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SOCIALIST

Fingal

NEWSLETTER OF CLLR CLARE DALY & THE SOCIALIST PARTY IN DUBLIN NORTH ● SUMMER 2010

O T W O N N O I T AC ! S B O J R E V I L E D A

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HE FIANNA Fail/Green Party government have shovelled countless billions into the banks, yet they have done absolutely nothing to seriously tackle the country’s massive jobs crisis. Days after they put another €2 billion into Anglo Irish Bank unemployment grew by another 6,000 bringing the total to 437,922 . The recent job losses announced at Pfizer recently is a savage example of sheer capitalist greed. Pfizer

NATIONAL “Protest and Solidarity” March and Rally will be take place in Dublin on Saturday, 26 June as part of the Europe wide “Week of protest and Solidarity, 21-26 June”, initiated and promoted by 16 Members of the European Parliament from the European United Left Group(GUE/NGL) from Ireland, Germany, Greece, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Cyprus, Denmark and Sweden including Joe Higgins (Socialist Party).

made €4.88 billion global profit in the first three months of this year alone. They haven’t axed these jobs because they weren’t making profits, they axed them because they wanted to make even MORE. Greedy employers are now using the unemployment crisis to drive down wage rates. The Construction Industry Federation have lodged a case with the Labour Court applying for cuts in pay of 20% for craftsmen and general operatives and for cuts in overtime payments

and travel allowances. It’s not just in construction, employers everywhere are clambering for a cut to the minimum wage. Many workers who lost their jobs at the start of the crisis had built up savings which provided a “cushion” for the last 12 or 18 months. Many households are facing a real crisis as these savings begin to run out.

THE SOCIALIST PARTY CAMPAIGNS FOR: ● The introduction of an emergency programme of useful public works. This would employ tens of thousands of unemployed construction workers to build the schools, health centres, libraries and youth facilities our communities need and insulate the hundreds of thousands of homes in need of insulation. ● The introduction of a 35 hour week with-

out loss in pay to share the work out. This would create more than 200,000 new jobs. ● A serious wealth tax to fund these policies. These policies would also be funded by the monies saved on dole payments and the extra revenue raised from people being employed and paying PAYE. ● Nationalise the assets of the banks. Don’t re-new the bank guarantee.

Across Europe, working people are being hammered with attacks on their living standards and conditions. Hundreds of billions of euro of cutbacks have been made in Ireland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Britain. The result is a slashing of living standards across Europe - with drastic cutbacks in public services, wages being driven down and over 23 million unemployed in the eurozone. We reject this dictatorship of the financial markets supported by the neoliberal IMF, EU and right-wing governments. Public services, workers' wages and living standards must take priority - not the profits of big business, speculators, bankers and developers. Protests will take place across Europe in this week - from Greece to Germany and from Portugal to Ireland. These protests are a vital opportunity to stand together across Europe and oppose these attacks - make sure you are there on Saturday 26 June!

Cllr Clare Daly

Contact: (01) 6795030, 26juneprotest@gmail.com, www.joehiggins.eu / www.guengl.eu


Councillors to vote on Swords Plan for 1000s of new houses! MAJOR Local Area Plan for Oldtown/Mooretown - that is the lands on both sides of the Rathbeale Road, up to the Rolestown Cottages, joining up with the back of the Swords Manor estates, Cianlea & Lioscian on the one side, and Bunbury Gate, Castleview & Ashton Broc on the other, will come before councillors for a vote on 12 July. This Plan will have a major impact on the future of Swords, but particularly for residents living nearby. The site covers 275 acres and proposes 3400 new dwellings, ranging from 2-5 storeys with a planned population of 10,000 new residents! This will alter the area beyond recognition. Two public meetings organised by Clare Daly in May saw residents express amazement at this plan, with so many unoccupied houses already. Nobody had confidence in the Council’s promises that infrastructure would be delivered in tandem. The Plan refers to many road improvements and a new distributor road around Swords but these are needed now. Both the Rathbeale Road and Brackenstown Road are at capacity. Getting out of the greater Glen Ellan area in the mornings is a recurring nightmare with bottlenecks at Castlegrange, Estuary Roundabout

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Home-owners ESIDENTS AROUND Fingal, and indeed nationally, who have found defects in their homes, are finding that it is more than their houses that are defective!! The system in place to deal with these problems is monumentally defective, with every organisation which is supposed to be there to sort the issues out, running for cover. The Socialist Party believes that we are sitting on a ticking time-bomb on this question. The scale and extent of these problems are only beginning to emerge, as tens of thousands of properties that were thrown up during the boom, begin

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Residents fury o INGAL’S NEW Wildflower Meadow and Growing Places Policy has gone down like a lead balloon in communities across the north county as a result of cutbacks in the grass cutting program. The policy was supposed to involve moving away from simply cutting all of the large grassed areas, to introducing more of a meadow environment with planting of different varieties of flowers and trees to aid biodiversity and develop an interesting and colourful landscape! Nothing wrong with that for parkland areas and roundabouts, but on greens in estates which are the main play areas of young children, it is an entirely different matter.

