At the moment it seems to me that in many local authorities, the main focus for the supply of social housing is via Part V or via housing associations, with little contribution from local authorities themselves. I think the new city council has to demand far more of the officials in terms of the council themselves providing houses, while at the same time maintaining supply under the other two heads. It is my clear understanding that money is available to the councils for this purpose and that they are simply not spending it as intended.
Further, I am mystified at the huge numbers of vacant houses being reported in the census. In parts of the area I am contesting, vacancy rates approached 14 percent in 2016. I think the council has to understand the reasons for this and to take steps to address any blockages in re-occupying these houses. The council itself also seems to allow units it controls remain unoccupied for excessive periods and councillors need to hold them to account for this.
If serious steps were taken on the above two issues, I think supply could be increased significantly over the term of the next council.
The recent announcement that approximately 900 social and affordable homes will be built on the Irish Glass Bottle Site in Ringsend – as An Bord Pleanála approved the Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone scheme – is very welcome. This represents over 25 percent of the total homes, far beyond the 10 percent minimum. This deal was reached between Dublin City Council and the landowner, with the support of the Department of 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.
As a councillor, most of the actual powers I would have are directly related to the delivery of housing, including adopting a budget, borrowing money, disposing land held by Dublin City Council, making a development plan and zoning and re-zoning of land. Dublin City Council has a revenue budget of €1 billion for 2019 which is more than ten national government departments are allocated for the same year. There is no greater obligation on a councillor in the next five years than to help increase the supply of both social and affordable housing in this city. I want to ensure that the money that will be spent, and the powers that we can deploy deliver for the housing demands of this city.
The shortage of housing impacts on all Dubliners, but most acutely on those on the housing list. Given that 10 percent of housing in new developments is designated for social housing, one of the quickest things we can do to increase the provision of social and affordable homes is to increase the speed at which housing development can take place across our city. By cutting back on bureaucracy and unnecessary red tape, together with the strict enforcement of the Vacant Sites Levy, we can promote a new wave of housing development across Dublin, benefiting both those in the private rental sector (through stabilising rents) and in the social housing sector (through increased supply). Dublin must also strengthen its ability to build social and affordable housing through public bodies and non-profit housing associations.
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.
As leader of the Fine Gael Group on Dublin City Council, it is my objective that as many Fine Gael councillors are returned to the council after May’s local elections. With a strengthened mandate, Fine Gael councillors will work to advance and implements proposals under the Land Use Initiative and the Estate Renewal Plan to increase the supply of public housing in Dublin. That means ensuring the work underway in O’Devaney Gardens is completed to ensure that 700 new homes are built and that the former Department of Defence lands are used to provide further public housing in addition to what has already been granted planning permission on the O’Devaney lands.
With regards the Estate Renewal Plan, a strengthened Fine Gael team on Dublin City Council will seek to advance Part VIII planning applications to either refurbish or redevelop the existing 240 housing complexes across Dublin city, so that better and new public housing is delivered between now and 2024.
The major impediment to increasing the supply of social housing is the approval process which can take up to five years.
A home is one of the most basic needs a person has and home ownership is deeply ingrained in Irish society as a goal. Home ownership should be within the reach of the majoiry but sadly is not. One of the main factors contributing to high costs is the increased land value, often driven by speculation more than real value. The Land Development Agency can be used to address this problem and bring underutilised and vacant sites, including publicly owned lands, into use to ensure increased supply of social and affordable homes.
As a young teacher renting in our city I recognise the importance of having affordable homes.
–It is important that Dublin City Council work to ensure that vacant properties in our city are refurbished and made available as homes. We must take steps to address the reasons as to why there are so many vacant properties and ensure that they become available for individuals and families.
–I will ensure that Dublin City Council plan and spend their budget allocation so we can deliver and meet the housing demands in our city.
–I come from a community in Donegal which has successfully introduced a sheltered housing project for the elderly. If we had more projects like this available in our communities it would provide suitable accommodation for those hoping to move into alternative housing and free up larger homes which may actually be unsuitable for those living there.
