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.
I’m delighted that my proposal has been accepted for the creation of a derelict sites task force which will seek to tackle the derelict buildings across Co. Kildare with a view to rendering them suitable for residential and commercial use. The Derelict Building Task Force will examine and work with the council to restore the empty buildings in Kildare.
I pushed for this at the recent recent county council meeting and am delighted to be spearheading the project. I have had many people contact me regarding housing and the lack of available housing. I am determined we make better use of the buildings we already have. I believe this task force has the potential to bring more business to our main streets. It is also imperative to tackle the eyesores that are left behind in so many areas causing frustration to areas and detracting from the local environment.
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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.