This is the first in our series of interviews with County Council Candidates. All candidates are asked the same questions.
Questions for all candidates
Q. Can you outline the main points in your manifesto?
1. I will in the first budget of Tipperary County Council, ask the council to access funding from the Housing Finance Agency to start up social housing programmes to address the lack of social housing in Tipperary . This will be done in an off balance sheet way by setting up new housing charity for Tipperary (as per Troika rules)
2. I will put 200,000 euros away for A Protecting Playing pitches Grant to protect and enhance current playing facilities which are waterlogged or is a state of disrepair
3. I will EXPORT MY SPORTS TOURISM GRANT SCHEME to every part of Tipperary . This has been a huge success in Nenagh and North Tipperary
4. Retaining rates in the areas that they are collected (including discretionary funding)
5. Supporting S M E s
6. Protecting Lough Derg by putting a development levy on any outside body looking to take our natural resources . This levy will keep control of the natural resource by charging per litre of water and meter of pipe with the money raised being ringfenced 70% local tourism projects like sports tourism and 30% for water conservation projects in clubs schools and community organisaions .
7. Accountability from the new Council executive by tabling monthly manager questions on the council agenda
Q. What will you do to aid job creation and tourism in Tipperary?
My Sports Tourism projects have brought thousands of people to North Tipperary and it will continue and has created some part time new jobs already. I am also in discussion with clubs and organisations in Germany and New York to expand this further.
Q. Why do you want to be a public representative?
I want to be a public representative because I believe that I can and have made a real difference to the 2700 people that I have made representations for up to now and also I am one of the few that demands accountability from council executives
Q. Can you explain the role of a County Councillor, as you believe it to be?
The role of a county Councillor is to represent the issues that people bring to you and see them through to the end
Q. What is your stance on the local property tax?
My stance on local property tax is that it is the right tax at the wrong time and was forcibly stolen from people and then not used for the reasons that it was supposed to be used
Q. What promises in your manifesto do you feel are attainable? Do you feel if you don’t deliver on your promises that you should seek to be elected again?
If I fail I should be judged by the electorate but up to now I have a 93% success rate in all representations.
Q. Do you believe local issues should be dealt with by Councillors rather than by TD’s?
I always represent all issues myself and don’t bother with TD’s as you invariably end up dealing with secretaries
Q. 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?I will most definitely ensure that Local Property Tax is used locally on the projects that I have outlined above and will ensure that an invoice for what Local Property Tax is used for is available every January for the county
Q. What do you think of the Gateway scheme that Tipperary county council have implemented?
The Gateway scheme is a shocking enditement on Unions and Government alike that yellow pack workers can be brought in while we have temporary staff of up to 10 years getting less and less work
Q. Do you think the amalgamation of both county councils will save money and still maintain services
The amalgamation will cost more in terms of finances and loss of services to the people of Tipperary (ie local area offices in Borrisokane, Templemore, Newport, Cahir and Cashel)
Q. How do you think the Tipperary Mayor should be selected?
The Tipperary Mayor should be selected using the D Hondt method
Q. How do you think that your area should be funded in order to provide services?
A fair distribution of rates, Local Property Tax and discretionary monies left in each municipal areas
Q. What do you think of Dublin City Councils proposal to abstract water from Lough Derg and what can you do about it?
Dublin city councils attempt to steal water form this region should be taxed and money used locally (after all Water is a precious resource and Dublin City Council wont respect or conserve it if they get it for free)
Q. What is your opinion on the abolition of town councils?
The abolition of town councils is a horrendous attack on the lowest and cheapest form of democracy and will be tested in the high court and overturned
Questions for Current Councillors
Q. What motions have you personally proposed as a Councillor?
I have brought motions that mostly have looked for civic recognition for local volunteers
Q. What motions have you voted for and against while a public representative? Do you believe that your constituents would agree with how you voted?
Proper well thought out motions are worthy as they have the ability to work upwards from councils to national debate
Q. Have you attended seminars as a Councillor? If so, can you outline the learning’s you achieved and how the benefited the people of Tipperary?
I have attended seminars and the proper ones are very worthy in terms of networking and learning about a range of important issues (ie The Kerry drugs seminar)