I will work with the city council to unlock more of its own lands, making it available for affordable public-housing development. The city council should no longer consider low-density (two-storey) public housing – higher density affordable apartment schemes are the way forward. I will also apply pressure to central government to provide a streamlined finance scheme for affordable apartment purchase that will underpin finance at good value to the affordable buyer.
See my answer to question 1.
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.
Dublin City Council has a massive role to play in the affordability of rent in Dublin city. The latest figures show that the council has a housing stock of 24,454 houses and apartments, making it 12 times the size of the largest private landlord in the country. I want to use my actual powers as a councillor and consequent responsibilities over this existing housing stock to help increase affordability of rent in the private rental sector.
While the current rent-control system has gone some way towards preserving affordable rents for those already in the rental sector I don't believe the measures have helped those who need to move or people moving to Dublin for the first time. Many other European cities, such as Stockholm, have tried to address their chronic housing shortages with rent controls, which has created a two-tier housing market in which long-time tenants enjoy excellent housing at a good price but young people moving to the city are left on 10-year-plus housing lists or couch-surfing for months before they secure a rental property at an inflated price. Other cities, such as Tokyo, have built more as the population of the city grew, resulting in stable housing prices despite their colossal size. The only long-term solution is to increase the supply of housing through expediting construction of both private and social housing to match housing construction to population growth.
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.
We implement the Land Use Initiative which includes an affordable-rental scheme. Dublin City Council needs to take a more urgent approach to fleshing out the objectives of this plan so that affordable-rental housing is delivered in Dublin in a way that hasn’t been to date.
Factory-built modular apartments stacked on top of existing buildings.
Cost-rental model should be expanded to be an important part of our rental market. Cost rental is where tenants pay rent to cover the maintenance of the property and is lower than market rent and is successful in many other European countries. Regulation and enforcement of short-term lets (for tourism) is also important, this reduces the supply available and introduces inflationary presssure on the rental market. New regulations are coming and Dublin City Council will need to ensure they are properly enforced.
As a renter in our city I recognise the need for affordable rental accommodation. In order to do this we must take steps to increase supply in the rental sector.
–Ensure that derelict and vacant properties are refurbished and made available.
–Increase the supply of housing by constructing both private and social housing.
–Support the ongoing work in relation to rent-restriction zones.
Once again, overall supply of accommodation units is critical. At the start of this council I worked hard to build political support for the use of "rapid-build" technology in order that housing units could be brought on stream quicker. There has been some successes with this technology within the city, but the use of volumetric building has enormous potential for our city.
See my answer to question 1. In addition, the council needs to continually evaluate its processes for matching those in danger of living on the streets to available and suitable hostel accommodation.
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.
I recently held a public meeting with Peter McVerry, which happened to coincide with the increase of homelessness figures to 10,000. It is hard to think of a more pressing social issue that councillors will face over the next five years than tackling homelessness. Peter’s clear view is that Dublin City Council and other local authorities should get back into the business of building social housing. Peter also believes that there should be moratorium on private landlord evictions for the next three years.
While as a councillor, I won’t have any power in relation to such a proposed moratorium, the provision of emergency, short-term and long-term accommodation falls on the shoulders of Dublin City Council. While the economic priority of the council must be in making Dublin a thriving city with which to work and live in, the social priority must be to halt and reduce the plight of homelessness and we all need to work together on a cross-party basis to achieve these aims.
There are two distinct elements to the current homelessness tragedy which is unfolding in our city. The first is those who have been priced out of the private rental sector, are on the housing list and cannot secure a home under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme and the second is those who are suffering with addiction and who are using shelters and sleeping rough. I believe these two communities have distinct needs. Those who have been priced out of private rental accommodation will be best served through a rapid increase in the provision of social and private housing both by direct state construction of affordable and social housing and facilitating greater private development by consolidating building requirements, speeding up the planning process and strict enforcement of the Vacant Sites Levy. By treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal matter, I hope we can help those who are suffering from an addiction to address this issue and support them through the health service into assisted living facilities as they hopefully return to a healthy lifestyle free of substance addictions.
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.
