while they may see a short-term solution of accommodating people in hotels, it's wrong – families with young children should have consistency. As an individual who worked in the hotel industry the only interest they have is the money. More homes need to be built. Individuals who wish to downsize to senior accommodation should be given the opportunity if they are in their 50s and want to live there, to free up a larger homes for families, using buildings that belong to the state and are waiting to be redeveloped. The owners of homes that are privately owned and are derelict because of damage by tenants should be given relief to repair them, so then they can be returned to the rental market at a reduced rate. Dublin City Council should hire extra contractors to repair homes so their turnaround is quicker. In some case, homes that are boarded up are ready to be repaired but it takes months to do so. This should be looked into and if the contractor DCC hires is overworked then more contractors need to hired.

Radically increasing the supply of publicly owned housing (for both low- and middle-income tenants) is the best way to drive down homelessness. This is fully within councillors' control, if they stop selling off public land.

 

I will work to significantly reducing voids and re-let times of council properties so that social housing tenancy is offered quickly to people in need. Empty properties are a wasted resource, and adversely affect homelessness and waiting lists. I will also work to bring derelict houses back into use.

For residential properties, Sinn Féin would introduce measures to stop the widespread practice of land hoarding. This happens when investors and developers hold onto land, thus blockading the housing market to drive up prices. Some of the measures we have proposed are the introduction of a vacant property tax, and increasing the Vacant Site Levy. Again, the reason so many people are at the mercy of investors and developers can is that government policy depends on them to build houses. A state building programme would reduce that power.

For commercial property, Sinn Féin have developed a policy about using the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to invest in run-down town and city centres, instead of underperforming investment funds abroad. In partnership with local councils across the island, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund would purchase disused green sites and vacant commercial properties to rent them out on a commercial basis, creating more revenue for councils and regenerating Irish towns.

The Derelict Sites Act works to some degree on vacant properties throughout the city. I would like to see legislation or by laws that would see the 3 percent levy charged per annum on sites that quality as a derelict significantly increased after a period of five years. The turnaround on council-owned properties also has to be much quicker.

I will actively work to change the rules around derelict sites. Many derelict sites are not on the Derelict Sites Register as they do not meet the standard of being derelict, as currently set out. Some unscrupulous owners, who should be facing penalties to encourage development, are able to avoid them. If elected I would use the council’s Planning and Property Strategic Policy Committee to review the thresholds and have a more realistic approach to dereliction.

But this, by itself, will not solve the problem. A house on the derelict sites register will be charged 3 percent of the market value of the property as a fine. The growth of property prices has meant that this can be easily covered by the developer’s profit as prices rise. The consequences of being on the register need to be made more severe. The challenge is that these consequences are set by national legislation and are not under the control of the council. If elected I will raise awareness of this among other councillors, from all parties and none, and work with them to lobby government to strengthen provision in this area.

Compulsory buying orders, so the state takes ownership of the property and the people benefit as all revenue is ultimately paid back into the collective kitty.

We need a more effective vacant site tax, plus a policy of "use it or lose it" to stop land hoarding.

DCC should be given crisis funding and emergency legal authority to compulsorily purchase all vacant properties and build through a state developer managed via DCC with an agreed set of project designs.

Again, I have dealt with part of this above, there are also a number of private dwellings let go to ruin for a number of reasons. Owners or relatives should be contacted to see how best bring these into use.

Cut down on the red tape and give the councils the money to make this happen. Properties lying idle for far too long in a housing crisos is sickening I have been working hard in my area with our local TD to make this happen faster.

Restore government funding for the renovation of council voids to 100 percent, pressurise financial institutions to take greater responsibility for the houses in their possession, reduce the turnaround time and the cost of refitting council homes.

I know that Dublin City Council have the power to use compulsory purchase orders if they have the desire to do so. However it should not be left for 15 years to use they way the did with the Drake in Finglas. Derelict buildings are eyesores in a community. They brings the area down and reduce house and building prices. People then start to sell and leave the area, and this is when the big developers start buying. There should be a system in place where a purchaser of a site or building needs to show what their plans are and the time frame they have to deliver that plan. If it is not done in that time, the local council should be able to step in and inquire why.

At a local level, I would push for officials to drastically increase the number of properties which are CPOed once on the Derelict Sites Register. I would also lobby for national government to expand the definition of "dereliction" to include long-term vacancy, not just buildings which are causing a hazard, and for the radical restructuring of the vacant sites levy so that it applies to both buildings and sites, and is high enough that no company is willing to pay it in order to be allowed to hoard land. Currently, the levy is lower than the increase in land value, so developers can pay the levy and still turn a profit because the land they hoard increases in value.

I would campaign for a "vacant property clawback tax" under which, when a piece of land or a building is sold following a period of being left vacant, the increase in price since the land was first bought is taxed at 90 percent. This would prevent land hoarding, under which speculators buy and hold on to land simply waiting for its value to increase.

