Reform

Recovery
Republicanism

County Wexford Sinn Féin Local Government Plan 2014 - 2019
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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Contents

Local Election Candidates 2
European Election Candidate 3
Introduction 4
Job Creation 5
No Family Tax 8
Funding local government 9
Tackling Commercial Rates crisis 9
Housing 10
Utility bills 10
Water 11
Pylons 11
Roads 11
Combat crime 11
Fishing 11
Farming 12
Post offices 12
Youth & Education 13

Health 13
Women's Refuge Centre 13

Childcare 13
Infrastructure 14
Cost of Doing Business 15
Fighting for County Wexford
The only real alternative to austerity,
corruption and broken promises
Sinn Féin


A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

yOur Candidates
Oisin O' Connell - New Ross

Oisin O' Connell is a farmer in South Wexford. He is married with two children. A
BFA graduate of Texas Christian University, he was President of the International
Students Association and a recipient of several awards. Recently he received a
Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Economics from Open University.
Oisin is the current Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin and a rep to the
party's national governing body.

Cllr Anthony Kelly - Wexford

Anthony Kelly has been a Borough Councillor in Wexford Town for the past 14 years,
taking a seat that was previously held by his late brother Phil. He has led the campaign
against any form of downgrading at Wexford General Hospital and has been at the
forefront of the opposition to the property tax, water charges and the septic tank tax.
Anthony has fought for investment in job creation and social housing. Anthony was on
the commemorative committee which planned the centenary commemorations for the
1911 lock out in Wexford town.

Mick Roche - Wexford

Mick Roche joined Sinn Féin in 2010 because he felt that it was time to make a stand for
his local community. A Scaffolder by trade, Mick is one of the many people from the
construction industry who lost his job during the recession. Mick and his wife Betty
helped to establish the Bridgetown Community Group which has been working to
provide essential services for the rapidly developing area. He is the Chairperson of the
local No Water Charges Bridgetown group and has highlighted the criminalisation of the
local fishing community in Kilmore Quay and the problems with the public water supply
coming from the Mayglass Water Tower.

Cllr Johnny Mythen - Enniscorthy

Cllr J ohnny Mythen is the current Chairperson of Enniscorthy Town Council,
having been elected for the first time in 2009, taking a seat previously held by
Noirin Sheridan and Martin Sheehan. J ohnny was born and reared at No 9 St
Aidans Villas in Enniscorthy and played for football with the local Starlight's GAA
club, soccer with the Enniscorthy Town FC and rugby with EFC. He has also
coached in these areas. He is a member of the local 1916 committee, a director of
the 1798 centre and a supporter of the Big Issue.

Fionntán O' Súilleabháin - Gorey

Fionntán is a primary school teacher in Gaelscoil Moshíológ, Gorey, and is
passionate about the Irish language and culture. He has previously taught in Tara Hill
N.S. as well as in Ballygarret and Kilmuckridge national schools last year as a
Learning Support Teacher. Fionntán has been an activist with the INTO for many
years, campaigning for smaller class sizes. He is on the committee of the Kilanerin /
Ballyfad Community Development Association and Loch Garman Against Austerity
; was involved in stopping a large quarry development being imposed on his parish,
Community Alert , Tidy Towns and many others.
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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019
























Your European Candidate
Liadh Ní Riada

Liadh is the youngest daughter of the iconic composer and musician, Séan O' Riada. She is a native Irish
speaker from Cúil-Aodha and lives in the Cork Gaeltacht, Baile Mhic Ire, with her husband Nicky and three
children.
In 1993 Liadh was appointed by the then Minister Micheal D Higgins as a member of the Board for setting
up Teilifís na Gaeilge (TG4). She trained with RTE in television production and has produced and directed
numerous documentaries for RTE and TG4. She is the National Irish Language Officer for Sinn Féin since
2011 and is a member of the Ard Comhairle.





A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Introduction
The County Wexford Sinn Féin Local Election 2014 campaign is not about profiling and getting five
individual candidates elected but rather about sending a strong, united team that will represent the people of
County Wexford to the new look County Council.

