Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sinn Fein Councillors raise concerns after Dublin Bus withdraws Route 185 from Fassaroe

Bray Sinn Féin Councillors John Brady and Rossa Murray have raised
concerns about the future of the 185 Dublin Bus route which had
severed the Fassaroe area. On Friday last signs were erected on the
bus stops in the Fassaroe estate saying that  the 185 bus was
ceasing to serve Fassaroe with immediate effect. In 2010 Sinn Féin and
the community in the area managed to save the entire 185 route after
Dublin Bus planned on curtailing it completely from Palermo and

Speaking after meeting with concerned bus users in Fassaroe Councillor
John Brady said "The first anyone knew of Dublin Buses plan to
withdraw the 185 from Fassaroe was on Friday last when signs were
erected on all the bus stops in the estate. The signs state that the
service was ceasing with immediate effect and that Dublin Bus would be
working with all the relevant authorities to try get it resumed at
some point in the future. The community of Fassaroe is highly
dependent on this bus route and i hope that this is not an attempt to
try introduce the 2010 plans to totally cut the 185, only this time
through stealth"

Cllr Murray went onto say "This is a widely used and highly depended
on route. Sinn Féin and the local community fought hard in 2010 to
ensure the 185 continued to serve Palermo and Fassaroe, we collected
thousands of signatures and ran a strong campaign which ultimately led
Dublin Bus to reverse their plans and to maintain the service and we
can do the same again if needed. The sign on the bus stops states that
Dublin Bus will be working with all relevant authorities to try
reinstate the route, unfortunately they don't see the using public as
relevant when they make decisions like this to withdraw a service"

Cllr Brady concluded "We will do everything in our power to make sure
the 185 is reinstated, so it can continue serving the community of Fassaroe.
Dublin Bus have a policy of what they term 'straightening out routes'
On the ground this means leaving communities like Fassaroe unserved by
public transport. Whatever needs to be done will be done to get the
185 back in Fassaroe"

Friday, 26 October 2012

Brady welcomes footpath repair work in Carnew

Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has welcomed the installation of
new footpaths in Emmet Place in Carnew and has said the work is long

Speaking after meeting with council workers onsite Cllr Brady said
"Its great to see the footpath repair work in Emmet Place finally take
place. The poor condition of the footpaths was something that had been
consistently raised on the doors in the area when we carried out a
door to door survey in the area last year"

"The condition of the paths in Emmet Place in Carnew had been
deplorable and had made it very difficult and dangerous for the
elderly residents in the area. I have been raising the need for this
work to be carried out with a number of officials since last year and
i am delighted the now long overdue work has commenced" continued Cllr

Cllr Brady went onto say "A number of issues including the poor
condition of the paths had been raised with us on the doors and this
badly needed work also includes speed ramps on the Coolattin Rd and the
dishing of a number of footpaths in the area to make them more
accessible for elderly people and people with disabilities. The paths
outside Corrells Hardware on the Main St in the town also need to be

Cllr Brady concluded " The work that been carried out in Carnew by the
council has to be welcomed, unfortunately sometimes areas such as
Carnew, Tinahely and Shillelagh are forgotten about because of their
distance from the County Council in Wicklow town. I will however
continue to ensure that the council prioritizes work in these areas"

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Angered Householders to protest outside Wicklow County Councils Monthly meeting in November

The Wicklow campaign against the Household charge group are set to
protest outside the Wicklow County Council monthly meeting on November
5th. The group is to take its campaign against the household charge to
the council following the recent debacle by Wicklow Council Council,
which seen them send threatening correspondence to 23,000 households
in the county. Many letters were sent to residents who had already
paid the charge but it was also sent to children and to people who are
long deceased. The group will also protest over the cuts of €373,000
to services that where pushed through at the October council meeting,
these cuts where imposed based on the noncompliance of the unjust
household charge.

Cllr John Brady who is part of the group said "It has been decided to
stage a protest outside the next council meeting on November 5th to
show the level of anger that exists against the unfair and unjust
household change and the manner in which Wicklow County Council is
dealing with the situation on behalf of Local Government Management
Agency. What we seen happen here in Wicklow over the last week is a
costly blunder and is nothing short of an expensive pantomime. Over
23,000 letters were sent out to Wicklow residents, many of whom had
paid the charge already whilst others where children or people who are
long deceased"

Cllr Snell continued "I have been inundated with calls from very angry
residents since these letters started landing on doorsteps. The whole
situation is a shambles and people want to vent their anger. At the
last council meeting in October we had a crazy situation when the
majority of Councillors in Wicklow embraced cuts of €373,000 due the a
cut of funding to the council by the government because of peoples
refusal to pay the unjust household charge. Some of these Councillors
particularly in the Labour Party are trying to run with the fox and
chase with the hounds on this issue. They need to make up their minds,
they are either with the people or with the government, they cant be
with both on this issue"