 

The Social Democrats believe the National Development Plan should be redrawn so that public transport and cycling are re-prioritised over roads expenditure. This simply has to happen in order to reduce carbon emissions from the sector and to be able to plan for additional housing and sustainable communities.

We will continue to campaign for lower fares so that the use of public transport is encouraged and congestion reduced. We would like to see no/low fare public transport piloted in Ireland.

We will promote active travel to schools and ensure that the local authority prioritises the provision of safe walking and cycling paths around every school in the country, so that those children who choose to walk, scoot or cycle to school, can do so safely.

We must also end the practice of building homes before we build the infrastructure that new communities will depend on.

Sinn Féin have advocated for increased capital investment in low-carbon public transport to increase the capacity of our transport network. A properly functioning public transport system is a service that brings benefits to all sectors of society. Greater state involvement in a joined up transport system, e.g. linked bus and rail would ensure proper infrastructure. This government’s policy is to promote privatisation of profitable sectors and transport routes, which will lead to inefficiencies, low pay and bad working conditions, for the enrichment of the few. Sinn Féin will continue to oppose the privatisation of bus routes and demand the very best of transport services for the public and owned by the public.

The state supports the provision of public transport through Public Service Obligation funding to Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnrod Éireann and Sinn Féin have advocated for this to be increased. In our alternative budget for 2019, the increase we proposed could have reduced fares by 10–12 percent.

Sinn Féin are deeply concerned by the government’s ham-fisted efforts to redesign the Dublin bus network. Under the BusConnects route-culling proposals thousands of Dubliners living in the suburbs stand to lose their direct buses to the city centre, to their schools, colleges and hospitals. Passengers in some areas will have to get several connecting buses to travel from the suburbs into the city centre.

There are also potential problems with service frequency reductions and moving bus stops from residential areas.These changes have the potential to hit vulnerable transport users hardest, such as the elderly and people with disabilities. 

We see the potential for local authorities to assume a "lead planning" role whereby they could co-ordinate local development with other state agencies to ensure co-ordinated development of areas including public transport routes.

Council SPCs [strategic policy committees] on transportation should work proactively to ensure changes to public transport provision only ever enhance delivery and serve the needs of the people.

I am not in favour of BusConnects. I am particularly concerned about the lack of a localised service in this plan for older residents. While the idea of a quick spine route every 3-5 minutes sounds great there is no spine in Finglas despite the vast amount of commuters living in the area. I believe the funding should instead be invested in improving the current bus service and the extension of the Luas and Metro. The quality bus corridor has potential but I am concerned about the costs of compulsory purchase of private gardens.

The Metro North cannot come quick enough. The fact that Dublin airport has no rail link to the city centre is embarrassing for a developed country like Ireland. Fine Gael need to stop announcing policies and get on with securing funding to build them.

The Luas should be extended from Broombridge through Finglas, Charlestown and Ballymun eventually connecting with the Metro North.

I will push hard for the early adoption of a key policy demand of the Green Party: the creation of a directly elected executive mayor for Dublin. We will never solve Dublin’s transport problems without a strong mandate for action within Dublin. Currently there are 60 separate bodies and agencies with some input into transport decision in Dublin city, creating an unholy mess. We need a strong executive mayor to be able to cut deliver on public transport, and Dublin’s councillors need to demand that government make it happen.

In the meantime I will work to solve some of the "pinch points" that councillors already have an influence on. Public transport suffers when buses get stuck in traffic. When bus-priority measures were introduced on the north quays recently, journey times for buses improved significantly, making public transport a better option. This is a lesson that should be applied in other parts of the city.

Thirty percent of traffic in the mornings is composed of the school run. Reducing this will reduce congestion and help public transport work better. If we improve cycling infrastructure so that more school students can cycle to school, as I’ve set out below, this can also benefit users of public transport.

Invest in safe cycle lanes and promote existing grants for bikes for example the DublinBikes scheme.

Quality bus corridors. More buses on time. Provide bus shelters and benches for people to sit on while they wait. Provide these in all parts of Finglas and Ballymun and not just in the "posher parts" of Dublin. Working-class butts need to rest too. A utopian goal would be to mimic Luxembourg and have free public transport. It’s an exceptional international model of public transport working for the public on a multitude of levels.

Expand the Luas line to connect with Ballymun/Finglas and the airport. This would make our local areas prime real estate and encourage investment and positive development into the local areas.

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.

Firstly, all public transport should be free into the city and urban destinations at peak time or altogether. This could be described as a commuter bail-out. We pay taxes and it's time we saw a return on that investment. Secondly, remove all cars from the city, and permit driving only after we have established the first point. Public transport should be publicly owned. Stop privatising bus services by stealth. The National Transport Authority is a quango that is in danger of running BusConnects and Metro North into the ground. We desperately need these transport projects to progress, or we need to bite the bullet and fund a proper underground system.

