Monthly Archive for October, 2013

Road Speed Review in Fingal

Fingal County Council is currently undertaking a review of the speeds on certain roads across the county.

Details of the roads that are under consideration can be found here.

If you wish to make a submission, you must do so in writing by Friday 1st November.

Submissions should be addressed to:

Mr. Mick Carroll,

Administrative Officer,

Operations Department,

Fingal County Council,

Grove Road,

Blanchardstown,

Dublin 15.

I will be making a submission in favour of the new speed limits being proposed in some areas and I am happy to take account of your views if you wish to get in touch with me on this issue.

Good news on extra Garda bicycle patrols for Dublin 15

I attended the Fingal Joint Policing Committee meeting held in St Benedict’s National School, Ongar last Thursday. At the meeting, the Gardai confirmed to me that they are currently training ten officers to undertake mounted patrols on bicycles across Dublin 15.

I warmly welcome this news. Bicycle patrols allow Gardai much greater flexibility to investigate as they undertake their route. They also enhance the visibility of the Gardai and reassure people of a Garda presence in their areas.

On a wider issue, at the meeting, I emphasised the importance of community policing in tackling low level anti-social behaviour and crime. Across Blanchardstown and Carpenterstown, there is a strong feeling that the number of Gardai involved in community policing have been reduced over the last year. This lack of visible presence leaves people nervous in their homes. I’m calling on the Gardai in Blanchardstown to increase the resources they put into community policing for the Dublin 15 area.

Supporting a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin

Last week I made my submission to the public consultation on a directly elected mayor being run by the four Dublin local authorities. In it, I called on the Government to introduce a directly elected mayor for Dublin who would be given strong executive powers. I’ve long believed that a coherent executive power in Dublin would help the region develop but would also allow much greater coordination of the delivery of services and the planning of long term infrastructure.

The public consultation is now over, but it looks like we will be having a referendum in the Dublin area on whether we want a mayor or not as part of the local elections next May. Assuming a strong office of mayor is proposed, I’ll definitely be supporting a Yes vote.

To Whom is may concern,

I would like to express my support for a directly elected mayor of Dublin, based on Option 2 – Directly Elected Mayor with strong executive powers operating with a Cabinet – as described in the Options Paper on www.mayor4dublin.ie

I believe that a directly elected mayor should have full responsibility for planning policy, traffic, public transport, water, community & recreation, heritage, waste policy and regional environmental functions. The office should also have limited functions in the area of policing (direct liaison role with the Gardai), economic development (bringing together the new economic departments of the Dublin local authorities) and education (overseeing a Dublin region VEC).

For the office to function properly and obtain public buy in, it is essential that genuine powers are devolved to it. The office of Mayor of London has been extremely successful, precisely because the mayor has so much influence on policy for the entire city.

As this will be a role with significant responsibilities, it is important that the office is held accountable outside the 5 year electoral cycle. I would support the proposal that the mayor would be answerable in the performance of his/her functions to a Dublin Assembly of 10 members. While my preference would be for these to be directly elected, in light of the need to save money, I can see a case for them being appointed from the four Dublin local authorities. However, I feel this appointment should be on the basis of a mandate obtained from Dublin voters. I would propose that on the day the mayor is elected there should be a second ballot where voters are asked which party they would like to see in the Dublin Assembly. Seats would be allocated on the basis of this vote, with the seats being filled by councilors elected to the four local authorities on the same day.

The cost argument is often used to oppose the notion of a directly elected mayor. The huge growth that Dublin has experienced over the last 15 years has often been unplanned, which has had serious consequences regarding the provision of education facilities, transport infrastructure, waste water facilities etc. There is a huge and unquantifiable cost to this – a cost in lost productivity across our city, which is many times in excess of the price of a directly elected mayor’s office.

Yours sincerely,

Roderic O’Gorman

Royal Canal Day

First catch of the day at the Royal Canal clean up organised by the Dublin City North Volunteers

I want to congratulate the Dublin City North Volunteers for organising the hugely successful Royal Canal Day last Saturday 12th October. The event saw hundreds of volunteers working across the Northside to clean ups along different sections of the Royal Canal. A very substantial amount of rubbish was shifted throughout the day.

Myself and the Dublin West Greens worked on a stretch between the 12th Lock Pub and Ashtown. It was good to see that this area was not heavily littered, though we did notice is considerable amount of cans and bottle thrown into the canal itself.

The Royal Canal is a huge resource for Dublin City and for the Dublin 15 area in particular. The proposal to improve the surface and lighting along the 12th Lock to Ashtown section should significantly open up the area to cyclists and walkers. However, we all can do our bit to make sure that the canal is kept and clean as possible.

Anti-social behaviour between Riverwood and Luttrell Park need to be addressed

I've asked Fingal CC to prune trees and install lighting to tackle anti-social behaviour

I’ve contacted Fingal County Council about recent anti-social behaviour and dumping on the green space between the Riverwood and Luttrell Park estates. This area is surrounded by mature trees and shrubs, but because it is so sheltered, it has become a location for anti-social behaviour.  One resident showed me where their green bin had been pulled into the trees and set on fire. I’ve also sent photos to the Council of the significant dumping that is taking place here, to indicate the scale of the problem here.

I’ve asked the Council to prune the trees in the area, so there are less places where anti-social behaviour can be concealed. I’ve also asked the Council to install a bin on the path between Riverwood Way and the Riverwood Distributor Road. Finally, I’ve suggested to the Council that extra lighting could be used in this location, to further deter anti-social behaviour.

Great No vote in Dublin West to Seanad abolition

I’m delighted that the voters of Dublin West gave such a resounding No vote to the referendum to abolish the Seanad. The No vote was 57.6%, one of the top five no votes in the country. Strong votes like this helped the No campaign to its narrow 1.7% win.

Talking to Dublin 15 residents during the campaign, there was a real feeling that this referendum was being rushed. People wanted to see some efforts to reform the Seanad before abolition was discussed.

The Government have an opportunity now to move new proposals through the Constitutional Convention. The Seanad needs to be democratically elected, but also serve as a check on Dail and Government, so as to prevent bad legislation being rushed through.