Green Party Councillors saw great successes this week, with three strong motions passed unanimously by Dublin City Council (DCC) on Monday. Cllr Sophie Nicoullaud tackled the issues cities are facing during the current health crisis with a proposal for DCC to give its full support to Dublin becoming a World Health Organisation Healthy City. By providing the structure and financial support to promote health and wellbeing, Cllr Nicoullaud said that this move would be a “win-win for Dublin city.”
“This is the right step towards building resilient cities when we’re faced with the consequences of climate change, and now a pandemic.”
Cllr Janet Horner received huge support for her motion for DCC to have its public meetings interpreted by an Irish Sign Language interpreter. Commenting on the successful use of sign language interpreters in recent Green Party debates, Cllr Horner said that the proposal is “an achievable task, and it is one that sends a very strong signal about the values of equality, inclusion and the importance of making our meetings, our debate, our democratic processes as widely accessible as possible, and recognising the different needs of the communities we represent.”
The final Green Party motion of the evening addressed the need to implement a Night Mayor for Dublin City as soon as possible, a key cultural objective of the Dublin Agreement. Proposing the motion, Cllr Claire Byrne stressed the crisis that Dublin nightlife is currently facing. “The Covid-19 crisis has further compounded the need to take urgent action as we not only need to enhance and revitalise our night-time culture, we now actually have to save it”, Cllr Bryne told the Council.
“This is a sector that’s been completely ravaged by the virus and will be one of the last to revive unless we intervene now. As we’re trying to redesign our city, we need to do it in a way that supports it from a healthy and environment perspective, but also economically.”
At Monday’s South Dublin County Council (SDCC) meeting, Cllr Liam Sinclair received broad party support for his motion calling on the Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport to remove the Shannon LNG terminal from the Projects of Common Interests List and to use all powers at his disposal to bar any further new LNG terminal projects from commencing.
On Cork City Council, Green Party councillor Oliver Moran faced strong opposition to his proposal for the relaxation of rules around each councillor’s €11,000 discretionary budget. Cllr Moran proposed allowing individual councillors to return a portion of this budget to supplement the city-wide budget for the arts, sports and place-making in light of Covid-19.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Moran said he was disappointed but would continue to use his funds to support community groups in the arts and on place-making projects. “Musicians and the arts are facing real pressures because of Covid-19,” he said. “During lockdown, we learned the importance of the arts on Netflix, but our local artists are being forgotten about. Now they are facing a real threat because of restrictions on hosting events.”
Finally, in Wicklow, Cllr Lourda Scott secured representation on Wicklow’s Community Forum for one resident from each of the county’s three Direct Provision Centres. This marks the first time nationally that people living in Direct Provision will have representation on their Community Forum, and Cllr Scott said, “It’s essential that vulnerable people can represent themselves and have input into this really important mode of communication.”
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