Build more homes. There are already a number of redevelopment projects ongoing across the city that our Fine Gael-led Government has provided direct funding towards. I, personally, am working with residents in Constitution Hill, Matt Talbot Court and other complexes across the North Inner City to ensure that in refurbishing existing housing complexes that we also use the opportunity to further expand those complexes to provide better quality homes for existing tenants and people seeking alternative accommodation through Dublin City Council.
This, however, is only one approach that is needed. Implementing Housing First and ensuring that individuals and families stay in their homes is the most effective means of reducing homelessness. As someone who rents myself, I think there continues to be a need to better inform both tenants and landlords of their rights and responsibilities. Too many of both, that I deal with, don’t know what their entitlements are as tenants nor responsibilities as landlords. This problem, I believe is further exacerbating the situation in the privately rented sector.
The key here is supply also. The census identified 180,000 vacant properties. Others estimate approximately 20,000. We need to bring back homes that were once available on the traditional rental market to long-term rental and curb the excesses of Airbnb which only deepens the accommodation crisis.
Increased supply of social and affordable housing will help people finding themselves homeless in the first place. In the short-tem, HAP [the Housing Assistance Payment scheme] can subsidise rents in the private sector, but the ultimate goal is increased supply of appropriate social and affordable housing. The Housing First model has had some success addressing long-term homelessness and rough sleeping, and this model should be expanded.
In order to address homelessness, more homes must be built.
–If elected to Dublin City Council I will work to ensure there is an increase in the number of social housing being built and refurbished as homes.
–Implement and support Housing First across our city to enable clients to obtain homes with a range of off-site supports.
–Liaise and work closely with our government in ensuring that the concerns and issues of our local area are represented.
Dublin City Council/Dublin Region Homeless Executive work hard to try and maximise the chances of homeowners/tenants staying in their existing homes and I fully support their efforts. Additional public-housing supply as outlined above should increase the options available for dealing with what are very difficult situations for families.
I would hope that the Vacant Site Levy would play a key role in this. The council could be more pro-active in assessing any obstacles it can remove to the development of bigger sites.
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.
Dublin City Council has a clear statutory function in this area. The first is to maintain and establish where these properties and sites are and list them on a vacant site register. I think the council needs to significantly increase both the investment and resource in this area. Secondly, is the imposition of a levy for those premises actually listed. It is no good just increasing the list and collecting the levies however, the existence of these powers needs to be used as leverage to drive actual development of housing.
I believe the recently introduced Vacant Sites Levy, which began implementation in January of this year, is an excellent tool to encourage derelict urban land to be developed. This levy places an annual charge on a vacant development site that has not been developed and recently increased to 7 percent of the value of the site per year. This has to be strictly enforced to ensure that the policy is effective. I hope by the end of this year this policy will encourage many vacant and derelict sites into development.
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.
I will continue to undertake the work I have been doing on this throughout the past five years. In 2017, I called upon Dublin City Council to take much more proactive approach to dealing with derelict and vacant properties. I sought to encourage the council to use its compulsory purchase powers under the Derelict Sites Act 1990 and I can report that this is happening. Properties across Stoneybatter, Phibsborough and Ballybough are now being refurbished by Dublin City Council following their compulsory acquisition and when ready, will be used to house both individuals and families who are homeless and those on the housing list.
This needs clarification. There are title issues with many of these proprieties. "Living over the shop" initiatives should be promoted. Barriers to conversion should be removed while safeguarding standards.
Hoarding of derelict and vacant properties is a contributing to the housing crisis as well as resulting in unsightly eyesores across our city. The Vacant Site Levy introduced is a step in the right direcction; this imposed a 3 percent levy on vacant properties in 2018, increasing to 7 percent in 2019. This should be monitored to assess effectiveness and adjusted if required. Compulsory purchase orders also have their place when other measures have failed.
It is very important that vacant properties in our city are refurbished and made available to house individuals and families and this is something which I will push in Dublin City Council. This will not only provide housing but it will also make our area a better neighbourhood. Dublin City Council run the very successful Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards and so it is important as a councillor that I push property improvement programmes like this. I will ensure that this work continues.