Cllr Brady continued "It is understood that the database used to
identify non-compliant households had been sent by the Local
Government Management Agency, charged with collecting the tax, to the
local authority. The latest blunder should be the final episode in
this sorry saga. The latest mistake will cost the exchequer tens of
thousands of euros nationally. Paul McSweeny, CEO of the Local
Government Management Agency, admitted that the agency do not know who
has paid or who has not paid, they have no proper addresses or
database. Minister Hogan must be brought to account for this mistake.
He can no longer hide behind the government’s quango, the Local
Government Management Agency. From the onset Sinn Féin said the
Household Charge was unjust, unworkable and now. It is time the
government realise this and reverse this charge"

Cllr Brady concluded "We are calling on everyone who is opposed to the
household charge and the cuts to services to attend the protest on
November 5th starting at 1pm at the County Council offices. Sinn Féin
will be proposing a suspension of the standing orders at the meeting
to discuss the latest blunder, but we will also given all the
Councillors an opportunity once and for all to take a stand on the
household charge issue and demand that its scraped and ordinary
citizens are not threatened any further"

Serious delays in new SUSI system leaves 1338 Wicklow student grants in limbo

Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has reacted angrily at figures
he has obtained which shows that of the 1861 student grant
applications made by Wicklow students to the new online service,1338
applications are being processed only 442 have had a decision made and
81 have not even been downloaded for assessment. Cllr Brady has said
the SUSI online processing of student grants is clearly failing after
his party colleague Jonathan O'Brien received a response to a
parliamentary question from the Education Minister which confirms that
52,430 grant applications are still being processed nationally.

Cllr Brady said “ There are serious problems with the new system that
was introduced for processing student grants and it has resulted in
many Wicklow students being left in limbo and their college places in
jeopardy. The new SUSI on-line system was supposed to make the process
of applying for a grant a good deal easier but regrettably, there have
been serious flaws which have resulted in delayed payments, poor
communication and inadequate responses to applications and document

Cllr Brady continued “The minister’s response confirms that there are
1338 applications from Wicklow still being processed by the new system
despite the fact that we are nearly in November.  Of the more than
65,000 applications received nationally by the new system decisions
have been made on just over 12,000 and just over 3,000 have been
awarded, here in Wicklow just 442 decisions have been made on 1861
applications. 81 applications from Wicklow have not even been
downloaded for assessment".

The Wicklow Councillor went onto say "I have been contacted by a large
number of students from Wicklow who are at wits end waiting on the
grants to come through, their parents have had to try scrap together
the funds to try pay the increased registration fees to ensure the
places were secured. Students and their families have been left in
dire straits by the failings of the new online system"

Cllr Brady concluded “The Minister must introduce a clear tracking
system that would enable students to know what stage applications are
at. A better designed more user friendly website would also help and
resources need to be found to improve the briefing and training of
Help-desk staff who are doing their best under difficult
circumstances. This new system was supposed to improve the processing
of third level applications, it took over from County Council which up
to now had responsibility, but a flawed system is resulting is huge
delays and added headaches".

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Dargle Flood Protection Scheme Causes Rodent Infestation of Little Bray

Dargle Flood Protection Scheme Causes Rodent Infestation of Little Bray

Sinn Féin councillors John Brady and Rossa Murray have called for
immediate action to be taken to deal with a serious rodent infestation
of residential areas of Little Bray due to ongoing construction works
along the River Dargle as part of the €28m flood protection scheme.

Cllr Brady stated "I have been contacted by a number of concerned
residents over the last few weeks, they have stated that since the
work on the construction of the flood protection scheme for the river
Dargle started large numbers of rodents have been seen and caught in
the homes of residents. What is happening in the Dargle area is not
normal and the large volume of rats showing up in the area is a direct
result of the destruction of their habit on the Dargle due to the
essential €28m flood protection scheme. This work is critical however
a plan to deal with the rodent infestation needs to be implemented

Cllr Brady continued "This is a serious problem and its impacting on
the local community, one elderly resident has recently caught 5 rats
in her kitchen and has spent nearly €2000 on hiring exterminators.
Another family were forced to leave their home for a number of weeks
while rodents in her home were dealt with by exterminators. These
exterminators stated the cause of the infestation was the ongoing
works in the river".

Cllr Murray said "This is a horrible situation for families and
elderly residents of the Little Bray area to find themselves in. The
flood protection scheme is badly needed, but one would have thought
that this problem would have been foreseen and plans would have been
in place to try keep the problem under control and try minimise the
rodents spreading into the homes in the area. Unfortunately there does
not seem to be any provisions in place to deal with the issue. When
residents have contacted the council about the rats in their homes
they have been told to contact the HSE who in turn have said there is
nothing they can do".

Cllr Brady concluded "The council must immediately put in place a plan
to deal with this issue, the flood protection scheme is costing
€28million and some of this funding must be offset to keep the
infestation under control. The work is being carried out on a 2.75km
stretch of the river from the harbour up to Silverbridge on the N11
and it's expected to last for up to 2 years. This problem is a direct
result of work that is being carried out on behalf of the council and
they must deal with accordingly, passing the issue onto the HSE or
anyone else is simply not acceptable".

