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.
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.
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.
Here 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.
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.
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.
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.
The 6th Kildare Kill scouts group have been nomads for years until the recent news that we’ve been successful finding a new scouts den for them. The scouts group which has more than 130 members from Kill, Johnstown and Ardclough now has use of the community hall at St. John’s in Johnstown. I have been working on finding a den for the group over the last few years. Working with the hall owner, local residents and the scouts group and their leader Clem Gavin, we successfully came to an arrangement to allow the scouts group use of the St. John’s community hall. The scouts groups never had any proper home until now. This is welcome news for the 130 plus children and adults involved. This new den is a credit to all the parties involved, including the owner of the hall and local residents in Johnstown. I’m delighted I was involved to help to make this happen.