Many things have changed since the last Local Government Elections five years ago. Under Fianna Fail,
Fine Gael and the Labour Party in Government, this county has been stripped bare. Unemployment has
been allowed to run rampant with no real solutions from the governing parties at either local or national
level. Many of our counties GAA and soccer clubs can no longer field under age sides, such is the extent of
the emigration epidemic here. Local businesses, crippled with the cost of rates and taxes, are shutting down
and shops are being boarded up. Unfinished houses lay empty while the social housing waiting list
continues to grow.

This is the legacy of the Austerity Troika - Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.


















Other things have changed too however. People have woken up. They won't be fooled by flashy sound
bites or biased pre election articles in local newspapers speaking in support of the very parties who have
destroyed our economy anymore. The old civil war politics of either voting for Fianna Fail or Fine Gael is
finally dying as people struggle to tell them apart. Support for Sinn Féin, the only party to consistently
oppose the austerity measures and offer realistic, progressive alternatives is surging.

We are on the verge of massive political change in this state.

Phil Hogan's political reform means that the whole way local government works has also changed. The four
town councils in this County will be abolished after this election. The new look County Council comprising
eight reps each from New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey, and ten reps from Wexford will be the only game in
town. It's here that the battle between austerity and recovery will be fought. It's here that the people of
County Wexford will need a strong, united team.

Team Sinn Féin.
This document sets out our plan for County Wexford.

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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Job Creation
Sinn Féin believes that Local Government has an important role to play
in getting this county back to work. We have identified several
initiatives that could bring employment into this county.

Build a new Sugar Beet Processing Plant in New Ross

The current Sugar Beet Quotas will change in 2018 giving us the
perfect opportunity to win our national quota back. Beet Ireland have
already identified New Ross has one of a number of locations perfect
for the construction of a sugar beet processing plant which would be
used to process sugar and ethanol.

The Irish Sugar Beet Bio-Refinery Group has said that such a factory
would cost €350 million, would create five thousand jobs and be
profitable within the first year. Think of the boost that this would offer
to New Ross, recently reported as being the eight poorest town in this
state!

Invest in Rosslare Europort

Rosslare Europort is a strategic asset from a national perspective,
supporting exports and tourism. An Irish Ports Association report
revealed that ferry based tourism through Rosslare Europort in
2004 was worth €550 million to the Irish economy and supported
over 5000 jobs.

Sinn Féin believes that this Port needs to be protected and
developed to meet the demands of the 21st century. We have
called for the deepening of one of the berths in the harbour to 9
meters. This was costed by the Department of Finance in our
party's J obs Plan of 2013. The deepening of the port would allow
larger freight (Such as the expected Chinese) to use Rosslare and
increase the already high levels of freight traffic coming through.
To further aid this, a rail cargo depot could be built at the harbour
which would facilitate the logistics business and help divert heavy
traffic from the public road network. It could in turn lead to the
reopening of the Rosslare to Waterford Rail line. All this would create employment.

Rosslare Europort should be developed as a gateway for tourism into the south east.
The promotion of County Wexford and the wider south east as a tourist destination, particularly for the
British and continental European market would create further employment, provide vital reinvigoration for
the struggling South Wexford retail industry and further make use of a reopened Rosslare to Waterford Rail
line.

Development of a new Heritage Centre in North Wexford

The development of a new heritage centre in Gorey would unlock North Wexford's huge heritage potential
and attract tourists, many of whom are currently only passing through the district on their way to some other
destination, to stay and enjoy the natural beauty and rich culture of our county.


A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Major Repair operation on the
Fardystown Water Scheme

The water being supplied to thousands of homes
across the Wexford District through the public
water works at Fardystown has been a constant
problem since it came on line more than a decade
ago. Local Sinn Féin rep Mick Roche has been
highlighting and has already approached our
European candidate Liadh Ní Riada to look for
funding from Europe to clean up the supply. As
well as ensuring that clean and safe water will be
provided from the Mayglass Water Tower, Sinn
Féin want water softening facilities introduced at
the source of supply.

