Build cost-rental high-quality homes, providing homes for all as a service and need rather then as a commodity. Similar to the Vienna model. Rent will be means tested and rents will pay back the money borrowed by state or local authorities. This then is cost-neutral.
This is a key priority of mine. As someone in their twenties, I simply cannot afford to get on the property ladder in Dublin city. There simply are not enough social and affordable homes being built and this government seem ideologically opposed to building these houses. The solution is for local authorities to take the initiative, identify where social and affordable homes should be built and then begin the building process. There is enough state-owned land to build over 40,000 units. This land needs to be used to build houses on.
Lobby the government through the forum of Dublin City Council to fast-forward the development of city council-owned "brownfield" sites for the provision of social and affordable housing. Currently the city council is purchasing houses on the open market, which in turn results in the council competing against first-time buyers.
I believe the state should take responsibility for the construction of affordable and social homes for its citizens as it has done in the past. We need to build communities that put the needs of our citizens above the need for profits. We need to implement a system by which no one is without a home and no child has to sleep in a hotel room. This can only be achieved by a state-led programme of housing for all, a programme based on the one that was implemented when our state was first founded,and not one that sees housing and people as commodities.
I am very committed to increasing the supply of social and affordable homes in any way that I can as a city councillor. I outline below some of the approaches I will use in order to deliver on this commitment:
–Continue to support the building of social and affordable housing on public lands.
–Continue my track record of actively contributing to the formulation of Dublin City Development Plans in the area of housing provision: e.g., I intervened during the drafting of the present Dublin City Development Plan (2016–2022) in order that the housing strategy review could be brought forward significantly with the intention of escalating DCC’s response to our housing shortage.
–Continue my efforts to decrease the refurbishment turnaround time of vacant/boarded-up publicly owned homes. I have called on DCC management to increase the numbers of back-office staff to administer/monitor refurbishments and to use teams of both DCC employed tradesmen and private contractors to increase turnaround volume.
–Continue to address the problem of derelict sites and the opportunities they offer for addressing housing supply. DCC has a derelict site register and financial penalties are attached to sites that remain derelict and unused. However, I do feel that there can be improvements in this area and I am working on this particular aspect at the moment. Also a DCC staff/councillor-led task-force to identify gaps in legislation that are needed to make it possible to fast-track derelict sites to planning/construction stage is warranted and I will be proposing this. I know that some sites are locked in probate and other site owners may be elderly and incapacitated and this needs to be looked at for a way that will respect their rights on the one hand, but lead to a faster solution on the other.
–Continue to support consideration of other jurisdictions’ housing models: e.g., DCC is looking at the Vienna model of housing, which is a means-tested and needs-based model of publicly owned homes based on a cost-rental approach.
Put pressure on the Department of Environment to release more funding for social homes. More financing for "Rebuilding Ireland" [the government's flagship housing programme] for affordable homes.
If elected, measures to address the housing and homelessness crisis will be my number one priority. I have made this clear throughout my campaign, and have supported all protests and demonstrations by both the National Housing and Homelessness Coalition and Raise the Roof.
Every day, I speak with people in the Clontarf LEA [local election area] whose lives are impacted on by the need for housing. I meet young families who are renting and living in fear of rent increases, or of evictions. I meet people in situations of overcrowding, who have been on the housing list for up to a decade. I meet adults living with their parents because they can’t afford Dublin’s excessive rents or house prices. This is an issue which is blighting people’s lives and leading to increased anxiety and damaged childhoods.
I will commit to using the extensive residentially zoned public land available to Dublin City Council to build affordable homes for both rent and purchase. I believe we need to adopt the cost-rental model seen in Vienna to deliver public housing that people can afford to rent and still have quality of life. I would also call for the replication, across the city, of the successful Ó Cualann housing model which has delivered low-cost housing in Poppintree. This is a prime example of the role that Dublin City Council can play in facilitating affordable housing. I will ensure that every significant council housing proposal is subject to public consultation, has a proper master plan, has a good social and tenure mix, and that amenities and services are central to all significant plans.
