Monday, 29 September 2014

Wicklow Sinn Féin to hold protest to coincide with the commencement of water charges on 1st October

Wicklow Sinn Féin are to hold a protest on Wednesday 1st October to coincide with the commencement of domestic water charges which will apply from 1st October 2014 and bills will start being issued in January 2015. The protest will take place outside the office of Wicklow Labour TD Ann Ferris in Bray at 1pm.

Speaking ahead of the protest Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady said "This Wednesday 1st October will see the commencement of the first billing period of the new water charges that are being introduced by Fine Gael and Labour. The first bills are due to land on people's door steps early January and it's expected that the average bill will be €280 per annum".

“Water is a basic human right. Charging twice for water is wrong and Sinn Féin will resist it in Wicklow and the rest of the 26 Counties as we did in the north. This is an issue which we will continue to be vocal on in local councils and in the Dáil".

He continued “Fine Gael and Labour don’t have a clue. They have no idea what it is like for the vast majority of families out there who are struggling to survive. Many are living on less than €10 a week after bills are paid, they cannot afford to pay hundreds of euro a year for water".

“Sinn Féin has made our position clear. We are opposed to water charges and we will reverse them in government. We have a strong track record on this issue. It was Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy who blocked domestic water charges in the North. There is no acceptable reason for water charges. The government has a choice. They can either continue to help those at the top or they can ease the burden on struggling families. Sinn Féin has produced detailed costed proposals to prove there is an alternative to water charges".

Councillor Brady concluded “Bills for domestic water use will be issued from January in respect of the last quarter of this year. Effectively, the government will start double-charging households for water from this Wednesday 1st October. I urge people to join in the protest on Wednesday and send a message to the government that the ordinary people of Ireland simply can't shoulder the burden anymore and that the water charges should be stopped immediately". Ends

Monday, 22 September 2014

Wicklow County Council vote to reduce the Property Tax by 15% pumping €2,642,002 back into local economy

Wicklow County Councillor and Sinn Féin group leader John Brady has welcomed the decision by the majority of Wicklow Councillors to support the reduction of the Local Property Tax rate by 15%, the decision was taken at a special meeting of the council which took place on Monday. It will result in €2,642,002 going directly back into the local economy in Wicklow. 

Speaking after the meeting councillor Brady said "I welcome the decision of the majority of the Councillors in Wicklow to reduce the unjust Property Tax by 15% which is the maximum allowed under the legislation. This is a stepping stone towards the complete abolition of the tax which Sinn Féin have committed to doing if we enter government after the next election. The decision to reduce the tax was carried by 31 votes to 1".

"The saving of 15% comes only 2 weeks before the first billing period for the new water charges commences with the first bills landing on our door steps in January. The property tax coupled with the water charges will result in approximately €1,000 per household being taken from the pockets of hard hit families. This is just another regressive tax that hits the most vulnerable the hardest, however the 15% reduction will give a little respite to struggling families and the saving will pump €2,642,002 directly back into the local economy".

The Sinn Féin councillor continued "The imposition of the property tax by Fine Gael and Labour last year has not nor will it see any increase or improvement in local services. Other funding streams to the council have been cut and last year all monies collected in Wicklow were handed to Irish Water to install water meters. In the elections in May Sinn Féin went before the electorate seeking a mandate to reduce the tax as a stepping stone, we got a mandate from the electorate to get the maximum reduction of 15% which the legislation allows for. At the meeting on Monday we delivered on that and we now must continue until it's totally abolished". 

Brady went onto say "The decision to reduce unjust tax has to be welcomed, however it's only the tip of the iceberg. I'm very conscious of the impact the remaining property tax coupled with the water charges will have on hard pressed families and the local economy in Wicklow. At Mondays meeting Sinn Féin put forward a motion opposing the Local Property Tax and calling on the government to abolish the unjust tax. The motion was passed by 19 votes to 11 and showed up the hypocrisy of some Councillors who spoke against the tax but when given the opportunity to vote against it decided to vote in favour of it. Fine Gael voted to support the tax and Fianna Fáil were split on the issue with some of their Councillors completely bamboozled as to what exactly their policy is on the issue".

