Friday, 24 April 2015

Brady commends work of Bray Summerfest volunteers

The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray has commended the work of the volunteers of Bray Summerfest and expressed delight that the widely popular Bray Airshow and Funfair will go ahead this year, he hopes that other elements of the festival will also be added to ensure the Bray continues to be portrayed in a positive light and open to tourists.

Cllr Brady said "The Summerfest is an excellent festival that attracts tens of thousands of people to Bray on an annual basis, bringing much needed revenue to the town. There is a real need to ensure that it continues, after several weeks of uncertainty I welcome the fact that the Funfair will return this summer and also the Airshow that attracts up to 80,000 spectators, that will be the highlight of the summer in Bray. I also hope that other elements of the festival such as the music on the bandstand will also return this year".

"I've meet with the executive of Summerfest a number of times and have put forward a funding proposal to ensure that Summerfest can continue to do the great work this year and next year in promoting Bray as it has done for many years. I will continue to work with the committee and i hope that the funding proposal i put forward can be used in a positive fashion to deal with any uncertainty that the future may hold for the festival".

Cllr Brady concluded "I believe that this festival can and will continue to go from strength to strength and i look forward to working with the committee and I'm prepared to get involved with Summerfest as a volunteer".

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Brady congratulates St. Kilian's Young Social Innovators

The Cathlaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray Councillor John Brady has congratulated the students of St.Kilians Community School who are taking part in the Young Social Innovators Initiative and have been shortlisted to present to YSI Judging Panels on 6th May for consideration for the Young Social Innovators of the Year 2015 title. The Transition year students have been doing a project on Homelessness and this week went to the Dáil to present over 2000 postcards that got signed as part of the project.

Speaking after accompanying the group to the Dáil the Cathlaoirleach John Brady said “I want to commend all the students from St.Kilians Community School on the work they have done on homelessness as part of the Young Social Innovators Initiative, I also want to praise their teacher Ms. Brophy. As part of their project on Homelessness they carried out extensive research, study and practical initiatives. One of those initiatives was to design and print thousands of postcards calling on the government to tackle the issue of homelessness. I was delighted to arrange and accompany the students to go into the Dáil to hand over the postcards.”

“In the Dáil they met with Mary Lou McDonald and Wicklow TD Anne Ferris and gave a presentation on their project, they are now writing to the Minister Alan Kelly requesting a meeting on the issue of homelessness. They have been shortlisted to present to YSI judging panels on 6th May for consideration for the Young Social Innovators of the year 2015 title. I wish them all the best on the 6th and I know that the work that the students have done has been rewarding and educational for them all and I know it has made a big impact on them.”

Friday, 17 April 2015

Brady will continue to find solutions to Bray Summerfest Impasse

The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray, John Brady has said the Bray Summerfest is an important event for the people and economy of Bray that needs to continue. He stated that he will persevere to find a path to ensure the Summerfest can forge ahead with their plans and that the concerns of local residents and Councillors regarding duration, openness and transparency are addressed.

Cllr Brady said "Over the last number of weeks there has been concern and unfortunately some misinformation regarding the Summerfest following a decision that was taken by the local authority in Bray to reduce the number of days the funfair is permitted to use the publicly owned lands on the seafront. I fully support and commend the volunteers who have done and will continue to do fantastic work to promote Bray in a festival that is estimated by them to be worth up to €8m to the local economy. A proposal was put forward by Cllr Matthews to reduce the number of days for the funfair from 23 to 15 and to ensure there is full openness and transparency regarding the tendering of the seafront land and the use of substantial amounts of funding from the council. This was on foot of requests from local residents and a petition containing over 1200 signatures. The majority of Councillors supported that proposal."

