Thursday 30 March 2017

Brady calls on Government to ratify the UN Convention on Rights for People with Disabilities

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow and party spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has called on the Government to honour their commitment and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Speaking at today’s protest outside Leinster House Teachta Brady said:

“Today marks ten years since the Irish Government signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and so far, it has been left as nothing more than that.

“In fact, to the Government’s and their predecessors’ shame Ireland remains the only EU country left to ratify this important convention.

“Government’s failure to ratify this convention has left hundreds of thousands of people living with a disability hurt and extremely frustrated. This also impacts on their families, on carers and indeed, on society as a whole.

“I have raised this issue with Minister McGrath and Minister Varadkar on a number of occasions and time and time, again the same excuse is rolled out.

“We acknowledge that there are legislative requirements needed to ensure that certain obligations under the convention will be achieved but, this does not excuse a ten year delay.

“I was delighted to join a number of disability groups and individuals outside Leinster House this morning and I commend them for organising today’s demonstration.

“I am calling on the Government ministers here in Wicklow, Ministers Harris and Doyle to use their influence to make equality the policy and ratify this convention without any further delay.”

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Government inaction on bus strike has potential to shut down Wicklow – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady TD has expressed his support for Bus Éireann workers and for those who rely on their services.
Teachta Brady joined the Bus Éireann workers who were picketing outside Leinster House at lunchtime today.

Teachta Brady said:

“The Government’s refusal to engage with the Unions and Management from Bus Éireann has contributed to the major strike currently underway.

“It is unacceptable that in the face of a strike that is having serious consequences for tens of thousands of citizens, the government has chosen to stick its head in the sand and deny any responsibility for this.

“People right across the County have been left without a service and this is having a huge impact in towns such as Arklow, Wicklow town and Baltinglass.

“We know that members of other CIÉ companies, Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann are preparing to ballot for industrial action. If this goes ahead, it will have a detrimental effect on the public. This has the potential to bring Wicklow to a standstill.

“The Government is the sole shareholder; it also has a duty and responsibility to ensure that our public services function properly and effectively. It is failing in this.

“I am calling on Ministers Harris and Doyle to use their influence at Cabinet level to ensure that the Government take responsibility for this mess and step in to end the chaos."

Minister must halt re-structuring plan to protect MABS and Citizens Information Service – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has cautioned the Government on making unnecessary changes to MABS and the Citizens Information Service at the cost of the taxpayer.

Teachta Brady said:

“MABS and the Citizens Information Service provide a first class and a unique service which must be protected.

“The underhand manner in which the decision of re-structuring has been made by both the Department of Social Protection and the Citizens Information Board without proper consultation with stakeholders is unacceptable.

“It is ridiculous that neither MABS nor the Citizens Information Service have been given any explanation as to the rationale for the planned re-structuring.

“I had requested that the Committee on Social Protection invite in the stakeholders and produce a Committee report on the proposed plans and this work was almost complete with the report due next week.

“Instead, and without the completion of this process, Fianna Fáil have sought to use this issue in bringing forward this motion which is nothing short of political opportunism.

“In consultation with MABS on this motion, I have brought forward an amendment that rejects the need for any cost benefit analysis of the restructuring process given the voluntary nature of the services currently.

“This amendment also calls on the Minister to ensure that the existing model, where independent management of the service is drawn from local community and voluntary sector, is maintained.

“Sinn Féin fully acknowledges the work done every single day by MABS and the Citizens Information Service. We believe that if it is not broke, don’t fix it and we are calling on Minister Varadkar to issue a policy directive to the Citizens Information Board to halt this re-structuring proposal. It was stopped back in 2007 when common sense prevailed and it must be stopped again.”

Saturday 18 March 2017

Independent report on lone parent payments progressing – John Brady TD

Independent report on lone parent payments progressing – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has welcomed the opening of the tendering process for an independent report into the impact of changes to the One Parent Family Payment for lone parents.

Teachta Brady said:

“During the debate on the Social Welfare Act 2016, I was delighted that my amendment regarding lone parents was passed. This is the first time that a commitment has been made specifically around lone parents in a Social Welfare Act.

“This means that an independent report will be carried out examining the impact that the reforms and amendments to the One Parent Family Payment scheme have had on lone parents. The report will also explore the financial and social effects of all changes made since January 2012, taking into account poverty rates among lone parent families.

