Calling for Local Government Reform

Recently my colleague Shane Cassells TD brought a Bill into the Dáil which would allow Town Counicls to make a return. The benefits to the local community is one key incentive to having town councils and their merits considered once again. You can read my full contribution to the debate here.

There was no public consultation on the abolition of town councils when Fine Gael abolished them with the stroke of a pen despite many objectors. Continue Reading →

Local Elections in Naas

On Friday 23rd May you will have the opportunity to elect new councillors to Kildare County Council. This opportunity only comes around once every five years. It will determine who will represent you in the council chamber until 2019. These councillors will be responsible for deciding the course of local government policy across Kildare during those years.

This year, the local elections in Naas will be different than in previous elections. In Naas town and surrounding areas, you will be represented by 9 county councillors who will form the new Naas Municipal District Council – a sort of sub district of Kildare County Council. There is a new structure brought in by the Government. It represents a radical change from what we would be familiar with. The main difference in 2014 is the abolition of Naas Town Council. Local government for Naas will now fall under the authority of Kildare County Council.

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No Water Meters for Older Naas Estates

Pacelli Road is one of the estates where water meters aren’t being installed.

Irish Water have been busy installing water meters across Naas for the past few months, however it looks as though they will now move on leaving many properties still un-metered. In some of the older parts of Naas, Irish Water did not install meters due to the nature of the pipework and so those residents will instead now receive estimated bills.

The problem had been raised with me by residents in the Sarto and Pacelli road areas and I’ve started to investigate this. A few people contacted me to say that Irish Water had been around but had not been able or perhaps not willing to put a meter into their houses. The problem with that is then people can only receive estimated bills when the charges kick in, which has potential to be unfair and does not provide peace of mind.

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Residents Still Left in the Dark

Council refusing maintenence of estates despite Local Property Tax.

I have put in updated requests for progress on the taking in charge of estates as another winter sets in and some estates are still without lighting. Last year I obtained records through the freedom of information act which confirmed a council decision to cut-off 85 estates from maintenance so that, among other things, their street lights were not to be repaired.

This was rightly a huge controversy last winter as people were amazed the government could levy a property charge and yet literally leave people in the dark with street light servicing being withdrawn from many estates.

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Naas Town Free Parking a Step in Right Direction

Naas Town Council are now offering free parking on Saturdays which will commence from 5th October. I welcome this move. As many of you are already aware, it is as initiative I have called for on numerous occasions.

As far back as 2009 I proposed the need for a plan to revitalise Naas town centre. In the 4 years since, we’ve seen a spate of shop and business closures with no real plan of action from the authorities. Naas town has been sailing aimlessly through turbulent waters.

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