Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Kimmage-Rathmines

15 candidates competing for 6 seats
 

I have been writing about planning, housing crisis, homelessness, and human rights for the past five years in the Irish Independent. On 15 September 2018, my opinion on the Land Development Agency was published – well before it was suggested that I run for local election. Dealing with the housing crisis is nothing new to me.

In my article I wrote that the taoiseach "considers the LDA to be a radical idea, saying it is the first time that State land is in place and the first time such an agency has been put in place to meet the present and future needs of our growing population. The major factor is that 30pc of State land is to be used for affordable and social housing.” I will engage with the LDA and seek information on procedures, and report on progress or lack thereof.

Next is my recent opinion on the "cuckoo/vulture funds" published on 8 April 2019. Note that when I say "rental is not part of our culture", I mean rental for life, and then having a pension to keep paying rent until you pass away. That is not part of our culture. We must have an opportunity to purchase and pay off in 20 or 30 years. We all rent for a few years and should be able to save or get a mortgage to buy a property, nearly always with a partner, unless you’re lucky enough to inherit.

I will also seek construction budget costs from established contractors and the CIF and provide this essential information to the local authority. Ireland has a Housing Agency which came into effect on 1 August 2012 and seven years later the housing crisis is worse than ever. There is a gap in the provision of housing – no joined-up thinking.

Housing development should connect with transport infrastructure – that is the whole point of my campaign for underground transport, to generate affordable housing in the greater Dublin area and bring commuters – new affordable house owners – into the city-centre workplace or recreation faster and SAFER.

Dublin City Council, like all councils, is dependent on the Department of Housing and the government for funding to build social housing, funding which they have not provided in the amounts needed. We need to ensure that the public land owned by the council is used for public housing. This is the best tool available to councillors, as most other decision have been taken away from us by central government. This is also a key policy of the cross-party National Housing and Homelessness Coalition.

The government over-reliance on the private sector to deliver the extra homes hasn’t worked. And even if the private sector supplies more homes, they won’t be at affordable prices. We need to stop approaching housing like it’s a commodity, and start building homes. As a Social Democrats councillor, my number-one priority will be to ensure the council plays its part in tackling our housing shortage. We will use the extensive public land that is zoned and suitable for residential development within the Dublin City Council area to build homes that are affordable to rent or buy. I will ensure that every significant council housing proposal is put out for public consultation, has a good social mix, and that amenities and services are central to all plans in order for us to build quality sustainable communities.

Our local council has not done its job on housing. It has not built even one affordable home in the recent past and built just 74 social homes last year with 69 of them being rapid-build modular housing. Discounting modular housing, the council built just five social homes in 2018. It’s time we changed the mindset on the council. We must use public land to deliver thousands of new public homes – both social and affordable – in mixed and well-designed communities.

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.

Fine Gael's Rebuilding Ireland has completely failed low- and middle-income earners where having a secure and truly affordable home is out of reach of the vast majority of us. By failing to build public housing, Fine Gael backed up by Fianna Fáil has facilitated land hoarders, developers, landlords, vultures and enriched the wealthiest sectors leaving many struggling in housing poverty. Working people will never be able to afford their own home.

We in People Before Profit see housing as an essential human right that must come before the needs of speculators and the wealthy. I reject the commodification of land and housing and demand a major expansion of public housing that would be open to all income levels. Stop the sell-off of public land, build public housing on public land. The state has to directly build public housing, acquire vacant houses, increase Part V from the current 10 percent to a statutory minimum of 20 percent, task NAMA to deliver homes under its social remit, affordable student accommodation.

The housing and homelessness crises is a national disgrace. It is a result of a policy by FF, FG and Labour to abandon public housing over the last 30 years and to rely solely on the private sector. The state is paying up to €1 billion a year now to private landlords for so-called "social housing". This is money that would be better spent building public housing. I believe only public housing only should be built on public land. I fully support a mix of cost-rental apartments with affordable rent and long-term leases and local-authority differential-rent housing.

I will be supporting the government’s plans for more social and affordable homes to be provided in 2019, 2020 and beyond, and urging the council to make more council property available for this, and also to do what it needs to do with the Land Development Agency to develop the brownfield sites along the Luas Red Line, a prime zone for housing with already excellent transport infrastructure.

Yes, I have always worked in the interest of social housing over my 35 years on the council. Recently along with the Labour group we managed to bring the council with us to stop the manager selling off 32 waste management depots across the city. We got a commitment from the council that these sites will be project managed by the council for social and affordable housing. Also see answer three below.

It must be pointed out that there are no quick-fix solutions when it comes to delivering affordable homes. I recognise there is a problem with the provision of affordable homes.

Achieving medium-term goals must become a priority. Homelessness does not discriminate, any solution agreed where possible should be cross-party. Just as we should unite politically to identify solutions so to should we collaborate with key members on the Dublin City Council housing committee: individuals such as Anthony Flynn, director of housing delivery, and Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, along with Dublin City Council housing head Brendan Kenny.

In Dublin, land is at a premium, and I am of the view that we need to look seriously at increasing density, particularly in the city. Building up as opposed to out remains one of the options. This debate should be reactivated.

I also welcome an initiative proposed by Dublin City Council where we should consider the housing model used in Vienna, while it is worthy of consideration there needs to be a fundamental shift in our approach and attitude to long-term renting.

Make it more attractive to home owners to rent their homes or a room in their homes. Offer tax incentives. Also the amount of vacant housing needs to be addressed in the area. This can be utilised. Grants can be made available to owners or further incentives to utilise the empty homes all around the Rathmines-Rathgar-Kimmage area.

Keep pressure on government to increase supply and stop blaming the councils for lack of delivery. We’ve gone way past “us and them” arguments on housing – fix it. Two years ago, I brought our two children in to Grafton Street on Christmas Eve morning for a treat. On the way home on the bus they told me that they wouldn’t like to do that any more as the sight of so many people in sleeping bags on the street was too sad. We’ve seen European building teams build modular homes on TV in a month. Let’s do it and pay for it and give dignity back to families who would like to work and contribute and live a normal life. Somebody said to me recently, “It’s all wrong. The families are in hotels and the tourists are in the houses.” In other words, in short-term lets.

As this is the first question, I would like my constituents to know that my driving political philosophy is that Dublin, indeed Ireland and all nations, must acknowledge that we are under the sovereign dominion of Jesus Christ the King. The challenge posed in this question, and all of our difficulties in fact, can be ameliorated if we conduct ourselves according to His Commandments.

Specifically, to increase the supply of social homes, the council needs to become the building contractor itself like it was done back in the 1980s. This will keep down costs and separate public housing from the private housing market. To avoid the situation of vulture funds controlling vast swathes of the rental market, tariffs need to be imposed on foreign investors to make this situation less attractive.