Designation of a new 1916 Revolutionary Quarter in Enniscorthy

During the1916 Rising, Enniscorthy was one of the few towns outside of the capital to go out and fight.
Republican forces occupied the town and nearby areas for a week and were the last group to surrender to the
British. Currently Sinn Féin is seeking to set up a revolutionary quarter around Moore Street in Dublin. In
this county, understanding that many people are unaware of what happened in Enniscorthy during this
period, we wish to create a similar project, which will boost tourism, education and serve as a fitting
monument to the events which forged our state ahead of the centenary in two years.
As well as creating direct employment, the project would also bring new revenue into the town of
Enniscorthy, boosting existing businesses and helping new ones develop.

Roll out of superfast broadband
across County Wexford

Sinn Féin has demanded that the government invest €2.5 billion
into the development of next generation superfast broadband
right across this state. Our reps will fight for the roll out of this
high speed connection across County Wexford. This county has
one of the highest rates of unemployment in the state while
having one of the best trained labour pools. With the inclusion of
superfast broadband, our towns could become new tech hubs.

Convert Old Wexford Gaol into a museum

Cllr Anthony Kelly has been campaigning for the provision of
funding to convert the old Wexford Gaol into a museum.
Wexford County Council recently turned down his plan to carry
out a feasibility study on the project but our Sinn Féin team on
the new look County Council will continue to seek funding to be
made available.

The Old Gaol is historically significant to County Wexford. In
1923 three men, James Parle, J ohn Creane and Pat Hogan were executed in the prison yard. Before this the
building was used as a fort and has also served as a headquarters for Wexford County Council. Its opening
as a museum will have huge educational benefits and will boost tourism in the town. It will also create
employment, both direct and indirect.
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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

No Family Tax
Sinn Féin has led the opposition to what we
term the family tax - the property tax, water
charges and the septic tank tax in this county.
Our Councillors are mandated to vote for an
immediate 15% reduction in the Local
Property Tax, the highest allowed reduction.
In Government, Sinn Féin would reverse the
tax and refuse to introduce water charges. In
fact, in the six counties, Sinn Féin reps
successfully resisted the implementation of
water charges.

Real Alternatives
A Wealth Tax

At a national level, we support the idea that those who can afford to pay more should do so. A 1% tax on all
assets over €1million net of all liabilities, including mortgage and other debts would raise €800 millon. The
tax would not be levied on 20% of the family home, the capital sum in pension funds, business assets or
agricultural land. It would apply to the global assets of those domiciled or ordinarily resident in the state
and domestic assets only for those who are resident in the state for tax purposes.
Our proposal is modelled on both the French and Norwegian wealth taxes and would seek to bring in up to
0.5% of GDP in a full tax year. France, Norway, Sweden and Iceland are among the several OECD
countries currently operating wealth taxes.

Reinstate Central funding to local authorities

The cuts to Local Government funding from Central
Government must be halted immediately, and reversed
where possible. €150 million of funding from motor tax
revenue that was taken away from local authorities must
be reinstated.
The Government claim that the property tax will be used
to fund local government is a lie. In 2013 not one cent
from the LPT went to local government.
When you realise that the LPT is not being used to fund
local government or services, then you very quickly
determine that we are all being duped by the supporters
of this tax. Where exactly is this money going?

Introduce a third rate of tax on those earning over €100,000 per annum

Sinn Féin would increase the tax paid on income over €100,000 by 7 cent in each euro. The effective rate of
tax in this state is quite low. Information from the Department of Finance reveals that an income earner of
€100,000 pays an effective tax rate of 20.7%. Someone earning €150,000 pays 24.4%. An income earner of
just over €1million pays an effective rate of 26.7%. This is because of the large number of tax reliefs
applicable in this jurisdiction.