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Wicklow County Council Owed €5.44million by Developers

Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has called for a full and
comprehensive report on unpaid Development Levies owed to the council,
to be prepared and furnished at the November meeting of the Council.
The request follows answers that he received to questions he had
tabled relating to unpaid Development Levey money which is owed to the
council. Figures which the Sinn Féin Councillor obtained show that
over €5.44million is owed to the council and that 10 developers alone
owe over €2.5million.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr John Brady said "While i was aware a
substantial amount of Development Levy money was owed to the council i
am certainly shocked at the figure the officials of the council gave
me at the council meeting following a series of questions i had put
forward on the issue. The figures show the total outstanding since
1998 is a staggering €5.44m owed to the council in Development Levies
for developments which took place in the Garden County".

Cllr Brady continued "The figures reveled at the meeting show that
there are a total of 425 active files for unpaid levies, 300 relate to
figures below €10,000 and 125 cases of €10,000 or more. However the
most shocking figure to be reveled shows that 10 developers owe the
council €250,000 or more, due to data protection the council was
unable to name the developers".

Cllr Brady went on to say "These figures which i obtained from the
council paint a very poor picture of the council and its relationship
with big developers to ensure money they owe to paid in full and on
time. The discussion which took place at the council meeting on foot
of the answers i obtained came on the same day cuts of €344,000 where
pushed through the council by the majority of the Councillors and yet
€5.44million is owed to the council.

Cllr Brady concluded "I have asked for a full report on the €5.44m to
be given to the council, this report needs to outline clearly what
actions are been taken to ensure this money is paid to the council. I
don't think its good enough for the County Manager to get up at every
council meeting and read prepared statements criticizing people for
non payment of the Household charge and threatening all sorts of
action to ensure they pay €100 charge, yet however on the other hand
the silence is deafening from him when it comes to monies owed to the
council from large developers. Never once has the County Manager ever
mentioned the difficulties progressing any schemes because of the
nonpayment of development levies by these developers. This stinks of
double standards and one rule for them and another for the ordinary
people of Wicklow. I have been given assurances that this issue will
be on the agenda for the meeting in November and i look forward to the
full report on the matter".

Shock as Wicklow County Councillors Embrace Cuts of €373,000

Wicklow Sinn Fein Councillor John Brady has slammed the majority of
Wicklow County Councillors for ramming through cuts of €373,000 at
Mondays council meeting without taking a vote or taking a stand and
saying no to them. The cuts were imposed on the council by the
Government who claimed its because 100% of Wicklow residents failed to
pay the unjust Household charge.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Brady said "I am shocked but not
surprised that the majority of Wicklow County Councillors would gladly
embrace cuts to the Local Government Fund which is give to local
authorities by the Government so it can function. Because the
Government has taken the decision of link the payment of the unjust
Household charge to the funding of local authorities, they are forcing
cuts on councils. In December of last year Wicklow County Council was
allocated €14,625,057 through the local Government fund, now ten
months into the year the Government and Phil Hogan has decided to
withhold €373,000 of that fund because Wicklow did not achieve a 100%
collection rate of the Household charge. The discussion relating to
the cuts to the council came on the very same day that €1billion was
handed over to unsecured bondholders of AIB".

Cllr Brady continued "I stated at the meeting the reason why these
cuts were before the council had nothing to do with the underpayment
of the unjust household charge, the real reason is the continued
handing over of billions of Euro to bondholders and the very same day
we were discussing the cuts to Wicklow another €1billion was handed
over to unsecured bondholders in AIB. In December at the councils
annual budget meeting the budget for 2012 was agreed based on an
allocation of €14.6 million from the Government. At the October
meeting of the council a detailed report was put before the
Councillors outlining the areas in which the savings of €373,000 was
to be achieved, this in effect means the council was presented with a
new budget".

Cllr Brady went onto say "The new budget put before the council made
cuts to Housing maintenance, the disabled persons grant, Traffic
calming, Maintenance of parks and the purchase of library books,
amongst others. I demanded that a vote be taken on the new amended
budget before the council, however unfortunately after repeated
attempts to oppose the cuts and the new budget, the majority of the
council pushed the cuts through".

Cllr Brady concluded "The people elected to represent Wicklow had a
opportunity at the council meeting on Monday to take a stand and say
no to the cuts and no to the handover of billions of euro to
bondholders. But rather than take a stand for the people they claim to
represent they warmly embraced these new cuts that will have a
detrimental effect to some of the most vulnerable people in Wicklow".

Some of the cuts pushed through at the council meeting include:

Local Authority Housing Maintenance   -20,000
Disabled Persons Grants                     -20,000
Traffic Calming at Schools                    -6,000
Library Books                                      -20,000
Playground Maintenance                      -3,000
Maintenance of Parks                          -5,000
Residents Association Assistance        -6,000