The whole housing crisis could be improved by thoughtfully designed and thus easy-to-use web apps that facilitate more mobility and flexibility with regards to tenancies and their financing. As it is, systems are opaque, confusing and people tend to get locked-in to arrangements, with no prospect or hope of upward mobility. HAP [the Housing Assistance Payment scheme] has made some moves in this direction already.

The current consensus that the economic theory of globalism is necessary, needs to be challenged. Dublin sometimes feels like one big Airbnb, with new fully grown adults arriving here on a daily basis from far-flung corners of the world. This would entail leaving the EU to obtain that power back.

Support social-housing proposals that come before Dublin City Council as I have done for past five years. I have proposed a number of the housing proposals and spoken in support. Encourage new build as the most sustainable response rather than HAP or voids as has been government policy.

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

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I am aware of people obtaining accommodation through Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) in the city centre, but that relies on means testing and low income. I am also aware of individuals being offered two- or three-bedroom apartments in the city centre and refusing them as they don’t like the location.

I don’t own property in the city, nor do I have a share in anything other than a family home with a mortgage. I note from working in the city that new build is predominantly student accommodation funded by international investors and tall office blocks in the Docklands.

I know from personal experience that derelict protected structures get constant refusal for adaptation into good-quality apartments, not dysfunctional bedsits. This has to change so that derelict buildings can be used for affordable rent.

We need real rent controls and rights for tenants. In both these areas, we compare poorly with other European countries. The difficulty is that the only rents the council controls are its own rents! The key to making renting more affordable is to build more public housing. Vienna shows what can be achieved with high-quality public housing. The council building more will help make rents affordable.

High rents are driving more and more families into homelessness. In Dublin rents are now an average of 30 percent above their 2008 peak and show no sign of stopping. I support the introduction of a national rent-freeze, applied to every county in Ireland and kept in place until housing supply catches up with demand.

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.

Rents have almost doubled over the past six years while wages stagnate. Renters are being forced from their community and 70 percent of people forced into homelessness are from the private-rented sector because of no security of tenure and unaffordable rents courtesy of deliberate FG/FF policies. Over 20 percent of the population are now renting and are totally unrepresented and have no voice, I am fully committed to changing that. I co-founded the voluntary Dublin Renters Union in Rathmines in early 2017 to provide help, support and advice to renters struggling under constant threat of eviction and collectively have taken on and beaten landlords locally. If you are in the area please contact me.

We need to build a massive social movement to take on the landlord class in Dublin and nationally to deliver a truly secure and affordable home that everyone in society deserves. By increasing public housing, that I spoke about earlier, and enacting measures on restricting entire apartments and houses being let out on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms, it would supply more homes and reduce the reliance on the private sector.

I will demand real rent controls, where rents are reduced to 2011 levels and move towards rents linked to income and fight for real security of tenure with long-term leases for renters, where the renter decides to leave at their own choosing not the landlord's.

We need a five-year rent freeze. The RPZ [Rent Pressure Zones] policy is not working. It is too easy for landlords to get around. We need long-term rental leases. It is increasingly impossible for the younger generation to even think of getting a mortgage and their own home.

Support Minister Eoghan Murphy’s policy in relation to the rent-restriction zones, but also press for more resources and powers for the Residential Tenancies Board to ensure that some landlords are not using the excuse of refurbishment to circumvent the maximum 4 percent increase and inflating the rental market and in some cases making people homeless for no other reason other than excessive profits. In relation to Dublin City Council, I will continue as I have done to press for the whole area of regulations in relation to short-term lets to be enforced by the council, particularly given the new legislation which is expected to come into effect this summer.

The first answer to this is to increase supply and when we do that we need to set a fair-rent mechanism and security of tenure as they have in other European cities.

The only way we can provide rental property at affordable prices in the city is to increase density in order to increase the number of units. I am in favour of building up but not at any cost. A considered and measured view needs to be adopted when designating areas which could be earmarked for higher-density buildings. I am not convinced that Rent-Pressure Zones will solve the problem, nor the restrictions on Airbnb operators.

Providing tenants with long-term leases and greater protection is an option. This requires a delicate balancing act. Landlords also have a part to play and should be incentivised to participate in any scheme that will have a positive impact on the problems faced in the rental sector.

This will come if supply increases. It's simple economics, if supply increases prices will go down. This must be addressed. The number of landlords have dropped in the last five years, this must be questioned and examined.

Long-term affordable build-to rent schemes, longer-term tenants provide security for both parties and lessen maintenance costs. Thirty years ago I worked in Germany as a young student and renting a high-quality compact apartment suitable for your family size was the norm. Home ownership is no longer an aspiration for our young people who want to move away from the family setting. Also, so many families with children are renting in expensive poor-standard accommodation in areas in which they want to get a school place. Fish in a barrel. That’s speaking from experience.

Supply needs to increase to meet demand. Demand is being inflated by new people coming into the country from abroad. This is due to the devotion to the economic theory of globalism, which is increasingly been seen as outdated and ineffective.

Workers should not be seen as resources, but as heads of families. I believe that people should generally stay in the countries that God gave them as peoples, and this means I am not greatly in favour of Irish people moving to seek their fortune abroad either. Their skills are needed here. We have enough new foreign adults here now. I think our focus must shift towards us all living together in peace and loving harmony, without any further flux. Now is the time, as the best way to do this is to maintain a Christian hegemony. Additionally, economies and communities grow and thrive naturally through the cycle of birth, adulthood and old age. In this way there is more time for the market to provide needs like accommodation.

I believe in free-market economics but authorities such as the council and government should intervene when crony capitalism takes root. At the moment an unhealthy cartel seems to exist between the auctioneers, vulture funds and estate agents. Renting is not going to go away so tenants’ rights should be increased somewhat to make it a less socially shameful lifestyle choice – much in line of the status of renting on mainland Europe.

Increase housing supply as number one item. Support limits on increases in private-market rents given that affordability limits have been breached. Seek to develop affordable-housing models similar to other European cities.

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

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On 13 January 2017 my opinion piece on Apollo House and homelessness was published.

I donate to the Capuchin Day Centre and the Peter McVerry Trust. I raise donations by doing the Calcutta Run for the last three years. I commend the effort of all the various bodies that aid homeless people. However, the crisis is on the increase. There are different scopes of homelessness. The very worst that I see is individuals lying on footpaths in a sleeping bag. What kind of state economy can allow this to continue, within yards of the government building?