"The decision to reduce the funfair does not effect the duration of the Summerfest and is only due to come into effect next year in 2016 giving over 12 months to address issues such as funding. There is no reason why the Summerfest cant continue this year as it has done in the past. On foot of requests for openness and transparency from Councillors surrounding the use of public funding and the seafront i have requested as Cathaoirleach information from the committee that hopefully will be forthcoming in the near future. I am certainly not questioning anyone involved in the executive of Summerfest regarding funding, but there needs to be full accountability. Over the last 10 years well over €600,000 in funding has come from the local authority and from payments directly to the Summerfest committee from the funfair operators for the use of the Seafront. To protect the good names of all involved in the committee and for the use of public finances a full open and transparent system needs to be put in place and i make no apologies in seeking that."

Cllr Brady concluded "I have meet with members of the executive of the Summerfest twice over the last couple of weeks. I believe there is the basis of a good resolution to this current impasse that will ensure the good work of the festival continues, the concerns of the local residents are addressed and there is full openness and transparency surrounding the tendering process for the use of the Seafront by commercial interests and the publication of full audited accounts. I look forward to hosting representatives from the Summerfest when they address the next meeting of the council and to working with them and others in finding a solution to continue to promote Bray in a positive fashion."

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Refurbishment work in Ballywaltrim Playground completed

The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray, John Brady has welcomed the completion of the refurbishment and upgrade works on the playground in Ballywaltrim, Bray.

Speaking after visiting the site Councillor Bray said "Its great to see the children from the community in Ballywaltrim and further afield playing and enjoying the newly refurbished playground. The work on the playground is substantially completed. This is a huge investment in the Ballywaltrim area and we now have a brilliant top quality playground which is a great asset to the entire community".

"There are still some other works to be carried out including the installation of public lighting and some planting. I've also asked the council to paint the railings around the original playground to freshen it up."

Brady continued "I've also been in contact with the Gardaí to ensure the CCTV is trained on the playground and that there are more foot patrols in the area to ensure there is no antisocial behavior. This upgrade has come about following lobbying from the community and members of the Ballywaltrim Community Playground Committee and a huge investment by the local authority and it needs to be protected for the community."

Cllr Brady concluded "I'm delighted to have played my part along with many others in delivering this upgrade and i look forward to ensuring the other playgrounds across Wicklow are upgraded and that communities campaigning for them are successful also." Ends

Wicklow County Council agree to fly the Rainbow Flag during the Wicklow Pride Festival

Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has expressed delight that his proposal to fly the Rainbow flag from the Wicklow County Council Buildings in Wicklow Town to coincide with the Wicklow Pride Festival that takes place in the County in June and July.

Speaking after the decision to fly the flag Councillor Brady said “I’m delighted that a decision was taken by the protocol committee of the Council to support my proposal to fly the Rainbow Flag from the County Buildings to coincide with the Wicklow Pride Festival that takes place from 29th June to 4th July. I believe it’s an important decision and makes a powerful statement that the council is committed to working to do all that it can to tackle hate crime and discrimination and supports inclusiveness and diversity.”

Cllr Brady went onto say “The rainbow flag was popularised as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Franciscan artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The different colours symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events worldwide.”

Cllr Brady concluded “It would be great if the Municipal District offices around the County would follow suit and fly the flag also. It would make a strong statement that Wicklow stands for equality, something I as a republican strive for and the reason why Sinn Féin are calling for a yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.” Ends

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Wicklow County Councillors censor discussion on threat to Roundwood Health Center

Sinn Féin County Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has expressed dismay at his fellow Councillors on Wicklow council who voted to censor any discussion or debate on the threat to the Health Center in Roundwood which is potentially facing closure by the HSE. Brady raised the issue at Mondays County Council meeting and stated that he had been contacted by members of staff who have informed him of their redeployment and the closure of the essential service in Roundwood.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Brady said "At Mondays council meeting i raised serious concerns about the future of the Health Center in Roundwood. I have been contacted by members of staff from the facility who have informed me that from the end of April all the nurses that cover Roundwood, Barndarrig, Rathnew, Ashford and Wicklow Town will be based in the new HSE primary health care center on the Port access road in Wicklow and that the facility in Roundwood will close. Unfortunately a decision was taken by the majority of Councillors to censor any discussion on the issue and stick their heads in the sand."