Public transport has been underfunded for far too long, and we now have the better-off routes in cities being given to private companies. These companies have one purpose – to make profits for shareholders/owners. If these routes become unprofitable, private companies will cease the route. I would move towards rolling back on the privatisation of public transport routes. Another obvious option to run alongside this is to properly fund our public transport. We need to ensure public transport is run on time, and I would look to improve access for people with disabilities. I am aware that some Bus Éireann routes have no wheelchair access.

Well, the question says public transport. Stop privatizing and selling of the assets and under-investing, increasing investment right across the board, short answer. I would be pushing for more investing in public transport.

We have to give consideration to the Luxembourg model of free public transport. While it may be too ambitious, we need to at least think big in order to tackle climate change. We also need to see a rapid and city-wide rollout of the DublinBikes scheme, one of the most cost effective ways to increase the use of public transport and cycling.

Privatising the buses has not worked as the owners are only interested in profit and not the people that use the service. The National Transport Authority should be looking at ways to incorporate a local services funded by them to take the shortfall of people who are not getting a proper service or take back the bus service themselves. Bus prices have also gone up, making it more likely that people will take their car rather than use the public transport (but we really cannot call it public when its privately owned).

Most importantly, I would campaign for power over public transport in Dublin to be brought from national government to local. I would also campaign for the National Transport Authority to be scrapped, and replaced with a public transport company, such as a revitalised CIÉ. These changes would enable us in Dublin to ensure our public transport is not sold off to private companies, and also to ensure that transport decisions that affect Dublin are taken by those who represent Dublin. It makes no sense for transport for our capital city to be a responsibility of the national government. Unfortunately, without this, the amount that local government can do to improve public transport (i.e. buses, trams and trains) is very limited.

Some specific actions that could be taken at a local level to improve life for cyclists and pedestrians however would include: 1) Ensuring a greater percentage of the city's roads maintenance budget is spent on footpaths, cycle-lane maintenance, and proper marking of cycle lanes, and making our streets walkable, rather than all being spent on roads maintenance, which overwhelmingly benefits car users; 2) Increase the levy on corporations building in our cities, so that the damage done by HGVs and other construction traffic can be properly remedied.

 

We need to make cycling a safe, realistic alternative to the car and encourage more people to take up cycling as a normal part of their everyday lives. Ireland is far behind much of Europe in terms of cycling policy. We need to recognise that cycling is a major transport area that can contribute hugely to society. The benefits of cycling are enormous. And cyclist or not, everyone gains from them.

We have produced “Safer Cycling for Healthier Communities”, our 12 point plan for cycling. It sets out clear commitments to cycling including:

–Significantly improved funding for cycling

–Proper segregation for safe cycling and improved infrastructure

–More cycling greenways and urban bike schemes

–Safer cycling to school

–Better enforcement

–Improved cycling tax schemes

–Cycling officers and training

–All Local Area Plans should provide for the delivery of public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and community facilities, in tandem with new homes being built.

Sinn Féin’s capital-investment plans propose to allocate additional resources for cycling infrastructure, especially in Dublin, but also creating additional routes and bike services in smaller towns without such infrastructure.

We should also see cycling as part of the overall transport system and again, integrate cycling infrastructure with bicycle friendly buses, trains and trams. 

We propose that every council establish an ambitious target of kilometres of cycle-lanes for delivery.

Cycling in Dublin needs to be made safer and easier. Additional cycle lanes on key routes is a must along with extending the very successful Dublinbikes scheme throughout the city.

I will work for the creation of new separated cycle routes in Dublin. I will ensure that the position of cycling officer in Dublin City Council is filled so that we can take a more strategic approach to delivering improved cycling infrastructure in the city. We can’t let cycling routes be an "add-on" to new busways. We need to learn from other cities and how they have achieved a significant increase in cycling by designing the infrastructure around the cyclist. This bottom-up approach is more participatory, but is likely to make for better design. For example, it can be used to create routes to help children to get to school safely by bike, and to amend design traffic light systems and intersections to make it easier and safer for cyclists to traverse main roads, etc.

We also need to involve other organisations and agencies. Taking the case of safe routes to school for children and young people – schools and the Department of Education need to get involved. As councillor, I will work to ensure that the council engages with schools so they can invest in better and more secure bike shelters, with support from the Department of Education. We also need to involve school students themselves, and their parents, in a significant effort to encourage bike use. There is a significant gender aspect to this, as cycling to school by girls at second level is at a very low level, and I am committed to working within the council to encourage schools, parents and students to devise ways to change this.

Finally, I will work to increase the number of cycle stands throughout the city.

The Irish state has already committed to reducing energy. It’s essential that we have councilors that understand how to hold government to account in this regard so the finance can be redirected to improve local infrastructure in an environmentally friendly way.

Cycle lanes are a good idea. We need an awareness programme for motorists, but also we need to make cyclists aware that the rules of the road also apply to them.