Councillor Brady concluded "The reduction of 15% is a step in the right direction and a step towards its ultimate abolishment when Sinn Féin get into power. The other important thing to come out of the meeting is that it's now the policy of the council to oppose the property tax and to seek its abolishment". Ends

Motion passed by Wicklow County Council, proposed by Cllr John Brady, seconded by Cllr Nicola Lawless. The motion was passed by 19 votes to 11

'The members of Wicklow County Council are totally opposed to the Local Property Tax and see the 15% reduction in the rate which was passed in Wicklow as the start of the process of abolishing the LPT. We call on the Government to abolish this unjust tax' 

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sinn Féin to push for 15% reduction in LPT at special meeting of Wicklow County Council

A special meeting of Wicklow County Council will take on Monday to set the basic rate for the Local Property Tax. Sinn Fein will propose a reduction of the full 15% allowed under the legislation in order to give some relief and to ease the financial burden on taxpayers.

Speaking ahead of the meeting councillor John Brady said "Wicklow County Council will meet on Monday to set the rate for the Local Property Tax, Sinn Féin have committed to reducing the unjust tax by the full 15% allowed under the legislation. This would be a precursor to it being abolished if Sinn Féin enter government after the next election". 

Brady continued "Sinn Féin will put forward a proposal at the meeting to reduce the Property Tax in order to ease the financial strain that working families are under, it is time that this government stopped going after the same people with their austerity taxes, especially when there are other options like bringing in a wealth tax instead. The public just can’t pay this tax on top of water charges which will take effect in just two weeks time with our first bills due in our doors the week after Christmas".

Brady concluded "I'm hoping that the majority of the 32 councillors will have the courage and the social conscience to back the Sinn Fein proposal for the maximum reduction of 15% on Monday. I would call on all Wicklow County Councillors to support this motion.” Ends

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Wicklow County Council to review the lawn only policy in Springfield Cemetery

Wicklow County Council is to review the lawn only policy in Springfield Cemetery in Bray. The existing lawn policy which hasn't been enforced in many years has caused huge anger and concern after Bray Town Council moved last year to enforce the policy and erected sign in the cemetery informing people that if items such as flowers, ornaments and other mementos weren't removed the council would remove and dispose of them.

Speaking after Mondays Council meeting Councillor Brady said "Now that Bray Town Council has been abolished Springfield cemetery has now become the responsibility of Wicklow County Council. I raised the issue at the council meeting on Monday and stated that the issue which was poorly dealt with by Bray Town Council is still causing great concern and families who have loved ones buried in the cemetery are constantly watching and waiting for their graves to be tampered with and items removed".

"When the cemetery was first opened 1981 the policy was to have it a lawn cemetery, however this was never enforced and to try after all these years to force families to remove items is both insensitive and unacceptable. At the council meeting i asked for the policy to be looked at and a compromise to be found to allow families maintain the graves to a high standard as they have over many years. A sub committee of the council the Environment Special Policy Committee (SPC) is to take on the issue, review it and bring recommendations back to the full council".

Cllr Brady continued "I welcome this and i am hopefully that a satisfactory compromise will be found. I also put forward a resolution to the council that no attempts by the council to remove items from graves would take place whilst the review was ongoing. I am aware that officials in the Municipal District of Bray were in the process of having letters drafted to sent out to families giving them a deadline to have items removed, my resolution has now stopped that in its tracks and has given the Environment SPC time to look at the issue and report back to the full council".

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Scene where Bray Firefighters lost their lives finally secured

The scene where the Bray Firefighters Brian Murray and Mark O'Shaughnessy lost their lives whilst tackling a blaze in 2007 has finally been secured. Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady and local residents have been pushing for the site to be cleaned up and secured for the last 7 years.

Speaking after a site visit the Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray John Brady said "I welcome the fact that after lengthy campaigning and pressure from myself and the community, the site of the old Haughtons factory at Adelaide Villas has now been totally cleaned up and secured".