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and Watery Lane. Reference is made to new schools, community facilities and neighbourhood shopping areas, which sounds great but Swords Manor residents are still waiting for their community centre, decades after the estates were built! Ultimately, this Plan will be accepted, rejected or amended by councillors at a meeting on

12 July. It is our belief that it is premature and should be rejected and the zoning of the lands re-considered as part of the new Development Plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late - contact the councillors today. Let your views be heard. Contact details on the Council website www.fingalcoco.ie. Pressure pays. Make them represent you.

The next big idea - “Work for Free!” OR MOST young people, the recession has meant mass unemployment, a lowering of living standards and emigration on a scale not seen since the 1980s. As if this wasn’t enough, employers are now using the recession as an opportunity to make young people work for free. “Work Placement Programmes”, jobs where your only pay is a few words on your CV, are becoming more and more common. Log onto jobbank.fas.ie and you will find a range of jobs advertisements offering nine-month, full-time contracts, each declaring that, “This is a work placement programme and does not offer a salary”. Proponents of these programmes have defended them by claiming they offer “experience” and that they are the first step on a career ladder. However, this is far from true. A postgraduate from a Journalism programme in DIT, interviewed in the Irish Times, described her experience: “Initially I would have thought work experience would have been a way to get your foot in the door, but now that I’m in it, I don’t think so any more. From

House Defects:

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FIANNA FAIL: bailin attacking lone par

Bill Cullen wants young workers to work for free!

my personal experience, I’m there knowing four or five people will have done the placement before me, and I know when my month is over they’ve someone else to fill that spot”. In essence, Work Placement Programmes represent the state subsidising private companies while legitimising slave labour. Young people need real jobs, not nine months of unpaid labour. A massive programme of public works could provide thousands of jobs while at the same time developing services and infrastructure. However, only by challenging the interests of the ex-

ploitative big-business elite can the scourge of mass unemployment be remedied.

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HILE ADDITIONAL billions are rushed to the financial bottomless pit that is the Anglo Irish Bank, the bill has been sent yet again to ordinary people. On this occasion lone parents have been singled out to provide economic bolster for the crumbling capitalist sys-


s Entitled to Remedy to reveal totally shoddy workmanship. In a number of estates in Balbriggan, Swords, Lusk and Malahide, serious problems have arisen ranging from pyrite in the foundations, in some areas, to major damp, and inadequate fireproofing, along with other structural faults and cracks. Individual houses were bought under contract and in most cases, a Homebond guarantee. It is Homebond’s responsibility to arrange to find out the extent of the problem and ensure that the repairs are carried out in order to make the dwelling structurally sound and habitable.

However, it seems that they are doing everything in their power to stall and not deal with the issues. Meanwhile, the builders who were responsible in the first instance, the Council who oversee compliance with building standards, and the engineers and architects who certified the work, are all protecting their own interests. It is absolutely criminal that the government has failed to address this issue. Those responsible must be held to account and a more transparent and effective system put in place to ensure that residents get a structurally safe and sound home which is their entitlement.

ng out banks, rents tem. Under legislation which was slipped out without warning on Friday night 28 May lone parents payments are to be steadily reduced over the next 6 years. At present lone parents receive €196 euro a week and qualify for an extra €29.80 for each additional child. A lone parent is entitled to earn €149 a week before losing some of the payment. The entire amount is withdrawn when a weekly income of €425 is reached. At present payments are made to lone parents until such time as the youngest child reaches 18 (or 22 if they are participants in full time education). Under the new legislation, the cut-off points will be progressively reduced over the next 6 years. In 2013 the cut-off point will be reduced to 17; in 2014 to 16; in 2015 to 15 and in 2016 to 13.

