Friday, July 4, 2014

Roche: Traffic calming measures are welcomed for Bridgetown

Cllr Mick Roche has welcomed confirmation that necessary traffic calming measures will be implemented in Bridgetown in the coming weeks.  The local Sinn Féin rep said that this process was needed for public safety and urged any locals with any input into the future needed measures to approach him.

"I am glad to announce that speed bumps will be placed in Lakelands by the school side entrance in the coming weeks after repeated requests from locals," Cllr Roche said, "In addition to this safety signs have been placed on the ten acre approach to the village.  If they prove to cut the speed of traffic entering the village from that side then further signs will be erected on the other three roads coming into Bridgetown."

"As always I would ask that people would feel free to approach me with any input, ideas or criticisms that they might have.  It's my job as your local County Councillor to represent you all so hearing what you have to say is vitally important."

Cllr Roche can be contacted at 086-1004550, or cllrmickroche on facebook.

Bring them home - O' Súilleabháin

SF Cllr calls for scheme to entice emigrants to come home

A scheme needs to be introduced to enable Irish emigrants forced out over the last six years to come home according to a local Sinn Féin County Councillor.  Cllr Fionntán O' Súilleabháin said that government already offered tax reliefs to enable large companies to bring in high paid executives to work here and now it was high time that similar actions were taken to bring our emigrants home.

Cllr O' Súilleabháin said;

"Over 300,000 people have left this country since the recession began in 2008.  They left because of economic necessity and many hoped that they could return when things began to improve.  The problem is that most will not be able to afford to return home.  The government has no contingency plan for this and the obvious brain drain that not having those people return will mean for the nation, particularly for rural Ireland."

"Sinn Féin is proposing that a fund be created, financed in part by the National Lottery and the EIB, to enable our emigrants to come home.  Home fares and initial accommodation would be acceptable costs for these emigrants to claim in order to get them back here.  Without them the state will suffer.  Rural Ireland is already feeling the drain of losing so many of its brightest and best.  The power of the Diaspora and the goodwill towards them was evident in the success of the gathering in this county last year."

"Currently the government provides a Special Assignee Relief Programme to large international companies which allow them generous tax reliefs to bring high paid executives to work here.  The government would argue that this benefits the economy but no so more than our returning emigrants would benefit.  If schemes like the special assignee relief programme are achievable then so too is a realistic returning emigrants programme."

Hedgerow interfering with traffic must be cut - Roche

Sinn Féin County Councillor Mick Roche is pressing for the cutting back of any hedgerow or foliage that is interfering with traffic or causing an interference on public roads.  Cllr Roche said motorists are paying more than enough tax to drive on the roads and deserve far better conditions than what they are receiving.

Cllr Roche said;

"I have been approached by people living in rural areas around Kilmore and Tomhaggard who have highlighted the potential safety hazards posed by overgrown hedgerows.  I have also had constituents contact me after damage was caused to their vehicles by outlying hedging on narrow roads."

"Currently there is a grey area around who actually has responsibility for roadside ditches.  Land owners are generally left to their own device and can cut back ditches at their own expense.  However it is not the responsibility of landowners to keep roads clear and safe.  That is what we pay road tax for."

"I know that the local County Council teams would tackle this situation if instructed.  Currently they are only asked to manage ditches where there is a problem with drainage or visibility that would concern drivers and pedestrians.  I am applying for permission and funding to organise a much needed cutting back on narrow roads across the area."    

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Social housing must be protected, not eroded - Kelly

A Wexford County Councillor has said that the government's plans to introduce a new system of housing assistance under the control of the Department of the Environment could potentially social housing in this state and leave those on housing waiting lists and schemes like RAS in dire straits.  Cllr Anthony Kelly described the Housing Assistance Payment as a calculated effort by the state to relinquish their responsibilities towards social housing.

"Rent supplement was devised as a temporary payment for social housing applicants stuck on a waiting list," Cllr Kelly said, "It unfortunately became a tool for successive governments to use rather than tackle the inadequacies in our social housing system.  It is absurd to think that the Housing Assistance Payment, which is due to replace rent allowance, can tackle the huge problems of housing waiting list and the state being unable or unwilling to take over suitable properties in the hands of NAMA."

"On the outside there seems to be benefits for people switching over to HAP, but when you consider that all applicants will be automatically taken off the social housing list, you realise that the switch over will actually hurt the applicant in the long run.  As usual the government seems to be more worried about massaging the figures than dealing with the core issues."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Roche condemns cuts to Deaf Service

Cllr Mick Roche has condemned the scrapping of funding for an advocacy service provided to thousands of deaf people.  The Sinn Féin Councillor said that with a tick of a pen the government had callously closed a critical service which was used by over 5,000 deaf people.

"The Irish Deaf Society's advocacy service existed to help deaf people access public services, education, healthcare and employment," Cllr Roche said, "For the last eleven years it has bridged a huge social exclusion gap allowing many deaf people and their families to live much more fulfilled lives.  There is no justification for this cut and it looks like the people who wiped it out with a tick of a pen gave no thought what so ever to the long term consequences of their actions."

"The deaf community is very vibrant in County Wexford.  There are about one hundred who organise regular fundraising and social events.  They rightly feel that are often treated very poorly.  It is very difficult for deaf people to engage with the state.  A visit to the hospital, dialogue with the Gardaí or any dealings with other social services can be very difficult.  This callous cut will make their lives even harder."

"The Irish Deaf Society,  the Alzheimers Society of Ireland, the Carer's Association and Muintir na Tire all received €75,000 annually under a programme operated by the Department of the Environment before this cut.  These are real charity groups, operating on the ground under constant financial pressure.  It is insane to cut their funding while other bodies see fit to pay their CEO's exorbitant wages while claiming state funding."

"There was once a notorious Fine Gael/Labour government which was vilified for taxing children's shoes.  Even today people talk about them with contempt.  This current administration has just ruined the lives of thousands of deaf, Alzheimer's suffers, carers and their families.  How will history judge this government? Sinn Féin is calling for this funding to be reinstated immediately."