Government hikes cost of Public Transport again in 2014
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.
Carpenterstown Park- Tir na nOg Incident
Gardai at Blanchardstown are investigating a serious assault and attempted robbery of a woman in Carpenterstown last Saturday morning. A woman in her late 30s was threatened and assaulted while walking through Carpentertown Park at 7:30am. Gardai are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. Blanchardstown Garda Station can be contacted on 01-6667000
On Monday morning, I contacted the Operations Department of Fingal to inform them of what happened and I have asked that a significant cleaning up/pruning of the overgrown shrubery be undertaken ASAP so the park is more open and safer for all. They informed me that it is their intention to do this next week.
I will articulate this issue as an emergency issue at the Local Council Meeting this Thursday.
- I have contacted the Director of Operations in Fingal regarding the proposal to install lighting in Carpenterstown park and he has said it will be considered for next years schedule of works.
Property Tax/Water Charges
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.
Porterstown Road Traffic Calming
I recently supported a motion to install pedestrian lights on the Porterstown Road at the section of road at Castleknock GAA Club. Currently, the road has an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing which needs to be upgraded to the proper system of traffic management which will be safer for all. This upgrade will progress next year subject to funding.
Grass Cutting in Fingal Summer/Autumn 2014
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.
Stolen Bin Tags
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.
Fingal County Council Votes to Reduce the Property Tax for 2015
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.”
Election as Fianna Fáil Councillor for Dublin West to Fingal County Council
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.
Fingal's Property Tax Facts
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
Community Policing Speech at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis
I made a speech on Saturday the 22nd of March on the importance of rebuilding Community Policing and supporting Community Based Policing Initiatives.
Resolution: That this Ard Fheis calls for a refocusing of resources into community based policing initiatives in order to reassure communities affected by crime and antisocial behaviour