Swords LIDL update ON 5 MAY, the Council issued a request for substantial Additional Information in response to Lidl’s application for planning permission for a store on the site of the ESSO garage on the Rathbeale Road in Swords. This application caused uproar in Swords, particularly from residents in the estates off the Rathbeale Road, who already experience huge traffic problems. Lively meetings were organised by Clare Daly on the issue and many objections were made. The company have six months to submit the information, or the file falls. We will be keenly following the case and challenge the planners to find a more suitable location in the town.

power system to that of Britain. This project will mean a massive disruption for residents in Rush with traffic jams and detours, lost business and inconvenience. Starting now in June 2010, the project is expected to last for 18 months! In return €100,000 has been “given” as compensation for the town. Apart from the fact that this compensation is totally inadequate given the level of disruption, the community has no confidence that the money will be used in the manner in which the community wants, as it will be lodged to the Council. With no library, traffic calming in Hayestown on hold, Rush being last in the sewerage upgrade project, and no funds to open Martin’s shop as a proper amenity, to mention but a few, it is easy to see why the residents are getting vocal. The Socialist Party fully supports their campaign.

No Rush For Library

Development Plan Moves to Next Stage

over wild grass While greens in the estates were in the main not intended for the Wildflower Meadow pilot scheme, the appalling lack of information from the Council meant that everyone thought that they were when they witnessed their greens growing high, with only the rims, and a kick-about area being cut as a result of cutbacks in grass cutting. A public outcry has forced a partial U-turn with the frequency of grass cutting being upped from monthly to once in 18 days. This will have to be monitored and the pressure kept on. The reality is that this scheme is partly motivated by a crucifying burden on the Parks Department as a result of

LOCALNEWS

the government embargo on public sector recruitment. Many staff retired in the section in the past year, and could not be replaced - meanwhile, over 1000 extra acres of open space were taken in charge. They simply cannot cover all the work that is necessary. This is a direct consequence of government cutbacks and yet a government TD had the neck to issue a leaflet telling residents that he would liaise with the Council on residents’ behalf!! This is not good enough. The Socialist Party demand proper public services – lift the recruitment embargo, to provide necessary jobs and improve standards in our communities.

Property tax on the way?

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HERE HAS been considerable speculation recently that the government are to re-introduce a property tax. The residential property tax was abolished in 1995 by the Rainbow government. The government has already raised €70 million from a residential property tax on second homes which currently sees people paying €200. While the government are continuing to plan for more cutbacks in areas such as health and education, they also plan to broaden the tax base and a water and property tax are part of that agenda. This is a regressive measure and will hit the thousands of people who are already in negative equity or will be in the coming months. They can’t afford to pay their mortgage and yet could be hit with a tax on the same property they are struggling to keep! The Socialist Party will not stand idly by while the government yet again attempt to burden ordinary householder. We will launch a mass campaign of opposition to any re-introduction of a property tax.

14 JUNE marked the deadline for residents to make submissions in relation to the new County Development Plan 20112017. Don’t worry if you missed out – there is still plenty of time to have your say. Information meetings organised by Socialist Party councillor, Clare Daly, in Balbriggan, Rush and Swords, saw residents from those towns joined by people from Donabate, Skerries and Lusk to express their concerns on more land being rezoned residential and lack of infrastructure. In October, councillors will have the opportunity to submit motions to change the Draft Plan. If there are issues that you want changed then contact councillors directly and put the pressure on.

Bin Privatisation on the Cards? FOLLOWING THE decision of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Council to privatise their bin service, Fingal management were quick to deny a similar move here. However, as the Fingal Anti-Bin Tax Campaign warned, when the bin tax was introduced, once a charge was in place and money to be made, then the pressure for privatisation would be inevitable. By charging directly, they turned a public service into a commodity to be profited from. Remember the Council’s previous denials – they said the charge wouldn’t rise, they said you only pay for what you throw away, and they said that the waiver would be protected! Get ready to defend the service from privatisation!

Rush Organises Against Eirgrid Disruption THE COMMUNITY in Rush is getting organised in opposition to the neglect felt by residents in the town on many issues. The last straw is the fact that Rush Main Street will be the route for the laying of cable as part of the Eirgrid interconnector project, linking the Irish

Rush library

OR SHOULD that be, no library for Rush! It is an absolute disgrace that having spent millions on a state of the art library for Rush, that the facility was allowed to lie empty and unopened for months due to staff shortages. While the focus was put on staff industrial action, this only affected the issue to the extent that flexibilities normally given were withdrawn in the dispute. The real problem being the government’s ban on public sector recruitment meaning that staff for the new facility had to be found from within the existing employees. This is madness and must cease. With so many people on the dole who could benefit from these jobs, and many more who having lost jobs, could do with using the facilities, this is yet another example of the government’s crazy economic policy on the one hand, and the outrageous neglect of Rush on the other.