I support the Vacant Sites Levy but I don't perceive this issue as being widespread across the city – in my experience it tends to be a localised problem.
I think a lot of the measures proposed by BusConnects will help to achieve this. Clearly some are controversial and the National Transport Authority needs to listen to legitimate concerns.
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.
As a public representative and as a daily public transport user, I can shine a light both on the problems faced by commuters and how we can overcome one of the worst cities in the world for traffic congestion. I believe a lot of the community disruption that has been caused by recent public transport proposals was entirely avoidable and with better consultation with the affected communities and greater political accountability, more cohesive solutions could have been put forward. If elected, I would hope to use my power to close the gap between residents, business owners, commuters and members of the community to deliver better public transport solutions for the city.
Public transport in Dublin is woefully inadequate and doesn't serve the needs of the city well. We have for too long tried to please everyone, with the result being that we are pleasing no one. Firstly, Metro North has to be built without any more delay. Secondly, the previously planned comprehensive network of Metro West, additional Luas lines and importantly, Dart Underground, need to happen. Dart Underground – connecting Heuston to Pearse Street with intermediate stops across the city centre – would dramatically improve the interconnectedness of our whole transport system. Finally, our current bus network is not user-friendly or properly integrated. I hope that the BusConnects plan will go some way towards addressing these weaknesses in the short term.
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 don’t think it’s so much what I can do individually, rather as a city council we need to ensure that MetroLink is delivered and that BusConnects is advanced. I know that both projects are contentious but our city is growing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The NTA needs to ensure that where there issues of particular concern to communities like mine in Stoneybatter and across the North Inner City that they are addressed and I am confident that will happen.
Major public transport infrastructure like Metro and BusConnects will help ensure we have the capacity to expand over the next 20 to 30 years. In the past 18 months alone, the NTA has approved the expansion of the Dublin Bus fleet to in excess of 1,100 buses. We need a plan therefore, that can enable further expansion to take place. I have heard other political parties talk about the need for a congestion charge to be introduced in Dublin, similar to that which is in place in London. I cannot support such a measure if we do not have the necessary public transport options in place. Project Ireland 2040 provides the funding basis to deliver the public transport expansion Dublin needs, so go on and do it.
We are playing catch up with other European cities. We need to proceed with the MetroLink from Swords to Charlemont and expand the Luas.
Public transport is key in order to create a fairer, greener, healthier, and more prosperous city.
Right now we have issues with overcrowding, reliability and the speed and effectiveness of our buses and trains, leaving many people with no alternative than to drive. Car dependency has resulted in Dublin becoming the third most congested city in the world. It has contributed to poor public health, hostile street environments, lost productivity, not to mention the environmental impact.
We need to redesign our street layouts to prioritise public transport and active travel (walking and cycling). Our streets are where Dubliners live their lives, socalise and interact. We need to ensure they are pleasant, healthy environments that facilitate sustainable public transport that’s fast, affordable and safe. I’m committed to working to achieve this if elected.
Our community has seen huge investment in public transport with the new Luas line to Broombridge, which makes the area more accessible. There will be continued investment with the Metro North and the development of a new train station for Pelletstown. These projects will help to improve the public transport infrastructure in our area. It is also important that cycle lanes and pathways such as along the canal are improved in terms of surfacing and safety to encourage commuters to use as a means of transport in our city. If elected to Dublin City Council I hope to work closely with the local community to ensure the needs of our area are met in relation to public transport infrastructure and the concerns and issues of locals are addressed in the process.
I support the overall thrust of the BusConnects project and in particular the proposal to create a high-frequency corridor on the Malahide Road. It is important, however, that key local services like the 14 and the 123 are retained and integrated into BusConnects as they are much used and valued by local communities. I will apply pressure on the NTA to introduce new buses onto the city bus network and additional carriages particularly at peak times for the Dart.
As I hope to represent an inner-city district, it is a key priority for me that all residents have a safe and proper route to cycle to all destinations within the canals. It is simply not acceptable that the surfaces of cycle lanes are left unrepaired or that we continue to tolerate dangerous junctions with no measures to protect cyclists.