A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Funding Local Government
The Capital Budget for Local Government has been cut from €1.4 Billion in 2010 to €600 million in 2014.
This has had extreme knock effects as local services have deteriorated, commercial rates have shot up from
12% in 2008 to 20% in 2011, and local authority housing lists have increased despite the introduction of
figure-manipulating schemes like RAS. The Government has also been able to use this lack of funding to
legitimise the Local Property Tax.

Your Sinn Féin County Council team in Wexford will push a string of progressive measures to fund the
local government. These will include;

Introduction of commercial rates
on public buildings
- Raises €50 million.

Increased recovery
of planning fees
- Raises €40 million.

Introduction of
a Packaging Tax
- Raises €80 million.

Collection of Court Fines
- Raises €20 million.

Collection of Plastic bag levy
- Raises €4.9 millon.

Collection of
dormant account funds
- Raises €6 million.

We would also push for the
introduction of the following
initiatives;

A vacant land tax

A levy on chewing gum

Tackle Commercial Rates Crisis

Sinn Féin is completely opposed to commercial rates as they exist in their current form and believe that they
have done more to damage the retail industry than any other factor. Our representatives support the
introduction of a fairer system of Commercial rates which would be revenue neutral.

It would mean that a business that was most under stress would have an increased chance of survival as the
rates would be set by profits. Currently business rates are a flat tax, inflicted upon businesses whether they
are in profit or not. This system has led to the collapse of many small and medium businesses, and has
particularly damaged the retail industry and pubs.


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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019
Housing
This state is currently experiencing an housing
crisis. Despite the fact that we have more empty
houses than we have use for, many of them boarded
up, over one hundred thousand people are in need
of local authority housing. Currently there are
98,000 people on housing waiting lists. 94,000 are
on rent supplement while another 23,000 are on
RAS.

We have argued for many years that NAMA
properties should be handed over to the local
authorities for distribution. Last year only 500
were taken for social housing out of 33,000. The
rest remain empty.

In our 2013 J obs document, we argued for the construction of 9000 new social housing units in eighteen
months and the fast tracking refurbishment of NAMA properties for use as social housing. As well as
creating homes, this would also create jobs.

Sinn Féin supports the establishment of local housing trusts. These have worked in other states and funding
can be acquired from the European
Investment Bank. We also support the
creation of a Housing Ombudsman,
who would deal with social housing
complaints, mortgage arrears
difficulties and ensure that housing
prices stay stable in the future to
prevent another bubble.

Sinn Féin also believes that the
County Council has a role to play in
reducing private rent subsidy through
direct negotiations with the landlords.
This would be especially relevant for
people who are having trouble getting
on RAS.

Utility Bills
In recent years utility bills have risen at a rate much higher than
the average rise in income leaving many homes facing a
dangerous shortfall. The introduction of the carbon tax, cuts to
the fuel allowance and the energy regulator allowing energy
companies that are already profitable to raise their prices has led
to a situation where half the population will be living in fuel
poverty within the next five years unless defining action is taken
now. Our candidates support a cap being placed on all utility
bills for the next three years in an effort to curb the rise of fuel
poverty.



A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019


Water
When Sinn Féin proposed that the government invest €500 million into upgrading our antiquated water
supply network, we were told that we were economic illiterates and asked where the money would come
from. So far, Irish Water has managed to squander €2 Billion on staffing over a seven year period, with 29
employees on salaries of over €100,000 per annum, and over €80 million on consultancy fees during its
establishment.

Sinn Féin opposes the introduction of water charges. Instead of home metering and taxation, we would
introduce district metering to track down where exactly the leaks are in
our supply network. 58% of treated water is currently being lost
through leaks in the system before it reaches a home. If the
government cared about water conservation as they claim to do, then
they would tackle this issue instead of introducing yet another tax and
setting up yet another quango.

Pylons
Eirgrids current plans for high voltage overhead power lines should be
halted until an independent cost-benefit analysis on the undergrounding
of these power lines is carried out.

Roads
The condition of many roads across this county are poor and are
causing drivers to incur heavier wear and tear on their vehicles. More
funding must be released. We want the €150 million revenue
generated from motor tax revenue that was previously issued to local
authorities for the upkeep of roads reinstated at once.

