- Jobs: Create jobs and support the local economy; work with local business on growth initiatives.
- Infrastructure: Maintain roads and maintain water courses to avoid preventable flooding and freezing.
- Facilities: Work with sports and leisure groups to ensure facilities are in place and up to standard.
- Ensure essential estate maintenance e.g. public lighting – address taking in charge or management company issues.
- Revitalise Naas town centre – address parking and planning issues; enhance the streetscape; promote the town.
- Work with An Garda Siochana to improve community policing throughout North Kildare.
The list below details the goals I set out as my election platform when I ran for council in 2009. It is interesting to note that in 2012 the core issues remain.
Note I have deliberately focussed the list on areas of actual council jurisdiction.
- Amenities such as playgrounds, sports pitches, libraries and youth clubs
- Transparent planning with full public consultation and community input
- A cleaner local environment with properly regulated waste management facilities
- Making the most of our local heritage and environment
- Improved public transport including bus and rail services
- Traffic management to ease congestion and ensure safety at junctions
- Estate Management and Maintenance
Amenities – We need local amenity to catch up with housing development. The entire electoral area is dependent on two playgrounds in Naas town (Monread and Ballycane). I would like to see playgrounds advanced in Sallins, Johnstown (Garden Centre site), Kill and Caragh. There are also many sporting clubs without homes living on borrowed time and borrowed land (particulalry soccer clubs). Many GAA clubs have found their existing facilities no longer cater for the current membership needs. We need to support and facilitate all these organisations to provide the vital leisure and amenity within the community. Other facilities such as youth clubs, internet cafés, libraries and nature parks are sorely needed and I will seek to progress as many initatives as possible.
Planning – the planning process is actually a reasonable model however public awareness and participation is currently low. There needs to be greater awareness of the submissions process, how a local area plan is formed, how to input, how to respond, public meetings to discuss and consult, general round table participation in the whole process. Currently landowners and developers are way disproportionately represented.
There is also a need for an easing of the requirements around local housing need.
Cleaner Local Environment
From litter in Naas town to the landfill at Kerdiffstown to the factory wall in Sallins. We need to clean up our local habitat, properly manage our waste and take pride of place. Everyone has a part to play from local authority to local business to local residents. The council should actively sponsor progressive development of natural amenity sites, e.g. by running a linear park along the Liffey or foot bridges and cycle paths across the canal. Waste management must be properly tackled with zero tolerance for transgressors and full recycling opportunities in each location and policy initative.
Improved Public Transport
As a spokeperson with NASRUG (Naas and Sallins Rail User Group) I have developed a relationship with Irish Rail and other Transport bodies, I also wish to see an extension of the local bus network with routes connecting our villages and towns. I belive this would have societal, environmental and community benefits from teenagers making trips to cinema, to elderly people visiting church or shops, to families leaving the car at home. I have been in touch with local private operators and am working to secure routes in a number of locations.
There are a number of locations across the area where junctions are badly constructed and dangerous or inconvenient access exists. Examples include Osberstown/Oldbridge joining main Sallins road, Aylmer onto Monread road, Gallops / Maudlins onto Dublin road. These should all be corrected through traffic management measures, be it lights, roundabout or appropriate signalling. Ring road construction needs to accelerate at Sallins and Naas also to take HGVs and through traffic away from local traffic.
Taking in charge of estates needs to be prioritised and management companies removed where practical. Estates need to be finished to a minimum standard within a resonable timeframe. This needs to be more rigorously enforced.