There are a number of cycling projects being carried out at present, but our road structure has many pinch points and a lot more investment is needed. A massive reduction in the number of cars in our city will aid the redesign of our city roads for cyclists and public transport. But drivers need an alternative mode of transport to take them out of their cars. It is all connected. We need a massive improvement of the cycling network with immediate separation of cyclists (with kerbs) from all traffic, including buses.

The obvious answer is for more cycling lanes and better advertisement of the Cycle to Work Scheme. Alongside this, there needs to be proper investment in our roads, which are still littered with potholes, and a mandatory co-ordination of roadworks. It is long past time where one utility company digs up a road in March, only for another company to dig it again later in the year. With better public transport there would be fewer cars on the roads, thus freeing up the space for cycle lanes.

I suppose what is being proposed at the moment is the way to go cutting down on the use of the private car. Will make it easier for more cycling lanes but that is connected to major improving public transport so there all interconnected. I would be pushing for this.

We have to give consideration to the Luxembourg model of free public transport. While it may be too ambitious, we need to at least think big in order to tackle climate change. We also need to see a rapid and city wide rollout of the Dublin Bikes scheme, one of the most cost effective ways to increase the use of public transport and cycling.

Some parts of the cycle tracks are extremely dangerous and need to be addressed. I think cycle tracks should be a distance for the road and not on public walkways. The should have their own mini road. Also, I think children need to be aware when cycling and should know the rules of the road. There used to be a traffic school that children would got to on a school outing. That should be brought back.

The Workers' Party on Dublin City Council would ensure that the position of cycling and walking officer is funded and filled. I would advocate for this position to have a specific focus on liaising with schools, to identify and amend local obstacles to schoolchildren cycling or walking to school. I would propose and vote for the reallocation of funds in the city's budget from roads maintenance to specific cycle-lane maintenance, and painting to ensure cycle lanes are properly marked. I would support and propose as many cycle lanes of possible to be segregated and physically separate from traffic, including removing or relocating parking if possible. I will continue my party's full support for initiatives including the Liffey Cycle Route.

 

The Social Democrats believe that Ireland can do much more to promote sustainable and affordable energy and that local authorities can be significant players in this.

Climate change is a real thing and the role of carbon is undeniable. Equally, energy poverty is a real thing and blindly lumping more taxes on the most vulnerable in our society is simply creating another problem and undermining public support in the fight against climate change.

We will ensure that housing energy standards on all new developments is rigorously applied in planning conditions. We will heavily promote the retro-fitting of existing local-authority housing stock to reduce carbon emissions from this sector.

We will cut the carbon footprint of all councils, from transport planning and street lighting to tree planting and recyclingand extend the number of public charging points for electric vehicles

We will also support zoned "green communities" where councils promote biodiversity, boost investment in public transport and cycling under the National Development Plan, and reduce spending on roads.

Climate change is the most pressing problem of our age. The effects of climate change are visible to us all. Sinn Féin advocates that climate change issues should be addressed in all areas of government. We oppose the regressive carbon tax increases proposed by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, and believe it is the government passing the buck onto hard-pressed families for the government's abject climate failures.

Sinn Féin advocates increasing grants for electric vehicles, more and cheaper public transport, providing state-funded retrofits to thousands of homes to improve efficiency and tackle fuel poverty, and investing heavily in our renewable energy infrastructure and have laid out spending plans to achieve this. We have also recommended increased funding towards Science Foundation Ireland, and believe the state should do more itself, in generating cutting-edge research and development to get the most out of our renewable energy potential and place Ireland at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

In the Dáil, Sinn Féin are introducing a Local Authority Climate Obligation Bill to ensure each local authority takes stock of all their land that can be used for the generation of renewable energy, to create electric vehicle charging points, to create supply lines of organic waste material for the production of biogas and to develop public transport and cycle lanes. It would also ensure that Local Authorities seek to produce their own energy, build homes of the highest energy standards, and facilitate the collection of organic waste and compost. 

I feel this is more of a national issue, however there needs to be more grants made available for renewable energy methods e.g electric cars, solar panels .

I would also be in favour of grants to improve the energy efficiency of homes. The threshold for the current SEAI grants is far too low.

In everything I do in Dublin City Council, I will ask myself the question: how will this help Dublin to address climate change? Tackling climate change is not just one area of policy in the council, it needs to be is a key dimension of everything we do.

Improving cycling infrastructure and public transport will be part of addressing climate change. Ensuring we build housing in the right place, and in the right way with the highest levels of energy efficiency, will help address climate change. New innovations, such as installing micro-generation technologies on all council buildings, will also play their part. What pulls this all together and ensures everything we do in the council does indeed consider climate change is a strong Climate Action Plan. If elected I will work to ensure a strong action plan, with concrete action and clear targets for the next council to work towards.

