May 2024

My Priorities

Over the last number of years I have been working with individuals and community groups to identify the issues of most importance to them. Many issues have been identified over that time but these are the priorities which I will endeavour to address, should I be re-elected to Roscommon County Council on the 23rd May 2014.

Support Small and Medium Enterprise: – To seek to reduce commercial rates by a further 10%. SME’s are the bread and butter for the local economy. We need to ensure that the necessary supports are provided to these businesses. Whilst Enterprise Ireland and the County Enterprise Board provide several supports to businesses wishing to expand and for enterpreneurs wishing to brave it by setting up their own business, more needs to be done to establish a “One Stop Shop” for information in relation to same.

Quality Drinking Water: – To provide drinking water as a right, not a privilege. There should be no water charge if water quality is not of an acceptable standard for drinking. In addition, there should be an adequate free allowance per household before any charge is incurred.

Support the most vulnerable: - To seek a reversal of the changes made to the criteria for applying for housing grants for the elderly or people with a disability. To seek to restore Home Help hours and assist the elderly live in their own homes for as long as possible.

Medical Card: - To stop the heartless withdrawal of medical cards from children with ongoing serious medical conditions.

St Brigid’s Hospital, Ballinasloe: - To seek a reversal of the decision to close the 22 acute psychiatric beds in St Brigid’s Hospital Ballinasloe until such time as the community care services detailed in the Vision for Change document are put in place and the need for acute psychiatric beds no longer exists.

Education: – To reinstate Special Needs Assistants in our schools. This is the primary issue of concern amongst parents and needs to be addressed. My other focus is to protect 2, 3 and 4 teacher schools for the risk of losing a teacher this September. 2, 3 and 4 teacher schools account for over 80% of schools in County Roscommon, so the risk is very real having regard to the Government’s recent increase in the minimum number of students for 2, 3 and 4 teacher schools.  An education system fit for purpose is absolutely essential in the times that we are living in.  We need to see a re-introduction of the Minor Works Grant and the Summer Works Grant. We also need to see the level of capitation returned to €200 per child to ensure that our 2, 3 and 4 teacher schools are not left vulnerable.

Unfinished Housing Estates: – To have all sewage pumping stations and street lighting in all housing estates taken in charge by Roscommon County Council. This is a major issue for many people particularly in the Monksland area, but also in Ballyforan, Knockcroghery, Kiltoom and Athleague. Whilst the Council are proactive in trying to address issues in housing estates, inordinate delays are present with regard to the taking in charge process.

Community Development: – To develop further sporting and recreational facilities for the young and old. Whilst sporting facilities for the young remains a priority, we need to do more to encourage the develop sporting and recreational facilities for our ageing population. To develop youth cafés and programmes which will engage with young people so as to reduce anti-social behaviour.