The government’s reliance on the private market to resolve this crisis has failed. We need to change our housing system around so that its aim is to deliver housing at its lowest possible cost to purchasers and renters, instead of generating the highest possible profit for developers and land speculators.
The state, local authorities and cooperatives building housing and renting will bring down rents
The more people who are living in new social and affordable housing, the fewer people will have to rely on the private rental market. Rents in Dublin city have become extortionate and I know many people who simply can’t afford to move out or have tried but have had to move back in with their parents. If Dublin City Council starts to use state-owned land to build social and affordable housing, there will be less pressure on the rental market, reducing rents.
Continue to impress upon the chief executive of Dublin City Council the need to introduce our own "affordable rent"-type accommodation so as to offer some hope to renters out there who can totally ill afford to rent in the current market.
We would like to see a cost model of affordability created based on incomes and homes built, homes provided for rent by the state to its citizens, homes that would have security of tenure and rents not higher than what would been seen as a normal rate of no more the 30 percent of your gross income.
Local authorities need to build more cost-rental housing stock on public lands. There is often an argument raised regarding the heavy amount of regulation involved with local-authority projects and this regulation needs to be looked at and removed or greatly lessened. I believe that we need to make the Rent Pressure Zones more effective, as I don’t believe they are working. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) needs to have statutory powers of investigation as it is not sufficiently effective in its current state. Rental standards need to be increased and I believe that the mooted national rent deposit scheme is a good idea to prevent unscrupulous landlords from keeping deposits.
Increase the volume of rent cap across the city.
Rents have been pushed out of control in Dublin by a number of factors, including real estate investment trusts [REITs], the Housing Assistance Payment [HAP] and short-term letting as seen with Airbnb. This situation benefits no one. Renters are put under extreme financial pressure, and employers and businesses are suffering, from both a lack of rental accommodation for employees and from increased wage pressure due to high rents.
The tax benefits enjoyed by REITs allow them to buy property in bulk, giving them an unfair advantage over first-time buyers and ensures that rental properties are supplied only to the most expensive end of the market. The Social Democrats are committed to ending this preferential tax treatment of REITs, and to the regulation of these bulk-buying practices.
The over-reliance on Housing Assistance Payment works for no one except the major landlords. It leads to greater demand for rental housing, which only inflates prices for those looking to rent privately. I believe that the best way to move away from HAP is the provision of public housing. I would advocate for a transition away from the reliance on the Housing Assistance Payment, and expansion of the role of cost-rental. We should be exploring how the Vienna Model could be applied in Ireland, to destigmatise public housing and bring rents down to affordable levels for all.
I welcome the limits imposed on Airbnb lettings, which remove a substantial proportion of properties from the Dublin rental market. I am concerned, however, with how these regulations will be enforced.
I am committed to a number of measures improving conditions for renters, including an immediate rent freeze pending greater supply of social and affordable housing, greater security of tenure and a rental register to make the previous rental prices of properties more transparent. The Social Democrats’ bill to reduce the risk of homelessness by extending notice-to-quit periods for renters has been accepted by government, and now forms part of the government’s Residential Tenancies Bill.
The homelessness crisis seems to be getting worse and worse and it is a national disgrace that there are over 10,000 homeless people in Ireland and 4,000 of these are children. The lack of delivery on social and affordable housing has made this crisis worse. If these issues were resolved, housing waiting lists would shorten and our homelessness crisis would be alleviated.
Lobby the government through the forum of Dublin City Council to fast-forward the development of city council-owned "brownfield" sites for the provision of social and affordable housing. Currently, the city council is purchasing houses on the open market, which in turn results in the council competing against first-time buyers. Development of brownfield sites would provide more housing, which would lead to a reduction in homelessness.