Some individuals without accommodation are seeking homes near their parents and refuse offers of homes not close enough. Some people are accommodated in hotels. Sadly this is not ideal for schoolchildren. Other people have to work long hours, to save, to sacrifice, to pay for accommodation, and have to move far away from their family in order to find something affordable. Our society – like any other – is diverse. If you earn over a certain level, you receive no social welfare, if you earn very little, you can seek housing, but you can’t afford anything in Dublin. A balance is required to aid those trying to earn and save, and have to live at home way past their late twenties.

We have a small population and reducing homelessness must start in childhood, by providing essential education, inspiration and encouragement to help find suitable employment, find affordable rental accommodation in order to save, to eventually purchase, if that is the choice of the individual. In that regard, every government must supplement childcare costs, education and provide affordable rental accommodation and affordable housing to purchase.

Most people entering homelessness today are coming from the private-rented sector due to unaffordable rents or insecure tenancies, and frequently both. Providing more public housing and more affordable rents will stem the tide of homelessness as people will have affordable secure accommodation and no longer be pushed onto the streets. The best thing we can do is to build more public housing.

Housing costs across Dublin continue to spiral. High rents are the main driver of families entering homelessness. If we want to tackle homelessness then we have to tackle high rents. People from all backgrounds are struggling to keep up with rent payments or rising house prices and I constantly meet people on the doorsteps who have two or three related families all living under the same roof. Government figures show that more than 10,000 people are homeless; almost 4,000 of our children are homeless. This will continue to rise unless government policy changes urgently.

With concerted changes, the Social Democrats want to: 1) Prioritise public land banks to deliver homes with good social and tenure mix; 2) Improve funding for direct builds and allow Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to build affordable houses; 3) Impose severe penalties against land hoarders. We are in an emergency and hoarding is not acceptable; 4) Introduce proper rents cap and rent regulation and give people certainty; 5) Provide new rights for tenants.

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.

It's absolutely disgraceful there are 10,264 people, official figures, in emergency accommodation of which there are about 4,000 children. As I said earlier, FG/FF deliberate policies that profit their friends have led to our crisis. A month, 100 families are forced into homelessness because of the failure of market policies. This is disgraceful in a country that has over the last two years has grown at more than three times the EU average, we need a recovery for all not for the wealthy and that is why we need to vote for People Before Profit representatives on 24 May.

We would immediately ban evictions to stop the flood of people into homelessness and by demanding real security of tenure to renters. By ramping up directly built public housing we would provide long-term secure homes, end the use of B&Bs, hotels for emergency accommodation.

Public housing is the short- and longer-term solution to homelessness. It would be possible to build 100,000 units on already zoned state-owned land.

Work with my colleague councillors and council officials to speed up the provision of homes and short-term hubs, whether this is through building, purchasing or converting properties. In terms of specifics, the council should also be turning around "voids" [empty social homes] quicker and revisiting the policy of leaving some one-bed council flats vacant for prolonged periods with a view to another one coming on stream and converting the two into one two-bed flat for the longer term. This policy needs to be revisited during the current housing crisis.

We need a state-led approach to spend €13 billion to build 80,000 homes on public-owned land. Labour has been calling for the establishment of a National Housing Development Bank which would replace the existing Housing Agency and the Housing Finance Agency and will take resources, including land and expert staff, from NAMA. NAMA's resources must be put to use to deliver public housing, and not continue to be sold to the private market at the cost of those tenants vulnerable to homelessness.

Tackling homelessness is a complex issue and should not be treated as "one solution fits all". People become homeless for a myriad of reasons there may be dependency issues, mental-health issues and there are those who for financial reason may have to leave their homes.

I recognise that the state can provide remedial accommodation for homeless people, I also understand why some do not wish to take up temporary accommodation.

Temporary solutions are unacceptable and it is our responsibility not just as councillors but as citizens of this state to protect the most vulnerable in society.

The provision of greater resources for the necessary support agencies is crucial. Providing legal and financial counsel for those who find themselves in mortgage arrears needs to be stepped up. By establishing a half-way-house model with access to support structures needs to be debated, with the view to placing individuals in long-term accommodation with support when and if required.

This issue goes further than housing increases, the reasons behind homelessness is often addiction and other social factors. The government must increase its mental-heath services to cater for homeless affected by mental health. The second type of homeless is families and individuals who can no longer afford housing. Both types of homelessness needs to be identified and addressed.

The above points all apply. Also engage with those in homeless services to see how they could step up out of that situation. I know that a number of homeless charities do that but there is an absence of a grand plan or any sincere energy or commitment to solutions. Just money thrown at stopgaps like hostels or hubs. No inspirational plan which truly values every citizen who landed in this awful place.

We should have a tiered system of accommodation where through web-based software citizens are empowered to have the flexibility to move to better accommodation if they wish. Smaller micro-apartments should be built, but again with measures in place that tenants do not feel there are no options or too big a hassle to move to larger accommodation in the future. The whole welfare and tax systems need to be overhauled to allow people to work short-term casual work in a legal, fully legitimate way.

Increase housing supply, support measures to stabilise rental market to stop the inflow into homelessness, increase social housing supply, move to end family homelessness in particular using all possible measures.

Improve supply of social housing on approved housing body schemes.

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Legislation is enacted to cover this issue. Owners of derelict buildings and vacant sites need to be contacted. Chartered surveyors are also involved in this issue. I have asked Dublin City Council directly as to why so many derelict buildings are left in disuse around the city. The response is that the owners can be difficult to find, they may be very old and disabled people who inherited property and are not in a position to sign contracts. I will continue to pursue this issue. But I have been writing about it for years, see below.

On 27 OCTOBER 2016, I published opinion on derelict buildings in the Irish Independent, here is the headline and the link: "Refurbishing our derelict, decrepit buildings could help ease housing crisis". "Hiding in plain sight, one solution to the housing shortage has been staring successive governments in the face for decades. Derelict and decrepit Victorian and Georgian buildings scattered within our cities had, in the most part, fallen victim to pre 1963 multiple occupancy."

Here is my opinion piece published on 5 January 2017, where I state that "pumping people into homelessness" is the fault of the state and Central Bank – not county registrars. This opinion is about homeowners who lost their homes due to negative equity and comments made by the master of the high court, Edmund Honohan, blaming county registrars: "The Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, takes no prisoners in motions before him concerning defendants in mortgage arrears – any advocate acting on behalf of the bank must be able to exhibit every email, letter and phone-call to the defendant. There is zero tolerance for financial institutions in his court."

In Harold’s Cross, there were three houses in a row, all boarded up and empty, all covered in graffiti. Only one was on the Derelict Sites Register – the one with a hole in the roof. The others were not felt to meet the standard of being derelict. This is just one example of how the standard is too high, and of how houses which should be facing penalties to encourage development avoid them.

