Those of you who read the local papers in Dublin 15 last week may have seen the suggestion, made by Deputy Varadkar, that Green Party Minister for the Environment John Gormley was deliberately not ordering a review of the local election boundaries in order to protect Green Party council seats, specifically that of Cllr David Healy in Howth.
Personally, I think Deputy Varadkar is reaching a level of paranoia and conspiracy theory that hasn’t been seen since the X-files. Indeed, his claims would be funny if the allegation wasn’t so serious.
John Gormley is well aware of the imbalance in local authority representation, both in Fingal and across the country. Currently, the Constituency Boundary Commission is looking at Dail and European Election constituency boundaries. This was required by a High Court decision taken by Finian McGrath TD and former Deputy Catherine Murphy. Clearly, it makes sense to set the Dail constituency boundaries first and then deal with local election wards to ensure they match as far as possible. The 2006 Census reveals that Dublin 15 requires increased representation both in the Dail and at Council level and I am confident that both boundary reviews will accept this.
I note that during the week, Deputy Varadkar was appointed as Enterprise spokesperson for Fine Gael. I was him well in this position, but I hope his new job will keep him busy enough that he won’t be making anymore ridiculous claims. It’s just not acceptable for a TD to go around shooting his mouth off like this.
The new building regulations introduced by Green Party Environment Minister John Gormley will save householders money and help save the planet according to Green Party Dublin 15 representative Roderic O’Gorman.
“I warmly welcome these radical new building regulations introduced by John Gormley. From next year, newly build houses will have to be a full 40% more energy efficient than they currently are. At a time of rising oil and gas prices, these new homes will create major savings for house buyers over a number of years. By being more energy efficient, these houses will also result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions and help Ireland meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
The draft regulations require that from July 2008, all new planning applications for houses and apartments will have to have significantly improved wall, floor and roof insulation. All such homes will also have to have some type of renewable energy source within them, such as solar panels or wood-pellet boilers. An ‘air tightness’ test will also have to be preformed to ensure that heat is not escaping from homes.
“During the General Election campaign, countless people spoke to me about their anger that they had been sold poorly insulated homes that were difficult and expensive to heat, or where neighbours could be heard next-door. Now that we are in Government, the Green Party has the opportunity to radically alter the way homes are built in Ireland which will benefit both their owners and the environment”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
Green Party Dublin 15 Representative, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the launch of ‘Teenspace’ – The National Recreational Policy for Young People, by the Minister for Children, Brendan Smith TD.
“Teenspace offers a new start for youth recreation policy in this country. Over the last two year, one of the most common complaints I’ve heard on the doorsteps is that there simply aren’t enough facilities for teenagers in Dublin 15, and those that do exist are either always full up or too expensive to access”.
“The Government is now working to tackle these problems on a number of levels. Practical support will be provided, such as the new toolkit for creating youth cafes which is currently being devised. Children’s Services Committees will be formed in each local authority area to coordinate the work of the various state agencies. Perhaps most importantly, the National Development Plan guarantees the money to fully implement the various commitments”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
“At local authority level, planners now need to demand that community buildings that can be used by youth groups are required as part of planning permission when new residential areas are being built. In existing communities, the Council must undertake an audit of what space is available and how accessible it is. Where the required space is not available, the money available under the National Development Plan must be drawn down rapidly so the Teenspace policy can be fully implemented”.
Increases in anti-social behaviour and abuse of alcohol by young people in Dublin 15 can be traced back to boredom. While extra policing and tighter licensing laws will go some way to tackling these problems, providing young people in our community with positive resources has to be the key priority. I believe the Teenspace Policy and the other measures being implemented by the Government will go a long way to achieving this”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
Green Party Dublin 15 Representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has expressed his disappointment at the rejection by Fingal County Council of a motion put forward by Green Party Cllr Joe Corr, calling for Fingal to be declared a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Free Zone.
“It’s a big disappointment to see a majority of our councillors voting to reject this motion. Fingal is one of the major fruit and vegetable growing centres in the country. More and more, consumers across Europe are demanding that the produce they buy in the shops be GM-Free. Farmers will actually be able to charge a premium for such products. I can’t understand why a majority on the Council are refusing to back our local agricultural sector”.
Since the Green Party entered Government during the summer, Ireland has changed its position on GM foods, with the Irish delegation on the European Council of Ministers helping to delay the introduction of new genetically modified crops across the EU.
“A key aim in the Programme for Government is to create an All-Ireland GM-Free Zone. Green Party councillors across the country and Trevor Sargent, the Minister for Food will continue to work locally and nationally to bring this situation about. I hope that if a similar motion comes before Fingal County Council in the future, a majority of the councillors vote in favour and show their support for local farmers”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.