I would want to see a state-led program of housing for those who are not in a position to be able to afford a mortgage or rent model. These houses would be owned by the state and afford citizens who need a home the dignity and the opportunity to overcome whatever issues that have lead to their homelessness.
The lack of housing supply/affordable housing (as addressed in Question 1) is, I believe, the primary reason for homelessness. Furthermore, there are many families and children now living in family hubs and the lasting effect particularly mentally this can have on these children should be an absolute priority. The government has a "rainy day" fund and I believe that for these homeless families including children, the rainy day is now. Whatever resource is necessary should be used to enhance the quality of children’s lives in these hubs. At the time of the early family hubs in my locality I intervened in order that families would be treated humanely. This intervention helped to set down a template regarding the treatment of homeless families. I was previously a voluntary director of a homeless charity Stepping Stone and we were involved at the early stages of the Housing First initiative and I would encourage a further roll-out of this scheme for homeless people, particularly those with addiction problems. I believe that some consolidation within the voluntary sector is needed. I know that Stepping Stone gave over their housing stock to the Peter McVerry Trust. We need to think outside the box a little more in the provision of beds for homeless people including an inventory of available empty office space.
For DCC to work in conjunction with Respond and Peter Mcverry-type organisations to identify and put the funding into the areas that can provided sustainable supported living.
We must stem the flow of people from private rented accommodation into homelessness. This can be achieved through some of the measures above, including immediate rent freezes, greater tenure security, and by ensuring that more rental properties are available in the short term until more public housing becomes available, through regulation of short-term lets like Airbnb.
I will absolutely prioritise resolutions to the family homelessness scandal. We are doing untold damages to these parents and children, by forcing them to spend their precious childhoods in emergency accommodation. The burden of anxiety and shame for these families is absolutely unacceptable. Dublin City Council must agree to new homelessness procedures so that children’s rights are considered and respected when council officials deal with homeless families.
Furthermore, the Social Democrats will insist on the development of a youth homelessness strategy for each council that we are represented on. In particular, I am committed to finding strategies to support young people leaving care, and ensuring that they do not face homelessness.
I'm on the record campaigning for this. The Green Party want a higher penalty for vacant sites and houses with a higher vacant site and vacant building tax. We have earmarked vacant sites and buildings for cost-rental homes.
One only needs to look around their area to see the amount of vacant and derelict sites. On the north side of the city we see sites such as Lawrence Lands, which has been vacant for decades. This 17-hectare site would be perfect for social and affordable housing and despite local and community groups support, has remained derelict for years. Dublin City Council needs to develop sites such as this. There is also a significant amount of derelict properties which are simply going to waste while we have this housing crisis. A significant vacant property tax would incentivise owners of these homes to sell or rent to property.
Dublin City Council's Living City Initiative and Living Over the Shop scheme have failed to encourage property owners to redevelop their properties as viable residential units. I have lobbied, and will continue to lobby, the chief executive of Dublin City Council to agree to set up a workshop to identify current barriers and propose potential solutions, with input from the Departments of Environment and Finance, Dublin City Council an DublinTown, and to also carry out an audit of suitable properties and identify property owners; if successful, this initiative has the potential to provide a large number of residential properties which Dublin people could rent or purchase.
Local council should be given the authority to identify and engage with owners of vacant sites and dwellings. Where vacant sites/dwellings are still not in use within six months of identifying them and no valid response has been given by the owner then a compulsory acquisition should be invoked to bring them into use.
DCC has a Derelict Sites Register and financial penalties are attached to sites that remain derelict and unused. However, I do feel that there can be improvements in this area. There is a need for a DCC staff/councillor-led task force to identify gaps in legislation that are needed to make it possible to fast track derelict sites to planning/construction stage. I know that some sites are locked in probate and this needs to be looked at also. I have addressed the boarded-up homes issue in Question 1 above.
I have called for compulsory purchase orders on vacant sites before, e.g. the Tayto site. Sites similar to this that have been idle for over a decade should be immediate used for social and affordable housing.