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.
As a keen cyclist myself, I want to use my time in Dublin City Council to focus on delivering cycling infrastructure that is achievable. I don’t believe in pitting car drivers against cyclists or pedestrians because all it does is create unnecessary tensions in communities when most people want better cycling facilities and improved pedestrian amenities for vulnerable road users.
As someone who cycles every day around Dublin, this issue is extremely important to me. There are a few immediate "wins" that cycling in Dublin needs to encourage more people out of their cars and onto bikes. The first of these is the Liffey Cycle Route, which would open up safe cycling to thousands of people who currently have to negotiate horrible conditions on the Liffey quays to get in and out of the city. Cycle lanes on other major routes in and out of the city also need to be grade separated. Another key consideration for cyclists in the city is the lack of enforcement of traffic rules in relation to parking in cycle lanes, which forces cyclists out into car traffic, which is both stressful and dangerous for cyclists. Some of the plans in BusConnects should improve cycle infrastructure in Dublin, but if elected I would like to use my position to work with council officials to improve enforcement and enhance the design specifications of our existing infrastructure.
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.
If re-elected, I will seek as part of a coalition agreement that the Liffey Cycle Route is delivered during the lifetime of the next council. I have worked hard to advance the Royal Canal Greenway between Guild Street and Ashtown and I want ensure that these important cycling infrastructure projects are delivered. But in a way, these projects are much about walking infrastructure and realm enhancements as they are cycling infrastructure but must be delivered throughout the next five years.
Finalise the Liffey Cycle Route.
Very simply, we have to make it safe if a cycle lane is not safe for a five-year-old child then it’s simply not safe enough. That means segregated cycle paths. Copenhagen and the Netherlands provide great templates we can follow and learn from. We need a comprehensive network of cycle lanes that is planned and joined up not a series of one-off projects.
I cycle every day, I have for years put up more miles on my bike than on my car. I see too often badly designed cycle infrastructure that makes it more dangerous not safer (murderstrips to borrow a phrase from our Dutch neighbours). We need to consider what it’s actually like to cycle when designing the cycle network.
The most direct route will be the one cyclists use so diversions should be avoided. Permiability should be incorporated as well as other safely features like advance green lights for cyclists. But again, segregated cycle lanes are key.
I would like to see our city streets redesigned so priority is alocated to pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, commerical vehicles and private cars – in that order. Streets are much more than roads, they are the fabric of our city, where Dubliners live their lives, socalise, interact. We need to make them safe, inviting and healthy.
We need real commitment to make this happen. The Liffey cycle route has taken too long and the Fitzwilliam Cycle route consultation process shows us how a few people can delay a scheme with mass support.
I am serious about addressing climate change and as a result it is important that I ensure our city has the necessary infrastructure in place to encourage cycling as a sustainable-transport option.
–I will work hard to ensure that the canal is a safe option for both pedestrians and cyclists to use as this is something which the residents of the Cabra-Glasnevin ward have brought to my attention.
–Consult with cyclists and cycling groups in order to plan for infrastructure that would mean safe cycling for all ages and abilities.
–Ensure that current cycle lanes are maintained and developed and provide additional bike racks in our community.
–Recognise and promote cycling as a sustainable transport option as well as a leisure pursuit.
I'm on the consultative committee of the Fairview Cycleway and look forward to seeing a good design come to fruition; there will be disruption during construction but it will be worth it in the end. It is also a project that will bring great public-domain improvements to the Fairview/Marino area. I will also be pursuing the "missing link" connecting Amiens Street to the river. I also support the Liffey Cycleway and look forward to seeing the results of the latest public consultation. I'm unconvinced as to the viability of rolling DublinBikes deeper into the north and south city, but I would be greatly support a rolling programme of Sheffield-stand installations and I will seek this.
The council needs to look at all if the ways it contributes to climate change, such as use of non-recyclable materials, badly insulated council buildings and houses and all of its transport requirements. I would hope that the new council would insist on an audit in all these areas, identifying a programme of action and monitoring that this is achieving meaningful reductions year by year in destructive activity. Of course everyone has a role to play, but my priority is for the council itself to lead by example.
