A DIFFERENCE IN MAYO
Green Manifesto for the Mayo Electoral Area
The Mayo Green Party
believes that it provides a key to an improved Quality of Life for everyone
in Mayo. In local government,
the Green Party will work towards:
Green Party wants Mayo County Council to be innovative, extending its brief to
actively seek to better determine and serve the needs of its people in a more
expedient, effective way.
basic Green principal is the effective involvement of local residents in local
planning decisions at all stages, so that their views have a genuine impact on
the most significant area of responsibility for town and county councils. What
is planned now will affect the quality of life for generations to come, in
Westport and in Mayo. Planning must
respect the rights and responsibilities of individuals.
A basic Green
principal is the effective involvement of local residents in local planning
decisions at all stages, so that their views have a genuine impact on the
outcome. The Strategic Policy Committee is the place for them to make a
within Walking Distance
Green Party promotes mixed-use development and the concept of the urban village.
This means clustering housing, with accommodation for light industry and
business, as well as community and recreation facilities all within walking
Not Vested Interests
believe that the levers of decision-making on planning are controlled by a
narrow set of interests, public confidence is replaced by cynicism. The Green
Party is committed to restoring confidence in the system through enhanced
transparency, accountability and effective powers for local representatives to
intervene in the property market.
56,000 people currently on local authority waiting lists country-wide, the
solution is obvious - build more social housing – really affordable social
is home ownership more important than in Mayo and it is essential that
affordable housing is a local government priority. The Greens advocate special
financial consideration for first time buyers, and propose that it is not
limited to new builds.
ref:The overall results indicate that at 31 March 2008 just over 56,000 households were in need of social housing support compared with nearly 43,000 in 2005, an increase of over 30%”, Minister Finneran .
the spirit of re-use and recycle, we believe that older, well-built houses
should not suffer neglect and decay, but should be prioritised for re-use with
grants to the first time buyer. This
grant scheme could be extended to the elderly, who wish to move into smaller
housing. Grants should also be available to accommodate renewal of facilities
adapted to the special needs of the elderly, as well as those with disability.
to housing is most inequitable for those living on low income and who are
dependent on the private rented sector. Those in the private rented sector pay a
higher amount and a higher proportion of their income on housing costs than
owner-occupiers. Because of this inequality, they are more likely to be at risk
of poverty than other housing groups.
availability of social housing [only 8% of the national housing stock is social
housing] has been a major contributory factor in bringing about this inequality.
With 56,000 people currently on local authority waiting lists country-wide, the
solution is obvious - build more social housing – really affordable social
Party also insists that immediate attention be given to the planning needs for
those people in Mayo with disability. It is not good enough to be on a list. A
better system for serving their needs and
those of their carers, as enshrined in the Local Government Act 2001, must be
needs a public transportation system which gives everybody access to work,
shopping, social and leisure facilities at hours which suit our needs, and which
has a minimum impact on our environment.”
Party advocates intelligent fiscal measures to bring about a more sustainable
and user-friendly public transport culture, putting people (not cars) and access
at the heart of planning processes. This includes specific attention to the
needs of the elderly and people
with disability. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 people with disability in
Mayo, according to the Disability Federation of Ireland. Mayo County Council
must consider their needs more proactively.
Transport Not More Cars
Mayo needs a
public transportation system which gives everybody access to work, shopping,
social and leisure facilities, at hours which suit our needs and which has a
minimum impact on our environment. Cars,
now essential for even the shortest journey for messages, are having an
increasingly negative impact on our lives, our lungs and the future of our
transport system for the Westport area of Mayo – indeed the entire province -
must accommodate people in the country as well as those in the built environs of
Westport, Newport and Louisburgh. We are not too small for ‘park and take the
bus’ schemes which could operate from key points outside the principal towns -
like Aghagower, Lecanvey, Kilmeena and the Quays in Westport.
Party advocates co-ordination of the bus scheme with more frequent local trains
in Mayo, including connections to the Green Party supported Western Rail
Corridor. A user-friendly transport scheme should also address the needs of the
islands like Clare Island and Inisturk. For
example, all travel tickets should be interchangeable – usable on rail, bus or
better public transport was available, the many tourists who depend on it would
be more likely to choose Mayo as a holiday destination.
Greens believe that there are considerable opportunities to control demand and
protect water resources while reducing costs.”
of the basic, fundamental human needs is pure drinking water. In Mayo, this precious resource must be protected.
Party emphatically supports the reduction of water pollution at source, in the
home, on the farm and in industry, because it is more efficient and cheaper in
the long run to pre-empt and prevent pollution.