Combat Crime
Wexford County Council needs to play a greater role in tackling the crime spree that has plagued sections of
this county over the past few years. The closure of Garda stations in Ballywilliam and Baldwinstown were
regressive steps and further closures must be resisted. We have also outlined our opposition to the
downgrading of the Gorey Garda station to now fall under Enniscorthys control.
The closed barracks in Baldwinstown was recently sold by the OPW. It seems only right that some of this
money should be used to fund local active community watch groups who have been forced to band together
to try and protect themselves and their neighbours.

Fishing
The criminalisation of our fishermen and the decimation of local fishing communities like Kilmore Quay
and Duncannon must be halted. Invasive techniques planned by the EU to spy on fishermen and the use of
the Irish Navy to treat these men and women like criminals needs to end completely. The idea of tagging a
fisherman like a sex criminal is repulsive but is being consider by this state.
Loopholes surrounding fishermen's inability to claim social welfare when out of work need to be closed and
new schemes such as a fishing version of the Single Farm Payment and a possible set-aside payment during
spawning season should be seriously investigated and debated at every single council meeting until the
needs of these hard working people are met.
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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019
Farming
Sinn Féin recognises the huge importance that agriculture plays in our economy. The IFA estimates that
farmers and farm families spend €8 billion per year in our economy. It’s thought that 300,000 jobs are
supported by the agriculture, food and related industries. For every €100 of agriculture output there is a
further €73 of output to the wider economy. 71% of raw materials used by our agri and fishing industries
are sourced in the domestic market. Clearly it is the job of Sinn Féin, at both national and local level, to
protect this industry. Our Councillors will;
• Continue to push New Ross as the perfect venue for a new Sugar Beet Processing
Plant which would create 5000 direct jobs.
• . Support the IFAs call for a 14 day notice period. Farmers must be given adequate
notice when facing a farm inspection.
• Strive to ensure that no
farmer must pay development
charges when building new farm
buildings to comply with
legislation.
• Make certain that Wexford
County Council fully complies
with the 2012 protocol set out to
control the problem of stray or
wandering horses.
• Support full Country of
Origin labelling for all meat
products.
• Ensure that farmers are
supported when weather means
that certain regulations cannot be
adhered to, such as the spreading
of slurry deadline.
Post Offices
Sinn Féin rejects the closures of post offices. Two years ago the Post Office in Duncormick was closed
down and the adverse effects can still be seen in the local community. Our reps will support any post offices
in danger of being closed and will highlight the government's attempts to remove administrative services
from local post offices.





A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Youth . Education
Our Councillors will be a voice of opposition against further cuts to SNAs, DEIS schools and education
grants as well as pushing progressive measures that can help bring about a more efficient education system.
Our Councillors will;
• Support the abolishment of charges for the
Leaving cert, J unior Cert and the Mocks.
• Push for the introduction of school crests that
can be easily affixed to supermarket bought jumpers.
• Attempt to set up book lending schemes in every
primary and secondary school in the county.
• Call for the reformation of college grants to take
into account the real cost of third level education.
• Endeavour to end the post primary transport
scheme which unfairly discriminates against students in
relation to where they live. The cost of school transport
should be capped at €100 per year, with free transport
for primary school children.

Health
Sinn Féin has always stood proudly in support of Wexford
General Hospital and has steadily opposed any form of
downgrading at the county hospital, from Hanley to Harney.
We welcome the construction of the new A&E and will
continue to keep a watchful eye on it to ensure that it will be
fully staffed and not just a propaganda piece for local TDs.
Our Sinn Féin team on Wexford County Council will;
• Campaign for the reversal of cuts to
home-help hours, homecare packages, respite
care grant and the respite allowance.
• Petition the government for additional
funding for autism and ASD diagnosis.
• Work for a 24 acute mental health unit
for County Wexford.
• Fight for the provision of adequate
drug rehabilitation services in this county.
• Use tax revenue generated from the sale of cigarettes to help smokers quit.

