Monthly Archive for February, 2008

Press Release – O’Gorman welcomes independent body to end pharmacy dispute

22/02/08

Dublin 15 Green Party representative, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health that an independent body has been established to help end the dispute between community pharmacies and the HSE

“Since the dispute between the Irish Pharmaceutical Union (IPU) and the HSE began I have been contacted by medical card holders who are concerned that the conflict may see their pharmacy services being withdrawn. I am delighted to see that the Minister for Health has created an independent body, chaired by the former head of the IDA, Sean Dorgan, to work out a fair scheme whereby community pharmacies are paid a fair fee for dispencing medicines to medical card holders”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

The independent committee is made up of the former head of the IDA Sean Dorgan, Mary O’Dea, the Consumer Director at the Financial Regulation and Mark Moran who is the chair of the ESB. It is due to report back to the Minister by the end of May.

“I would hope that the intervention of this new independent group will quickly bring an end to this dispute and ensure there is no threat to the availability of prescription medicines to medical card holders”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
rodericogorman@gmail.com

New Draft Urban Planning Guidelines are a break with past planning mistakes

I was very pleased to see the new Draft Sustainable Residential Development Planning Guidelines, published yesterday by John Gormley.

I reckon that Dublin 15 is a prime example of how to mess up urban planning. The crises we have experienced with insufficient school places and inadequate public transport can all be traced back to the complete failure to properly plan the expansion of residential development in Dublin 15. It has been us as residents that have suffered the consequences of these huge blunders.

John Gormley has published new draft guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas. These will give detailed guidance to local authorities in how they permit future residential building in their area.

Speaking with the experiences of Dublin 15 in mind, a number of key aspects to the new guidelines stick out. They state that no substantial residential development should proceed without an assessment of existing schools capacity or the provision of new school facilities at the same time as the development. Further, they call for restrictions on residential development without either adequate existing public transport provision or new public transport being provided, again at the same time as the development. The guidelines also demand adequate provision at convenient locations for retail, health and other community facilities. These three points in particular could have been written in response to the problems that have occurred in Dublin 15.

The draft guidelines are available for inspection at the Department of Environment’s website, www.environ.ie. All members of the public have the right to comment or make submissions on the draft guidelines up to the 30th April.

These new guidelines are part of a wide-ranging effort by Minister Gormley to reform planning in Ireland and ensure that the planning process is about creating communities, not profiting developers. I see them as a real break with past mistakes. My only regret is that these guidelines are being published now, rather than 15 years ago.

Press Release – O’Gorman welcomes reduction in VAT on condoms

01/02/07

Dublin 15 Green Party representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance to drop the rate of VAT on contraceptives, including condoms, from 21% to 13½ %.

“I’m pleased to see that the Government has taken this measure. This policy initiative was part of the Youth Manifesto the Green Party launched during the General Election campaign. In this day and age, I don’ think it is appropriate to classify a condom as a luxury item, therefore I think it is right that the Minister for Finance has reduced the VAT on condoms from 21% to 13½ %. Any action the Government can take to tackle the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections and reduce the number of crisis pregnancies should be welcomed”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
rodericogorman@gmail.com

Press Release – O’Gorman urges Dublin 15 residents to ‘have your say’ on Metro West

31/01/08

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, has urged Dublin 15 residents to “have your say” about the planned Metro West. He was speaking after the launch of the Engineering & Architectural Design consultation phase of the project on Monday 28th January, with an information stand run by the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) in the Fingal County Council offices in Blanchardstown.

“One of my major concerns about the Metro West project was to ensure that it would not endanger the Liffey Vally at the point it has to cross – a 300m wide span. I’m pleased to see that the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) will be opening up a bridge design competition in conjunction with the Royal Association of Architects in Ireland. The tender to build the bridge will focus on minimizing impact on the valley and may also include a cycle and pedestrian crossing of the valley”.

“Another area of concern for many rsidents was the possible impact on playing pitches in Porterstown Park. The current route the RPA are looking at will go between existing playing pitches at Porterstown Park. I would expect that the RPA will engage with those clubs using Porterstown Park to ensure that they have a good opportunity to give their views on this proposal”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

Detailed maps, outlining the proposed route, are available from the RPA’s website.

“In a previous submission to the RPA, I argued that the new Porterstown Station at Dr. Troy Bridge was an unsuitable for a large park-and-ride facility as this would drag even more traffic from the West Dublin/East Meath area into the environs of Clonsilla and Carpenterstown. However, I am very pleased to see that the new station will be designed to incorporate bus set-down and pick up points. This will allow the integration of the Metro with local bus services. This, combined with the fact that the Porterstown station will also serve as a station on the Maynooth commuter line, means that we will finally see large scale integration of public transport modes in Dublin 15″.

“While the Rail Procurement Agency hasn’t set a time limit for when they want public submissions, they indicated to me that they would hope to receive in the views of Dublin 15 residents over the next few weeks. I would urge anyone who is interested in this major project to visit the RPA website and make your voice heard”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
rodericogorman@gmail.com