The Government and the National Transport Authority have approved more hikes in the cost of public transport which will see prices rising by up to 13%.
Many people and commuters in Dublin West will notice a significant dent in their pockets once this latest price hike comes into force. The Government should be encouraging people to use public transport instead of making it less cost effective. These hikes will result in Dublin Bus cash fares being almost 40% higher than they were in 2012, while Rail tickets will also see significant increases. Transport companies have expressed concern about falling passenger numbers, but consistent fare hikes will do nothing to improve the situation.
If this policy continues, fewer people will be able to afford the ever increasing fares resulting in even bigger losses in the public transport sector.
Fingal County Council voted to reduce the property tax by 15% at the end of September. Fingal will have a budget surplus of 2 million euro even with this reduction so basic services can be both retained and improved. The full 15% reduction will give property owners some respite and relief despite the upcoming monumental bill for Fine Gael and Labour’s latest quango Irish water. This super-quango which was developed from the Fine Gael New-Era Policy Document in 2009 has been an unmitigated disaster. The government refused to allow any parliamentary scrutiny or debate on the legislation to establish Irish Water last year. The government’s attempts to engage in auction politics at the recent budget have been overshadowed by the daily scandal from Irish Water.
A number of residents have contacted me about their oversized or overgrown trees on the public roads/area around their home that need to be pruned/inspected by the Council. There is a Winter Works Tree Program every year that commences in the Autumn/Winter period. It is important to have your tree inspected before this commences. You can register your tree for inspection if you contact the Operations Department on 01-870 4599/CasMulOpArea@fingal.ie or feel free to contact me if you have any questions/queries.
I tabled a motion at the recent Area Committee Meeting of the Council to improve the traffic management system along the both Clonsilla Road and the Coolmine Road as well as the interface between both roads. The Senior Executive Traffic Engineer is going to examine this in the coming weeks with the Traffic Section of the Gardaí and I will keep you informed of any progress on this.
I was elected onto the Blanchardstown Community Policing Forum which covers the Dublin 15 Area. I recently attended a number of Resident’s Association Meetings and Neighbourhood Watch Scheme Meetings and I am anxious to improve the quality of community policing in our area. The Community Police in Blanchardstown run weekly clinics in the Laurel Lodge Community Centre at 7:30 PM every Wednesday if people want any advice/help regarding crime prevention or community policing. An appointment at this clinic can be arranged by contacting the Community Policing Section in Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01-6667020.
A number of residents have contacted me regarding inconsistent or intermittent grass cutting in their estate or surrounding area. I tabled a formal question at the Area Meeting of the County Council regarding this issue to increase the consistency and regularity of the grass cutting. If you have an issue with your grass cutting please do not hesitate to contact me or contact the Operations Department of Fingal County Council 01-870 4599.
I have written to Panda Waste to immediately introduce a chip and bin system which operates successfully in other areas. Many residents have reported to me that their bin tags are being stolen. This criminal practice has to be stopped.
Cllr. Jack Chambers, Fianna Fáil Dublin West Councillor, has welcomed the decision by Fingal County Council to endorse the Fianna Fáil motion and to reduce the property tax by 15% at its monthly meeting on Monday July 14th but he has called on the new Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, to publish regulations/guidelines to allow Councils to formally ratify these decisions. Fingal County Council voted as follows:
FOR 30, Against 0, Abstain 7.
Chambers stated, ”This sends a clear signal to government that Fingal Councillors want to alleviate a significant percentage of this regressive, disproportionate and inequitable burden that was placed on Dublin taxpayers. Unfortunately, this decision will have to be formally ratified again at the Council meeting in September because the former Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, had deliberately delayed the publication of regulations in order to frustrate the ability of Councils to legally reduce the rate. These regulations must be published immediately to allow for submissions to be made and for Councils to legally and formally decide what rate of LPT they will apply. Last year, Minister Hogan also cynically promised that 80% of LPT collected in each local authority throughout the country would go back into local services. Instead water meters were installed, bankrolled by Property Tax. The public had their say on this broken promise in May when they sent the Government a very strong message in the local elections.”
Chambers also noted, “Today, Fingal has sent a clear message regarding its absolute intention to reduce the tax for the year 2015 by 15%. We have seen a change of face and party at the Department of the Environment and now we need a change of direction. The Labour Party needs to match its rhetoric for the last six weeks with action and Minister Alan Kelly needs to reassure Property Tax payers that he will not cut other income streams for compliant Urban Based Councils. The first real test for the Labour Party will be to allow local authorities to reduce the Local Property Tax by 15% and not to penalise local authorities that do so by reducing the central Government grant. Any decision by the new Minister for the Environment to cut other income streams to City and County Councils will breach the previous Fine Gael and Labour commitments regarding the property tax.”
Fianna Fáil Motion:
“In accordance with Section 20 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, we the elected members of Fingal County Council formally resolve to vary the basic rate of Local Property Tax in respect of residential properties situated in Fingal County Council’s administrative area. We propose a local adjustment factor (LAF) of -15% for the year 2015. We call on the Chief Executive and the Minister for Environment to put in place all necessary arrangements which will allow this Council to notify the Revenue Commissioners of our intentions prior to the September 2014 deadline.”
I am honoured to receive such a strong mandate from the people of Castleknock, Blanchardstown, Carpenterstown, Mountview, Clonsilla and North Lucan and I am delighted to be elected. I look forward to providing the proactive and committed representation that the people in this constituency deserve.
The promise that all local authorities would receive 80% of the property tax raised in 2014 has been broken and there is no direct link this year between the property taxes that are paid and the services received by householders. Fingal County Council has raised over 40 million euro in property taxes and not one red cent is being reinvested back into our communities. This is a shameful u-turn when basic local services in Blanchardstown and Castleknock are scarcely being provided.Read more