If elected I would use the Planning and Property Strategic Policy committee to review the thresholds and have a more realistic approach to dereliction. However, getting a house on the Derelict Sites Register means it will be charged 3 percent of the market value of the property as a fine. With property prices growing so fast, a fine that is 3 percent of last year's value will easily be covered by the developer’s profit this year as prices continue to soar.

The consequences of being on the register need to be made more severe. The challenge is that these consequences are set by national legislation and are not under the control of the council. If elected I would work with councillors from all parties and none to lobby the government to strengthen the consequences.

Derelict and vacant sites are not just a waste of land, they are an eyesore that affect quality of life across the community. As a councillor, I will support the Vacant Site Levy to ensure precious land in the heart of our city is put to productive use for the benefit of young and old.

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.

We propose a vacant site tax, a use-it-or-lose-it policy on sites where developers have a specific timeframe to build on it, the Derelict Sites Register and action taken on them and to take them back into public ownership, CPO vacant properties to provide homes for people.

We need a more effective vacant-site tax plus a policy of "use it or lose it" to stop land hoarding.

Firstly, the council needs to identify quickly the council’s own derelict and vacant sites and bring them back into the housing stock as quickly as possible. In relation to private derelict and vacant properties, the councils, in conjunction with the Department of Housing, need to introduce much stronger incentives and penalties to address this unacceptable and highly visible weakness in relation to housing. Also, a "Stubbs" [Gazette] type list of derelict and vacant properties (vacant for a prolonged period) should be considered, detailing names of owners, etc.

When I chaired the Planning and Development Strategic Policy Committee I set up a working group when we produced a report on levies on vacant sites. Alan Kelly was the first minister who was prepared to address our report and bring in the levy. As he was a minority in a coalition it was compromised and I would like to see a stronger levy on smaller sites and shorter vacant timespan.

There is no question in my mind that speculators are sitting on such sites with the aim of increasing potential sale prices. I am pro-business and pro-profit but greed is where I draw the line. If elected I would be positively predisposed to supporting measures that penalise such individuals. I would support an initiative whereby individuals who did not sell sites within a certain period would face a tax liability. I would propose a “failure to sell tax” for every month they exceed the deadline.

This is essential in Dublin City and Kimmage-Rathmines, due to lack of space and housing needs close to city centre. Tax incentives need to be offered to those who cannot afford to upgrade and rent these properties, such as elderly and retired. Secondly developers who are leaving them vacant must be penalised and given stricter timelines if leaving vacant for development.

Vacant site tax being followed through. Money talks.

I agree with the other candidates in my local electoral area on this issue. There is obviously a financial incentive in property owners leaving sites vacant. Taxes should be lowered in the areas that are disinhibiting property owners from bringing these sites back into day-to-day use. Failing that, impose vacant site levies as suggested.

Make vacant property levy which I was involved in initiating back in 2013 bite. Support Dublin City Council in seeking to acquire derelict properties.

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

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I held a public meeting THIS WEEK on 16 April with expert speakers on the potential provision of this best solution. Circa 200 people attended (as seen in the Irish Times video – not the "over 80" mentioned!) and it was brought to the attention of the Dáil the following day. The coverage and videos are in today’s Irish Times, here is the link.

I would very much appreciate improved public transport through south-west, and west Dublin, bringing commuters from the greater Dublin area to work and home again. The coastal routes are so lucky to have the Dart. The Luas is a very positive advantage in certain areas.

The recent proposals privately issued by National Transport Authority to individual homes who would be directly impacted by the new bus corridors through suburbs and historic villages have begun to become public due to the shock of other residents and traders when they found out what was being proposed and that the deadline for submissions was so short. I have produced impact assessments for five communities.

Other European and global cities have had a metro underground for over 100 years. It is time that Dublin moved on from destroying what’s left of the city by adding more double-decker buses, increasing carbon emissions and segregating communities.

We need more park-and-ride locations for drivers coming from long-distance Dublin and beyond, free bus links, and school buses. We should build better and safer cycle lanes. And an underground rapid rail system – a metro.

There are 60 separate bodies and agencies with some input into transport decision in Dublin city, which is one of the reasons it is such a mess! We need a strong executive mayor to be able to cut through this mess and deliver on public transport. However, a strong mayor is something that central government must create, and has repeatedly failed to do so. Until then, we need to improve public transport by ways that are actually available to councillors.

One key difficulty that councillors can do something about is the fact that public transport suffers when buses get stuck in traffic. When bus priority measures were introduced on the north quays recently journey times for buses improved significantly, making public transport a better option. This is a lesson that should be applied in other parts of the city.

Likewise, 30 percent of traffic in the mornings is the school run. Reducing this will reduce congestion and help public transport work better. This can be done by providing safe routes to walk and cycle to school. To do just this, I recently proposed creating “school streets”, and the motion was passed at the transport committee. If elected, I would continue to work for the implementation of my motion.

The Social Democrats are committed to significant investment in both urban and rural public transport. We believe that the National Development Plan was a missed opportunity with too little provided to this sector. We believe the National Development Plan should be redrawn so that public transport and cycling are re-prioritised. This simply has to happen in order to reduce carbon emissions from the sector and to be able to plan for additional housing and sustainable communities.

As a councillor, I will campaign strongly on behalf of the Kimmage/Rathmines communities for significant improvements in local public transport. We will use every power available to local councillors to facilitate the expansion of public transport services in our communities. The Social Democrats are campaigning in favour of directly-elected mayors for Limerick, Galway, Dublin, Waterford and Cork. We strongly believe that these mayors should assume responsibility for transport planning in each of these cities.

We will put transport planning at the heart of all significant housing plans. We must end the practice of building homes before we build the infrastructure that new communities will depend on. We will ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are heard and responded to in all transport decisions affecting our council areas. We will continue to campaign for lower fares so that the use of public transport is encouraged and congestion reduced. We will seek to ensure that council officials are responsive to local traffic concerns and that requests for roads repairs, traffic lights, pedestrian lights, filter lights, yellow boxes, bollards, ramps and all aspects of traffic management and roads maintenance are dealt with promptly and efficiently.

We will seek to change legislation so that the National Transport Authority (NTA) must attend local authority meetings when requested to do so. The response of the NTA has sometimes been found wanting in this regard. We will ensure that the public know about every significant transport and traffic proposal relating to their community and that their voice is heard in the decision-making process.

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.

We are one of the most car-dependent societies in the world. Over-reliance on cars damages the environment and human health. Each year, 1,400 people die from poor air quality, often caused by car emissions. We would invest in vital public transport. It links communities, reduces congestion, and helps control our carbon emissions. Public transport must be properly funded and supported.