“Given the recently released CSO Survey on Income & Living Conditions figures which show an increase in consistent poverty among lone parent families, the reference to poverty rates in this report is crucial.

“I note that the successful tender will be given until August 2017 to complete this report. However, I would expect to see it completed before then. Having said that, I welcome the fact that this report will be published ahead of Budget 2018 and therefore, it is imperative that its findings are reflected in the Budget. This was absolutely necessary in calling for this report.

“Interested parties will have until April 4th to issue a request of tender to complete this report. I look forward to the progression of the report and I will be reminding Minister Varadkar that action must follow the publication of this report. There can be no further delay in recognising the need for targeted measures to assist lone parents and protect both them and their children from poverty.”

Report identifies options to tackle old municipal landfill being washed into Irish Sea in Bray - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has welcomed a Tier 3 report outlining the options available to tackle the ongoing environmental risks posed by hazardous waste at the old Bray Municipal landfill which is located on the North Beach in Bray. This waste is currently being eroded into the Irish Sea.

Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome the Tier 3 report finalised by Fehily Timoney & Co. on behalf of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council detailing the options available to put an end to hazardous waste such as asbestos which has been identified on site being washed into the Irish Sea at North Beach beside Bray Harbour.

“I had first called for action to tackle this serious problem back in 2005 and I have been raising it consistently since then. I am happy to see progress being made to deal with this situation.

“The Tier 3 report puts forward six options to deal with the landfill with costs ranging from €10,000 to €12 million with the latter involving the removal of all waste. The dump contains more than 104,000 cubic metres of waste including, broken asbestos tiles, and excessive levels of ammoniacal nitrogen, potassium and manganese in the ground water.

“According to the report, the most viable option to prevent landfill material entering the sea and to prevent coastal erosion at the site is to protect the base of the exposed landfill with rock armour revetment and stabilise the cliff by regrading. The estimated cost of this is €2.3 million.

“This report has been sent to the EPA for their consideration and hopefully, action can be taken as quickly as possible once funding is in place for the necessary works to take place.

“Whilst this critical work needs to advance as swiftly as possible concerns have been expressed relating to a 6,000 year old pine forest known as a submerged forest, which can be glimpsed at low tide. So, this archaeological heritage must be considered in whatever plan is devised.”

Friday 10 March 2017

Brady “bitterly disappointed” at lack of funding for Essential Works at North Beach Arklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said he is “bitterly disappointed” that an application for funding for critical works at North Beach, Arklow has been rejected by the Government.

Teachta Brady said:

“Back in November last year, I wrote directly to the Minister for State at the OPW Sean Canney TD urging him to look favourably on an application made by Wicklow County Council under the Coastal Flooding Minor Works Scheme.

“I outlined clearly to him that works were absolutely necessary at North Beach in Arklow due to the significant damage caused to the area already and the further damage that will be caused if works are not carried out.

“I again contacted Minister Sean Canney in February of this year when an updated application for funding was made for the badly needed works.

“I am bitterly disappointed to have been informed that this application for funding has been rejected. It is particularly disappointing given that the former Minister with responsibility for the OPW Simon Harris had promised that funding for these works would be forthcoming and did not materialise.

“I met with Arklow Municipal District Engineer and Administrator this week to inform them of other possible funding streams available to them given the urgency that this work needs to be carried out

“I have sent further correspondence to Minister Canney at the OPW to outline to me the grounds on which this funding has been denied. I have asked him to review this decision and look at the case again.

“I am appealing to the Government to overturn this decision and I will be doing everything in my power to assist Arklow Municipal District in making this happen."

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Important info regarding available funding for Community Groups and Organisations

Important info regarding available funding for Community Groups and Organisations

Applications are now out for the Wicklow County Council Community Grants Scheme 2017. The fund for 2017 will be available as grant aid to successful community groups and local organisations wishing to undertake community projects in their area. There are a number of funding categories available.

Community Grants (Maximum grant €2,000)
For small projects and group running costs.

Community Pride (Maximum Grant €10,000).
Groups or projects that make a significant impact and difference to the lives of the people in their communities under the following headings:
•Age Friendly
•Communities reaching out to new communities
•Youth Projects
•Community Enterprise

Town / Village Enhancement plan or Health Checks (Maximum grant €10,000)

Completed application forms should be returned to the Office of Community, Cultural & Social Development not later than 12 noon on Thursday 30th March, 2017.

If you need an application form or more info please let me know. Please share or tag anyone or group you think might be interested.