Policy Priorities

James Lawless NaasHere are some of my main policy priorities I would pursue if elected to Dáil Éireann. I’ve been outspoken on these issues over the years, however, there is only a limited amount I can achieve as a local community activist and county councillor. Most of these issues need to be addressed at national level.

Kick starting investment in infrastructure

While critical infrastructural projects like the Sallins bypass and M7 widening to 3 lanes are continually stalled, costing commuters valuable time and communities frustration through traffic delays, a voice at national level is needed to secure funding. If elected I will continually put forward the case for these projects until we see work underway.

Policing & crime prevention

Over the years I have worked with local groups setting up text alerts and community clinics in the wake of Garda station closures, however, the fact remains that Kildare now has the lowest number of Gardaí per capita of any county in Ireland, and absolutely no community Gardaí at all, and this can be tackled only at national level.

Local services

When I raised the scandal that many estates not taken in charge were not receiving local services, despite being levied with the full property tax, the reality was that only national legislation can address this – and the many other unfair aspects of the local property tax system.

Housing crisis

The housing crisis is obvious at every clinic I hold as so many people struggle to find a place to call home. Yet Kildare County Council can only build houses if the government provides funding, and so far it is all just talk from Ministers. This country always had a strong social housing policy under previous governments, however, in recent years we’ve gone backwards on this serious issue.

Investment & job creation

Despite the critical importance of inward investment and attracting employers, across all of County Kildare we received just a single IDA visit in 2014, almost the lowest in the country. This must change if we are to create new jobs in Co. Kildare. I will support and pursue investment and job creation initiatives and try my best to ensure that Kildare isn’t lagging behind as the economy grows.

Public transport

As a commuter myself and as spokesperson for the Naas and Sallins Rail Users Group, I am a long standing advocate for better train and bus services. I believe we must invest to ensure our public transport and motorways can handle capacity as the economy recovers.

Public Meeting on Crime in Kilteel

kilteel crime meeting

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.

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.

Continue Reading →

Cllr Lawless Outlines FF Plan to Tackle Rural Crime in Kildare

James Lawless 2015 600sqI’ve always been outspoken on the serious issue of crime across Kildare North and how it has affected our communities and have looked at ways to stem that. On a national level as part of our policy proposals for the upcoming General Election, Fianna Fáil is prepared to take immediate and bold action to tackle the growing crime wave hitting rural Ireland. The party will put in place a seven point plan which will seek to address the crime epidemic in rural Ireland and ensure communities can live in security and without fear. As we’re all too well aware, rural Kildare has suffered considerably in this current crime wave.

Continue Reading →