Press Release - Better Local Government

Speaking with the Wicklow Voice Cllr Tom Fortune says that Independent Councillors are vital for better local government, they are not  controlled by party whips and can think for themselves instead of been told what they must say and do politically.  We should not have national government replicated at local level. It would be far better for local democracy if it were not controlled by national parties. The party whip destroy’s local government and it is not good for democracy. It is my role to question all matters on behalf of the public and to only support what is in the interests of our communities. A councillor is vital to local democracy BUT you need to have an independent mind.

I am passionate about the District — Greystones— Kilcoole— Delgany— Newcastle— Kiladreenan,  I have and will continue to raise relevant issues.  The biggest satisfaction I get from my role as a councillor is that I have been able to help hundreds of people on a variety of matters. I like to help people. The system can sometimes be very unfair.

I have lots of area’s that I am interested in eg Education, Our Environment , Tourism, Housing, Mental Health. I am very focused on the delivery of the secondary school promised for Charlesland. By 2020/21 there will be no places for up to 400 second level school places, we need confirmation of the delivery timeline.  SNA issues need urgent attention eg Job security, Wages cap, there is a cap on their wages after 15 years, this is unfair, SNA’s have poor pensions which requires urgent attention. They feel as if they are invisible, they play a vital role and we urgently need more of them. This will also contribute greatly to better education.

Climate is one of our greatest challenge’s , urgent action is required. Our students are showing the way which is fantastic and gives great hope for our future. I am very interested and take a hand’s on approach. I am working in a number of ways.    IN my Professional life I have been involved in a business whose products reduce our carbon foot print. I have done this for a number of years.  I am working with a land owner to enable 55 acres of land become a Bee Sanctuary . This is vital, 2% of farmland is what is required to be returned to meadow allowing not only a halt in Bee population decline but commencement of recovery in numbers within 3 years. This equates to merely 1 in 50 acres. This will be the only dedicated Sanctuary for native wild Bee’s .   The Rock’s valley in Priestnewtown , an unique site of its kind in Europe , part of our local eco system , full of Bird and Bagger with loads of plant life in its natural habitat and including a underground stream that flows into breaches in Kilcoole and is of the Murrough system. I had proposal approved in WCC PLAN  which means this unique is a protected site. There is trespassers on the site and WCC really need to get it sorted , as what is currently going on is destruction of an unique protected site.

The fishermen men in Greystones are not able to use Greystones Harbour to carry out their work as fishermen. They were told at start of the harbour project that they would be facilitated in new development. This has not happened and there has been  massive issues with this for nearly ten years. This is unfair and must be sorted . I fully support the Fishermen’s position.

I am part of a mental health group and there is need for some level of free counselling and affordable counselling to be available. Affordable housing is an area that requires urgent attention. We need to allow young couples get mortgages approved based on the rents they are paying. If you are paying  1600— 1800 euro per month and can demonstrate a good payment record you should qualify for a mortgage without the need for a deposit. In most cases the mortgage repayment would be less than the rent payments they are paying.  There are loads of other areas , Footpaths, General Facilities, Traffic Congestion , Bus & Train Service.

As an I independent Councillor I seek what is right on your behalf. I bring my life experience to what I do and I ask the hard questions.

Thank your taking the time to read this. I’M asking everyone in the Greystones Municipal District to vote number 1 Cllr Tom Fortune on the 24th  of MAY.

Cllr Tom Fortune