Thursday 25 July 2013

Commencement of water charges in October 2014 is a cynical move that will deepen recession

Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor has described the government’s decision to hold off issuing water tax bills until after next year’s local elections as a cynical move that will drive us deeper into recession.

Cllr Brady said “Minister Hogan has admitted that the water charges will commence in October 2014 and that Families will receive the bills in early 2015. This is a cynical move, the government is holding off until after next year’s local elections before anyone receives a bill for water. Fine Gael and the Labour Party know that to issue the bills before May would certainly mean a loss of council seats. The current proposal to charge households for water was dreamt up by Fianna Fáil but brought to life by Fine Gael and Labour.”

“Water charges are wrong. To charge people for the water they drink is unacceptable. The reality is struggling families will be hit with yet another bill. In Denmark, with a population similar to our own, water metering is in place and in 2007 the average cost was €715 per household.

The Sinn Féin councillor continued “The government spins a myth that we do not pay for our water.  We pay for our water service in our taxes. Water charges will mean the public pay three times for their water. Firstly in their general taxes, secondly through this new charge and, finally, they will pay through the National Pension Reserve Fund, which is being used to fund the installation of water meters. Local Authority Professional Officers have given estimates of €1.2 billion to cover the cost of the installation. It is ordinary householders who will be footing the bill.”

Brady went onto say “Revised data from the Central Statistics Office shows the economy contracted in the second-half of last year and shrank another 0.6pc in the first three months of 2013. This means that we have again officially entered recession for the first time since 2009. Many experts believe this is down to the introduction of the property tax, even the Fine Gael transport minister Leo Varadkar has said that the property tax has played a part in Ireland’s return to recession.”

Brady concluded “The bottom line is austerity isn’t working and it is simply pushing us deeper into recession. Sucking millions more from the pockets of people who don’t have it to pay for a tax on water that they have already paid for is wrong and must be halted. Even the former head of the IMF mission to Ireland Ashoka Mody, has admitted that the austerity-only policy chosen for the handling of Ireland’s EU-IMF bailout was a mistake. What we need is to get people back to work and to stimulate the economy, as opposed to forcing those who haven’t got anything left to give pay for the mistakes of the previous government. Water taxes are wrong and Sinn Féin will continue to oppose their introduction.” Ends

Monday 15 July 2013

Bray Town Council Agree to meet Families in Springfield Cemetery Fiasco

Over 75 people attended Bray Town councils July meeting to oppose the
councils threat to remove items from their loved ones graves in
Springfield cemetery in Ballywaltrim. A petition containing over 2000
signatures were handed over to the chairperson of council opposing the
councils attempt to enforce an old council policy of having
Springfield as a lawn cemetery. Bray Town Council have erected signs
in the cemetery stating that from 1st September the council will start
removing flowers, plaques and other mementos from graves in
Springfield to turn it into a lawn cemetery. The council has agreed to
meet a representative group from the families and have committed not
to touch any graves before that meeting is held.

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady who opposes the councils attempt to
retrospectively enforce their lawn cemetery policy stated “Over 75
people showed up to the July meeting of Bray Town Council to oppose
the council’s decision to try enforce their lawn cemetery policy in
Springfield, this is after allowing families maintain the graves
themselves for over 12 years. This decision of the council has been
the cause of great hurt to family members who have loved ones buried
in Springfield. A petition opposing the council’s policy which
contained over 2000 signatures was handed to the chairperson of the
council before the meeting commenced.”

Cllr Brady went onto say “Unfortunately despite having asked, the
issue of Spingfield was not on the agenda for the council meeting, so
at the beginning of the meeting I requested a suspension of standing
orders to allow the sensitive issue be discussed. This was supported
by my party colleague Rossa Murray.”

Brady continued “I stated that it was insensitive and wrong for the
council to try penalise families now for the councils complete failure
to enforce their own policy and that the council must now come to some
compromise due to the fact that families have for over 12 years been
allowed maintain and keep small mementos on their loved ones graves
and that its totally wrong to penalise families for the councils

Cllr Brady concluded “After some lengthy debate on the issue it was
finally decided that the council officials and councillors would meet
with a representative group of family members to discuss the situation
in Springfield and the council committed not to touch any graves until
that meeting takes place. I am delighted that the council officials
and other councillors have now agreed to sit down around the table and
try resolve this very sensitive issue. This breathing space provides
the council an opportunity to look at a number of options and possible
compromises to get themselves out of this mess of their own creation
and to allow family members tend to their loved ones graves in the
loving way there have been doing now for many years.”  Ends

Thursday 4 July 2013

Dublin Bus shelve plans to curtail the 145 route to Kilmac

Sinn Fein councillor John Brady has welcomed the decision by Dublin
Bus to shelve their plans to scrap the 145 bus route to Kilmacanogue.
The Sinn Féin councillor was informed this week by the operations
manager of Dublin Bus that plans they had to terminate the 145 at
Springfield cemetery as opposed to Kilmac will now not proceed.

Speaking after receiving the positive news Councillor John Brady said
"I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and that Dublin Bus
has scrapped their plan of cutting the 145 bus route to Kilmacanogue.
When I first discovered the plans of Dublin Bus to cut the route back
in February it caused huge levels of concern in the village which
resulted in a big community campaign of opposition. The community
fought long and hard to get a bus service to Kilmac and they certainly
weren't prepared to give it up without a fight."

Brady continued "The 145 bus provides a critical link for the people
in the village and the evidence of that showed when i called a public
meeting on the issue in Kilmac in March, when over 150 people turned
up to listen to how the service could be saved. At that meeting many
people voiced their opposition to the plans, but more importantly
there were many constructive proposals on how to save the route,
improve and enhance it. We compiled a petition with over 1500 people
signing it, i also had the issue dealt with at a meeting of Wicklow
County Council and a motion was passed opposing any plans to cut the
route and this was relayed to Dublin Bus also."

Brady went onto say "Unfortunately it was disappointing however that a
number of requests to officials from Dublin Bus to sit down with a
representative group of residents and users of the route from Kilmac
was turned down. The reason given was that they don't do public
consultation, which is quite bizarre as Dublin Bus is there to provide
a public transport service and they receive substantial subsidies to
do so. One would imagine consulting with the public user with be a
critical part of the process in determining routes."

Brady concluded "Since February I have remained in constant contact
with officials in Dublin Bus and continued to voice opposition to
their plans, so i was delighted when I was finally informed that
curtailing the route at Springfield cemetery is now off the cards.
This is fantastic news for everyone in Kilmac and shows that when a
community comes together they can achieve a lot. I have committed to
work with Dublin Bus to try improve the service now and try address
any small issues that maybe of concern to the officials within Dublin
Bus. I will also continue now to push for a bus shelter and other
improvements for the public in the Kilmac area." Ends