People Before Profit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.