In Dublin, we oppose the corporate agenda of BusConnects. This service will make it more difficult for older people, those with prams and mobility issues to access public transport. We favour upgrading services. In light of the multiple benefits coming from a well-resourced public transport system, we propose making public transport free.

The "bus disconnects" proposals will undermine services for our communities. We need much more investment in affordable and clean-energy public transport. The subsidies for public transport here are the lowest in the EU.

I would like to see a public transport authority for Dublin, rather than the disjointed approach currently with Dublin Bus, the NTA and Dublin City Council all working away on their own strategies and plans with poor consultation processes with the public, cycling advocates, small businesses, schools, etc. BusConnects, the College Green plaza, the Donnybrook-to-Kimmage cycleway etc. are all cases in point.

We need: 1) Metro or a light-rail line from the city centre to Rathfarnham/Ballycullen; 2) bus routes that work for people; 3) Joined-up, safe, segregated cycling routes for commuter cyclists on heavy-usage routes; 4) electric/hybrid buses; 5) greater enforcement of all modes of transport by Gardaí/dedicated traffic corps; 6) a canals congestion charge to reduce the number of cars traveling into the city; 7) a standard bus fare to speed up buses, i.e., the driver would not be required to tap in a location for every commuter.

Finally, what would be good to see is a "citizens' forum"-type approach on service provision in the city, including transport, that would inform how we should meet the needs of the traveling public and the communities along the way.

Sadly public transport is not part of our city council competency. (By the way, since 2005 we have lost competencies in tourism, water, traffic, health, port and docks and now the minister is interfering with the development plan. Ireland is the most centralised country in Europe and has least democracy below Leinster House-level. It was always poor but further deteriorated since the dual mandate went in 2000. That’s an interesting story for another day).

I would like to see a commitment for underground metros. There is an ideological opposition to subsidising public transport in this country. If you read all the reports they tend to fall down on lack of willingness to invest and subsidise, that’s why we get inadequate proposals. I was working in Sofia recently and I was taken on a tour of the tunnelling they are doing for an underground metro. If Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries in Europe can do it, so can Dublin.

In my ward, the BusConnects issue remains at the forefront of the minds of a sizeable number of voters. I have seriously questioned the manner in which it is being introduced without any meaningful engagement. Change is painful, particularly when you may be directly affected by losing a section of your garden. But a fit-for-purpose public-transport infrastructure will benefit us all. I believe there is a need to examine the possibility of providing a public transport initiative along the M50 that would service transport hubs on the main exits and would ultimately service the city and its surroundings.

I cycle to work, and see the need for more cycle lanes. I enjoy cycling but it needs to be made safer. Further, the Dublinbikes scheme is excellent but needs to be extended to include Dublin 6. Further the number of buses in rush hour need to be increased. Buses pass me by full at 8am. This is not good for the area.

Listen to citizens who have made upwards of 30,000 submissions on the flawed BusConnects proposals. React properly to those submissions and go back to the drawing board – but with us, not against us.

I tend to think that a subway system is the best way to go. These have been implemented worldwide for more than a hundred years. I don’t like the Luas and think it was very poorly designed. It should be scrapped in favour of a robust subway system. I like the standard bus fare idea proposed above, as an immediate short-term solution, as there is a pause in traffic flow every time a bus stops.

Support additional bus priority measures such as bus gate. Ensure Luas system operations are maximised.

Campaign for Metro and Luas extensions.

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There would be an instant improvement if underground transport was provided.

Better cycling infrastructure has numerous benefits – reduces congestion and so improves public transport, helps address climate change, promotes physical and mental health, and has been shown to increase the amount of money spent in local shops. I have happily and consistently supported improvements to cycling infrastructure , even in case where I was warned by a residents association they would actively campaign against me for that support as happened in relation to my support for public consultation in relation to the South Dublin Quietway.

If re-elected, I will ensure that the position of cycling officer is filled so that councillors have an ally in the officials to deliver improved cycling infrastructure. I have been one of the councillors on the Dodder Greenway Steering Committee, just one key route in the Greater Dublin Cycling Network.

If elected, I would hope to continue on this committee and help deliver this much-needed piece of cycling infrastructure. Cycling infrastructure is of course more than safe segregated cycle lanes. In the most recent budget, I helped deliver an increase in cycle stands for the city and will continue to push for more.

Our roads are not safe for cyclists and I want to change this.

Firstly there should be a national budget for cycling. I support the campaign for at least 10 percent of transport budgets to go to cycling this would help to: 1) Build more cycle tracks that are separated from other traffic, like the one being proposed by the National Transport Authority which would run along both the north and south quays; 2) We could hire more cycling officers to promote cycling in schools and teach children the rules of the road; 3) We could also create new cycling greenways across the county.

As a councillor for Dublin City Council, I will ensure that the council adopts a cycling plan for the county and city, and have a long-term plan to build cycling into everything we do as a city and county. I have recently started an online petition at www.change.org to bring Dublinbikes to our area that I plan to present to Dublin City Council in the coming weeks.

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.

As a cyclist myself, we need safe and joined-up cycle ways throughout the city where cyclists of all ages can access. By building cycle ways, it would encourage people to travel in more environmentally friendly ways.

Cycle lanes are a good idea. We need an awareness programme for motorists but also we need to make cyclists aware the rules of the road also apply to them.

Joined-up thinking and engagement between DCC, the NTA, cycling-advocacy groups, Gardaí and community groups rather than the current siloed approaches, which are divisive, inefficient and ineffective (e.g. BusConnects, stop-start approach to segregated cycle ways). I would be urging Dublin City Council to take the lead on this, but not the current siloed/vanity project approaches. The Manchester model is worth learning from.

Part of the difficulty right now with some proposals is the lack of interaction with residents which has caused trust to breakdown. We need a more co-operative approach to make things happen.

In comparison with other European capitals, we have been slow adopters when it comes to using the bicycle in the city. Extending the cycle pathways outside the city is something that I support. As a regular cyclist I also support laws where cyclists are given precedence over motorists in the city as they do in Amsterdam. I would lobby for further funding for cycle lanes. I also support the Clontarf Cycle Route despite headlines of it costing €20 million. However, if one looks behind the figures you will note the extensive ancillary works that will be carried out during the construction phase, hence the cost.

Again more cycle lanes needed. Widen roads and have clear marking for bikes. Extend Dublinbikes stations to Dublin 6. I cycle to work, and drop my daughter to crèche on the bike.

Improve cycle lanes and visible Garda enforcement on traffic laws which is barely in existence.

