Friday 20 July 2012

Wicklow County Council funding to be cut by €1.47million by Phil Hogan

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady, has said that Local
Government Minister Phil Hogan is "attacking local democracy" by
imposing further cuts in funding for councils, linking these cuts to
the Household Charge. Wicklow County Council has received confirmation 
from Minister Phil Hogan that the Local Government Fund paid to
the Council is to be cut by €1.47million.

Cllr Brady said "Minister Hogan and his colleagues in the Fine
Gael/Labour Coalition are mounting an assault on local democracy. By
tying local government funding to the un-collectable and inequitable
Household Charge the coalition is putting councils in an impossible
financial position. He is now going to impose further cuts in central
government allocations for councils for the remainder of 2012.

"At the time of Budget 2012 Sinn Féin said clearly that the cut to the
Local Government Fund was unsustainable, that the Household Charge was
unjust and would be widely boycotted and that by making local
government dependent on receipts from the Household Charge, the
coalition was going to undermine services across the board. This is
now taking place and it is citizens in Wicklow and across this State
who are paying the price for the coalition's dogged pursuit of a
failed policy of austerity."

Cllr Brady concluded "  Fine Gael/Labour are to cut the funding to
Wicklow County Council by €1.47million for 2012, this is on top of
previous cuts already imposed. This will have a direct impact on
front-line services unless its rejected. I am asking for an emergency
meeting of Wicklow County Council to be held to discuss the financial
crisis that is now pending in Wicklow because of this attack on local
democracy inflicted by this Government."

Friday 6 July 2012

Bray Town Council to Demolish Property they purchased for €6.1 Million

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady has expressed concerns and said
serious questions needed to be answered following confirmation by Bray
Town Council that they are to demolish Kilbride House on Kilbride Lane
in Bray. The house makes up part of a site that the council purchased
using a compulsory purchase order a number of years ago and paid
€6.1million for. It was intended on using the site to construct badly
need social housing, however the Government is refusing to provide any
funding for this purpose.

Cllr Brady said "The Town Manager confirmed at Tuesdays council
meeting that he intends on demolishing Kilbride House on Kilbride
Lane. I am bitterly disappointed at this decision because this site
was purchased at the height of the so called 'Celtic Tiger' and the
council paid an incredible €6.1 million for. The land around the house
was always intended for the construction of housing, unfortunately the
government is now refusing to allow the construction of any new social
housing under their new housing policies"

Cllr Brady continued "Since this property was purchased it has lay in
a state of dereliction, a caretaker had been residing in the main
house but a number of months ago he moved out of the area. The
property has since lay empty and open for anti-social behaviour. I
recently had the council secure the property by placing shutters on
the windows and doors in an attempt to curtail the anti social
behaviour and to try stop the house getting ransacked and burnt to the

"The Town Manager has now decided to demolish the property, i have
major concerns about this. The over priced site was purchased for €6.1
million and was valued based on the existence of the house on the
site, which going on the value of property at the time was probably
valued at over €1.5million. It is unbelievable that the council now
wants to demolish something they paid so much for rather than to deal
with the real problem"

Cllr Brady went onto say "I have argued that yes we need to stop the
problems on site and the way to do that would be by giving the house
to a community group on a short term lease so the property would be
occupied which would stop any anti social issues. The council have
tried to justify the demolition of the house by saying the house is in
a poor state of repair, i totally disagree with this as i was recently
in the property and yes some small works may be needed but certainly
nothing that would warrant its destruction. I think at this stage the
files on this particular purchase by the council need to be opened so
we can see how the figure of €6.1 million was arrived at and what
value was placed on the house itself."

Brady concluded "Demolishing this property is the easy option by the
council and amounts to little more than the squandering of tax payers
money. There are more constructive things that should and could be
done with this property whilst we are waiting for a reversal of the
flawed housing policies of this Government. Turning the site into a
€6.1 million wasteland will only lead to more problems for local
residents and will amount to a total and utter waste of taxpayers

Thursday 5 July 2012

Sinn Féin welcomes Anti Household Charge Protesters to Bray Town Council Meeting

Sinn Féin councillors John Brady and Rossa Murray welcomed campaigners
against the unfair Household Charge to Bray Town Councils July monthly
meeting which was held on Tuesday last. The protest which was held
outside the council meeting was timed to coincide with the threatening
letters that have been send out to those people who have failed to pay
the €100 stealth tax. A large group of Sinn Féin supports had joined
in with the protest outside the council meeting to show their
continued opposition to the charge. Towards the end of the protest a
small group broke away and proceeded to enter the council chamber and
interrupt the council meeting.

Speaking after the protest Cllr John Brady stated "Following the first
round of threatening letters that were sent out earlier this week a
protest had been organised to send a clear message to the government
parties that bully boy tactics that are being used by Fine Gael and
Labour simply wont work, the 50% of Wicklow residents who have not
paid the stealth tax done so because of the unfairness of it and
because they simply cant afford it. The protest outside the council
meeting on Tuesday had been joined by a large group of Sinn Féin
members and supports"

Cllr Brady continued "Towards the end of the protest a section of the
protesters broke away and proceeded to enter the council chamber where
the council meeting was taking place. The protesters put across their
message loud and clear, much to the dislike of the majority of the
establishment councillors. The officials and all the councillors
present proceeded to stand up and leave the council chamber with the
exception of the two Sinn Féin councillors myself and councillor
Rossa Murray. We stayed in the chamber and listened to the protest as
we agree on the issue of which formed their protest"

Cllr Murray stated "As someone who has stated publically that i was
not going to pay the Household charge i sat and listened to the
legitimate concerns of the protesters. Dragging ordinary people
through the courts for non payment of the unfair charge stinks of
hypocrisy, the people who have brought this state to its knees are
free to continue living their lavish lifestyles whilst the ordinary
people are forced to pay the cost. The other councillors at the
meeting ran and hid probably because they could not face the truth
from the people on the ground who are hurting because of the policies
of austerity"

Cllr Brady went onto say "The loud protest in the council chamber
lasted about 20 minutes and after the Gardaí were called i addressed
the protesters and welcomed them into the council chamber and stated
that i fully supported their legitimate concerns and i and Sinn Féin
also support the abolishment of the household charge. I also stated
that i had raised the issue of the threatening letters at the council
meeting in Wicklow county council the day before and had voiced my
opposition and Sinn Feins opposition to the charge continuously at
council meetings and had brought a number of motions to that effect
before the councils."

Cllr Brady concluded "The protest ended after Cllr Murray and i gave
assurances that the issue of the household charge and the threatening
letters would be on the agenda and discussed at the next council
meeting. The message that the protest did send out to the government
parties was that they had brought in the unpopular charges and they
had to face up to their policies and try to justify them as opposed to
running and hiding. I look forward to the next council meeting where
the issue will be debated and will again welcome the protesters to
listen to the debate."