These are challenging times for many people. Our community has suffered hugely from the economic downturn, members of our families, our friends and neighbours have had to emigrate, many at home have no job, and those that do are earning less, paying more taxes and finding it hard to pay the bills.
I am never afraid to stand up for my values; I continue to highlight the needs of our community and work to improve services for you.
- The introduction of the Local Property Tax has placed a huge burden on hard-pressed families. I will not vote to increase the LPT and will seek options to allow Cavan County Council reduce this unfair and unjust tax.
- There has been no increase in Commercial Rates in County Cavan since 2008. Despite this Rates remain a huge burden on local business. I want to lessen that burden and improve the services provided by Cavan County Council.
- The local, regional and national roads in the County are deteriorating. This Government has cut roads spending by about 50%. This cannot continue. Our roads infrastructure needs major investment and improvement. Everyone has the right to a safe road. We need to invest in public lighting, footpaths, improved surfaces and Smarter Travel Initiatives in our larger towns.
- The Local Improvement Scheme needs to be restored with proper funding from Government to maintain our rural lanes.
- Instead of investment in the inadequate water and sewerage systems in many of our towns and villages this Government has given us consultants, Irish Water/Uisce Éireann and Water Charges. Government must direct investment to where it is needed, support our Group Water Schemes and makes sure that water charges are fair.
- Local services are at the heart of the community. Local Schools are continually under attack by Government. The abolition of the Capitation Grant has placed a huge financial burden on staff, Boards of Management and families. Instead of wasting money attacking school patronage, money needs to be spent helping teachers.
- Garda numbers in this region have fallen dramatically. Garda Stations have been downgraded or closed. People feel isolated and fearful due to increased levels of crime. Action must be taken to improve the presence of An Garda Síochána and give them the resources to fight crime.
- Bank Branches have closed across our region. Now the local post office is under threat. We all should support our local post office and Government must work to protect and sustain the An Post network.
- We need to protect our farm families. To sustain rural communities and protect the future of this vital sector a fully funded CAP is essential. Small farmers are struggling under the weight of regulation. Government must act decisively to defend Irish Farms.
- Developing the rural economy needs to be a priority. A new LEADER programme, properly funded and a Community Development programme must be put in place with schemes that are accessible and practical to help individuals and communities.
- Every home has the right to a proper broadband service. Our community is being left behind. Roll-out of high-speed broadband must happen urgently.
- Real encouragement and practical support for entrepreneurs is vital. Small business needs support. The abolition of the County Enterprise Board must not result in less support for this essential sector.
- Tourism development is key to the future of County Cavan. I have worked to secure major investment in this area such as:
– development of Cavan Burren, interpretative centre, walks, signage, parking and service
– development of UNESCO Geopark Interpretative & Visitors Centre
– providing new marked looped walks, signage and amenity sites
– highlighting need for improvement to Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation
– improving access to our lakes and rivers
– better marketing of our tourism product
– the development of Greenways as walking and cycling routes.
– investment in Killykeen Forest Park
Visitor numbers are increasing. Investment is paying off but much more is needed.
- Whatever the national economic situation the old, the very young, those who are sick should not be punished.
– Medical Cards are constantly being reviewed and removed. Discretionary Medical Cards for those seriously ill are removed without justification.
– Home Help Supports for the old and sick are cut
– Housing Grants to make homes more suitable have fallen in County Cavan by almost 50% in recent years.
– Pensioners have had many supports removed. Social Welfare payments and allowances have been removed or cut.
– Better Support for people with disabilities to access training, education and employment.
– Improved services for people experiencing mental health problems.
We must protect the vulnerable in our society.
- Too many people have to live in unfinished and dangerous estates whilst unscrupulous developers walk away. Urgent action is needed to make footpaths, public lighting and services safe.
- Our nurses, doctors, teachers, An Garda Síochána, Council Staff and throughout the public sector, people are working hard to provide services with fewer resources. There are always efficiencies and reforms to be made but we must stand up for public services and those who provide them.
- Communities are suffering, Gaa Clubs are finding it harder to survive. Every element of
Government must work harder to create jobs and give young people a chance to live in
their own country. Emigration must be stopped.
- Seasann mé le pobal na Gaeilge agus iad ag iarraidh gnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge. Tá sé thar am ag an gComhairle Chontae Oifigeach Gaeilge a fhostú chun freastal orthu.
- A huge chunk of our area will at the next General Election become part of the Sligo/Leitrim Dáil Constituency. No matter what Dáil Constituency we are in or whatever changes happen in the future, in this Local Election we must put in place a team who will work with pride and passion to ensure that our community is not left behind.