1. Change the Council’s approach to Climate Action
I will make this one of my main priorities if elected, for too long successive Governments have ignored the science and taken “it will be grand approach”. We now will have to pay tens of millions of fines for our failure to meet carbon reductions. I believe this money would be better spent solving our homeless issue and other pressing needs like housing and the health service.
The UN has recently warned that we only have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe. That is why I organised the Bray School Climate Strike. The petition below is the one I delivered to Wicklow County Council:
PETITION TO WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL
We the young people of Bray and North Wicklow have lived our short lives on a planet measurably different than any other generation in the history of human civilization. Every year of our lives has been one of the warmest 20 years since records began.
Without aggressive action to reduce carbon emissions, we can expect to bear witness to a world we can’t fully imagine yet: one where irreversible changes to our water and food systems, our infrastructure and our economy occurs. A world characterized by greater insecurity, uncertainty, and inequity that directly threatens all.
Therefore we demand that Wicklow Country Council declare a Climate Emergency with immediate effect.
2. Harnessing the potential of North Wicklow as a key destination for tourism and modern sustainable employment.
Wicklow has so much more potential to capitalise on day trippers from the city. I believe the only way forward is to work with neighbouring Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to build a new greenway through Enniskerry to Glendalough, that can dramatically increase the number of cyclists coming to North Wicklow. This greenway will deliver much needed visitors to our excellent cafes, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, while also reducing the number of cyclists on the main transport arteries between towns and villages.
3. Building green transport infrastructure to tackle traffic delays and mobile sustainability.
I want the Council to work with the NTA to deliver the Bray Luas extension. But more importantly to develop targeted alterations to where the Luas & DART come to junctions with roads and are held up due to traffic lights. By diverting traffic to alternative and sustainable routes, it will allow both light-rail lines to ramp up capacity and deliver more at peak hours.
4. Providing free Wifi access in all public spaces to improve connectivity to online services.
Wicklow needs to take the next step digitally and be the first county in Ireland to offer free Wi-Fi in public realms in small villages and town centres. We need to encourage more people to go to public realms, we need small businesses with niche merchandise to trade online with relative ease. By having Wi-Fi in public realms, it’ll act as a draw for locals who don’t have reliable access to these services at home, further enhancing our community.
5. Protecting our heritage and environment from excessive and bad planning decisions.
I believe a green belt will make local authorities in Dublin think harder about their housing policies and the need to build up rather than countless housing estates of semi-detached homes. It will allow us in Wicklow to protect our countryside and scenery while at the same time delivering a more sustainable volume of housing developments locally.
A green belt will allow us to play up our environmental strengths and deliver niche tourism offerings like new greenways, distillery tourism, our history and many more.
6. Delivering solutions to tackle today’s pressing political challenges of homelessness, access to health services, quality family supports and opportunities for young people.
Working with national institutions our Council can deliver streamlined homeless services in Wicklow to ensure resources are reaching those most in need. These services are already manned by excellent people, but we need to ensure that they’re provided with the right infrastructure to allow them to do their jobs and eliminate homelessness and poverty in all its forms.
Please consider me for your Number 1 vote on May 24th, or your highest preference after that.