The danger of treating climate change not as an foundational issue but as a distinct policy is that many councillors will speak in favour of action on climate change, but when it comes to supporting concrete actions, like supporting cycling and walking, they may bottle it. I will follow through.

I’m running my entire campaign paper-free. I refuse to hand out paper leaflets full of empty promises. You won’t see my face on large plastic posters littering your streets. I’m running a virtual, online one-woman campaign. That’s leadership. That’s lateral thinking. That’s risking my possibility of election for the sake of protecting our local environment.

Enable and empower our local schools to educate the next generation on the importance of climate change so the power is in all of our hands to protect our local environments and further afield.

Promote grant opportunities for green energies for local homes, businesses and institutions so that it’s an interconnected effort for a brighter future for all.

Invest in green energies for our local neighbours and provide solar panels for all local homes and businesses.

Invest in tidal energies and wind energies that feed back into our national grid to help power all of our neighbourhoods. As an island Ireland has incredible natural resources that require harvesting in a way that nurtures and protects our lands and our people for generations to come. It would also provide much needed jobs in the development of a green energy infrastructure. We need to harness global ideas in order to improve local experience.

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.

All homes in our city should be properly insulated and future-proofed. Home owners should be assisted where necessary, and private landlords of substandard properties given a set time to upgrade their properties or have their homes compulsorily purchased by local government. Public transport projects should be fast-tracked. We should increase pressure to reduce any further increase in fossil fuel use in homes and transport, and promote solar, wind and heat-pump applications in all aspects of our daily lives. Let's keep fossil fuels in ground. Let's improve the locations and standards of recycling. A deposit return for glass and aluminium can incentivise recycling.

I have seen and promoted local children and schools involved in planting saplings in one of our local parks through Easy Treesie. This initiative gives our younger generation hands-on experience in working towards a better environment and will hopefully give them pride in it. I would also work towards the ending of the unnecessary felling of mature trees in our parks and universities, indeed all across our country. I have seen in some countries (in Germany, at Lidl) vending machines where plastic bottles and metal cans can be inserted and vouchers issued for shopping. This can and should be brought in here. I would look for the return of it being mandatory for drinks companies to get involved in a deposit/return scheme. Many European countries have this and Ireland did have it, although that was a long time ago.

This is interconnected with lot of other things. We can all be doing more but industries must play their part in this and the public, but you can not put the blame on the family doing their weekly shopping cut down on major packaging. I hear Lidl and Aldi will be leading the way on this, letting people recycling in store. Great idea. All supermarkets should follow suit, cut down on the rubbish going in your bin.

While at a council level, we have limited powers in this area, we can provide leadership. We can start with a reduction in plastic posters in election time. A focus on the reduction of single-use plastics is also extremely important. While we have seen a start in terms of the reduction in use of plastic straws, this doesn’t go far enough.

We all need to do our bit for climate change. Recycling should be made easier for people. A lot of people, including myself, find it difficult to know what plastic can be placed in the green bin. This could be addressed by manufacturers placing a clearly visible mark showing whether it;s recyclable or not. This is only on some plastic, not all. Also, the manufacturers need to be encouraged to use only recyclable packaging.

Climate change is fundamentally something which needs to be tackled by national government. The Workers' Party's view is that it requires state investment in large-scale transition of our economy away from dirty industry and towards publicly-owned companies that provide good jobs and clean industry and infrastructure. Small changes are not going to solve the climate crisis. We need a massive economic transition, and that is not something local government can provide. At a local level, probably the biggest difference we could make is to take bins back into public ownership so we can actively reduce waste and do recycling in a way that prioritises the environment over profits of companies like Greyhound, who just export our recycling.

 

We will seek to reverse the trend of councils removing public bins. We are particularly anxious that bins are provided in areas such as bus-stops and taxi ranks, on approaches to schools, outside neighbourhood shops, ATMs etc.

We want to set strict enforcement targets for local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency to deal with the chronic problem of illegal dumping and infringements of conditions attached to waste licences and permits and we would improve national funding to allow the recruitment of additional staff in this area.

We will also promote the expansion of council furniture/junk collection days as resources allow.

Charges for bringing disposable items to public facilities should be as uniform as possible across the country and should be pitched at a level that discourages dumping. We favour doubling the on-the-spot fines for littering and further increasing fines for illegal dumping.

Regarding the problem of dog poo, we wish to replicate a successful community experiment carried out in Beaumont in Dublin where dispensers with free doggy bags were erected at entrances to a park. The experiment has resulted in a very significant decline in the problem and we are keen to expand it to as many areas as possible. The marginal cost for the council is very low and can be met out of existing funding.

We also wish to expand the number of bins so that dog-owners can easily dispose of dog litter. On the spot litter fines should be doubled from €150 to €300 to improve the deterrent of dog-owners not picking up after their pet.

Sinn Féin believes the privatisation of waste collection was a disaster that has led to an inefficient waste collection mode, with multiple companies and waste trucks clogging up small residential streets. It has also led to an increase in dumping across the State. Waste collection should be brought back into public ownership and treated as a service to society and not simply to the individual.

