North West Kildare Residents Struggle for School Bus, Minister Halliagan has Broken Promise

I have spent the past five weeks lobbying the Minister of State John Halligan to get school bus places for constituents in Johnstownbridge, Kilshanroe, Kilmurray, Dunferith, Timahoe and other areas in North West Kildare. It is now the case there are a number of students who cannot get a school bus to Kilcock or Edenderry due to cuts imposed by the Minister’s Department.

My clinics in the area have been full with concerned parents and my offices in Maynooth and Naas have been receiving calls about this matter. Despite the Ministers promises school bus places have been cut back right across the country. In the Dáil the Minister stated that no child would lose their place on school buses pending the outcome of a review in his Department.

The Minister has broken another promise by the failure to set up a cross party committee that would meet at the end of July to try and help resolve outstanding problems with the school transport scheme.

If the Minister had taken necessary action in good time, parents would not have this stress right now. His Departments efforts to save money have now brought unnecessary burden for so many families in Kildare. Clearly this is not good enough. I am calling on the Minister to set up this cross party group immediately to resolve this problem for parent and students

New School for Clane

Meeting with parents outside the old boys school, Clane.

Meeting with parents outside the old boys school, Clane.

I am delighted with today’s decision to grant permission for a new school consisting of 24 classrooms and ancillary accommodation. I have worked on this issue for some time as I understand how critical it is given the current accomodation is overcrowded and has outlived its purpose. I met in March with the Principal of St Patrick’s, Mr Pat Costello, to assist in progressing this project with Kildare County Council.

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Millennium Park second level School takes next steps

I have been working towards a new second level school for the North Naas area since I first ran for local elections in 2009 and am delighted to now be Chairperson of the Board of that new school as Naas Community College applies for planning on a site at Milennium Park this month.

The spec is a brand new build with the highest standards in education, staffing, facilities, technology and catering for not just the growing population of the surrounding areas (including Kill, Sallins, Naas, Rathmore, Kilteel, Eadestown, Caragh, Johnstown) but providing additional ASD unit places also.

I look forward to the new build progressing and the move from Craddockstown to the new site.

Progression for new Boys School in Clane

Meeting with Parents in Clane

Meeting with Parents in Clane

I have been working to progress the construction of the new boys school for Clane following meetings with school officals and concerned parents.

As parents and all the school population will be aware there have been many delays in advancing this new school build and it is imperative it now progresses to the build stage.The school have long awaited the new build and have sat on the school building list for a number of years for different reasons. It is important now that the project has got to planning permission stage that it rapidly advances through the remaining phases and proceeds to construction as soon as possible.

I have raised this with the Minister for Education and requested rapid progress now that it is into the final stages. Currently children have to run back and forth to the neighbouring girls school for extra accommodation and the school is struggling to manage with scarce space as it grows for recreation and even basic classrooms. The new building is a matter of urgency and now it is almost ‘shovel ready’ we need to keep it moving forward.

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.