I’ve been out in canvassing in my area for nearly a year now and when you’re knocking on doors you see just how many of those doors are vacant or derelict. It impacts negatively on the communities and houses around derelict properties and it’s a terrible waste given our housing situation. The Social Democrats will work to ensure that Dublin City Council has sufficient full-time vacant housing officers and that their remit will extend beyond the current two years. We will use this service to bring hundreds of vacant units back into use.
It has also been brought to my attention how many vacant properties belong to elderly people in nursing homes and, at present, the incentive to let these out is low, as up to 80 percent of the rental income would be clawed back by the Fair Deal Scheme. I believe we need to incentivise the letting of these properties, and that we should examine avenues to exclude rental income of a primary residence from the Fair Deal Scheme. We will seek to use compulsory purchase orders where appropriate, and nationally, we favour the introduction of compulsory letting orders and a vacant unit tax.
I support the climate change report, with 60 percent of the transport budget on public transport and 20 percent on cycling.
Public Transport is a public service, providing transport for the citizens of Dublin to work, hospitals, schools and other vital services. I was disappointed to see certain Dublin Bus routes be privatised and come under the ownership of private operators. I believe this is a dangerous move away from the notion of "public" transport. Routes should not be scrapped because they are not profitable.
I was disappointed with the NTA’s proposed BusConnects plans that were released last summer. Under these plans, towns and communities all over Dublin were losing their direct buses to the city centre. Some of these communities have had these routes for decades but would now have to interchange and get a second bus or walk considerable distance to get a bus. This will particularly effect elderly commuters and wheelchair users. Under these plans, routes in my area as the 29A, 31, 31A, 31B, 32, 32x, 14, 16, 17A, 27 and 104 were to be removed.
Take for, example, route 14. This serves the people of Beaumont to the city centre; and connects Beaumont Hospital, our north-side hospital, to various other parts of the city. The NTA proposed this bus would be scrapped. I await the NTA’s revised plans and I hope residents' concerns and submissions will be considered. Criticism of BusConnects has itself, been criticised. But it is a reasonable position to argue that public transport be improved, not downgraded.
Congestion on our roads would be reduced if people saw public transport as quicker and cheaper than driving. If are buses and DARTs are higher frequency and there are quicker journey times, commuters will opt for public transport rather than their cars.
Public transport provision is not within the remit of Dublin City Council, however, there is a serious problem on the Dart line with overcrowding, particularly at Harmonstown, Killester and Clontarf stations. There is an urgent need to provide additional carriages for use at peak Dart times and I intend to continue to lobby government and the NTA to increase the number of Dart carriages in order to ease the dangerous over-crowding in carriages at Harmonstown, but more particularly at Killester and Clontarf stations.
I would like to see current public transport fares halved to encourage people to move away from the automotive and petrol polluters. Our public transport system should never be allowed to enter into private ownership. The state has a duty to its citizens to provide a working transport system, one that is more environmentally effective then it is now and one that can accommodate passenger numbers especially at rush hours. I would like to see the development of a public transport network that includes our disabled and our mobility impaired elderly community. The current model excludes the needs of this cohort of our population and forces restrictions on them that no person should tolerate. I would like to see a new engagement process developed involving disabled groups whereby they can express their needs and see how our current transport system can be more inclusive and thus improve their quality of life.
I would position myself on the Transport Strategic Policy Group within DCC and use that position to further liaise with National Transport Authority/ Dublin Bus/ Irish Rail to improve services. Public transport needs to be more accessible and include more orbital routes. The cost of public transport is very expensive and many bus users pay €1,400 per annum for a standing journey. There needs to be better provision at Dart stations for commuters with mobility issues. For example, staff should be readily available to assist with wheelchair ramp usage, and when lifts in Dart stations break down there should be back-up plans. There is a need also for staff presence in order to provide passive security at stations. Irish rail will shortly be going to tender for the production of more rail stock to satisfy demand and the production of this rail stock needs to be fast tracked.