In the short term, Sinn Féin supports the introduction of a franchising model for local waste services, in order to secure one waste collection provider per council area. It would also empower councils to determine prices and waiver systems to ensure affordability. Our franchising model would reduce costs, and make waste collection more accountable and more efficient.

Councils also need to provide residents with the basic facilities to ensure areas are kept clean and tidy. We need more public bins and dog litter bins, as well as more recycling facilities that allow people reduce their waste outputs.

Perhaps one of the biggest issues at the moment is illegal dumping.

I am in favour of new by-laws that will give the council the authority to prosecute, not just fine, offenders caught illegally dumping. The current max fine of €75 is not adequate and the council should be given powers like the Environmental Protection Agency to prosecute.

In the whole of Dublin North West, we have one litter warden. This is simply not good enough and more need to be employed. The wardens could also monitor the poo situation and visit parks and hotspots regularly.

With the help of CCTV and if GDPR guidelines allowed it I would be in favour of a name-and-shame style campaign for anyone caught illegally dumping.

In parts of the city, regular street-cleaning rotas have ceased and it is now only done on request. This is appalling and really makes me question what our councillors have done in the last five years. The least people can expect is for a road sweeper to visit their road once a month.

I will work to increase the number of litter wardens in Dublin City from the current inadequate level of just 13. Enforcement is critical, and it is clear every day on the streets and roads of Dublin that our current systems to tackle litter, illegal dumping, and yes – the dreaded dog poo – are not working. Councillors have responsibility for the city budget, and if elected I will seek additional funding for more litter wardens. For dog poo, my Green Party colleagues who are already serving as councillors on Dublin City Council put together a wide ranging motion to tackle dog poo, and their proposals received cross party support. If elected I will work hard to have all elements of the motion implemented, delivering more dog poo only bins, more free dog poo bags, looking for an increased fine, and piloting innovative techniques that have worked in other countries such as DNA testing dog poo.

Increased prosecution and fines for breaches of the law. Use the revenue generated from the fines to reinvest in local education schemes that educate the young people all about the value of our neighbourhoods and the importance of respect.

Use additional funds raised to reward local residents groups with paint, gardening equipment, plants and financial support to help them as they endeavour to make their neighbourhoods a nicer space for all.

Part of this problem is the huge cuts in council staffing that have taken place over the last 20 years. These need to be reversed.

Privatised bin collection has led to a changed and disasterous mindset in our attitudes to litter and waste control in general. It would be better to take back control of waste collection and it should be paid for through general taxation. Our citzens have to feel they have a collective ownership of what happens to our waste. This includes dog owners and people who think dumping on your neighbour is not a problem. Our citizens do not want privatised services. We pay our taxes, we want our public services not privatisation.

This state has a haphazard attitude to illegal commercial dumping, with fines being miniscule. Companies see it as worth the risk to dump illegally and if caught the state will clean the mess and issue a small fine, this has to be tackled, with the fines way outweighing any cost savings of disposing illegally. As a councillor I will work towards those in Leinster House enacting legislation.

For dog poo and general litter, we need to get back to a time of wardens to encourage people to take up dropped litter/dog poo. Sometimes a gentle reminder works.

Regarding poster litter, as a first-time, independent candidate I need to get my face out there so people know who I am, but I am also aware of the impact of thousands of posters on the environment and how unsightly they are. I will not be using Corriboard as I have been told it is not recyclable. I have spoken to friends around this constituency asking could they put a paper/cardboard poster in their house window or car window, all of which I will collect and put away for the next election.

Illegal dumping has majorly increased since the privatization of our bin collection. Putting this back under the council's controls would be in my view be better for communities and families. This has led on to more littering. Dog poo on the streets is another case, education is the better way to go on dog poo – stick and carrot.

We have to examine the possibility of restoring a single, council-controlled domestic-waste collector in the city that coordinates collections with a more frequent, scheduled street-cleaning service. I also think that we need to see more authorised officers to issue fines to those who break our litter laws.

Privatising a services leads to problems. Taking public bins out of an area is not the way forward. If public bins in an area are being used for household rubbish, then the design of the bin needs to be addressed. For example, the opening could be made smaller. Illegal dumping should bring a higher fine than €75. It should be around €500. If people think they will have to pay this if caught then they might pay their bin charge. Dogs should only be allowed in public spaces if on a leash and this should include all dogs.

