Presenting Freedom of the City to Aung San Suu Kyi
Join my Campaign for a Fairer Future, a more Sustainable Planet, and more Jobs
Dublin is my city. I grew up in Santry and live with my wife Sinéad in Ballymun. As a councillor I’ve worked hard for the last 10 years in my local community and I’m very proud of the role I played in introducing the Dublinbikes scheme to Dublin and of my year as Lord Mayor in 2011/12.
Let’s Build a Fairer Future
For many years children born in certain parts of Dublin were more likely to go to prison than to go to college. Thankfully that is changing. I got into politics to try to give more young people a better start in life and to build a fairer Ireland. In my ten years on the Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership we’ve worked hard to improve outcomes in our schools and we are seeing significant improvements in reading and writing skills, reduced early school leaving and a big increase in the number of students attending third level education.
Sustainable Future for our children
Let’s get People Working again
We need to get Ireland working again. Thankfully over the last year we’ve seen signs of hope. There were 60,000 more people working at the end of 2013 than there were at the end of 2012. The Labour Party in government raised the minimum wage and cut tax for the lowest paid workers to help make it worth while for people to come off social welfare and take up a job.
Promoting the Bram Stoker/Dracula Festival with Paddy Dracula
I will work to help foster economic recovery. As Lord Mayor, I introduced the Bram Stoker/Dracula Halloween Festival which is attracting visitors to Dublin outside the traditional summer season and I chair the committee that is working to turn the Mary’s Abbey Fruit & Vegetable market into a retail food market, which will provide good jobs in the city.
The Fruit & Veg Market can provide decent jobs
So join me in my campaign to improve the quality of life in our community? I'm looking for help to drop leaflets, put up posters, knock on doors, or even to "like me" on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @MayorMontague, or make a donation to my campaign.
Site for sale
Hope for the new Shopping Centre in Ballymun
The closure of Tesco in the shopping centre in Ballymun is a real blow to the town, especially for the staff working in Tesco and elderly people who will struggle to get to other supermarkets. Some of the staff will be offered jobs in other Tesco but many will be laid off.
We need a new supermarket in Ballymun. The City Council are offering a site for sale on the land next to the shopping centre, where the Balcurris blocks were. A number of supermarkets have shown interest in the site and the City Council hope to accept an offer for the site soon.
When Tesco leave, it should speed up plans to close down the shopping centre and build the new shopping centre that the people of Ballymun badly need and deserve.
Watch my speech to the Labour Party Conference about Dublinbikes and Bus Rapid Transit in Dublin.
My Home in Ballymun
Site Value Tax (SVT) Versus Full Value Tax (FVT)
So what’s all this fuss about Site Value Tax (SVT)? To really get a feel for it, you need to have a look at some properties and calculate the SVT for those properties to see how the tax works.
Let’s compare two properties in Ballymun, where I live. First, my own home, which is a terraced house with a floor of 75m2 but with a small front and back garden the total site is 150m2. The second home that we will look at is a neighbour’s apartment, with the same floor space of 75m2, its own front door, but as there are three apartments together, one on top of the other, it’s effective site area is 25m2 (75m2 divided by 3). So the two homes have identical floor areas, but my home has a site that is six times the site of the apartment, so my SVT would be six times higher than the apartment.
We buy Cars for Cash
There has been a big increase in illegal signs offering to "Buy Cars for Cash" all over the city in recent months. I have raised this issue at the council and with the Gardaí.
The Council are removing these signs as quickly as they can. In the North Central Area, 20 signs are being removed per week at the moment, but they are going up again, as fast as they can be removed.
The Enforcement Unit have identified several locations where the cars are being brought and will initiate enforcement measures if no relevant permits exist for such activities.
The Gardaí are working to close down mobile phone numbers where possible.
At the moment, there is a fine of €150 for every illegal poster. This fine needs to be increased for repeat offenders.
Dublinbikes & Innovation
It's been a hectic few weeks in the Mansion House & it doesn't show any sign of slowing down.In fact I’ve been informed it gets busier as we get closer to Christmas. I am enjoying every aspect of the job of Lord Mayor, even the challenges!
I received great news regarding dublinbikes last week – a new daily record for journeys taken was set. Dublinbikes' members took 7,052 journeys on Thursday 13th October, marking another milestone in Dublinbikes' incredible success. There are now 550 bikes in the scheme. It shows once again the demand for the scheme and for cycling in the city. When we first launched the scheme in 2009 there was a lot of worry that it did would not work. dublinbikes is now one of the most successful schemes in the world and we are planning to increase the number of bikes from 500 to 5,000 in the next five years.
Between now and 5pm on 26th October you can give your views on dublinbikes and its proposed expansion. The survey can be found at www.delve-surveys.com/dublinbikes and you are in with a chance of winning an iPad 2 on completion!
Up the Dubs!
What a great weekend for Irish sport! Not only did the rugby boys do us proud against Australia on Saturday, but yesterday the boys in blue were victorious, beating Kerry in a nail-biting finish. Dublin has waited 16 years for the Sam Maguire to return and no doubt we will enjoy every moment. Congratulations to Pat Gilroy, Bryan Cullen and all the players.
I hope everyone will come out and welcome home the Dublin team and Sam Maguire tomorrow evening in Merrion Square. The event starts at 7.00p.m., with access from 6.00p.m. Access via Merrion Square East, Merrion Square South and Fitzwilliam Street Lower. See you there!
Officially opening the Community Garden
Coffee Morning in the Mansion House
Yet another busy week in the Mansion House. Tuesday, I met with schoolchildren from Beijing, who entertained me with a traditional dance performance in the Oak Room. From there I joined in the end of year celebrations for Ballymun Regional Youth Resource.
On Wednesday, the Lady Mayoress & I, had the honour of travelling to the Dublin Horse Show in the magnificent 222-year-old Mayoral Coach. I officially opened proceedings alongside President of the RDS, Mr. Fonsie Mealy. The 'Tops and Tails’ came out today as I returned to the horse show to watch the Aga Khan. It was a wonderful afternoon. Check out the following link for photos from the day: http://pix.ie/lordmayordublin
This morning I hosted a coffee morning in aid of the East Africa Emergency Appeal and was joined by representatives from Trócaire, Concern and Oxfam. The event was a great success and we raised much needed funds for the appeal. Why not host your own coffee morning with friends & family? Read the Press Release below for more details...