As a member of the council's Transport Stragic Policy Committee, I have pushed – and will continue to push – for vast improvements in public transport services, including more buses and vast improvements with the BusConnects, and more taxis, especially wheelchair-accessable vehicles. I have also requested that the DublinBike scheme be extended to areas including Raheny. I feel that a massive shift to people using bikes is needed. I called for rickshaws to be licensed.
Improving public transport is a key priority for my campaign. At present, Ireland has one of the highest rates of car usage in Europe, at 84 percent. This didn’t happen by accident. It has come from longstanding neglect of public transport investment. We’ve seen abandoned and delayed public transport plans time after time, through successive governments. Our national inability to adopt and implement long-term plans comes back to haunt us, again and again. At a local level, plans for evidence-based improvements and public transport schemes are often prevented by local politicians stoking fears amongst residents.
The Social Democrats are committed to significant investment in public transport. I believe that the National Development Plan should be redrawn so that public transport and cycling are re-prioritised over road expenditure. This simply has to happen if we are to reduce our carbon emissions in the transport sector and if we want to be in a position to plan for additional housing and sustainable communities. The Social Democrats would like to see no or low fare public transport pilot schemes in Ireland, but in order to increase capacity, this must go hand in hand with increased investment.
I will use every power available to me as a local councillor to facilitate the expansion of public transport services in this community and in the city as a whole. I will advocate for putting transport planning at the heart of all significant housing plans. It is also vital that the needs of people with disabilities are heard and responded to, and that universal accessibility is central in all transport decisions affecting our council areas.
I'm a cyclist, a cycling advocate and an elected member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. I campaigned sucessfully for an improved cycleway plan for Clontarf. I work to increase cycling for all ages and for women, who are a minority in the cycling community, through my #Freedommachine initiative. I'm giving an oral presentation at the Dublin Velo-City conference on gender and cycling.
As stated, commuters need to see the benefits of cycling if they are to be convinced to leave the cars at home. I hear of cyclists every day who say it is more and more dangerous cycling in and out of the city. There needs to be an increase in segregated cycle lanes which would encourage cycling, reduce congestion by getting cars off the road and make cycling safer.
I will continue to support the introduction of proper and additional safe cycle routes. I will also continue to argue for cyclist contraflow routess on certain city routes (to encourage more cycling) and city bike schemes.
I am an avid cyclist and I would like to see more investment in a proper upgrade of our road networks to include safe and efficient cycle infrastructure. I would also like to see proper community engagement for cyclists and motorists to promote positive road use.
I would continue to input into the Dublin City Development Plan to improve cycling infrastructure. I proposed several amendments to the Dublin City Development Plan 2016–2022 to encourage cycling in the city. These included immediate improvements to thoroughfares and junctions; that road safety audits be made public; that awareness and education be increased through initiatives such as Green Schools travel flags. I also signed up for the cyclingforall.ie campaign and will do my best to further its principles of space, priority, continuity and quality, permeability, contra-flow for cycling, and integration/connectivity for cyclists. I am a cyclist, recovering from a bad cycling injury so I know how dangerous it can be.
I have been a strong voice on the Sutton-to-Sandycove (S2S) Cycle Route and the Liffey Cycle Route. As outlined above, I have also requested that the DublinBikes scheme be extended to areas including Raheny. I feel that a massive shift to people using bikes is needed. I had a motion for the bike-training school in Clontarf to be reopened to educate and support communities in cycling.
I am absolutely committed to improving cycling infrastructure in our city. Cycling is an issue of both quality of life and of equality, and I will aim to do everything I can to make our city both safe and enjoyable for cyclists of all ages and levels. The benefits are too many to list, from decreased pollution, congestion, and carbon emissions, to a healthier and more active population. Increased cycling will improve commute times, and contribute to safer streets and more liveable neighbourhoods.