Some people don’t like cycling no matter how many safe and fenced-off cycle lanes you create. Motorists in Dublin are generally very considerate to the movements of cyclists, taxi drivers particularly so. The one-metre rule for motorists passing cyclists was an overreach of authority, in my opinion. Cyclists are still breaking the rules of the road in large numbers. Dublin City Council should consider implementing an electric scooter scheme in addition to extending DublinBikes, to avoid private companies cherry picking locations in a haphazard way in the future, and to facilitate people who may not feel they have the necessary fitness to cycle yet.

Support various significant projects which are now underway in city in 2019. Seek to ensure that Dodder Greenway is commenced.

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

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Decrease the cost of electric cars. Provide electric buses. Introduce an underground metro system. Increase Luas tramlines. All to reduce carbon emissions. Reduce plastic in retail.

Addressing climate change is not done with one policy alone, everything we do in the council should consider climate change! Improving cycling infrastructure and public transport will be part of addressing climate change. Ensuring we build housing in the right place, and in the right way with the highest levels of energy efficiency, will help address climate change. New innovations, such as installing micro-generation technologies on all council buildings, will also play their part.

What pulls this altogether and ensures everything we do in the council does indeed consider climate change is a strong climate action plan. This has recently been put out to public consultation and will be coming back to councillors for approval. If elected, I will work to ensure a strong action plan, with concrete action and clear targets for the next council to work towards. The danger of treating climate change not as an foundational issue but as a distinct policy is that many councillors will speak in favour of action on climate change, but when it comes to supporting concrete actions, like supporting cycling and walking, they will vote them despite voicing concerns.

We all have to do our part on climate change. For my part, I am pledging that my party will prioritise: 1) a switch to electric vehicles, cycling and public transport; 2) the expansion of offshore wind energy; 3) a fair level of carbon tax that penalises polluters but doesn’t push people into poverty; 4) And a new grants scheme for insulating homes that is available to everyone.

Recycling: Our council needs to up its game on recycling. We need more recycling centres and they should open longer in the evenings and weekends to make it easier to recycle. The council can do much more to inform residents about what goes in each bin – and if it can’t go in the recycling bin then where it can be recycled. It should be much easier to get rid of items such as soft plastics, old toys, couches, paints, mattresses etc and to ensure that these are recycled as much as possible. We all have to play our part for a cleaner environment. Help me make the council play its part.

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.

We are in a race against time. Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity. The relentless need for corporations to increase their profits is destroying our eco-system. One hundred of the world's corporations are responsible for 71 percent of carbon emissions. This is not compatible with a stewardship model for the environment. A global strike of school students is the latest in a wave of protests over the threat of extinction.

People power is our best chance to save the planet. Ireland has committed to legally binding targets of reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020, but the EPA has admitted that, at best, Ireland will manage a percent reduction. This is directly due to government policy where emissions are accounted for by: agriculture at 33 percent, energy at 20 percent, transport at 25 percent, residential buildings at 12 percent, and fossil fuel exploration.

We have our Climate Emergency Bill which will stop the issuing of licensing for fossil fuel exploration and keeps fossil fuels in the ground. We are opposed to carbon taxes. They are not the answer and are regressive. We have to tackle the big corporations. Free public transport, invest in rail, trams, and buses. Proper planning to reduce commuter times in cars, state investment in offshore wind energy and solar power, state investment to retrofit houses, tax the profits of fossil fuel corporations and force them to reduce production while using the taxes to build new renewable energy sources, reafforestation programme.

Climate change is the number-one problem now facing human society. It needs an international and radical solution. Just 100 major fossil-fuel companies are responsible for 70 percent of all carbon emissions. Unless this is tackled, no amount of piecemeal measures such as the Paris Accords will work. We need an international agreement to replace fossil fuels with renewables. To achieve this we need a "new world order" based not on profit and the interests of the 1 percent but on rational and sustainable planning to use the world’s resources for the many not the few.

Progress the council’s climate change plan and engage with citizens in a "citizens' forum"-type approach. There should be experts presenting, and it should be well-facilitated, time-specific and with specific action outputs. "Low-hanging fruit" actions are really important, as well as large, more fundamental actions. Also a congestion charge for between the canals and consideration of ultra-low emission zones, as recently launched in London.

As we say in the EU, co-operation with the citizen is key. In the next council, I would like to see working groups in each local area committee that sets objectives and works with communities to achieve them.

Homelessness, better transport infrastructure and green areas in our city will become a sideshow unless we take seriously the threat of climate change. We are choking the world with emissions and slowly drowning it in a sea of plastic. There is nothing I would rule out aside from nuclear power in order to halt the slow death of our planet.

Promote the use of public transport and cycling. Have more recycling centres and bottle banks.

It starts at home – buy less, create less waste, use less plastic, refuse plastic, give your old clothes to charity. At a council level, segregate waste in street bins, currently not recycled.

The concern about climate change seems to me closely linked to moves towards global governance, and carbon taxes a way to fund this change. I don’t believe everything we are been told about it. Why is China exempt from carbon-emission restrictions? Carbon dioxide is food for trees. I do fully believe in damage to the environment though from harmful chemicals from industry however.

I think it was wrong of the council sending out men on quads with 300 litres of glyphosate on the back driving around spraying everywhere. Weeds should be pulled or strimmed as opposed to being sprayed and this is an example where small local jobs could be done with the full consent and knowledge of the Department of Social Protection, and Revenue, by people looking for extra income. A kind of ad hoc, casual-work economy.

Water charges should be increased slightly for the fast-food industry to encourage more frugal consumption. This proposal should be presented to the Oireactas/Irish Water. Also the only local place for folks to dispose of batteries is the little boxes provided by Aldi by their windows. Thanks to them for that.

Support energy efficiency measures in Dublin City Council's housing stock. Advance the measures in the council Climate Change Strategy recently adopted. Support modal shift to walking/cycling. Support electric vehicle usage.

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

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I cleaned up after my dog for 14 years until she died recently. It is a duty.

The most litter and dog poo on the streets of Dublin I have seen is in the inner-city and poor areas, where there is insufficient signage warning about litter, and insufficient litter bins.

The local citizens expect Dublin City Council waste department to send out humans to pick up their litter and clean up after their dogs. The local residents need to be trained to put their litter into bins, pick up dog poo with appropriate bags provided by DCC and into special bins provided by DCC.

In the past DCC and DLRCC provided free special paper scoops for dog poo. This was not possible to continue due to cost during the recession. The Local Property Tax and other increased taxes could be used to distributed these paper dog scoops again.

I dismounted from the Luas Red Line at 6pm one evening and a commuter threw a squeezed can on to the platform. I turned around and said "pick that up". A man behind me shouted. "It’s none of your business." That is an attitude that the council cannot challenge. More local groups need to deal with their local residents on this matter.

