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Boyle: system ‘runs away’ from change

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 4:49pm

Cork is missing out on better services due to a “lack of imagination” from politicians and planners, local Green Party candidate Dan Boyle has said.

Mr Boyle said fear of change was behind the current planning methods that were too centred on cars rather than people.

“We want to elevate public transport, have more cycle ways, public green areas and pedestrian areas,” he said.

“The traditional political system runs away from that. They’re frightened of change. If you want a better community, it should be about the person, not the vehicle.”

Mr Boyle, 56, was among five Green Party candidates confirmed to run in the city next year’s local elections this week.

A former city councillor, Cork South-Central TD and leader of Seanad Eireann, Mr Boyle will run in the South Central ward.

He is joined by Oliver Moran (North East) and Lorna Bogue (South East), both of whom ran for the party in the 2016 general election, as well as first-timers Mark Cronin (North West) and Colette Finn (South West).

Speaking about the missed potential within city services, Mr Boyle cited the need for expansion of the Coca-Cola Bike Scheme.

“It should be going out to CIT, and further out to Ballincollig and Douglas, now that the city is expanding. The only thing stopping us from having better services is a lack of imagination. And we’re not hearing that from other candidates.”

Mr Boyle said he often surprised people when he said he often had more satisfaction while in local politics than when he was a member of the Oireachtas.

“At local level, you can see the road being done, the waste collected, the house allocated, whereas in national politics it’s a bit more vague,” he said. “It’s about getting an amendment to a finance bill about excise duty on craft beers, it doesn’t have the same buzz! Local government when it works properly is about direct delivery, things that affect people’s lives, and I think I can still contribute to that.”

Gender equality campaigner and chair of the Cork Gay Community Development Company Colette Finn said the lack of local government power on planning and housing issues was one of her primary reasons for running.

“I’ve been interested in progressive politics all my life,” she said.

“I spent time in Africa and have seen the benefits that good government has for the people. Part of the problem in Ireland is the extent to which power has been stripped from local government on issues like housing, and the fact that the emphasis on the market has been shown to be suspect at the least.

“We need smart government.”

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