dublinbikes & Innovation
It’s been a hectic few weeks in the Mansion House & it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. In fact I’ve been informed it gets busier as we get closer to Christmas. I am enjoying every aspect of the job of Lord Mayor, even the challenges!
I received great news regarding dublinbikes last week – a new daily record for journeys taken was set. dublinbikes’ members took 7,052 journeys on Thursday 13th October, marking another milestone in dublinbikes’ incredible success. There are now 550 bikes in the scheme. It shows once again the demand for the scheme and for cycling in the city. When we first launched the scheme in 2009 there was a lot of worry that it did would not work. dublinbikes is now one of the most successful schemes in the world and we are planning to increase the number of bikes from 500 to 5,000 in the next five years. Between now and 5pm on 26th October you can give your views on dublinbikes and its proposed expansion. The survey can be found at www.delve-surveys.com/dublinbikes & you are in with a chance of winning an Ipad2 on completion!
What a great weekend for Irish sport! Not only did the rugby boys do us proud against Australia on Saturday, but yesterday the boys in blue were victorious, beating Kerry in a nail-biting finish. Dublin has waited 16 years for the Sam Maguire to return and no doubt we will enjoy every moment. Congratulations to Pat Gilroy, Bryan Cullen and all the players.
I hope everyone will come out and welcome home the Dublin team and Sam Maguire tomorrow evening in Merrion Square. The event starts at 7.00p.m., with access from 6.00p.m. Access via Merrion Square East, Merrion Square South and Fitzwilliam Street Lower. See you there!
Report on Litter Management in Artane/Whitehall
Here is the report issued to the North Central Area Committee for March 2010:
A key objective of the Area office is to ensure a consistently high standard of cleanliness throughout the area and to promote and encourage prevention, reuse and recycling of waste and the management of litter.
To facilitate the achievement of litter preservation and control, the Area office works closely with the Waste Management Division, and the Area has its own locally managed designated resources.
The Waste Management Division operates weekly bin collections from 39, 564 households and disposes of 130 ton (est.) of domestic waste daily. A Waste management vehicle to clean any litter arising from the roads and footpaths immediately follows each collection route.
Chanel College Development
Parnell's have put in a new planning application for development on the lands in Chanel College. Their previous application made a few weeks ago was rejected for technical reasons and a new submission was made on the 27th July 2009. The plan number is 3563/09.
Where can I find out more?
You may view the plans at the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. The office is open 9 am to 4.30 pm, Mon-Fri (open through lunch).
Some of the plans may also be viewed on the Dublin City Council's site. Please note, generally not all of the planning file is available on the website.
For your convenience I've uploaded some of the key documents here:
- Full text of the Chanel College Application
- Map of the relevant area
- Coolock Residents Association Consultation Report
What if I decide I want to make an objection or observation?
Residents have until Thursday 31st August to make an objection or observation in writing. The cost of this is €20. They may do so by writing to the Planning Department, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 quoting reference number 3563/09 and outlining their observations or reasons for objecting.
What happens next?
The planners for this area visit the site to assess the impact of the proposal, and to establish if the plans comply with the zoning for the site, planning legislation and guidelines, and the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011. As part of this, they consider all objections and observations they have received.
In a few weeks, they may reject or approve the proposal or they may seek additional information from the developer which could prolong a decision for several more weeks or even months. Ultimately, whatever they decide may be appealed to An Bord Pleanála by the developer or by objectors.
Speech to Labour Party Conference on SR Technics and Social Welfare
28th March 2009
For many people this recession brings real fear. Will they face a pay cut? Will they lose their job? Or worse still, will they lose their family home. But for others that fear has turned into a sickening reality.
SR Technics is one of many companies that is closing its doors. But in North Dublin, SR Technics is more than just a company. It is an entire industry. And many believe the government has not done enough to save these jobs.
But it's not just those that worked directly for SR Technics that have lost out. I met one man in Coolock that was a self-employed, skilled tradesman, with a long term contract with SR Technics. He too has lost his job.
After a delay of nine weeks he finally received a social welfare payment of €100 to top up the €300 his wife earns working in the local shop.
This couple have children, an income of €1,600 per month and a mortgage of €1,800 per month. They face a tough battle to save their family home.
If the mother in this family wasn't working, social welfare would pay the interest on their mortgage. But because she earns €300 per week, they get no such help. This family is being penalised for their hard work.
Labour would scrap this perverse rule that discourages families from working.
But this is the legacy of Fianna Fáil. This is the legacy of Bertie Ahern. This is the legacy of Brian Cowen. This is the legacy that Labour, under Eamon Gilmore, must end.
Motor Bikes and Quad Bikes in Stardust Memorial Park
2nd March 2009
There is a serious problem of Motor Bikes and Quad Bikes scrambling in the Stardust Memorial Park. The problem is particularly severe at nights and at weekends and many local residents are afraid to walk in the park or allow their children to play in the park. This is a shame as the park is a great local facility.
I put down a question to the City Manager at tonight's meeting of Dublin City Council asking the manager to install gates on the park to prevent access for these vehicles.
The Manager replied that it is against Park bye Laws to use the park for such activities.
The Gardaí have been informed and the Park Warden Service are also aware of the problem. The entrances of the park will be inspected again to see what can be done to prevent such activities.
Planning for our Future Recovery
17 February 2009
The current economic crisis is having a devastating impact on families and communities. Every day brings more news of financial scandals, dodgy deals or major job losses. This situation will continue until we develop a credible Recovery Plan to give confidence back to communities, to families, to investors and employers.
This plan must have key principles at its core:
- Fairness - those on the lowest incomes should not be expected to pay for the mistakes of our financial elites
- Accountability - those that cheated and abused our financial system should pay a price (up to and including prison). They should not be waved off with a golden handshake and a bulging pension package
- Maximise Employment - we must do everything in our power to keep people off the dole and restore our economic competitiveness. Recent experience teaches us the disastrous social consequences of mass unemployment.
- Imagination - we must use our ingenuity and creativity to dig ourselves out of this mess. In lieu of layoffs one company has offered three years unpaid leave to any of their workers that wanted to take a sabbatical. Why can't we apply this across the board in the public service?
- Sustainability - the issue of climate change hasn't gone away. However, this economic crisis provides us with an opportunity to tackle our reliance on imported oil and gas. By investing now in wind and wave energy, and by developing a programme of insulation for our older homes, we can create jobs and help sustain our long term development
- Community - investment in communities is most important in times of crisis. We must continue the regeneration of Ballymun and get the regeneration plans off the ground across Dublin in places such as O'Devaney Gardens and St. Michael's House.
As a politician I'm conscious of not using the current crisis to score easy political points. The situation is far too dire for that. Fortunately, on Dublin City Council there is far more co-operation across party lines than is obvious in Dáil Éireann. I'll continue to work with my colleagues in all parties for the good of my constituents and all of the residents of Dublin. However, I will not stop fighting against bad decisions such as the recent cuts in the numbers of special needs teachers.