In the third installment of our interviews with Tipperary County Council election candidates, Tipperary Times speaks to Michael Madden of Fine Gael
Can you outline the main points in your manifesto?
The emphasis of my manifesto is to create the best possible environment for people to live, socialise and work.
The main points of my manifesto include:
- Protect the town centres as vibrant area providing support for the inhabitants and surrounding areas; generating employment; and proving attractive for visitors.
- Promote employment creation agri-business, and tourism.
- Support local community, social, sporting and business groups.
- Promote neighbourhood watch, text alert schemes and more effective community policing
What will you do to aid job creation and tourism in Tipperary?
As a business advisor and accountant to small businesses and former President of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce, I would support and promote the following:
- The development and promotion of Local Enterprise offices : LEO’s.
- The reduction of the operating costs for businesses in the district, for example, rates and service charges
- The protection and development of town centres.
- The enhancement of the attractiveness of towns for the location of new business and the development of starter units on Shannon Development lands to cater for small businesses.
- The review of parking regulation in towns.
- As a former Director of Mid Ireland Tourism which promoted the South Offaly and North Tipperary Area, I would support the marketing of Tipperary as a single tourism brand.
- I would promote the area as a gateway to the Slieve Bloom mountains.
- Support efforts for a Greenway to Mt St. Josephs Monastery and onwards to Birr along the disused railway line.
- Having been instrumental in developing the bus park in the centre of Roscrea I would promote the facility to attract tour buses to the town.
- Continue efforts to have improved access to the OPW sites in Roscrea and extend opening hours.
Having attended the launch of the Templemore Tourist Trail on Monday 19th May, I would propose to extend the areas supported by my past efforts to all Roscrea-Templemore-Thurles area at council level.
Why do you want to be a public representative?
Working on a voluntary basis with local community and business organisations is something I have done all my life. Participating at County Council will bring this to the next level.
Can you explain the role of a County Councillor, as you believe it to be?
The role is to represent the people at council level – ensuring the most effective and efficient provision of services.
What is your stance on the local property tax?
Local property taxes were abolished as populist move with as election promise in 1977. For a council to have control of its budget it needs to be party to raising the funds and answerable to how these funds are spent.
What promises in your manifesto do you feel are attainable?
First of all to do my best for the area and bring my experience and determination to bear.
Do you feel if you don’t deliver on your promises that you should seek to be elected again?
I would hope that the people of Tipperary will see fit to give their trust on May 23 and will judge me by my subsequent efforts.
Do you believe local issues should be dealt with by Councillors rather than by TD’s?
Yes. Councillors bring local issues to the Council and TDs represent the people as Teachta Daile to the Dail at national level.
What will you do to ensure that the Local Property tax collected is ring-fenced for projects in Tipperary and not used to serve national debt?
Tipperary is a is net beneficiary of tax income, it would not be in Tipperary’s interest if LPT were ring fenced solely to those areas in which it is collected.
What do you think of the Gateway scheme that Tipperary county council have implemented?
Having made a submission to the national spatial strategy, on behalf of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce, I believe the role of regional towns has to be protected and strengthened.
Do you think the amalgamation of both county councils will save money and still maintain services
This decision has been made. It will be the role of the new council to ensure that the money will be saved and the services are maintained.
How do you think the Tipperary Mayor should be selected?
Currently it is a token position with no real power.
How do you think that your area should be funded in order to provide services?
A mix of local and national funding is required. As a net beneficiary of car tax and LPT Tipp should ensure that access is maintained to central funds.
What do you think of Dublin City Councils proposal to abstract water from Lough Derg and what can you do about it?
I would be interested in seeing any studies which have been made on the impact on the lake and what offsetting reliefs may be available.
What is your opinion on the abolition of town councils?
Previously it was not equitable that all towns did not have representation.