Ireland is significantly behind much of Europe in cycling policy. We need to recognise that cycling is a major transport area which can contribute hugely to society, and fund it as such. As I councillor I would commit to significantly improving funding for cycling, improving infrastructure and segregation necessary for safe cycling, and increasing cycling greenways and urban bike schemes, specifically extending the DublinBikes project to the Clontarf LEA [local election area]. I would also like to see safe cycling to school, improved tax schemes for cyclists, and the implementation and training of cycling officers.
I'm a climate change activist for many years. I've held many actions over 20 years, climate film nights, and public meetings. I have campaigned to divest from fossil fuel to keep it in the ground. I myself live by my words and have a very small carbon footprint. I believe we have solutions to climate change and can build fairer resilient communities.
This is a very topical issue and I commend young people for bringing this to the fore of national politics. The government simply is not doing enough to tackle climate change. The improvements in public transport and cycling which I have mentioned above will have a positive knock-on effect on our city by reducing fuel emissions. Greater recycling facilities are needed in Dublin to incentivise people to easily dispose of their rubbish in a greener way.
I am and continue to be concerned about the speed of climate change and intend to speak out and make people aware of what we can do as a society to make a real contribution to slow down the rate of climate change. We need change at policy level. It's no longer acceptable to think that we can solve the crisis of the speed of climate change simply by changing domestic behaviour ourselves. We need policy change at city, national, and global level in order to have any real impact.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I have been involved in activism around the “leave it in the ground campaign”, a bill developed by our own [People Before Profit] TD Bríd Smith. I have held climate change public meetings to highlight this issue and discuss how we as a people can collectively effect change and force the big global polluters to account for their inaction. Also I can see the need to open more dialogue with our disabled community who have advised that they often feel very left out of this debate and in certain instances targeted for using life essential equipment needed to live a full life in our society. So again we need everyone to be included in this discussion.
I am working to increase DCC’s current recycling capacity and have made a submission to DCC’s Climate Action Plan in this regard. Currently, there are a range of potentially recyclable goods (e.g. small scrunchy plastic and certain black plastics) that DCC does not have the proper machinery to recycle. I am working to make sure this machinery is provided. The recycling centre closest to my local electoral area, Shamrock Terrace, North Strand, is too small and I believe that DCC needs to move to a larger recycling premises as I see a lot of recycling opportunities at a larger more accessible premises (employment also). I will also push to extend opening times at bring centres.
–I am working on introducing "3 for the Sea" along our coasts.
–I continue to work to make cycling a safer and more attractive option.
–I proposed DCC traffic safety audits near our local schools to implement safety measures to encourage children to walk to school.
–In addition, I am actively involved with several local environmental groups.
Tacking climate change is one the biggest issues. The government needs to have a functional plan in place to increase renewable electricity, stop trade pollution permits, and implement full decarbonisation.
Climate Change is the single biggest threat to our environment, our living standards, and our existence. On both an environmental and an economic level, it is vital that we respond to this threat urgently. We simply cannot keep kicking this can down the road – the buck stops here, with our generation. Nationally, I would favour a Green New Deal, by putting renewable energy, green collar jobs, and investment in green technologies at the centre of government policy, with a focus on a just transition. On Dublin City Council, I will push strong long-term planning of sustainable communities, support cycling and public transport, promote biodiversity, recycling, and strong anti-dumping measures, and I will encourage new energy solutions.
I campaigned for poo scoopers on the promenade. I'm lucky to have a dog friend and clean up after her on our walks together. I clean the streets and parks as I run Friends of Fairview Park clean-ups. I organise regular clean-ups. Also, we need to tackle waste at source. I help at Sick of Plastic events. Reduce and eliminate packaging especially plastic waste. More recycling and collection of bulky household waste. Reduce waste with Repair Cafes, which I've run in my community, and upcycling.
