Selected to contest the next general election

c754c8c7-df40-43a5-b0ee-810919a621dbI have been nominated by the party membership to contest the next general election. The selection convention held in the Westrgrove, Clane selected two Fianna Fáil candidates to run in the next general election. It is a tremendous honour for me to be nominated by the members in Kildare North to contest the next election on behalf of the party. I would especially like to thank those cumainn that nominated me including Kill, Sallins, Naas, Prosperous, Carbury, Kilshanroe, Kilcock and the Old Carton cumann, Maynooth as well as all the individual party members who placed their faith in me again. Continue Reading →

Fine Gael Rules Out Reopening of Garda Stations in Kildare

garda numbers kildare james lawlessComments made by Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald are unacceptable after she has completely ruled out the reopening of rural Garda stations closed by Fine Gael and Labour over the last five years. The closure of rural Garda stations in Kildare, coupled with cutbacks to Garda resources, has coincided with a spike in rural crime in the county. This is something I’ve highlighted over the past 5 years on numerous occasions.

It’s astonishing to see the Justice Minister completely rule out any reopening of rural Garda stations closed by Fine Gael and Labour over the last five years. These station closures have had a significant negative impact on the operational capability of the Gardai. It has removed Gardai from many communities across Ireland and has made it easier for criminals to target homes and businesses in rural Ireland.

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Naas MD Discretionary Spending Budget 2016

Cllr James Lawless 2015The Naas Municipal District has now drawn up and agreed its budget for 2016. Whilst the significant bulk of the annual budget continues to be addressed towards the key pillars of housing provision, roads and engineering, environmental protection, planning, economic development etc, there is a small pool of money ring fenced for discretionary spend by Councillors in each district. This fund comes from the retained element of the local property tax revenues. In the Naas Municipal district, following discussion and agreement by all Councillors, we have now agreed to allocate the discretionary monies as follows:

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Welcome Investment of LPT in Local Roads

James Lawless Kerdiffstown roadOn being elected I was determined that funds collected from the local property tax (LPT) must be spent locally and not redirected back to national government. At council level, we have made allocations around the district with significant grants being made to Tidy Towns and residents association groups across the Naas district. The LPT monies are also being targeted at playgrounds in Kill, Sallins and Caragh, undergrounding of cables on Naas main street and support for the Naas-Sallins greenway. I have also brought forward various road projects for attention and tried to get a balance according to geography and where the need was greatest.

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Recent Garda Figures for Kildare North Appalling

Speaking in Kill in 2013 with FF justice spokesman Niall Collins TD on recent garda station closures.

Speaking in Kill in 2013 with FF spokesman on justice Niall Collins TD on recent garda station closures.

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.

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