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Government push ahead with plans for new Water Tax!

Cllr Clare Daly

FIANNA FAIL and the Green Party are pressing ahead with their plans for a domestic water tax. Environment Minister, John Gormely, has stated that he hopes to raise €1 billion in revenue – from the 1.1 million households in the country. This would average out at €1000 per household! The Green Party, attempting to justify hitting working people with more taxes, have claimed that installing meters and giving people a “free allocation” of water is a progressive measure. This is a lie. There is nothing to stop future governments from lowering the amount of “free allocation” and thereby

increasing the bills for people. The abolishment of the bin tax waiver and the massive increased cost of bin charges illustrates that once these charges are established the burden on people increases. Instead of wasting €500 million plus installing water meters, these monies should be used instead to start a campaign to fix the leaking pipe and bring them up to European standard given that UK studies show that meters/charging do not reduce water usage in the long term. Because of the determination of this government to make us pay for the economic crisis, there is now the real possibility that instead of waiting for water meters to be installed, the government

Daly to stand in next general election COUNCILLOR CLARE Daly will be the Socialist Party candidate in Dublin North at the next general election. Clare has been the most active public representative in Dublin North for many years, campaigning with residents on issues ranging from estate management, housing problems, fighting unsustainable development and workers’ rights.

Clare has vowed to lead a mass campaign against the introduction of water charges and a property tax. She is the only public representative with a proven record on all these issues. With the onslaught of recession bringing increased unemployment, cutbacks and now more taxes such as water tax on the way, the people of Dublin North need a real campaigning

force on all the issues affecting our communities. If you are angry about the policies of the government and want to build a real alternative, get active with the Socialist Party in fighting on all the issues and help us elect Clare Daly to ensure a strong campaigner represents you and your community.

Community campaign against Nevitt super-dump continues LUSK RESIDENTS from the Tooman/Nevitt area have pledged their ongoing commitment to carry on the battle against the imposition of a major super-dump for the Greater Dublin Area on their doorstep. This follows the announcement of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant the Council a licence to run the operation, with over 250 conditions attached. Each new condition brings new issues and costs to the project. Having already spent over €30 million of taxpayers’ money on it, the viability must seriously be questioned before this goes any further-not only financially, but environmentally. Much of the taxpayers’ money expended went on land purchase costs to facilitate the super-dump. It is truly scandalous that a significant portion of this money went on land which was the location of two illegal landfill sites. Not only has the

owner been rewarded with top dollar for the land, but the massive costs which he would have borne for the clean-up, will now be paid by the Council. With many community projects and necessary work not being undertaken because of lack of funds, this is an absolute disgrace. Not only that, but you will read in the Council’s summer publication, about the need to conserve water. Yet this dump-site is located near one of the most important aquifers and potential groundwater supplies!

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Already the EU is investigating why Fingal has failed to document a whole number of private wells operating in the area. It is sadly ironic that until recently, we had a Green Party Minister representing this constituency, who couldn’t even deliver on this crucial environmental issue on his doorstep. If the Greens had a fraction of the resolve and commitment of the residents, then this issue super-dump would have been dumped years ago.

may push ahead with a flat charge from December’s budget. The Socialist Party believes that water charges should be resisted whether they are based on metering or as a flat charge. Bin charges which have led to an ever-increasing financial burden on households and to privatisation of the sector show that the proposed water tax is not in the interests of ordinary people. A mass campaign based in the communities is necessary to force the government to back down. The Socialist Party will play a key role in the new Anti Water Tax Campaign and will continue to prepare the ground for a mass anti water tax non-payment campaign.

Socialist Party Public Representatives in Dublin North Councillor Clare Daly Tel: 8408059 cdaly@socialistparty.net Balbriggan Town Cllr Terry Kelleher Tel: 087- 2857665 tfkelleher@imagine.ie Malahide/Howth Rep Brian Greene Tel: 0857116466 brian@socialistparty.net Joe Higgins MEP Tel: 6795030 info@joehiggins.eu www.joehiggins.eu

Check out Clare Daly’s new website www.claredaly.ie

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Summer 2010 issue of Dublin North/Fingal Socialist