I believe waste services should not be operated privately and should come back under the control of Dublin City Council. The cost of waste services is far too high and would be reduced if brought back under control of DCC. This could be paid for by the Local Property Tax, which constituents often say they see nothing to show for. There also need to be more signs and bins put in place to deal with litter and dog poo. There should be increased litter wardens and much higher fines for those found to illegally dump or not clean up after their dog. Regarding dog poo, on community clean-ups we often find dog poo that is put in a plastic bag and tied to a tree. This is actually worse than just leaving the poo on the grass, as the plastic will take hundreds of years to decompose.
Continue to ask parents and schools to ensure that we educate our young people about the negative effects that litter of all types has on our communities. I recently officiated at a Green Flag ceremony at Our Lady of Mercy College, Beaumont, where students in the school's eco committee successfully achieved Green Flag status for their school with a project on encouraging young people not to litter and also to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste. A very positive way to tackle litter.
On the issue of litter and illegal dumping I feel we should return control of the collection and disposal of littler and waste to the councils. Before the introduction of private for-profit operators the state cleaned and controlled bin collection in our community, now the privatisation model has increased costs on people leading them to find alternative ways to dispose of their rubbish. Dog poo is a major issue in our communities. I am very much aware of this issue as it frequently effects and upsets my own daughter as a wheelchair user. There is nothing worse then having your wheels covered in dog poo which then gets on your hands and gloves, many parents with push chairs also have to contend with this issue. I’d like to see the parks and certain streets provide environmentally friendly dog waste bags and bins, and a program of education developed to inform people that you have to clean up after your dog.
Illegal dumping and litter are a scourge on our city. We need harder hitting and more effective legislation. DCC staff in waste management are aware of legal loop-holes and anomalies and their knowledge should be tapped into. Every litter black spot should have CCTV and the public should be encouraged to report on dumpers via a national campaign. There are not enough offenders being prosecuted and the reasons for this need to be addressed. The Litter Pollution Acts 1996–2008, need to be more robust: e.g., for a dog owner to be prosecuted for uncollected dog dirt, that owner needs to be "in control" of their dog; thus, "roaming/unanaccompanied" dogs are not included in the act. Furthermore, legislation should include a stipulation that dog owners carry means on their person to clean up after their dog. More dog-litter bins are required and DCC’s Green Dog Walker Scheme needs to be broadened. There also needs to be more litter wardens and more audits of which households have or have not rubbish collection contracts. I am a member of several environmental clean-ups and have been instrumental in the setting up of adopt-a-street groups in my electoral area.
I would have more signage and bins installed in relation to dog poo. I want dog-fouling bins and bags to installed in key offending areas. I want movable surveillance in litter hotspots. I wanted to increase the number of litter wardens and increase the fines associated with the offences.
Dumping and dog fouling have a really negative impact on our daily experience of the city and it’s an area where I feel DCC could be doing more. Some of the measures I would support at council level include:
–Naming and shaming policy for people found guilty of illegal dumping and using technology wherever feasible to catch culprits.
–Increased availability of public bins and particularly of bins for dog fouling. I would like to see bags made available with these bins to encourage clean-up of dog poo. It’s also vital that bins are emptied regularly enough as often they are overflowing.
–For both illegal dumping and dog fouling it’s vital that fines are applied and enforced. There must be a substantial deterrent to this antisocial behaviour.
–Public facilities for disposal of non-recyclable material should have longer weekend and evening opening hours. The easier it is to dispose of unwanted goods the less likely there will be a problem with dumping.
We need pocket parks in higher-density housing. Urban parks dotted about as little oases, with play areas and places to sit and chat with neighbours of all ages. Table tennis, games tables, and exercise equipment bring fun and play into our communities.
As stated, we have a housing crisis, but that does not mean we should build on and destroy our beautiful public parks in Dublin city such as St. Anne’s in Raheny. These parks need to be protected and not sold off. Already we see huge problems on the north side, with sports teams unable to play matches in our crowded green spaces and parks. Dublin City Council needs to look to providing more green spaces and maintaining our current ones.