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.
Support in full the implementation of the Dublin City Council Climate Change Action Plan which seeks 33 percent better energy use by the council by 2020 and a 40 percent reduction in the council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Ensure that any votes that I am asked to consider on whatever the issue is, keeps the council on track to meet those targets.
Climate change is the key challenge facing our civilisation over the next decades and indeed we will need to plan the city for mitigating the effects that we already know will happen due to our collective inaction in tackling the issue. A lot of the best ways to address climate change have been detailed above in my responses on public transport and cycling. Transport is one of the key areas where the city can encourage low-emission or zero-emission transport to reduce our impact on the environment. Cycling must be made attractive and safe. The city council can also implement other schemes that encourage the greening of our city, such as the expansion of allotments to reduce the carbon embodied in foods having to be transported over great distances. Finally, unfortunately there is a certain amount of climate change that we will have to deal with due to our inaction thus far. I believe flooding may become a key risk for Dublin in the years ahead, as a low-lying costal city. A large increase in urban tree planing will help our built environment absorb excess rainwater and the protection of green spaces will allow for better drainage in times of heavy rainfall. Flood defences will have to be made more robust for those living near rivers in the city.
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.
While one individual councillor cannot change things, councillors collectively can and we must do so on a municipal level but also we need to work with government too. At a local level, for example, we must ensure that the next Dublin City Council Development Plan must have at its heart, environmentally sustainable measures that new buildings and development have to comply with.
On a national level, we need to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. That means developing and implementing an all-of-government plan that will help to decarbonise our electricity supply. Currently we are aiming for a 55 percent renewable energy target by 2030. In our climate plan we will be stepping up this ambition to 70 percent. This means that by 2030, 70 percent of our electricity will be generated from renewable sources.
Under Project Ireland 2040, €21.8 billion is committed to the objective of transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society; this means that 1 in every 5 euros in Project Ireland 2040 will go towards climate action. This is the highest amount allocated to any of the ten national strategic objectives in the plan.
Implement the recommendations of the all-party committee on the climate action report making a decarbonised Ireland a realistic goal.
The council's recently launched a Climate Action Policy is a step in the right direction but there is a lot more to do. We need to ensure the next Dublin City Development Plan has climate change considerations at its core and all future developement and expansion in our city is sustatinable.
Reducing Dublin's car dependency by investing in public transportat and active travel will also have an positive impact on our environment.
I am very passionate about our environment and much of my work in this area is carried out in close collaboration with the Green Schools Programme. I am the lead coordinating teacher in piloting a Green Flag for Biodiversity and Food. Some of the work I have been involved with includes – Spring Clean-Ups, energy workshops for children and raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans through art.
I have been involved in a community centre called the Dolmen Centre which is a green energy building and the first of its sort in Ireland. I believe we can take lead from projects like this and ensure that public buildings meet energy needs through renewable sources. If elected to Dublin City Council I hope to promote the use of renewables across our city – in particular in schools and government buildings.
I will ensure that there are more bins in our communities to address the litter issue in our city.
In addressing climate change I believe it is important to encourage people to travel the "green way". This is something which could be carried out in close collaboration with schools as if we are encouraged to use public transport and greener methods to travel to school it would be of huge benefit for all citizens.
I hope to work closely with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to successfully tackle climate change and roll out new ideas/initiatives in our capital city to combat climate change.
As a "fietser" I will continue to support cycling as a great sustainable transport option. I want Dublin City Council to take a much more active and comprehensive role in terms of assessing and monitoring air quality around our city – the existing monitoring network needs investment and expansion. I will seek on-shore power provision by Dublin Port to eliminate the requirement for cruise liners to generate power using their diesel engines while in port. Finally, Dublin City Council has recently approve a Climate Action Plan covering its own activities and I will push to ensure this is implemented.
We need to educate citizens that ultimately each and every one of them has to take personal responsibility for not dropping litter, and for clearing up their dog's poo. More concerted enforcement, likely involving camera surveillance, is needed for illegal dumping. We should have dog wardens focus on known trouble spots.