Underground containers beneath bins should be provided in order to avoid the excess litter falling out of bins. The issues in this city have a lot to do with the attitudes of individuals – basically, the belief that other people should clean up after them.

I did a travel feature on Llubljana – the most litter free city in Europe – last September. The city has litter bins with underground containers. It is something that DCC should look into.

In relation to litter, there are only 13 litter wardens assigned throughout the city, which clearly from the litter around us is not enough. Councillors have responsibility for the city budget and so if elected I will seek additional funding for more litter wardens.

In relation to dog poo, I recently proposed a wide-ranging motion to tackle dog poo that received cross-party support. If elected again, I will work hard to have all parts of the motion implemented, delivering more dog-poo-only bins, more free dog-poo bags, looking for an increased fine, and piloting innovative techniques that have worked in other countries such as DNA-testing dog poo. This motion was accepted. Now I want to make it happen.

We have too many dumping black spots in Kimmage and Rathmines. The culprits have no respect for our environment or our laws. There’s really no excuse for it. I want to get the council much more involved in enforcing anti-dumping laws. I believe fines should be significantly increased so that there is a proper deterrent. There are unfortunately particularly estates, roads etc that seem to be targeted and I would like to engage in discussions with Dublin City Council around monitoring this, be it through CCTV or another mechanism that would help prevent this behaviour.

Dog dirt: So many people have mentioned the issue of dog litter to me. It’s a real nuisance as well as presenting a danger to public health. It’s a difficult issue to deal with but I want our council to try out a simple experiment that has worked well in Beaumont in Dublin in recent years. This involved placing doggie-bag dispensers at entry points to the local park with free doggie bags for the past few years. This has very significantly reduced the problem there and it’s time we tried it.

In terms of litter on our streets and neighbourhoods, I have all too often walked past bins that are full to capacity. We need to increase the number of general litter bins in the Kimmage/Rathmines area, not only for dog litter but also more general waste. We must ensure they are emptied as frequently as possible. Finally by promoting and funding events like "Street Feast" which will take place in May, we are getting people out of their homes and socialising together on their roads and estates. This gives residents a sense of connection and also a sense of pride in their street, which in turn encourages more people to get involved in events like community clean-ups.

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.

The privitasation of our bin services has been a disaster with extortionate prices and leading to more fly-tipping. I will fight to get bin services brought back under the control of Dublin City Council, increase litter bins throughout the city with frequent, regular collections.

Increased recycling facilities and put pressure on manufacturers, producers, retailers to reduce plastic and non-recyclable packaging. More dog litter bins, with bags attached and dog parks. More education and awareness-raising programmes.

Part of this problem is the huge cuts in council staff which have taken place over the last 20 years. These need to be reversed.

I would like to see a significant increase in litter wardens, and not confined to 9am–5pm hours as a lot of these issues occur early in the morning, late in the evening and at weekends. I would also like to see more resources put into the "Big Belly" bins and a roving CCTV approach whereby the cameras are set up in certain areas for random periods and moved to address areas of repeat problems, e.g. lanes, riversides, etc.

I am also supportive of the recently council-approved by-laws to insist that households must show evidence of how they dispose of their litter, e.g. payment to a refuse-collection company.

I also think that consideration needs to be given to taking back the refuse collection function into council control or at least allowing areas to be tendered for so that we don’t have multiple providers going up and down the same roads collecting a few bins each. If one provider was covering Harold’s Cross, they could also be responsible for cleaning along the kerbsides as well as collecting bins. We need to get more efficient as the public are not happy that our streets are as clean as they should be.

I would also like to see businesses being required to keep the area in front of their own premises clean and tidy as in other European and US cities, and perhaps there could be a rates or other incentive to do this.

The council has a plan where they work with communities but I do think a lot more is needed, I suppose more wardens and more bins would be a start. It's probably not widely enough known that council offices and libraries supply biodegradable bags free of charge.

Zero tolerance coupled with punitive fines.

Dog poo is a serious issue for those with young kids, buggies and wheelchair users. Serious fines must be upheld and signs posted. Further, dogs need to be kept on leads, as this identifies owners and makes our neighbourhoods safer.

Enforcement and fines – never happens. Periodic large items collection by council of bulky items including metal, plastic, wood to avoid illegal dumping

Public bins need to emptied more regularly. There should be more bins too. Nobody wants to walk and extended length of time with a used package in their hands. I agree with the idea mentioned above that the council should take back complete control of household and business bins – waste management. Privatisation has not worked well.

The advantage of council control would be that there would be a single colour-coding system for the various types of bins. More than one type of green bin should be provided to push the original user to help in the sorting process. The recycle bins, of whatever amount of types, should be free. A graded penalty system should be administered parallel to this to discourage abuse of the recycling bins – according to the amount and type of incorrect waste placed in them. An effective bins service will reduce illegal dumping, I believe.

The DNA testing of dog poo idea seems clever as in reality it will make people think twice because they will wonder if the test could be administered if they walk away. In effect it would be a strong deterrent, without necessarily involving a huge amount of actual tests when it is up and running. This would take time to roll out beginning with all new puppies’ DNA logged to a database. In the short term, quickly biodegradable bags could be posted to dog owners on request, and the waste could subsequently be pushed under nearby hedging or shrubbery, at least in public areas.

Support education measures, additional enforcement resources and increased street-cleansing staff.

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.

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I am aware that some local residents are concerned about development plans for St Kevin’s hurling grounds. This is something that I am looking into.

I would like to know who wants more green space and parks and where? Crumlin has an extensive park with football grounds, running tracks in Eamonn Ceannt Park. Kimmage has Mount Argus park and Poddle Park. Terenure has the enormous Bushy Park with tennis courts, a skate park, a bandstand, attractive landscape and the river. Rathgar has no park. Rathmines has no park other than the small squares, Palmerston Park and Belgrave Park, which have improved playgrounds. Harold’s Cross has a tiny park. Islandbridge has a fantastic park – the Memorial Park. North-west has an incredible park – Phoenix.

The city development plan sets out the rules for planning decision. This provide councillors an opportunity to demand more green space that are public out of large developments. Should I be elected I would use the development plan to increase the number of green spaces.

Open green space provides many advantages for sport and recreation, preservation of natural environments thus green space must be a key consideration in planning if the health of our city and its people are considered important. Dublin City Council’s own development plan states: “Open space and recreation areas are a key component to quality of life for citizens and visitors to the city.”

As a councillor I will ensure that we adhere to this, and ensure provision of parks and green spaces is a priority and must be seen a crucial part of any new developments in the area. The emergence in recent years in certain council areas of midnight leagues, passports for leisure, and the park run phenomenon shows that councils can play a huge role in keeping people active – parks and green spaces are a crucial part of that. I would like to further develop these types of initiatives.

