The campaign to elect the next Dáil is now officially underway. Polling takes place on Friday 26th February 2016. I am running to win a seat in Kildare North and I am asking voters in the constituency to give me their number 1 vote. I’ve met many voters over the past few months and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the remainder of this campaign. Over the past 5 years, Kildare North hasn’t received the level of representation it deserves. We’re suffering from the lowest levels of garda coverage in the country, lacking childcare support behind other counties, all capital investment in the constituency has effectively stopped, and we’ve no strong voices representing us in Dáil Éireann. By voting for me on 26th February I will ensure that Kildare North is no longer represented by silent Government backbenchers. If you agree, please vote James Lawless no. 1 on polling day.
I chaired a really interesting and interactive meeting on Crime Prevention in Kilteel Hall on 28th January 2016. Guest speakers Jim Brady and Colin Connolly spoke about their personal experiences with burglary and crime. Jim is an ex-member of Defence Forces and had some great advice on avoiding burglary. Colin is crime prevention officer with the IFA and spoke about his Theft Stop initiative and gave some interesting advice on how to ‘mark’ your property. Rural crime has never been as great a concern as is now, and it is an issue which needs to be addressed and discussed frequently especially with our all time low Garda numbers here in Kildare.
At the recent meeting of Naas Municipal District council, I asked for updates on the flood relief plans at Killeenmore. This follows from flooding of the Morell and Painstown rivers several times over the previous months and on a regular basis for the past several winters. This is a matter I’ve been raising for years now. We need a comprehensive flood relief plan for Killeenmore and indeed all effected areas along the Morell river. Repeated flooding has gone on far too long now and residents are continuously distressed.
The council responded to the matter saying it has submitted its report to the Office of Public Works. The report addresses the feasibility design and costs of such a flood relief plan for the area. The council confirmed that a meeting is planned with the OPW in the next 3 weeks to progress the matter. I asked the council to update local members at the February council meeting of Naas Municipal District.
The long delay faced by countless commuters across Kildare last Wednesday following the closure of the M50 clearly demonstrates that we have a growing problem with traffic in the Greater Dublin Area. I have been consistently raising transport issues for commuters over the last 10 years. The failure to invest in public transport will only compound the long delays that commuters are now experiencing on a daily basis. This is having an impact on people’s quality of life, and is also putting potential investors off doing business in the Dublin area. Unfortunately gridlock is going to become a persistent problem for Kildare commuters. The M50 is already over capacity despite the fact that it acts as the main route to north and south Dublin alongside the city centre itself. Any accident along the route has the potential to shut down all roads across the Greater Dublin Area.