Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Lucy O'Connor

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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).

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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