"Pressure on Wicklow County Council resulted in them classifying the building as a dangerous structure and the owner was given one month to carry out a list of safety works or face a range of penalties. That work included clearing out the site, demolishing the two story structure on site and removing parts of the boundary walls".

Cllr Brady concluded "Thankfully that work is almost completed, unfortunately it has nearly taken 7 years for it to happen. The dangerous old 2 story building is gone, dangerous walls removed and the site has been totally cleared out. This comes as a welcome relief to the community in the area who had real concerns about the safety of the site after seeing children entering it and at how unstable the walls of the structure had become". Ends

Ballywaltrim Playground to get a major upgrade

Sinn Féin Councillor and Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray John Brady has welcomed the news that the long awaited upgrade work on the playground in Ballywaltrim will go to tender this month with a view of having the work completed over the coming months. He also stated that security and maintenance concerns also need to be addressed in tandem with the upgrade works.

Cllr Brady said "Over the last number of years I have been consistently pushing for these works to go ahead and thankfully tenders are now being drafted to allow the upgrade works commence. The plan is to go to tender during September with a view of having the work carried out by the end of the year. A lot of credit has to go to the Playground committee who have also been pushing this issue and have put in a lot of hard work to get it to this stage".

The Cathaoirleach continued "After consulting with children in the area as to what they would like to see in the upgraded playground, its hopped that a new zip line, slide, climbing frame and swings will be just a few of the new pieces of equipment that will be installed. I have also requested that equipment that is fully accessible for children with disabilities is installed also".   

"With the investment in the upgrading of the playground it very important that the security is got right. I have been given a commitment that public lighting will be installed in the playground and that the Garda CCTV camera that i campaigned for will be adjusted to ensure that it provides additional security. I have also met with the Gardaí and they have assured me that they will carry out more patrols in the area".

Cllr Brady concluded "This is a big investment in the upgrading of public amenities in the Ballywaltrim area and its good to see that children have been consulted in the process. Its important that the community takes ownership of the playground and council works with them to ensure it is maintained into the future. During the summer a large cleanup of the area was carried out by local residents, myself and my colleague Oliver O'Brien helped on out, so there is a lot of goodwill and that needs to be tapped into by the council. This is a very positive development that must be welcomed by everyone in the community, particularly the children. Ends

Brady welcomes the Reinstatement work in the Peoples Park in Bray

The Cathlaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray Councillor John Brady has welcomed the recommencement of work in the Peoples Park in Little Bray. Work in the park ground to a halt in November 2013 after SIAC withdrew from the Dargle flood protection scheme leaving the Peoples Park like a building site. The Cathlaoirleach of the new Municipal District of Bray made the reinstatement of the park one of his priorities on getting elected.

Speaking after meeting with the contractors on the site Councillor Brady said "I'm delighted that the work has started on reinstating the park. I signed the tenders for the work only last week so its good to see it progress so quickly. The work that is being carried out will include a new footpath along the new wall that runs along side the river Dargle, some landscaping and thankfully the removal of the fencing in the middle section of the park".

The Cathlaoirleach continued "I made it a priority to get the Peoples Park reinstated and I'm happy to say that's its now well under way. Unfortunately the compounds at either end of the park have to remain for the duration of the flood protection works on the Dargle, however they need to be cleaned up and i will continue to push for that to happen. The work that has commenced in the park must be seen as the starting point in the total refurbishment of the park as there is a lot more that can and should be done to make it a top class public amenity that it deserves to be". 

Cllr Brady went on to say "I am working on having a master plan done up for the Peoples Park and allowing the public have their say on what they think the park needs. I believe a food market like the one that's run in the Peoples Park in Dun Laoghaire on Sundays should be looked at as an option as well as flower beds and an upgraded band stand as a way of really making it a park for the people of Bray again".

He concluded by saying "A lot of work has been done by the engineers from the council in getting the project back on track and I'm also very pleased that we will have work recommence on the overall flood protection scheme shortly. Its critical that the people of Little Bray are fully protected from the risk of flooding, but its also important that the amenities provided for them and the people of Bray are of the highest standard". Ends