GREEN PARTY COUNCILLOR SECURES SUPPORT FOR FIRST WOMEN’S CAUCUS IN FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL

GREEN PARTY COUNCILLOR SECURES SUPPORT FOR FIRST WOMEN’S CAUCUS IN FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL

Motion by Cllr Karen Power co-signed by representatives across all parties and Independents voted through and Executive now to apply for funding to establish cross party working group for elected female reps in Fingal

A motion from Karen Power Councillor for Skerries, Balbriggan, Lougshinny and Balrothery, which was co-signed by female elected representatives across all political persuasions, was passed at Monday evenings Operation, Finance and Procedure meeting.

The motion directs the Executive in Fingal County Council to apply for Government funding made available for the creation of Women’s Caucuses around the country. The Executive have given a strong commitment of their support to the establishment of such a group within Fingal.

It is hoped that the establishment of the caucus will help to maximise impact on policies and decision-making, and offers opportunities to harness the knowledge of long-established women councillors and combine it with new ideas and perspectives from more recently elected women councillors whilst also drawing on the various skills of all.

Speaking about the motion and the cross party support, Cllr Power said; “It was an honor to put forward this motion here today, supported by my female colleagues, to establish a Women’s Caucus in Fingal county Council.”

“Women councillors don’t network as much as our male counterparts due to other commitments outside of the council, including jobs and caring responsibilities. The Women’s Caucus will provide us with a set time to gather to discuss and implement our common goals and priorities”

“By working together we can distribute the workload, therefore a project which may not have been achievable for one councillor can be progressed through the combined effort and support of multiple councilors”

“Other reps often remark that Fingal is one of the more progressive Councils in terms of broader representation of our communities and an exceptional female CEO in Ms farrelly. But in spite of this progressive label only 14 councillors are women with many of us co-opted to our seats. This does not reflect on our capabilities but rather the lack of equal playing field for female representatives.”

“You cannot be what you cannot see. If young women don’t see women in politics, then they may think that politics is nothing to do with them. However, we know that women are materially affected by politics and that the decisions that are made will impact on every aspect of their lives. These impacts will be whether they can afford a roof over their heads, whether they can access affordable childcare when needed or how much they get paid in their chosen career.”

The establishment of a Women’s Caucus gives us an opportunity and potential to kick start a cross-party forum for Fingal female councillors to discuss and campaign on issues predominantly affecting women.

The Council will now formally apply for funding scheme which was launch on International Women’s Day in March on the back of the publication of “Women doing politics differently – development of Local or regional caucus for women councillors – identifying interest and examining possible supports”, a research piece undertaken by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). Along with the funding to assist with the establishment of caucuses, the National Women’s Council have also produced guidelines to assist and support both the elected members and local authorities in their endeavors.

Cllr Power along with Minister Joe O’Brien and welcomes grant for martello tower in Skerries

Minister Joe O’Brien and Fingal TD and Cllr Karen Power have welcomed the approval of a grant by their Green Party colleague, Minister Malcolm Noone, for the Martello Tower in Skerries under the new Community Monuments Fund. The grant will be administered through Fingal County Council.

The core objective of this grant is to assist with the development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports aimed at identifying measures for conservation of the Martello Tower and improved public access .The funding is an investment of essential capital in our valuable archaeological heritage to help owners and custodians of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of communities and the public and to stimulate local employment and economic activity.

Speaking about the funding allocation for Skerries Martello Tower, Minister O’Brien said;

This investment will see the start of supports for those working to care for our heritage in Skerries and to ensure the protection and promotion of our archaeological and built heritage.  It will see the start of work that will ensure that our heritage in the town is protected as a community asset and made more accessible for residents and visitors in Skerries.

Also welcoming the announcement was Skerries and Balbriggan Councillor, Karen Power who said;

“I want to thank Fingal County Council for recognising the importance and significance of the Martello Tower in Skerries and for putting it forward as a suitable project.  Our heritage is so important, especially in these challenging times, in providing recreation, comfort and a sense of well-being to communities in Fingal and I am delighted to see progress on work which will ultimately provide safe public access to Martello Tower.”

Green Party councillor’s concern over coastal erosion evident in Balbriggan

A Green Party councillor has expressed concern over coastal erosion in Balbriggan.

Cllr Karen Power said: ‘Earlier this year Fingal County Council established the Fingal Coastal Liaison Group – the only one of its kind in the country – to tackle the extensive coastal erosion in Portrane.

‘Following recent bad weather and Storm Aiden, the cliffs behind Bremore Castle have been further damaged and large chunks hang precariously over the beach below.

‘The Fingal Coastal Liaison Group have responsibility for developing a new coastal strategy and as part of this exercise areas which are in need of extra protection will be examined.’

Cllr Power is asking that the coastline in Balbriggan is examined as an area which could need potential extra protections.

She said: ‘Walking along Balbriggan beach it’s hard not to notice the very serious impact of coastal erosion, particularly along the cliffs behind Bremore Castle following Storm Aiden.

‘This is a particularly popular route for walkers and the cliffs above have large sections that look likely to break off soon. I have asked the council as an immediate measure to secure the particularly dangerous section and in the long-term to look to include Balbriggan in the coastal strategy.”

“We have seen the devastating effect in Portrane of ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away with family homes now uninhabitable and homes being isolated as access roads are falling into the sea. Action is needed now to safe guard our coastline in Balbriggan before the problem develops past the point of successful intervention.”

BALBRIGGAN YOUTH SERVICE INCLUDED IN CAPITAL GRANT FUNDING YOUTH PROJECTS/SERVICES NATIONAL YOUTH ORGANISATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Balbriggan Green Party Councillor, Karen Power, has welcomed the inclusion of the Balbriggan Youth Service in the Capital Grant Funding announced by Minister O’Gorman at the Department of Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration.

A grant of €15,533.18 has been awarded to the local service in Balbriggan and will assist the purchase and replacement of essential equipment to support the running of this services for young people and for national youth organisations to provide innovative models of safe online communication for staff and with young people.

Speaking on the grant, Cllr Power has said “I am delighted to see that my party colleague Minister O’Gorman has included the Balbriggan Youth Service in this grant scheme. This service makes exceptional contributions to our community and welcomes every young person in the door from 10 years plus.”

“Throughout the Covid-19 restrictions, Balbriggan Youth Service adapted and continued to support young people’s well-being and social connections. The role this service plays in our community cannot be overstated.”

Balbriggan youth service has a range of clubs, groups and cafes for all young people from 10 to 18 + years old. A cafe is a group that is fun for young people to hang out with their friends in a safe environment. young people from 13 -15 are welcome on Thursday night cafe and young people from 16-18 are invited to Friday night cafe.