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.
Each of these issues probably have to be considered separately. Proliferation of litter and dog poo can be changed through behaviour nudged along by both awareness campaigns and more public and dog poo bins in offending areas. Illegal dumping is a serious crime and should be treated as such, and a greater number of investigations and prosecutions are required.
I believe stronger enforcement is the best way we can address littering across Dublin. The fines and consequences of littering in Dublin today are not enough of a deterrent. If elected I would campaign for stronger penalties for those caught littering or allowing their dogs to foul on footpaths.
Zero tolerance coupled with punitive fines.
When it comes to tackling illegal dumping, I have a very simple view. The most effective deterrent to combating illegal dumping and littering is to NAME AND SHAME. If Revenue can name and shame tax defaulters, then I believe local authorities like Dublin City Council should be permitted to name and shame those who illegally dumped rubbish. This would be done be erecting CCTV in areas where dumping or littering is more prevalent, using the images captured and subsequently erect posters with those images on them. Where this approach has been used to date in the city centre and in Phibsborough it has proved to be most effective.
Highlight local activism and civic pride. Publish lists of the best and worst areas for littering. Those responsible should be "named and shamed" noting that only a third of fines issued by Dublin City Council are paid.
We need more enforcement and fines. We don’t have enough litter wardens and enforcement is poor. Some of the illegal dumping could be tackled by providing householders with a limited number of free entries to Dublin City Council's recycling centres (perhaps linked to prompt payment of property tax).
In relation to dog poo, more bins and bags are a first step. In areas where this is a more persistant problem we could consider looking at the example in Essex in the UK, where dog DNA is used to identify offenders and issue fines.
The litter problem is something which I care a lot about and I believe it is important that we tackle this issue in order to make our city a more beautiful place.
–Continue to participate in and support the Dublin City Better Neighbourhoods, which rewards communities/organisations for keeping their areas clean and continually improving them.
–Continue to support and participate in the An Taisce Spring Clean-Up initiative.
–Raise awareness of the above issues through campaigns and advertisements throughout our city.
–Ensure collection banks are well serviced and maintained.
–Provide more bins and dog waste bins in our communities.
–Roll out of educational programmes for primary and secondary schools to strengthen the work already being carried out in schools.
I support CCTV-based "name and shame" campaigns for persistent illegal dumping offenders at known dumping hot-spots in our city. We also need a much stronger enforcement regime for dealing with a small minority who don't clean up after their dogs – possibly involving greater use of the infamous dog licence. This will require primary legislation and I will lobby for this.
There is probably relatively little scope to increase the amount of green space, particularly within the canals. The emphasis has to be on enhancing what we have. We should try and have the highest quality linear green spaces along all our major waterways. We should resist the widespread rezoning of institutional land within the city, although this raises complex legal issues.
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!
Where parks and green spaces already exist as community amenities, they need to be protected notwithstanding demands for housing and development. Housing with no community is not a home. I also think a key job of a councillor is to harness both the power and resources of local government to work with tidy towns committees and other community groups in this area to help deliver on their aims and objectives and that’s what I intend to do.
In the part of the city that I live in we have a chronic undersupply of green spaces and parks. I believe that as sites are redeveloped across the city the provision of public green space should be one of the key planning considerations as a balance to more dense residential development. In addition, some of the publicly owned sites in the city should be developed as parks and playgrounds for the benefit of the entire community. Weaver Square in Dublin 8 is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a solid effort and good decisions taken by the council.
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.
I believe the strategy adopted in the North East Inner City recently is a template that can be utilised across the city. The Greening Strategy prepared by the Fine Gael-led Government’s NEIC Initiative with the Parks Department of Dublin City Council has prepared short-term and longer-term projects to increase the amount of public parks and green spaces in the North East Inner City.
Shorter-term measures include the greening of traffic islands along the North Circular Road, planting green walls in the North Wall or enhancing the current space surrounding the East Wall Recreation Centre on Russell Avenue. Another method of introducing green space or greenery into the city centre is traffic-calming measures. I have worked with residents and Dublin City Council to develop traffic improvements in Arbour Hill and Oxmantown Road. A key feature of both projects is the enhanced level of greenery and tree planting which provides natural traffic calming measures but also a means of enhancing the public realm also.
We have adequate numbers of parks in our city. I urge families and communities to make best use of them.
Our city needs to see more higher-density development. This by definition means people have less private space, in particular the loss of gardens. It’s crucial that this is compensated for by good quality parks and green areas. This has to be part of the planning process and consideration.
I would also like to see some protections put in place where clubs are using pitches and there is a lack of alternative traininng grounds avaialble, these lands should not be easily sold to developers for housing. We need houses but we also need quality green spaces. We have penty of available land all through our city, we don’t have to nor should we sacrifice our parks or clubs' training pitches.
As well as ensuring the provision of parks and green spaces in communities it is also key that these areas are maintained as safe places for us to enjoy. It is important that we continue to enhance what is already in place and make improvements to these spaces. I will continue to encourage planting of trees and utilise unused and available space so we can enjoy the benefits of more green spaces in our city.
My side of the city is reasonably well served with green spaces, e.g. St Anne's Park, Fairview Park etc. I would like to see the public involved in the development of conservation-management plans for all key parks so that they are carefully conserved and managed in line with the public good. There is also an opportunity for a volunteer Parks Corps to work with Dublin City Council Parks to enhance our parks. We also need to open up access to the Tolka River's banks and progress key green initiatives like the Santry Greenway.
See my answer to question 9.
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.
Public spaces in Dublin city and suburban villages are essential to the survival of culture, community and enterprise in Dublin. In the last decade, we have seen how the ingenuity of local community groups, artists and businesses have promoted the use of public space above and beyond what ever previously existed in Dublin. A trip to the park as a child was to feed the ducks, now it might be for an outdoor concert, food truck or exhibition. This movement needs to be supported and grow to ensure an appropriate balance is met between the provision of housing and the preservation of community.
Dublin can do public space very well, such as Meeting House Square in Dublin 2, and quite badly, such as the Liffey boardwalk. The key things to consider are the overall attractiveness of the space by reducing the noise from traffic to create tranquil spaces within the city. and making sure there is good oversight from surrounding residents and businesses to ensure anti-social behaviour is reduced to ensure that everyone can enjoy the spaces. I would like to see the city development plan incorporate more courtyard-type spaces found across Europe in areas of high density housing so that city residents can enjoy shared outdoor space. In order to make them nicer places to be, I think broadening the variety of events that take place in these spaces would be a key way to ensure that people know about them and use them to their full potential.
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.
This question ties in with my answer to the previous one. Through the existing local area structures within Dublin City Council, local councillors should work with their Area Offices and the Parks Department to prepare short-term and longer-term proposals to enhance the number and quality of public green spaces within the residential communities of our city in particular.
Over the coming years, any major residential development in the city would be apartment based and that's why it’s so important that we provide as much green public space in the city as possible. For plans to be effective, I believe they must be local and the existing area structure within Dublin City Council can be best used to create and ultimately implement a programme of public park and public space enhancements across the city.
We have adequate numbers of parks in our city. I urge families and communities to make best use of them.
I touched on this in the public transport and cycling questions. Our city streets and public areas are the places Dubliners live their lives, interact and socialise. Unfortunately, over the last few decades the car has come to dominate and made our streets and public spaces often hostile, unpleasant places.
We need to take our streets back, make them safe to walk in, enjoyable to socialise in and places to interact. In our city-centre streets users should be prioritised as pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, public transport, commercial vehicles and lastly private cars.
We should incorporate more awnings and trees for people to shelter from the rain, more public seating, public water fountains and public toilets.
As a first-time candidate and someone who teaches in the area I am aware of the importance of public spaces in our community for families and individuals to enjoy.
–I will work to improve the number of public spaces in existing and developing residential areas in our city.
–As building works continue across our city it is important that there are public spaces available for residents in these communities when such projects are completed.
–Support and participate in the Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards to make our area a nicer place by working to continually improve our spaces.