Group Water Schemes Safe
performance of group water schemes still lags behind public water schemes and
remains unacceptable to the Green Party. A
Green Party priority is to address the unacceptably poor quality of many of the
group water schemes and ensuring that public and private water supplies will
meet the requirements of the new European Communities (Drinking Water)
Regulations 2000. The historical performance of group schemes raises serious
health issues. The relevant Westport Town and Mayo County Council Strategic
Policy Committees must address this issue urgently.
water represents almost 50% of the potable water in circulation. Like water
pollution, water wastage is preventable at source. The use of water-monitoring
devices can be useful to educate the commercial and household sectors and reduce
Green Party believe that there are considerable opportunities to control demand
and protect water resources while reducing costs. If steps are taken to render
the costs of water more transparent to consumers, this will enable greater
efficiency and stimulate conservation.
Green Party believe that, we, the public, must be able to call our elected
officials to account. Private
householders, local merchants, small businesses and industry are entitled to a
voice in their governing bodies – and not just at election time.”
underlying the European Charter of Local Self Government, to which our
Government is a signatory, include the recognition of local government as part
of the foundations of any democratic regime, the right of citizens to
participate in the conduct of public affairs and the fact that this right can be
most directly exercised at the local level.
The workings of local government must be transparent to the public who elect it. For democracy to be a viable form of government, the electorate must have regular, public access to their elected officials, to the governing process as well as the decision-making process.
words, we, the public, must be able to call our elected officials to account.
Private householders, local merchants, small businesses and industries are
entitled to a voice in their governing bodies – and not just at election time.
Party advocates broader advertisement of Council Meetings and its agenda, and
those meetings should be held at a time when the majority of electorate can
attend. We advocate announcements of actions taken by the council in clear
unambiguous language. We advocate regular public meetings, where the electorate
can question representatives, and elected officials can explain their actions,
thus assisting their work through participatory democracy.
The Strategic Policy
Committees of local government should also report regularly to the local media
on their activities, seeking the feedback of the electorate.
The Green Party advocates more active participation in the
Mayo County Council’s Strategic Policy Committees by active, interested
members of the community, who will augment and direct the Committees’ work for
the benefit of Mayo.
Checks and balances
Party also calls for the reintroduction of legislative proposals for directly
elected mayors. Power must also be transferred from county/city manager
apparatchiks. Legislation designed to hamper the exercise of local
decision-making by public representatives must be dismantled.
To ensure that
there will be no return to the abuses of local power, as in planning decisions,
the Green Party in Mayo also supports a new system of checks and balances,
including the institution of a Local Government Ombudsman.
a programme of Zero Waste, societies can achieve up to 60% waste reduction in
three to five years with currently available technologies. (Zero Waste, Murray,R
2002). The Green Party believes
that this aim is entirely within our capacity in Mayo.”
Party believes that this aim is entirely within our capacity in Mayo.
The waste crisis in
Ireland continues to grow. A report by Forfas entitled “Key Waste
Management Issues in Ireland” reveals that Ireland has a faster
growth of waste production than the majority of other European member states.
The report highlights that between 1995 and 1998, waste generation in Ireland
increased by 89%.
In Ireland, we
produce 576 kg of municipal waste per person, compared to a European
average of 450 kg per person.
of reduce reuse recycle is, by now, well known. The practice is another
matter. The key is a Zero Waste Strategy.
Mayo Greens believe people should be rewarded for recycling, not charged.
deadlines for Zero Waste
Waste is a generational challenge (i.e. it took more than 20 years to bring
about a change in our attitude to smoking), it is important to set deadlines in order to engage everyone in a process that will
involve redesigning our systems, our legislation, our technologies as well as
our mindset about waste.
programme of Zero Waste, societies can achieve up to 60% waste reduction in
three to five years with currently available technologies. (Zero Waste,
Party believes that this aim is entirely within our capacity in Mayo. There are
no technical barriers to achieving a “zero waste society”. To accomplish
this goal we must change not only our waste management techniques but also our
personal habits. We believe that it is well past time for a significant shift
from the dark ages of indiscriminate, out of sight, out of mind, waste disposal,
to a new era of Zero Waste.
On a local
level, the Greens want to make it simple to recycle. The Mayo County and
Westport Town Councils must step up their implementation of the National Waste
Strategy. The public amenity at Derrinumera (check spelling) is not amenable to
all. We must have doorstep recycling in Mayo. That is, a regular, scheduled
collection of separated waste collected from the doorstep – with separate
containers for the different types of waste provided at no charge to the
It is also
time Mayo got tough on the waste of waste. Brown waste, the by-products of
restaurant, farm, household and some industrial waste is a valuable commodity
which can be used to enhance the environment.