I would propose and push for Dublin City Council to take bin collection back into public ownership. This is the only solution to the growing problems of litter and illegal dumping. The Workers' Party have fully costed a public bin service, which would be funded through a number of innovative local revenue-raising initiatives, and through the establishment of a national, public recycling centre under the auspices of a repurposed Bord Na Móna. By taking recycling into public ownership, we the people would own the funds made from recycling – and this could be reinvested in a public bin collection service, instead of going into the pockets of private companies. We would propose the funding of a large expansion in public litter bins, and continue to oppose the removal of litter bins as a "solution" to illegal dumping. On Dublin City Council, we secured the inclusion of a new commitment in Dublin's litter management plan that commits Dublin City Council to not automatically removing litter bins when they attract illegal dumping. We support the mandatory DNA-sampling of dogs, so that dog poo can be linked to owners, and they can be held accountable. I would also propose the introduction of specific "dog zones" in public parks.

 

The Social Democrats want to set a general target of a community centre in every significant population base in Ireland. This can be made available to young and old alike and funded by an enhanced sports capital programme and the two regeneration funds earmarked under the National Development Plan.

I will play an active part in maximising the funding of community facilities, such as swimming pools, skate parks etc through the sports capital programme and we are committing that if in government we will maintain a funding programme on an annual basis.

We want to expand the number of parks with strip lighting so that joggers can use parks safely after dark. We will also seek to improve access to and expand the number of public allotments and community gardens.

There are some fantastic examples around Ballymun-Finglas where councils have partnered with local communities to deliver superb local festivals, cultural and heritage events and I will be supporting more of these types of events.

Sinn Féin have proposed additional funding for greenways. And in various councils, we also supported the establishment of conservation projects to protect rivers, streams and forests. We also promote the planting of broad leaf trees in towns and cities across the state, along with general afforestation schemes, to sequester carbon, and add greenery to our urban centres.

Sinn Féin would also deliver council investment in modern and safe play parks, leisure facilities, public parks, libraries, and community centres. 

Dublin has a number of well-maintained parks such as St Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park to name but a few. Any current zoning for recreational needs to be maintained.

I feel our parks could be utilised more to accommodate community groups and sports clubs. Walkways, trails, cycleways, skateboard tracks, sports pitches, bowling greens and community gardens need to be increased and developed to get more people using our parks.

As a teacher and as public relations officer of a large football club, I would like to see more multipurpose sports areas developed throughout the city. These are prominent in other European cities and help combat the issue of anti-social behaviour.

If elected I will push for an increase in the number and extent of green spaces within the city in Dublin’s City Development Plan. The Development Plan sets out the rules for planning decisions and it provides councillors an opportunity to demand more green space. I will also fight moves to take existing green spaces out of public use.

Firstly, I think we need to tackle the anti-social behaviours that currently prevent full usage of our existing parks. For example, the staff and local people work so hard to keep Tolka Valley Park really lovely and it has really been rejuvenated through a huge amount of hard work over the last decade. However, due to anti-social behaviour it is not used to its maximum as illegal motorcyclists cause havoc and make it an unsafe space some of the time.

For me it’s a tiered approach.

Protect, nurture and invest in green areas and safe local parks.

Educate the children about the importance and relevance of nature to their lives and future existence.

Encourage local ownership of the spaces through Tidy Towns awards etc. For example, the residents of Lake Glen Estate get out and cut the grass, paint the walls, clean the streets themselves and it looks wonderful but they need more systemic support and accessible grants. They also need the support of more young people in the area. A tidy estate club for young kids to get fit and active and to take pride in their local area with scholarships and prizes for the winners would be a great incentive.

Prosecute illegal motorcyclists and lobby for stronger laws against the use of such vehicles in order to empower our local Garda Síochána. Prosecute and heavily fine the petrol stations that sell any fuel that does not go directly into a car for consumption. Make it impossible for them to access fuel.

I think we need to invest in the local school play areas too. Our children spend so much time in these spaces and with some support and effort we could make them far more welcoming, green, safe spaces. We have brilliant schools and dedicated teachers in the area that would greatly benefit from investment in green spaces on site for the children to enjoy.

In an area as densely populated as Ballymun-Finglas we need to develop our parks and green spaces. That will benefit the people and area by providing the means for the community to get involved in tree-planting and market gardening and develop horticulture interests in the area. A green space on the perimeter of the area should be developed as a scrambling track to try to rid the area of the scourge and dangerous use of scramblers on our roads and in our parks.

A number of derelict sites exist across our cities. These sites now need to be taken by the city and returned to their community for use as allotments and community gardens. The sanctity of private property above all else has now to be challenged. Existing parks and play areas need to be improved to attract more people with investment on facilities within our parks, for example, with more gym and play equipment and dog-run play areas.

My constituency has a lot of green space, but most is underutilised. It is not enough to have a green field (space) with a few trees here and there. We need these spaces to become amenities by installing small playgrounds or an outdoor gym. This will have several beneficial aspects, including bringing members of the community together as their children/grandchildren play, and getting our younger children away from anti-social behaviour. Any new housing developments should have to have a playground as part of their planning, with this amenity completed to proper standard before any house is occupied. I also believe we should have park wardens to keep an eye out for anti-social behaviour in our amenities.

