Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the Government to quickly take action on responding to the report of the Law Reform Commission on management companies.
“The abuse of the rights of homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, that has occurred due to the use of management companies has been a major negative side effect of the building boom. That is why this report on ‘multi-unit developments’ by the Law Reform Commission is so important. Prior to the General Election, this was an issue the Green Party highlighted and I know that my party colleague, the Minister for the Environment John Gormley, is eager to engage with the other relevant departments – Justice and Enterprise & Employment, in order to get the various recommendations implemented into legislation as quickly as possible”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
“The recommendations contained in the report cover a broad area including company law, planning issues, questions of title and conveyancing, and the role of developers. A key element is a draft Multi-Unit Development Bill. I will be urging John Gormley to act quickly to get this legislation passed and to address the many serious issues faced by homeowners in relations to management companies”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
I’m suffering from a major bout of ‘carbon shame’. I’ve just calculated my yearly emissions using the new carbon calculator on the www.change.ie website, set up by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley. After inputting my details about travel, household heating and flights etc, my yearly carbon emissions were calculated at 5.69 tonnes. While this is a good bit below the average person’s yearly emissions which is 8 tonnes, it was still considerably more than I was expecting, especially as in only use public transport. Now I can’t feel self righteous as I sit on a crowded bus anymore.
The website is a great idea as not only does it tell you how much you pollute, but it also gives tips on how to cut down your emissions. For example, I’m taking a long hall flight to Vancouver this September to go to a friends wedding. This adds an extra 1.6 tonnes to my yearly total. If I cut out any long distance plane flights next year, I will cut my emissions to 4 tonnes, half the average persons and a good bit more respectable.
The www.change.ie website and the carbon calculator form part of a national campaign initiated by the Minister for the Environment to highlight the dangers of climate change.
While the Government can do a lot about tackling climate change, such as changing the taxation of cars and introducing grants for insulation, real progress against global warming will only be made when each individual plays their own part. That’s why this website is so important as it allows each of us to see the amount of pollution we are creating, but also gives tips on how we can reduce this. I would urge everyone 15 to log onto the website, www.change.ie and get calculating their own carbon footprint.
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.
I’m very pleased to see that the EU Commission has rowed in behind Minister John Gormley’s blan to phase out the use of traditional inefficient light-bulbs. This project is an important step in Ireland tackling its high level of carbon dioxide emissions. Not only will the measure be good for the environment, but it will also save consumers money as the energy efficient CFL bulbs last much longer. John now intends to implement a public consultation programme to ensure that the phase out of the old bulbs occurs as quickly and efficiently as possible.
At the same time I have to say I’ve been really disappointed by some of the comments coming from Jonna Tuffy TD, the Labour spokesperson on the Environment. It’s stated Labour Party policy to ban inefficient bulbs by 2012. I would have expected Labour to have welcomed Minister Gormley’s proposal to get rid of them more quickly. Instead, Deputy Tuffy has issued a tirade of press releases attacking the proposal( here, here and here). Indeed, in her most recent statements, she seems to be saying that the European Commission is not supporting Minister Gormley, despite the fact that the Minister met with both Commissioner Verheugen and Commissioner Dimas, who indicated their agreement.
From what I can make out, Deputy Tuffy wants a much longer time period taken to implement the change to CFL bulbs. Has anyone told her that climate change needs to be tackled now? Ironically, after the publication of the last report from the International Panel on Climate Change, Deputy Tuffy released a press release calling for “immediate action on climate change agenda”. Yet now she seems determined to put every roadblock she can find in the way of John Gormley’s proposal – a measure that will make a significant cut in our carbon emissions.
i reckon Deputy Tuffy needs to decide if she is serious about tackling climate change or if she and the Labour Party are going to spend the next 5 years playing politics with this all important issue.