Over the next 2 weeks the United Nations will be running COP28 in Dubai. In this post I am highlighting how children and teenagers living in our area understand the financial responsibilities of Councils in Northern Ireland to act better that most politicians. Over the last 3 years I have been proud to be a youth leader for a group of 12 to 18 year olds campaigning on the need for local Councils to take action to the benefit of the hard-pressed ratepayer – please click here to look at the website they have developed to reflect what Councils across Ireland are and are not doing. HOW GOOD IS YOUR COUNCIL?
At our meeting with the Council’s senior management team today (30/11/2013), at the same time the United Nations delegates assembled in Dubai, South Down Alliance Party Councillors made it clear to management that for the last 2 years we have reluctantly supported their annual rates proposals. But we did this strictly on the expectation that savings, increased revenues and a broader rates base to the benefit of existing ratepayers would be forthcoming from Council Management based on tackling Climate Change in specific ways, copying what other Councils are doing. This year we made it clear that we wanted concrete targets that we could measure as KPI’s (Key performance Indicators) expressed in real numbers of we would not support their rates proposals which we feel have been made unsustainable by some proposed (and in our view) unneeded capital projects.
Each day during COP28 I will make a post giving real examples of what the South Down Alliance Party have been doing since 2019 in real concrete terms to have Newry Mourne and Down Council do what it needs to to to tackle Climate Change.
As you will see, all our ideas are drawn from what other Councils across Ireland and GB are already doing. None of these ideas are are hard to understand or implement. All of these proposals financially benefit the ratepayer to a very significant degree, it just needs action instead of words. Many of the motions we have passed in Council were supported by other parties, often unanimously. Many of these ideas have yet to result in anything but what one of my colleagues Alliance Councillor Jill Truesdale has described as a ‘Green Salad of Words’.
I will store all my posts on my website for easy reference so as to help Councillors in other Councils copy what we are doing and take action too
DOWNPATRICK TOWN CENTRE DESTROYED BY FLOODS
On the Saturday morning of the worst flooding ever seen in Downpatrick, I had risen early to lead the Climate Change Youth Group in a 3-hour workshop in Downpatrick Library. In the midst of the workshop, I got a call from Alliance MLA Patrick Brown to let me know Downpatrick was flooding and he met me outside the Library and I was shocked to see what was going on with no warnings to any of the businesses that one might expect. The Climate Change workshop was abandoned and we spent they next days and weeks working to help the business people and traders in the town.