Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Sinn Féin

21 candidates

 

First things first I would never vote against any development of social housing or affordable housing. We have a Fine Gael government at the helm and we have to work with what we have while always pushing for more. If needed I would try amend any plans to make sure the development went smoothly but I would never vote against the delivery of homes. I would continuously call on government to adopt housing policies that would work better than the ones we’ve seen this far. My parties policy is social and affordable homes for those who need it. I would follow through on plans already in place and continue to try convince a government heavily reliant on the private housing market to fund and support alternative proposal that would actually work. I wouldn’t promise people this is what we could have like other councillors have in the past. If we had a change in government we would be able to change the delivery mechanism for social and affordable housing but until we have we need to work with what we have and deliver some homes rather than none. I would continue to do what I have since elected five years ago. This is on my election manifesto.

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.

In order to address the housing crisis, real leadership needs to be shown. In the 10 years Fine Gael have been in government, the housing crisis has deepened and divided communities, with children no longer able to rent, let alone buy in the areas they grew up. DCC now needs to act to identify suitable sites for the delivery of diversified public housing. For example, Councillor Shane O’Brien of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recently developed a plan in Shanganagh to provide one-third each of social, affordable and rent-to-buy housing, which eventually was passed by the council. I believe these kind of developments are the way forward, focusing on three-bedroom homes which will cater for families, rather than the current private fixation with one-bedroom apartments which do little to address the current crisis.

The current housing crisis is due to bad government and bad decision-making. Government expenditure on social housing in 2019 is projected at €1.3 billion with a target of 7,410 real social houses. Sinn Féin would increase this by a further €1 billion to double the output of public housing. This would deliver an additional 2,850 social homes, consisting of 1,500 new-builds, Part Vs and acquisitions, 950 vacant units via Buy and Renew and 400 units of Traveller-specific accommodation. This would bring the total number of social houses delivered in 2019 to 10,260, which is what was recommended by the Cross-Party Housing and Homeless Committee report. This government has not delivered one affordable home in 2016, 2017 or 2018 and it has no affordable-housing targets for next year. Sinn Féin would deliver 4,630 affordable homes of which 1,435 would be cost rental and 3,195 would be affordable sale.

Accelerate the current housing programme of Dublin City Council and press central government for: 1. More funding for social housing; 2. An end to excessive red tape that is delaying delivery of social housing; 3. A proper affordable housing scheme that is within reach of people on low to middle incomes.

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.

Yes, we need to cut out the excessive red tape involved in the provision of social housing from the department. We also need to look at small infill sites that could be used for small-scale developments

Try to make sure that council land designated for housing is built on without delay.

Continue to push for DCC to build more social and affordable homes on their own sites.

The current housing crisis is due to bad government and bad decision making. Government expenditure on social housing in 2019 is projected at €1.3 billion with a target of 7,410 real social houses. Sinn Féin would increase this by a further €1 billion to double the output of public housing. This would deliver an additional 2,850 social homes, consisting of 1,500 new builds, Part Vs and acquisitions, 950 vacant units via Buy and Renew and 400 units of Traveller-specific accommodation. This would bring the total number of social houses delivered in 2019 to 10,260, which is what was recommended by the Cross-Party Housing and Homeless Committee report. This government has not delivered one affordable home in 2016, 2017 or 2018 and it has no affordable-housing targets for next year. Sinn Féin would deliver 4,630 affordable homes of which 1,435 would be cost rental and 3,195 would be affordable sale.

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. Successive governments have insisted on depending on private developers to solve the housing crisis. That has failed and 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 proposed to double government spending on social and affordable homes, delivering twice as many units. In the short-term this would help, but a change of policy as I mentioned earlier is ultimately needed.

At a local level, I would continue to push for: 1) public housing on public land and a much quicker turn-around time for government approval of housing projects; 2) the return of the financial-contribution scheme to allow for the downsizing of older people to smaller accommodation and freeing up much needed family sized accommodation; 3) changing Part V from 10 percent back to 20 percent of all units in private developments to be social units; and 3) addressing the oversaturation of expensive student accommodation in the Liberties and the increasing transient developments of hotels, aparthotels and Airbnbs by changing the Dublin City Development Plan.

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.

 

Sinn Féin has put many proposals forward to protect renters, particularly in relation to the high rents and the lack of security. We would continue to push that agenda. This is on my election manifesto.

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.

Sinn Féin is proposing an immediate three-year rent freeze as well as rent relief equivalent to one-month’s rent. We’re continuing to oppose the Local Property Tax and have committed, at council level, to reduce it by the maximum allowed 15 percent. We’re also introducing a bill to ban the advertising of properties that don’t comply with existing legal regulations. All too often we see ads for dreadfully sub-standard rental accommodation on Daft and other sites, as well as Facebook ads that exploit vulnerable people in our society like students who desperately need somewhere to stay and end up living in dangerous accommodation but who cannot speak for fear they’ll be kicked out. Landlords who continually to disregard these regulations should be held firmly to account and this is an essential first step.

Sinn Féin would introduce measures to curb rising rents. Rent prices are the highest in the history of the state and are continuing to rise. These rent hikes are unsustainable and are adding to a growing cost-of-living crisis. The government’s weak rent-pressure zone legislation isn’t working. Therefore, Sinn Féin propose the introduction of a temporary tax relief for renters in tandem with a three-year emergency rent freeze. This relief would cost €265 million per year. This tax relief will cover the price of one month’s rent for every renter in the state for a period of three years. It will be capped at €1,500 per renter, and will be refundable to ensure working people on low incomes benefit. Under the emergency rent freeze, existing tenancies would have rents frozen at their current levels. Any new tenancies would be pegged to the Residential Tenancies Board's standardised average rent index by county, and where appropriate local electoral area, from budget day.

  1. Introduce a rent freeze. 2. Increase supply.

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.

Yes, while we will need stronger legislation from the Oireachtas to ensure this happens, I will do whatever I can on the council to make renting more affordable and easier to access

Cap on rents, encourage affordable-rental schemes run by Dubli City Council and approved housing bodies.

Continue to call for measures that aid renters such as a three-year freeze on rent increases and tax relief for tenants.

Sinn Féin would introduce measures to curb rising rents. Rent prices are the highest in the history of the state and are continuing to rise. These rent hikes are unsustainable and are adding to a growing cost-of-living crisis. The government’s weak rent-pressure zone legislation isn’t working. Therefore, Sinn Féin propose the introduction of a temporary tax relief for renters in tandem with a three-year emergency rent freeze. This relief would cost €265 million per year. This tax relief will cover the price of one month’s rent for every renter in the state for a period of three years. It will be capped at €1,500 per renter, and will be refundable to ensure working people on low incomes benefit. Under the emergency rent freeze, existing tenancies would have rents frozen at their current levels. Any new tenancies would be pegged to the Residential Tenancies Board's standardised average rent index by county and where appropriate local electoral area as appropriate from budget day.

Housing is not a place to park capital. It’s a place to live, raise families, work and play.

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, are 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 rises in rents. This would be accompanied by a renters' tax relief equivalent to one month's rent for every renter in the state.

As a member of the Inchicore Regeneration Consultative Forum where we are to deliver a cost-rental model, I am very aware that the government still has not issued a cost-rental policy. I will, as I always have, push for a proper affordable cost-rental model for this site.

Increase the volume of rent cap across the city.

 

I would continue to do what I have done for the last five years. Call on Fine Gael to call a national emergency, and build social and affordable homes on our land. Also make the rental market more secure for tenants, make sure rents can’t keep rising and that homes are properly maintained. This is on my election manifesto.

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.

Unlike Dublin City Council CEO Owen Keegan, I don’t believe that good homeless services create demand. Rather, the dreadfully substandard provision of accommodation is to blame for our scandalous levels of homelessness. The provision of high-quality social and affordable housing throughout Dublin city, such as that previously mentioned above, is the only way to reduce homelessness. We should look to the 1930s and '40s, and the work of Herbert Simms and the Dublin Corporation, when 17,000 homes were built in Dublin from 1932 to 1948, as an example of what can be achieved when the desire is there.

With over 10,000 adults and nearly 4,000 children living in emergency accommodation, decisive, urgent action needs to be taken. Sinn Féin in government would deliver over 10,000 new social homes in 2019, which would allow local authorities to reduce the number of families in emergency accommodation. We would also commit to introducing 1,000 Housing First tenancies from within the overall provision of social housing to reduce long-term homelessness. We would invest €5 million towards the establishment of a quality standards framework and inspection regime.

Develop social housing of all types for those who need it, increasing supply and reducing dependence on the private-rental market. Better protection for tenants in the private-rented sector as lack of protection from rent rises and sales is forcing people into homelessness.

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.

Yes, I firmly believe the only way we can solve the homelessness crisis in our city is to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. Restrictions on landlords issuing notices to quit, greater supply of rental accommodation, and greater roll out of the financial contribution scheme for older people should be prioritised.

Improve supply of social housing on approved housing body schemes.

Look for the introduction of legislation to protect home-owners from vulture-fund evictions and plugging of loop-holes to prevent unscrupulous landlords from evicting tenants under false claims just to get new ones in on increased rents.

With over 10,000 adults and nearly 4,000 children living in emergency accommodation decisive, urgent action needs to be taken. Sinn Féin in government would deliver over 10,000 new social homes in 2019, which would allow local authorities to reduce the number of families in emergency accommodation. We would also commit to introducing 1,000 Housing First tenancies from within the overall provision of social housing to reduce long-term homelessness. We would invest €5 million towards the establishment of a quality standards framework and inspection regime.

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, as there are many reasons people end up in homelessness, but it would go a long way. However, the state also has a responsibility to all its citizens, even those who do end up in homelessness.

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 advocated for an increase in investment in homeless emergency accommodation and support funding in our alternative budget. In the same document we proposed allocating more funding for accommodation of survivors of domestic violence. We would also ensure that those leaving homelessness and going into mainstream housing get all the supports they need.

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.

 

I would call for heavy fines for those who leave sites derelict and vacant. Call on the government to fund the buying of the lands and vacant properties to help with the housing crisis.

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.

I would like to see Dublin City Council using their compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers on these sites. Homelessness is the largest problem that we face today and the number of these properties that could be repurposed for housing is staggering. It is a disgrace that over 200,000 properties lie vacant in this country with over 15,000 people homeless.

Councils need to take a more proactive approach. This would require dedicated vacant-homes officers going out and engaging with owners to encourage them to avail of the available schemes. These officers should build up a vacant-home register and be working to a vacant-homes plan. A vacant-homes tax needs to operate in conjunction with these refurbishment schemes to further incentivise property owners wilfully leaving homes empty to return their empty properties to use. Any vacant-homes tax also needs to be more than a token gesture and must be punitive in nature. In Sinn Féin’s submission to the government’s vacant-homes strategy, we outlined a number of approaches the government could take to implementing such a tax, such as making it based on a percentage of the market value of the property. However, in advance of the introduction of such a measure, a state-wide vacant-homes register must be rolled out. We need to know how many vacant homes will actually be available for refurbishment and where they are. Key to developing this register would be dedicated vacant-homes officers employed by local authorities. A huge part of their role would be to engage with vacant property owners and encourage them to return them back into use.

Accelerate the turnaround of vacant council dwellings, strengthen legislation to require owners of vacant properties and sites to put them to use or face penalties, subject to proper planning.

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.

Yes, we can do this by increasing the vacant sites levy every second year to encorage landowners to put their sites back into use.

Encourage Dublin City Council to act on existing Derelict Sites Register.

Increase vacant/derelict site taxes.

Councils need to take a more proactive approach. This would require dedicated vacant-homes officers going out and engaging with owners to encourage them to avail of the available schemes. These officers should build up a vacant-home register and be working to a vacant-homes plan. A vacant-homes tax needs to operate in conjunction with these refurbishment schemes to further incentivise property owners wilfully leaving homes empty to return their empty properties to use. Any vacant-homes tax also needs to be more than a token gesture and must be punitive in nature. In Sinn Féin’s submission to the government’s vacant-homes strategy, we outlined a number of approaches the government could take to implementing such a tax, such as making it based on a percentage of the market value of the property. However, in advance of the introduction of such a measure, a state-wide vacant-homes register must be rolled out. We need to know how many vacant homes will actually be available for refurbishment and where they are. Key to developing this register would be dedicated vacant-homes officers employed by local authorities. A huge part of their role would be to engage with vacant property owners and encourage them to return them back into use.

For residential properties, Sinn Féin would introduce measures to stop the widespread practice of land hoarding. In Dublin 8, dereliction is a huge issue. I have supported the call for the introduction of a vacant property tax, and increasing the vacant site levy. Again, the reason these investors and developers can get away with this is that government policy is dependent on them to build houses and they don’t wish to upset them. A state building programme would remove that dependancy.

For commercial property, Sinn Féin have developed a policy aimed at investing funds from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in run-down town and city centres, instead of underperforming investment funds abroad. In partnership with local councils across the island, the ISIF would purchase disused sites and vacant commercial properties and then let them out on a commercial basis, creating more revenue for councils and regenerating Irish towns.

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.

 

Work with communities and the NTA to deliver projects that will actually work and that the majority are happy with. Some of the plans on the table in relation to BusConnects at the moment are shockingly bad.

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.

Dublin’s public-transport system, as it stands, is seriously lacking. I’m often contacted by residents in opposition to the BusConnects plans, which put too much pressure on specific areas, while not actually addressing the core problem. I think this is fairly indicative of the problem in general. There is no large-scale, coherent plan for the modernisation of Dublin city’s public-transport system, which takes in bus, rail and cycling infrastructure. I feel that any attempts to privatise these services will only serve to further exacerbate the problem, and that the only way forward is a cheap, well-thought-out, integrated public-transport system.

In terms of addressing disabilities, Sinn Féin advocates a multi-annual programme to make public transport accessible for citizens with a disability. Sinn Féin support the greater streamlining of our transport infrastructure across Dublin. Transport needs to be modern and future-proofed as part of a modern infrastructure system. In terms of the MetroLink and BusConnects proposals, which plan to radically overhaul transport, we have made submissions ensuring that transport is more efficient and accessible, particularly for those with disabilities and our elderly citizens.

Press for greater government investment in public transport which is both essential economic infrastructure and a key public service. Levels of investment need to be brought up to European standards as it is among the lowest at present. Recast the flawed BusConnects plan in consultation with communities to make it more responsive to their needs. Restore staffing to DART stations.

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.

While councillors do not currently have much control over public transport, I believe they should. There are too many statutory agencies looking after public transport in the city and not enough joined-up thinking.

Campaign for Metro and Luas extensions.

Continue to oppose attempts at privatisation of our public-transport system, which is contributing to its decline.

Sinn Féin advocates a multi-annual programme to make public transport accessible for citizens with a disability. Sinn Féin supports the greater streamlining of our transport infrastructure across Dublin. Transport needs to be modern and future-proofed as part of a modern infrastructure system. In terms of the MetroLink and BusConnect proposals, which plan to radically overhaul transport, we have made submissions ensuring that transport is more efficient and accessible, particularly for those with disabilities and our elderly citizens.

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, integrated ticketing – 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. There can be a place for private transport providers, but only as a support to a properly supported public transport system. Ensure that state transport companies can tender, alongside the private companies for public-service obligation (PSO) funding for the unprofitable routes, and that the amount available be increased to reduce fares by 10–12 percent.

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.

 

Continue to make sure the roads are safe for all users. Develop cycle plans that will actually work and be of benefit to all. Most importantly keep the road maintenance at high spec. Some of our roads and cycle tracks are in horrific conditions.

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.

I’m a cyclist myself and completely support a better city for cycling. I would be in favour of pushing for increased public-bike schemes, as well as setting an ambitious target for Dublin City Council to reach for cycle-lane delivery. I think a public consultation on the South Dublin Quietway would be a good start to determine the way to best implement world-class cycling infrastructure for all to use. Also I feel that safe cycle parking, such as public bike hangars, would be a great addition to the city.

The current BusConnects project plans to develop 200 kilometres of cycle lanes across the city. Sinn Féin is supportive of initiatives that provide greater cycling opportunities for cyclists in a safer and accessible way. Cycling is better for one’s health and is environmentally friendly, however the introduction of new cycling lanes must be developed in line with community consultation.

Continue to develop cycle lanes and cycleways and secure parking for bikes, expand the Dublinbikes scheme.

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.

Within the city centre we need to provide much more cycling infrastructure. I believe most of our suburbs have an adequate amount.

Cycle track on canal not delivered. Call on Dublin City Council to act on it as a priority.

Continue to work with stakeholders in planning and introducing new/improved cycling infrastructure to our city.

The current BusConnects project plans to develop 200 kilometres of cycle lanes across the city. Sinn Féin is supportive of initiatives which provide greater cycling opportunities for cyclists in a safer and accessible way. Cycling is better for one’s health and is environmentally friendly. However the introduction of new cycling lanes must be developed in line with community consultation.

In Sinn Féin’s capital investment plans we identified the need for additional resources for cycling infrastructure, especially in Dublin, along with the creation of additional routes and bike services in smaller towns without such infrastructure. We also see cycling as part of the overall transport system and again called for the integrating cycling infrastructure with bicycle-friendly buses, trains and trams.

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.

 

Continue to call on people to reduce, reuse and recycle. Start with the council and the Dáil. It should be all paperless and plastic should be banned. I would call on the government to fund this better and more adequately so that we are all working towards helping our planet. I would also support my party in calling for big multinational companies to be held accountable for the carbon footprints.

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. 

A hugely important issue, climate change is a central part of the platform that we’re standing on, both locally and nationally. I’m opposed to a carbon tax, as I feel that it is regressive and doesn’t provide any actual incentive to reduce emissions or switch to zero-carbon alternatives. The proposed carbon tax would also disproportionally affect low- and middle-income families rather than large corporate polluters. We’re bringing forward a Local Authority Climate Obligation Bill, which would ensure that new housing is built to the highest energy-efficiency ratings and allows the best use of land for renewable energy generation, electric-vehicle charging points, as well as park-and-ride facilities.

Sinn Féin recently published a comprehensive report on our climate change proposals, which deals with sustainable transport, waste management, housing and the built environment, agriculture, energy security, education, citizen and community engagement. The full report is available [here] (https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2019/Climate_Minority_Report.pdf).

Improve public transport and make it more affordable for commuters, reduce dependency on cars, accelerate and expand household insulation and retrofits, provide for micro-generation, allowing households generating electricity at home to sell surplus power back into the grid, reducing their energy bills. Press for far more ambitious government and EU commitments and delivery of measures on climate change e.g. Get the European Central Bank to divest from dirty industries and allow for loans for green development.

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.

Yes, it’s a subject we must all address urgently and while we may need legislation to ultimately make a difference in climate change, the local authorities must also play their part.

Retrofit houses, improve public transport, increase electric-car charging at shopping centres, etc.

Continue to work on education around energy and waste and push for sustainable energy systems as the only option.

Sinn Féin recently published a comprehensive report on our climate change proposals, which deals with sustainable transport, waste management, housing and the built environment, agriculture, energy security, education, citizen and community engagement. The full report is available [here] (https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2019/Climate_Minority_Report.pdf).

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, 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, providing state-funded retrofits to thousands of homes to improve efficiency and tackling fuel poverty, and investing heavily in our renewable energy infrastructure.

We support more and cheaper public transport and have laid out spending plans to achieve this. We also provide for 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.

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.

 

I would continue to call on this to be funded more. Since the privatisation on the bin service it has progressively got worse. We need better plans in place, more staff, more litter wardens that actually catch the perpetrators and follow through with fines. I would also support naming and shaming those caught in the act of illegal dumping. This is on my election manifesto.

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.

Since becoming the local Sinn Féin representative in 2017, I’ve already worked with residents and residents’ associations to increase the number of bins in certain blackspots. While this has definitely been beneficial for locals, I feel that the way forward is to bring waste collection back under the control of local authorities. The provision of affordable refuse collection for all residents in conjunction with an increase in the number of recycling centres, as well as more dog-litter bins would, I believe, lead to a significant reduction in litter, illegal dumping and dog fouling.

Last year, my colleagues in Dublin Central Sinn Féin launched the Clean Our Streets campaign, expressing concern at the increase in litter levels in Dublin city centre and in other disadvantaged areas of the city. In 2017 alone, Dublin City Council dealt with 6,000 bags of illegally dumped waste. A survey carried out by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) found that a "lack of community involvement" and an "absence of pride in the locality of these areas" are major problems for areas such as Dublin’s north inner-city. This is a problem that I am keen to address. As part of our Clean Our Streets Campaign, Sinn Féin aims to create greater awareness on the state of the streets across Dublin. The Sinn Féin action plan seeks to increase the use of CCTV to detect offenders, increase the number of wardens across Dublin Central, increase Dublin City Council investment toward street cleaning, and improve public awareness about the implications of illegal dumping.

Return power and responsibility for waste management and household waste collection to councils, restore staffing levels cut during the recession, including for cleansing not only in the city centre but in the suburbs also. Reduce plastic waste by introducing mandatory deposit return schemes and press for change in practice by manufacturers. Increase enforcement measures for illegal dumping, littering and dog fowling.

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.

Year on year, Dublin City Council is spending more and more of its budget on tackling illegal dumping. I believe the council should take back control of the city’s bin collection which will have a huge impact on the amount of litter on our streets.

Employ more litter wardens, dog poo bins at parks and area where people walk their dogs, mobile CCTV to identify and fine people who are guilty of littering their neighbourhoods, increase in fine for littering.

Continue working with the council on education and public-information campaigns and signage. Continue to press for our refuse collection to be returned to public service away from the profit-driven private companies – the evidence of the failure of this is ever-increasing all over our city.

Last year, my colleagues in Dublin Central Sinn Féin launched the Clean Our Streets campaign, expressing concern at the increase in litter levels in Dublin city centre and in other disadvantaged areas of the city. In 2017 alone, Dublin City Council dealt with 6,000 bags of illegally dumped waste. A survey carried out by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) found that a "lack of community involvement" and an "absence of pride in the locality of these areas" are major problems for areas such as Dublin’s north inner-city. This is a problem that I am keen to address. As part of our Clean Our Streets Campaign, Sinn Féin aims to create greater awareness on the state of the streets across Dublin. The Sinn Féin action plan seeks to increase the use of CCTV to detect offenders, increase the number of wardens across Dublin Central, increase Dublin City Council investment toward street cleaning, and improve public awareness about the implications of illegal dumping.

Dog poo is a growing problem in our city. It is constantly being raised with me, especially at policing forum meetings. I have consistently called for additional dog poo bins and dog wardens to try and tackle the problem, but we also need to enforce existing by-laws and encourage responsible dog ownership.

I believe the privatisation of waste collection was a disaster. We now have an inefficient waste-collection mode, with multiple companies and waste trucks clogging up small residential streets and at times providing a poor service. It has also led to an increase in dumping across the state. I would support waste collection services being brought back into public ownership and treated as a service to society and not simply to the individual. Sinn Féin supports the introduction of a franchising model for local waste services, in order to secure one waste collection provider per council area. This state is alone in the EU with a fully privatised waste-collection model. Because of this, up to 25 percent of homes opt out of expensive waste collection entirely, leading to illegal dumping and litter. Our franchising model would reduce costs, and make waste collection more accountable and more efficient.

I would support councils providing residents with the basic facilities to ensure they can keep their communities clean and tidy. We need more public bins and dog litter bins, as well as more recycling centres that allow people to reduce their waste output.

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.

 

I am currently the chair of the [Dublin City Council's] parks sub-committee. I would look to keep that committee going and continue to be on it. In the north-west inner-city we are very lucky with the green spaces we have. However I would continue to call for the ones we have to be properly maintained and for security to be increased on some of them. I would tackle that issue whilst supporting the delivery of other smaller green spaces where possible.

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. 

We’re in a great position in Kimmage-Rathmines that we have a huge number of parks and green spaces which are frequently used by all. I think that DCC should seek to identify new green spaces for development in the coming years both in terms of new parks as well as for amenities such as AstroTurf pitches or BMX and skate parks. This would provide a huge boost to local residents and sports clubs, as well as having significant environmental benefits.

Given the significant construction rate in our city, it’s difficult to increase the number of parks and green spaces so our priority should be at least to preserve existing parks and green spaces and ensure that such facilities are made available and accessible to people. Our local TD Mary Lou McDonald has worked closely with individuals who have worked to develop green spaces across Dublin Central. My colleague Belinda Nugent and her husband Trevor worked with the local community to develop a community garden in Summerhill, where people can grow fruits and crops in a safe environment. This is an excellent example of community empowerment.

Space is very limited as the city's population continues to grow. Existing parks and green spaces need to be kept and enhanced. Proper green spaces and planting need to be provided as an integral part of new residential developments.

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.

Yes, I have been a strong supporter of more green spaces in our city. I believe these should be used for sporting use and for general amenities. The benefits green spaces and parks have for our communities are vital.

Encourage the new owners of Iveagh Grounds on the Crumlin Road to make the area available for public use, encourage Dublin City Council to look at other pockets of parks like the success Weaver Park on Cork Street, and make them more welcoming to the public.

Push for their inclusion in future plans and developments.

Given the significant construction rate in our city, it’s difficult to increase the number of parks and green spaces, so our priority should be at least to preserve existing parks and green spaces and ensure that such facilities are made available and accessible to people. Our local TD Mary Lou McDonald has worked closely with individuals who have worked to develop green spaces across Dublin Central. Both my husband Trevor and I worked with the local community to develop a community garden called North East Central Community Garden on Rutland Street Lower. Our NEC Community Garden is a space where people can grow fruits, vegetables and flowers in a safe environment. This is an excellent example of community empowerment.

Urban green spaces are a necessary component for delivering healthy, sustainable and liveable cities. Dublin 8 is the most urbanised paved area in the city, with only 6.4 percent public green cover. It has one of the lowest proportions of space under grass in Dublin or any city in Europe according to the World Health Organisation. I have been part of the campaigns to address the lack of green spaces and fought for Weaver Park, Bridgefoot Street Park, a full size GAA pitch and sports campus at Donore, but even with all this delivered we will still be below the recommended green space, so a lot done, but a lot more to do.

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.

 

I would support any plans that provided public spaces in the city. This is very important for the economy and for people’s well being. Civic spaces are places we should all use and protect from been taken away. I would call for the removal of some of the big sign posts around the city as well. The city doesn’t need to be a concrete jungle. I would support civic spaces for all.

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.

Any attempts to privatise our local resources should always be resisted. I would like to see a focus on improving the existing spaces with amenities such as the exercise machines that have been installed in Eamonn Ceannt Park, as well as coherent planning and delivery of playgrounds, gym facilities, and generally providing more amenities in conjunction with the rising number of residential and commercial developments.

Existing public space in our city is already limited. Sinn Féin will fight to preserve the unique character of Dublin. We have a such a rich historical and architectural culture, which should be preserved and promoted and not subject to construction development. Dublin City Council has a responsibility to maintain such spaces and ensure that our citizens can enjoy them in a safe and clean environment.

Privatisation of public spaces should not be permitted. Better public transport and reduction of car traffic and parking in the city centre should go hand in hand with providing more public spaces. We also need to design public spaces that are adaptable to Irish weather conditions all year round.

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.

Yes, we need open spaces and public areas within the city centre and I would see College Green as the perfect example for one.

First priority to use the existing land zoned for residential.

Again, push for their inclusion in future plans, new or re-developments. Aid the council in optimising the use and upkeep of our existing public and green spaces and ensure that none are lost to speculators or sold off under false promises of improvement.

Existing public space in our city is already limited. Sinn Féin will fight to preserve the unique character of Dublin. We have a such a rich historical and architectural culture, which should be preserved and promoted and not subject to construction development. Dublin City Council has a responsibility to maintain such spaces and ensure that our citizens can enjoy them in a safe and clean environment.

As well as the reply to question 9, Dublin 8 has some of the most historical sites in Dublin. The south-west inner-city is an area steeped in history and character and is often under threat or overshadowed by developments. Our parks should be safe and enjoyable places to visit but some of them have become no-go areas due to high levels of anti-social behaviour, drug taking/dealing, open drinking and gangs. As a member of the local policing forum I’ve supported residents' calls for the reintroduction of park wardens, monitored CCTV and more investment in the upkeep of our parks.

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.

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