Brady continued "The facility which has provided a critical service to the entire population of Roundwood and surrounding areas for many years. The closure of the facility would mean that people would need to travel to the primary health center on the Port Access road in Wicklow Town.This is made very difficult due to the lack of public transport and the distance from Roundwood."

"A number of Councillors spoke to say that senior management in HSE have said there is no threat to the Health Center, but there is a review of the services underway and any discussion at council level would be pointless. I think those Councillors are naive and probably have little experience of the dealings of the HSE. I have unfortunately many years experience of dealing with the HSE and how they operate. They try impose changes or cuts to services without consultation and by keeping people in the dark. If their plans are rumbled they say their is a review ongoing. This is the same language they used with Wicklow District Hospital, the A&E in Loughlinstown and the Orchard Welfare Home in Bray. All ultimately closed."

Cllr Brady concluded "I would sooner listen to the word of the nurses who have been told that they are being redeployed at the end of the month, rather than the management who are trying to buy time for themselves and stop any public backlash. By sticking their heads in the sand and censoring discussion on the issue at council level the Wicklow Councillors are effectively facilitating the HSE in its attempt to close the center in Roundwood. Sinn Féin nor i will not sit back and allow this to happen and we intend on fighting any attempt to close the facility in Roundwood."

Monday, 13 April 2015

Wicklow County Council supports Sinn Féin motion calling for action to halt family home repossessions

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillors had an emergency motion dealing with house repossessions by the banks passed at Monday’s meeting of Wicklow County Council. The motion was tabled in light of the growing number of house repossession cases before the court service in Wicklow and the alarming number of evictions.

Proposing the motion Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry O'Neill said “There are an alarming number of cases before the courts in Wicklow for house repossessions. Recently the banks had over 80 cases listed on the same day. I know many people who are in danger of being made homeless or who have had their homes repossessed by the banks. The motion i proposed condemns the banks and calls on the Government to immediately intervene and bring forward legislation to protect the family home.”

Cllr John Brady who seconded the motion continued “Unfortunately Fine Gael and Labour through the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 have facilitated the repossession of family homes by lenders. Over 30,034 letters relating to repossessions and the voluntary surrender of homes, including family homes were issued last year by the main financial lenders. In Wicklow alone there are currently 255 active bills for repossession lodged by banks, of which over 80 were listed recently in the courts in the County.”

Brady continued “Recently the Central Bank provided a county-by-county breakdown of mortgage arrears figures. The average level of mortgage distress nationally, measured by mortgage accounts in arrears of 90 days or more, is 11.2%. In Wicklow its estimated there are over 11,500 mortgages in arrears and slightly ahead of the nationally average. This means one mortgage in six in Wicklow is in arrears. Many of these are unsustainable as currently configured. That is the stark reality, yet banks, Ministers and Government bury their head in the sand and pretend the type of low-paid precarious jobs they have been creating will solve the problem. It won’t. The lack of leadership on this issue is astounding.”

“It is painfully obvious that this government has not done enough to help those struggling with arrears. MABS and other support agencies are inundated with calls and many, many families continue to suffer in silence. Sinn Féin, amongst others, have consistently called for an independent body with the power to enforce legally binding judgements on banks and on mortgage holders. The fact that banks continue to have a veto is simply unacceptable, as is their willingness to revert to threats of repossession.”

Cllr Brady went onto say “The Irish people bailed out the banks to the tune of €64billion, the government has now given the same banks the effective go-ahead to evict families from their homes. This is a false economy as when made homeless those families will have to turn to the State for housing assistance.”

Cllr O'Neill concluded “I’m delighted the Sinn Féin motion which calls for immediate action from the government was supported by the council. We have a serious homelessness problem in Wicklow and we certainly don’t need people being evicted from their homes by the banks adding to it. The government need to put immediate measures in place to tackle the crisis.”