I will continue to try and protect our current green space amenities through work on our City Development Plan as well as ensuring there is adequate green space provided for in the plan. Regularly, major planning applications include attempts to remove trees and green spaces and I will continue to work hard for the preservation of same.
We need to insist that proper community parks and spaces are included when planning applications are made for large-scale developments. They need to offer areas for people to be able to interact with nature and areas for sports enthusiasts and children to be able to play. We must insist on these before any building works can commence, in case they are some how forgotten about.
Firstly, I would continue to copper-fasten and protect existing green spaces by continuing to actively participate in the City Development Plan. I would continue to seek out spaces for roof top gardens, vertical gardens and community gardens etc. I would continue to work with "a Playful City" to continue to make best use of the green spaces we have also. I am very much involved with the protection of North Bull Island and Dublin Bay Biosphere.
I have been in the forefront of the campaign to prevent a private developer from building at St Anne's Park for may reasons, including the fact it is the green lung of the north side of Dublin.
Here in the Clontarf local electoral area we’re pretty lucky in terms of green spaces – the beautiful St Anne’s is at our doorstep and local parks and playgrounds such as Fairview and Maypark are excellent amenities also. I would like to see an increase in pocket parks and greater use of smaller green areas. In my own neighbourhood of Donnycarney, the Mucky Lane Project, which I have had some involvement with, is a fantastic example of a community coming together to make use of an unused and unloved green area. The space has been planted with flowers of all kinds – blooming from the first snowdrops onwards – and fruit trees. Local residents have built insect hotels to encourage biodiversity and it’s a pollinator’s paradise. Dublin City Council and the parks department have been very supportive of this project and I’d love to see it replicated across the city. Another local campaign I’d like to see given priority is a playground for Rockfield Park – there’s an obvious area in the park for a playground and local parents and grandparents are crying out for it.
I believe passionately in protecting public places, both outdoors and indoor spaces that can be lovely environments to be in. This is so necessary for our health and well-being. As a former councillor, I rezoned land to Z9 to protect it for development as community spaces and listed buildings used by communities. Also grants to rejuvenate community spaces.
The College Green plaza plan has been a failure from the get-go, and a new plan that can be agreed on by all parties must be a priority. Our public parks are enjoyed by many and I would encourage residents to set up or get involved in community groups that organse events and clean-ups in their local parks and greens. I am a committee member of the newly formed May Park Activities Group in Donnycarney and it's fantastic to see events happening now in May Park and the support Dublin City Council has given to this new group.
I will continue to lobby to provide additional public spaces in our city such as the Parnell Square development, again through work on our City Development Plan.
I believe that our current parks and community green spaces should never be allowed to be sold off for development and should be protected by the council. We need to regenerate the parks that we currently own and invest in amenities that offer the community as a whole the resources to create clubs and networks that are accessible to all those living in these city areas. We should look at areas where there is the opportunity to create city gardens so that the community can create spaces to be proud of and spaces that bring people together.
I would continue to use the Dublin City Development Plan in this regard as mentioned in Question 9 above. The formulation of the Development Plan is a rigorous process and I have had many of my proposals adopted by Dublin City Council during my tenure as a city councillor. In terms of making Dublin city a nicer, place to be, I think the arts have a key role to play. One of the downsides of the property crisis is the flight of artists from our city and many have described it as our "creative soul departing". I would endeavour to input into the next City Development Plan that more artist studio space is developed etc.
I have been in favour of the College Green plaza and new Liffey Street plaza. At a local level, I have campaigned for Raheny village to be poster free.
I’m in favour of increasing the number of pedestrianised areas and quietways. The Social Democrats would love to see Dublin City Council prioritise recreation, play and sport and make our city a place for play as well as work. In other European cities I’ve visited I’ve seen life-sized games such as chess in public areas and would love to see more of this in Dublin. In addition, we need to think about recreation facilities for teenagers and consult with them as to what would best suit their needs. In my local area I see teens hanging around the children’s playground in the evening and it’s easy to blame them but what are we doing about alternatives?