Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Linda Greene

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

This is a project byDublin Inquirer, a reader-funded local newspaper covering Ireland's capital. You can support local journalism by becoming a Dublin Inquirer subscriber.