The Greens believe that brown waste as a resource has been neglected for
long enough in Mayo.
Party supports the complete diversion of organic or biodegradable waste from
landfill to composting and ultimate use as fertiliser for soil. Westport Town
and Mayo County Council should supply free of charge, home compost bins to
householders for organic domestic waste, and should also facilitate commercial
needs compost. Therefore, the Mayo Green Party advocates the use of Vertical
Compost Units used to process brown waste, in other locations such as New
Zealand. These units have a capacity of 14,000 tonnes per year. They have ten
chambers, which allow different qualities of materials to be processed
separately and cleanly. The equipment is modular, so it can be adapted to the
size of the area served. A single unit with a capacity of some 1,250 to 1,400
tonnes would service the organic waste from a town of 5,000-10,000 households,
and require just an hour a day to maintain.
The New Zealand
plant processes organics and garden waste from households, and catering scraps.
After processing, the waste, now fertilizer, is sold to local landscaping
firms, which mixes it with topsoil for use in new housing developments. We can
do this in Mayo.
Greens believe that we do not inherit the earth, we are charged with preserving
it for future generations. Therefore, we must not only look after the earth for
our children, but we must also prepare our children for their guardianship of
the earth. One facet of this responsibility is ensuring the right of children to
access to both parents in separated families, which means protection of the
rights of both parents to equal access to their children.
Green Party advocates that we put the welfare of our children at the heart of
policy-making in local government, ensuring that all Special Policy Committees
take account of the welfare of children and that actions taken are consistent
with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In local government, we will ensure that all policies decided
at local and county council level are “child-friendly”.
Green Party believes that local government should encourage and support a
transition which will allow the farmer to return to full-time farming.”
farmer has been the backbone of development in Mayo. However, the number of
farms in the county has decreased dramatically over recent decades, whilst the
per-hectare output from livestock and dairy enterprises has increased.
receive disproportionately less for their produce than the middlemen who provide
it to the consumer. Fifty years ago, farmers received about 50% of what
consumers spent on food. Today that proportion is as low as 12%. Farmers are
continually in a price-cost squeeze, with falling incomes and rising costs due
to inflation. The resulting poor profitability is hidden by subsidies and
grants, as well as off-farm work by the farmer and his or her spouse.
Green Party supports and encourages the farmer to make environmentally friendly
use of his land as carbon sink, wind farm, biomass produce or organic farming.
Agro and Eco-tourism can also allow the farmer to view his farm as a viable,
full-time occupation once again.
Green Party believes that local government should encourage and support a
transition which will allow the farmer to return to full-time farming, by
providing further incentives to the farmer to contribute to the local economy,
the local energy supply source as well as the local food demands.
The Green Party strongly supports the small farmer remaining on the land, with viable crops and a sustainable income.
Green Party has a comprehensive Agriculture and Food policy that can be seen at
is a vital part of the economy in Mayo. But we can do better. In an expanded EU,
we have an expanded market to accommodate.
Greater promotion, as well as greater attention to ecotourism is the way
forward, both to sustain income as well as to sustain our environment.
The Mayo Green Party proposes setting up Ecotourism Mayo, to
facilitate travel to Mayo’s natural areas in a manner that both displays and
protects the environment whilst contributing to the welfare of local area
residents. From the tourist viewpoint, ecotravel means traveling to pristine
protected areas, in a low ecological impact manner, on a small scale. It would
liaise with similar projects throughout Ireland and throughout the expanded
Its goals would be educating the visitor about environmental, heritage
and cultural matters in Mayo. The added benefit for Mayo would be the sourcing
of funds, directly, or indirectly
for conservation, cultural or heritage projects.
Another of Mayo Ecotourism’s goals would be to facilitate benefits for
sustainable economic development and political empowerment of local communities
in Mayo. The focus of ecotourism is sustainability.
County Council must also become proactively involved in ensuring the needs of
the tourist with disabilities. Tourist offices, public buildings, hotels,
B&Bs, restaurants and shops must adhere to the recent regulations. The Green
Party’s demand for addressing the needs for tourists with disabilities cannot
be overstated. Mayo County Council should be active in insisting on the
implementation of the regulations already in place.
interests of tourism will best be served by extending existing facilities for
the residents and tourists alike - rather than creating artificial tourist
attractions. This integral
approach makes for happier residents, and for return visits by tourists.
the Green Party
Your Green Party candidate for the Mayo Constituency is:
For a complete list of policies of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas, please visit our websites: