Recent figures released show a significant decrease in Garda numbers deployed in Kildare. The government have failed in their lack of forward planning and regard to the public safety of Kildare residents. This news comes on top of a spate of closures of Garda stations by the government which I have warned against over the last number of years. I have been highlighting crime and security concerns for some time now.
It is not good enough that Kildare has to suffer further decreases to Gardaí numbers in our county. The cumulative cuts imposed by the current government over the previous four years have left Kildare’s Garda force severely depleted. We are now drastically below the national average in regards to Gardaí to population ratio. In fact we have the lowest number of Gardaí per capita in the country. Despite three government T.D.’s North Kildare continues to receive the worst of the cuts to services imposed by Fine Gael and Labour.
At yesterday’s full meeting of Kildare County Council, the Fianna Fáil group pushed through a motion calling for a minimum setback distance on wind turbines of 10 times tip height, to be incorporated into the county development plan and applied to future developments including the Maighne wind farm, application for which is being made for dozens of turbines in North West Kildare. Whilst the motion is controversial and was resisted by officials, we felt it was imperative we send a strong signal to the industry that the proposals are not acceptable and to government that we will wait on the guidelines no longer.
At the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis last weekend which took place in the RDS, I spoke about the serious issue of high rates charged to variable rate mortgage holders in Ireland today. Customers with standard variable rate mortgages are paying well above the odds compared to identical products across the eurozone. Families will pay up to €6,000 more interest per annum currently than similar sized tracker mortgages. Political pressure must be brought on the state owned banks to correct this.
It was great to be at the launch of the new recycling facility in The Waterways, Sallins last Sunday, April 20th. Everyone involved in the Waterways development must be commended for their continued hard work and community effort which has led to this recycling facility being set up for both residents and business alike. The Waterways complex includes residential, commercial and retail elements and they have joined forces, with the help of grants from Kildare County Council as well as their own resources, to put in place a new systems which will promote and facilitate greater levels of recycling across the complex.