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Fine Gael Councillor, Emer Higgins, has welcomed the allocation of €14,000 for Tidy Towns committees here in Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Newcastle and Brittas.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has announced a €1.4 million national grant scheme to mark the 60th anniversary of the Tidy Towns Competition.

This scheme will allow each Tidy Towns committee to apply for a grant of between €1,000 and €4,000 to support the work they do and will support six committees throughout the county.

Higgins said: “Just last week we saw the value our local Tidy Towns Groups make to our area. It was fantastic to see our villages of Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Newcastle and Brittas score so well in the national Tidy Towns competition. The Tidy Towns Groups in each of these areas along with North Clondalkin will now receive a total of €14,000 in grant funding. This investment by the Government will directly support the local Tidy Towns groups. These volunteer led community initiatives bring out the best in our towns and villages.

“This competition really shows us the importance of participation. Our local Tidy Towns volunteers are a credit to our community. I encourage anyone who feels strongly about our community and our environment to get involved with Tidy Towns.

“I have no doubt that towns and villages across Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Newcastle and Brittas will benefit hugely from this investment. Wherever you have active Tidy Towns committees, it gives the place a real boost and creates the environment for tourism,” Cllr. Emer Higgins said.

Minister Ring said: “This funding is recognition from the Government of the huge contribution made by citizens in their own communities.

“Tidy Towns groups have made our country as a whole a better place to live in and to visit. The work is carried out on a voluntary basis and we all benefit from it. This investment by the Government will further enhance our towns and villages and represents great value for money.”

Today we moved a step closer towards delivering 975 homes in South Dublin. This project for Kilcarbery has been on the cards for over 18 months and will deliver almost 300 social houses and nearly 1,000 new homes. We moved one step closer to building these homes despite the Mayor and Sinn Fein voting against this plan.

After a long and heated debate, Sinn Fein voted against this housing scheme on the cynical pretense that they wanted to change the funding model; which as the well know is not practical 18 months in to the plan. We've undergone a lengthy public procurement process and detailed design of the houses. Sinn Fein lead the ruling group of our council and know full well that we can’t move the goalposts at this stage.

Sinn Fein miss no opportunity to criticise the Government on housing delivery, yet this is a clear example of Sinn Fein saying one thing and doing another. It's nothing short of hypocrisy.

Changing the parameters of the scheme now, would have meant setting these 975 homes back 18 months. Playing politics with badly needed housing is only exacerbating the supply problems we have in the area. I'm very pleased that Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour and Independents voted to get this project moving.

Councillor Brian Lawlor has congratulated the Local Enterprise Office on holding a hugely successful day long conference to mark National Women’s Day. The event was hosted by South Dublin Local Enterprise Office and run as a collaboration between Fingal, Dun Laoighre Rathdown and Dublin City Council. It was MC’d by Collette Fitzpatrick and heard from Minister Pat Breen along with a line up of successful business women from across Dublin.

“It was great to see so many local businesswomen come together to celebrate National Women’s Enterprise Day. It proved the perfect networking opportunity and a fantastic chance to hear from successful female entrepreneurs from right across Dublin. Collette Fitzpatrick was a super host and it was terrific recognition of our local female entrepreneurial landscape to have Minister Pat Breen there for the occasion. He commended the hugely valuable work our Local Enterprise Offices do for entrepreneurs of both genders and spoke about the importance of encouraging more women into business and into politics. It was a lovely celebration and I’d like to congratulate Amanda, Michael, Sandra and Lorna and the team on another successful event,” said Cllr. Brian Lawlor who attended the event.

“I believe events like this and networks like our local women in business network, NEWS, go a long way towards leveling the playing field. The gender pay gap in Ireland is said to be at 14%. The Programme for Government sets out a clear commitment to reduce the gender pay gap and Cabinet has just recently approved the General Scheme of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, I think this is really welcome progress,” concluded Cllr. Emer Higgins.


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