This day 2 weeks is polling day. While national issues tend to dominate doorstep talk it is important to note that these local elections will elect public representatives on to our local councils where local issues and concerns dominate.
Whether national or local, one of the most frequent questions any election candidate is asked is what can you do for me?
So, what can I do for you?
I listen and I take on board local concerns and needs. I can work with local groups on issues and advocate on their behalf. I can find out information and support people on individual issues.
One issue that is both a local and a national issue is social housing. Other issues and priorities are more generic and local.
Social Housing: The crucial issue of housing provision cuts across all areas of Dublin City and one I have previously highlighted. As the council begins its new cycle it would be fitting that a longer term plan be drawn up. This plan should compliment national planning for social housing provision. The plan should also seek to work pro-actively with housing associations and NGO experts on the ground.
General local area priorities: My other priorities are drawn from what local residents have communicated to me. Play the video below to listen to what these are.
The priorities will be advocated for within the context of Dublin City Council. Our local councils have responsibility for funding and providing local services and amenities – road and street sweeping and cleaning for example, maintaining and developing green spaces as well as providing funding for local community services such as our libraries and swimming pools. They are also responsible for planning and zoning/re-zoning land. Councils also develop and implement a local area development plan. In the case of Dublin City Council the current plan (click on image below to view) spans 2011 – 2017. This means a new plan will be developed during the upcoming new council term.
The public representatives elected on May 23rd to Dublin City Council will represent and advocate for the concerns and needs of people of their local areas. They will also contribute to an overall vision for our city. One of their key responsibilities will be to collectively make decisions regarding Dublin City Council’s significant annual budget. Councillors will help shape budget allocations prior to the City Manager and his staff drawing the budget up for presentation/voting upon. Budgets can be re-negotiated. This happened with this year’s budget where the Labour group sought the inclusion of higher funding for homeless services and adaptation grants for disabled persons as well as a non-increase in social housing rents.