Increasing the pocket gardens all over the country is a great way to increase green spaces and makes the place a lot more eye-catching and people will look after them improvements all round.

In my area we are lucky to have a large number of green spaces and parks, however I believe we could do more with our existing spaces. We need to increase the activities and amenities within the parks and give sports and youth groups greater freedom to organise events.

Green spaces and parks contribute to the environment. Getting rid of a large amount of these areas to build on will cause problems in the future. We need to use the green areas by creating play areas for children and community allotments, and encouraging people to grow fruit, veg, flowers and wild areas. Any site that looks derelict and unused in an area can be changed into one of these. It also makes the area look nicer.

An important component of this is opening up our existing green spaces, many of which remain locked or off-limits. I would strengthen measures designed to stop "gated communities" which currently mean large amounts of open space are gated off from many people in the local community (by introducing stronger protections against "gated communities" in the City Development Plan). I would increase the required provision of green space for all new apartment developments in the City Development Plan. I would propose measures to ensure all locked public parks are opened up.

 

I want to improve planning and development in our area to enhance the overall quality of life for residents by increasing and improving public spaces and enhancing common areas like shopfronts and town centres. I will also prioritise a healthy, pleasant environment which is an essential component of a thriving community. We also need development designs that promote “passive policing”, and seek to ensure that all public parks and public places are well lit and safe for all users and support initiatives.

We are opposed to privatisation of public services and the sale of public assets. For example, we led the opposition to the demolition of Moore Street, and continue to support the establishment of a public historical quarter in the area.

A discretionary fund could be established to display work and projects throughout various parts of the city to garner improvements and make areas more inviting.

This could also be done on a philanthropic basis to allow members of the public to visit interesting places in our beautiful city for free.

I will work to significantly improve the public spaces in Dublin. I’ll work alongside my Green Party colleagues who have already been driving this work, such as the efforts to take traffic out of College Green and pedestrianise it. I will push for a city councillor to chair the public-realm working group and seek to provide detailed public-realm improvement plans for an improved pedestrian and cycling environment at a range of sites, including in my own area in Ballymun, Finglas, Glasnevin and Santry.

Invest in the arts, invest in public spaces for inter-cultural celebration, recognizing the changing needs of our multicultural society and the Ireland of today. Embrace "diversity spaces", invest in "sporting spaces" and spaces to breathe fresh air. Invest in gardens to meditate and be quiet within our busy city like they do in Singapore and Sydney. This will offer local people a quiet, safe, nature-filled space to unwind and work on their well being and collective health. Mental health is a key issue in modern Ireland and accessible, free, safe, clean, healthy spaces are paramount to protecting our collective well being. As a young person I played football in the San Siro in Ballymun and we had to collectively sweep the pitches for drug needles before a match. Appropriate investment in our local sporting areas will make it safer for all to participate in sport and develop in a healthy way. Providing safe green areas is key to basic human development in our local areas. Holding local international companies to account and demanding that they invest in such spaces is one way to access funding for the local population.

It doesn’t need to be complicated and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The simple "buddy bench" idea utilized by Oliver Plunkett's school mimicked all over Finglas village or at our local bus stops would give all our residents a space to sit and chat and meet people.

NO PRIVATISATION of our land.

I put forward a motion last year on this very issue, which was agreed and passed by all our councillors for the protection of our public spaces. At present Central Bank Plaza has been privatised, which was the topic of this motion. DCC management have ignored this issue with a shrug. As we lose our public spaces to wealthy landlords and vulture funds public pressure will have to exert itself. A public campaign, people power if you will, is the only way we can defend our public spaces. All planning has to change to consider community gain and giving our local councils a chance to claw back some room for our citizens and communities. At present, government ministers are interfering and allowing projects to get bigger and bigger, but with absolutely no gain or compensation to local communities.

For too long now councils and the state have allowed certain green spaces to become overgrown or havens for anti-social behaviour so as to then have them re-designated for some form of building, I will look to have all green space and parks protected against development by council ordinance or legislation, likewise I will work towards the ending of the sale of council land to private developers irrespective of promises for social housing as far too often developers can circumvent such promises.

This is connected to question above. I think it is upon us all to protect our green spaces for all our well-being but the pressure on population increasing will put pressures on this, we need a balance.

Our public spaces will only be safer and utilised if we see an overall increase in the number of Gardaí in Dublin city, particularly in foot patrols.

No public space or building should be privatised, especially if it has historical value to that area. It should be regenerated to improve the lives of the people living in that area. Any small areas that are available should be used for this purpose.

One clear action is to strengthen and enforce the current planning rules against "gated communities". The development plan currently sets out that these are not allowed, but this has not been enforced. Secondly, Dublin City Council should begin a process of taking private shared space (such as in the IFSC) back into public ownership. This means increasing budgets for proper maintenance of such land – the driver behind privatisation of public land is an unwillingness on the part of the state to pay for its upkeep.

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