12 Jan 2007

Greystones 

In the last Dispatch, I talked a bit about the Marbella style marina proposed for Greystones, County Wicklow. Since then, the developer (Sispar) and Wicklow County Council have put a revised scheme on public display. So far so not interesting. 

What is interesting is the fact that Greystones Protection and Development Association placed an ad in last week’s Irish Times seeking a suitable candidate to stand on the issue in the next general election. I haven’t sent in my CV just yet, but I am EXTREMELY tempted. If there’s anyone else out there who feels they’re up to the job, please contact the GPDA and save me from my fate.

Possible meeting of Dispatch Correspondents

A couple of people have emailed with ideas about forming a group or having a meeting of some sort to discuss matters of interest. If someone wants to put shape on this idea I’d be delighted to muck in on organisation, notification, etc.  

Your Comments

 I have another from Cllr Dermot Lacey in response to my observations about Labour:

‘I would be interested in knowing why you say Labour responses are conservative. Mine was the only Labour one I could find. My own strong belief is that we need fundamental reform of Local Government and a major overhaul of RTE.’

Dermot, I have to confess that my methodology wasn’t very scientific. My clear recollection is that emails and phone calls from Fine Gaelers greatly outnumber everyone else (not a peep from the Progressive Democrats, for example). To a man/woman, they’re calling for a radical overhaul of the planning system. The independents are in the same vein, including Kildare TD Catherine Murphy whose knowledge of the topic is second to none and whose analysis of planning problems is nothing short of forensic – she has some papers on the Irish Planning Institute website which everyone should check out.

I’ve spoken to more than a half dozen Fianna Fail Cllrs., Senators and aspiring TD’s: Cllr Maureen Ryan in Limerick stands out as someone passionately in favour of system reform. I’ll be reporting on something very interesting stuff that she’s working in the next week or so. 

Besides yourself, I’ve spoken to two other Labour Cllrs. (including one in your own council) and maybe I’m not hearing them correctly but they seem to be of the view that stricter observance of the current legislation is the answer to the problem. If I’m not on message, I’d be delighted to hear more. 

I’m also curious about your views on RTE. I agree that their various exposés on Prime Time and the like haven’t gained much traction in the wider public because, I think, their finger isn’t really on the pulse. But I come from the angle that leadership on this matter should be coming from our politicians. 

Anyway, Dermot, keep your comments coming. And encourage your party colleagues to prove to the rest of us that they’re not the crusty old curmudgeons that I’d begun to think they are. You might also tell them that other correspondents contacted me after the last Dispatch to tell me I was right. 

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