SocDems put local councils at heart of delivering cleaner, greener communities

Social Democrats have published the party’s Climate and Environment Manifesto for local government which puts councils at the heart of delivering new energy solutions and driving long-term planning for sustainable communities.

Social Democrat candidates for Fingal Council: Cllr Cian O’ Callaghan, Aengus Ó Maoláin, Garrett Mullan, Tracey Carey, Cllr Paul Mulville

The manifesto, Cleaner, Greener Communities sets out the party’s priorities for how city and county councils can play their part in national and global efforts to arrest climate change and protect our environment.

The actions include:

·        Increase civic recycling amenities and boost the number of households and businesses with separate bins for recycling and composting.

·        Double funding for anti-dumping measures and increase fines for illegal dumping.

·        A new regulator for bin collections and the roll out of segregated public waste bins.

·        Pilot local energy-saving programmes such as group switching schemes and promote retrofitting of existing council houses

·        Cut the carbon footprint of all councils, from transport planning and street lighting to tree planting and recycling

·        Create zoned ‘Green Communities’ where councils promote biodiversity.

·        Boost investment in public transport and cycling under the National Development Plan, and reduce spending on roads.

·        Pilot low or no fare public transport schemes while ensuring sufficient capacity for commuters.

·        A levy on plastics that cannot be recycled, and the immediate banning of micro-plastics.

·        Build networks of safe segregated cycle lanes and heavily promote cycling.

·        Promote active travel to schools, including designated drop-off points in urban areas within 1km radius of schools.

·        Ensure Local Area Plans provide for the delivery of public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and community facilities, in tandem with new homes being built.

Tracey Carey, candidate for the Swords ward, said:

“Climate change is the single biggest threat to our environment, our living standards and our existence. The Social Democrats recognise this threat as a fundamental issue facing our country and our planet. Our local authorities must play their part in tackling it and preparing for its consequences. We won’t be found wanting.

Garett Mullen, candidate for the Balbriggan/Skerries ward added:

“Our manifesto sets out a range of practical measures that our councillors will take to play their part to tackle climate change and to protect and enhance our environment. Our clear goal is to make each local authority a climate-focused council.”

The Social Democrats are contesting May’s local elections with almost 60 candidates, more than half of them women (55 per cent). These are the first local elections for the party which was set up in 2015.

Make our towns accessible

The roads within the towns of north Fingal are not accessible for safe cycling. My proposals for more cycle paths have received a very positive reception. It should be no surprise because after a long day’s commute by car that many people have, the last thing they want to do is get back in the car when home, in order to take children to activities.

With more cycle paths, parents would be reassured that it is safe to cycle, skate or skoot to wherever people need to go. With more cycle paths, children’s independence can be encouraged. With more cycle paths, there are benefits from health, social and other ways. Read more about Social Democrats on cycling here- https://www.socialdemocrats.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Safer-Cycling-for-Healthy-Communities-Web.pdf

Local Cycle Paths proposal

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