Womens Refuge Centre
The temporary closure of Wexford's Women's Refuge Centre last year should never have been allowed to
happen. The centre, one of only five of its kind in the south of the country, provides a vital resource for
women and children fleeing domestic violence. Our Council team will stand against any further closures of
this important institution.

Childcare
The cost of childcare in this state is among the highest in Europe. Our Councillors support the devising of a
state childcare strategy to reduce the cost of childcare to enable parents to be in the workforce. This strategy
can include provision of on-site childcare by larger employers where feasible.
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A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019
Infrastructure
Your Sinn Féin County Council team will work to bring about;
The construction of the planned second bridge in
New Ross, which will alleviate the major traffic
problems when approaching the town from the
Kilkenny/Waterford side.

The reopening of the Rosslare to Waterford Rail
Link and the protection of other lines, including the
Rosslare to Wexford link which is currently under
threat.

The safe and prompt demolition of the Albatross
factory in New Ross Town.

The immediate reopening of the tourist office in
Rosslare Harbour.

• The Council take-over of boarded up houses across the County, including those in Bridgetown.
• Immediate and effective coastal protection programme for Duncannon.
• The construction of secondary treatment plants for raw sewage in Kilmore Quay, Arthurstown,
Ballyhack and Duncannon. Upgrade of the primary treatment facilities in Campile and Fethard.
• Traffic calming measures and the construction of new parking facilities around Bridgetown
Vocational College.
• Provision of funding for the culling of dangerous trees along roadsides.
• New flood protection plan for Marshmeadows area in New Ross and the provision of state
insurance for businesses situated on these flood plains.
• Construction of a new WIT campus in New Ross town which could be used as a feasibility study to
prove that New Ross would be the perfect location for a new regional Technological University.
• Introduction of Wexford Tourist Board Kiosks on all ferries coming into Rosslare.
• Agreement for New Ross Port to remain in majority public ownership.
• A new development plan for Cullenstown with a view of turning it into the tourism hotspot which
it once was.
• The reopening of the Post Office in Duncormick.
• Protection of the rural transport service.
• Social Welfare to be made available to our volunteer fire-fighters.


A Plan for County Wexford 2014 - 2019

Cost of doing business
The greatest potential for jobs growth is within the SME's sector. 70% of people employed in Ireland work
for SME's. Since the recession started over 128,000 jobs have been
lost in that area because the government have not tackled the
problems being faced by Irish businesses. Your Sinn Féin County
Council team will support;
• The abolishment of upward only rent reviews. There has
been a 50% drop in property prices yet businesses
remain locked into contracts that are set at boom prices.
• A full review of current commercial rents and a
guarantee that our party will demand that action be taken
to deal with the single biggest issue that is shutting down
businesses across the state.
• Major investment in broadband access across County
Wexford. We want high-speed broadband provided
across the county in the next Council term.
• A temporary rebate on fuel for County Wexford
transport firms. The Irish Road Haulage Association
claimed that this state is losing €200 million a year in
revenue because we don’t offer a fuel tax rebate for
hauliers.
• A review of current sell-by date regulations which allow importers to avail of the same sell-by
date as domestic producers.
• A crackdown on the misuse of 'Irish' branding.
• The introduction of tax credits for home-grown purchases.
• A speed up of revenue refunds and rebates.
• A full debate on why SME's are not receiving credit which could lead to job creation. The
refusal rate for SME loan applications has risen from 50% to 54%.
• The County Council to work much closer with the Chamber of Commerce to enhance and
protect operations that will boost County Wexford's tourism industry.
• Car parking rates should not act as a reason to stop people shopping, socialising and meeting in
towns. The County Council must monitor parking rates and ensure that adequate spaces are
available around each of the town centres.
• The option for self employed people to be able to pay PRSI at the same level as PAYE workers
in order to receive the same entitlements in the event of becoming unemployed.
• Would-be entrepreneurs receiving the necessary supports from the Local Development
Organisation. Introduction of a county-wide entrepreneurship programme with incubation
centres in the five main towns. Funding could be accessed through the EIB.