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.

It is vital that we have really sustainable communities. We need parks and green spaces for the good of the community and environment. I will fight for our city to be a liveable city and that real community participation in deciding where we have parks and green spaces where everyone in the community can enjoy and feel the benefit from. We will fight for more people to be directly employed by the council to work on essential public services such as parks and really create socially and community valuable work.

Generally, the council does a good job of providing the city with parks and green spaces. However, there are some areas of the city that could do with more investment in this area, e.g., Dublin 8, which has a growing population of young children, who mostly have to travel to other parts of the city for football, camogie, etc. Also, I would like to see more small public spaces provided for young teenagers who are not participating in group games but sometimes just need safe, pleasant space (with wifi) to meet and hang out. So whether this is in small urban parks (green or hard-surface), it is a gap we should fill for teenagers. Hanging out should not be viewed as being a nuisance, it’s part of growing up too!

In my area we have done quite well on this. That is why the Labour Party got Z15 zoning agreed that all institutional lands if there is a change of use, that 25 percent of the land must be used for public open space.

Land is at a premium in Dublin City and its outskirts. There is already a responsibility on the local authority to make provision for public parks and their upkeep. As a city we are served well by public parks. Utilising the parks facilities in order that they best serve those who regularly use them remains a priority. I have no doubt that there are small pockets of green spaces that have not been developed. Community engagement with council support would turn such areas into an oasis in the city. Our boardwalk on the Liffey is one of the jewels in the crown of Dublin. In recent times it has become a meeting place for drug dealers and addicts. I for one feel uncomfortable walking along it. A greater Garda presence is required which I will fight for.

Parks and green spaces are what makes a neighbour desirable and enjoyable to live in. They provide relaxation and a place to unwind. Every council must ensure they are kept clean and have facilities.

Hard to increase them in a built-up city but to encourage their use by upkeep, amenities etc.

The parks and green areas that we have at present could be vastly improved. A lot of them have just run-of-the-mill trees, mainly grass and some drab shrubbery. Modern horticulture allows a much greater variety of plants to be grown in our climate now. The green areas should get full-time park wardens for both the security of the improved landscaping and the citizens enjoying them.

Dublin has a good range of public parks – there will be a limited number of opportunities to add to public aspect of green spaces which I will support.

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.

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The boardwalk along the Liffey was very expensive to build, and it has turned out to be an unsafe public space, despite the attractive and high-quality materials. It was made a very much "nicer place" to be, but is abused.

It would be nice to have some open-seating spaces, like the Flat Iron area in New York. Just places where people can sit and have their own coffee, read a paper and talk to each other. It is very common throughout European towns. However, they have many more sunny days for sitting out.

Restaurants are restricted from having open-terrace eating space. Irish weather restricts the ability to have expanded public open space – we don’t have enough warm weather to make the College Green area a total pedestrian zone – and all pedestrian zones, particularly Grafton Street and Henry Street are covered in chewing gum that people spit out – this is another issue, despite all the advertisements about not wrecking the ground with gum.

In regard to open public spaces in the city, I am informed by legal practitioners in the city centre that the NTA bus corridor proposals will congregate, muster, call it what you will, into Parliament Street. The Liffey quays will be thronged with buses. Our city council must review this entire NTA proposal and engage with government on underground transport.

Dublin City Council desperately need a forward-looking and visionary public realm strategy. One aimed at making Dublin a nice place to be with full details of where to increase the numbers of benches, where to put water fountains, where to put new trees.

If elected, I would push for this work to be taken on by the Arts, Culture, and Recreation Strategic Policy Committee. To help prevent the privatisation of public spaces if elected, I would use the development plan to put in stronger planning rules about public space and about ensuring they are taken in charge quickly so the public at large can use them.

Our neighbourhoods shopping streets are the flagships of our communities. If they look well, our whole area looks well. One of my priorities is to improve the appearance and layout of our shopping streets in the Kimmage/Rathmines area. I’d like the council to have a specific plan to enhance every neighbourhood shopping area – no matter how small. We need more variety, not just pubs, bookies, and takeaways, and there should be an individual plan for parking, vacant premises, litter, flowerbeds, and access.

Sometimes the little things can make a big difference. I would also like to replicate a project rolled out in other councils that could help this. South Dublin County Council run an award-winning project and set aside €300,000 and asked the community for suggestions on what it should be spent on. Everyone, including children, got a vote. The winning projects included a hurling wall, a playground, recycling facilities and a community orchard. I want to bring community budgeting to communities’ right here in Dublin City Council.

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.

It is vital that we have really sustainable communities and I will fight to keep all public land, spaces to be kept in public hands for the good of all the community. The same would apply to derelict or vacant sites which could be used for the good of the entire community. Community gardens, allotments, skate parks, etc.

Yes. I am extremely proud of the role I, along with my colleague Joan Collins TD, played at the height of the '90s property boom in defending our green spaces and sporting facilities in Dublin 12. We stopped the city planners and developers from building in Lansdowne Valley, Pearse Park and Brickfield. We also led a successful campaign to stop the closure of the Crumlin swimming pool and succeeded in getting the pool refurbished.

We need more public spaces to keep our city looking good for those living in it as well as visiting. I would love to see more seating around the city in arbitrary places as well as parks. We have an ageing population as well as a young population and we need to make it attractive for people to stop and sit down and chat and just look around them. We need to make our city more age-friendly for all ages.

I have always taken a strong position on this and am very slow to agree selling off council land. I am more interested in the council developing for public use.

Any attempt to undermine the character, or for that matter to change the designation of public spaces in Dublin, is something that I would vigorously oppose. Invariably these are areas and sites that define our city. I am strongly of the view that we should look beyond areas of an historic nature and look at potential sites/parks/buildings in collaboration with communities that have the potential to be developed regardless of their size in order to provide amenities for our citizens.

Planning regulations when new developments are built must also make room for green spaces. See the need to make space enjoyable, by providing parks and playgrounds and mini-gyms and benches. Also to ensure these green spaces are kept safe and clean by imposing fines if not kept in good condition.

College Green is a disaster. It is unsightly, cramped for pedestrians and hazardous for cyclists from being strewn with arching tramlines. The Luas should be scrapped in favour of a subway and thus the College Green Plaza idea would be viable. This could be an incredible focal point and public space in the heart of the city. As I mentioned in Question 9 above, park wardens should be visible and on the beat to discourage anti-social behaviour.

There are opportunities for more civic spaces in the city, College Green Plaza being the most prominent example. Avoid the gating of open spaces. Invest in recreational uses of public spaces.

First priority to use the existing land zoned for residential.

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