The National Women’s Collective – Donegal Women’s Network sent an ‘Open Invitation’ to all Donegal Councillors to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern of people in Donegal.
Each councillor was invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions during their term within Donegal County Council.
Below are the questions with the councillor’s response.
|YOUR CANDIDATE JOHN CAMPBELL|
|QUESTIONS AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?
|RESPONSES: I have been a member of Donegal County Council for 3 years, having replaced Thomas Pringle TD in March 2011 when he was elected to the Dáil. We are both members of the recently formed Independent’s Network which has equality and human rights as its central principles. I have been involved in and supported many campaigns locally and nationally around access to education, social inclusion, anti-discrimination. I have never been afraid to speak out on social issues in Donegal County Council even when the politically expedient thing to do would be say nothing or support the group think.|
|IF ELECTED WILL YOU WORK TOWARDS UPHOLDING AND PROMOTING THE ETHOS OF SOCIAL INCLUSION, EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS?||YES|
|QUESTION THE COST OF CHILDCARE IN DONEGAL HAS RECENTLY BEEN PROVED TO ACT AS A BARRIER TO LOW INCOME WORKING FAMILIES TO EITHER REMAIN IN OR TAKE UP EMPLOYMENT. WITH AN AVERAGE COST FOR 2 CHILDREN IN FULL TIME DAY CARE EQUATING TO €16,500 PER YEAR AFTER TAX – WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: It is an issue that I can continue to highlight, although in all honesty it is not an area where the County Council has direct competency. It requires a policy change at national level including proper social welfare supports. Long term I believe we need a formal state preschool system, as Independent TDs have been calling for.|
|QUESTION IN LIGHT OF THE MANY CUTS TO SERVICES I.E. HOME HELPS, SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS AND PERSONAL ASSISTANTS, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT A POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: Again these issues fall outside the direct competency of Donegal County Council, although they are issues that I deal with on a daily basis with constituents that come to me for help. While we have a free market government that looks at only the economic value of services I fear the cuts will continue. Government must recognise that we are a society not just an economy.|
|DOMESTIC ABUSE + VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN|
|QUESTIONS HAVE YOU OR WILL YOU SIGN UP TO THE MAN-UP CAMPAIGN?
|WILL YOU UNDERTAKE A HALF DAY WORKSHOP IN 2014 ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?||YES|
|DONEGAL WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE HAS RECENTLY EXPANDED THE NUMBER OF ACCOMMODATION UNITS IT SUPPLIES YET THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER INCREASE IN FUNDING FROM DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL. HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS?||I understand that primary responsibility for funding falls to the Child and Family agency. To give any firm commitment of increased funding from DCC would be disingenuous of me or other candidates. I would be supportive and believe that there should be emergency accommodation available in each Electoral Area in Donegal.|
|LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT)|
|QUESTION IN THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE A BALANCED DEBATE IN DONEGAL?||RESPONSE: I can only state my position of support clearly on the issue in any debate that I am involved in. I won’t be hiding from it either as others have done when social issues are raised in the chamber of DCC?|
|QUESTION WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN?||RESPONSE: My record of commitment to the full implementation of the accommodation plan I believe has been explicit following the incident in Ballyshannon last year. We have agreed the new plan and I will ensure that council officials keep us informed of its progress and that fellow councillors are called out on disingenuous or racist commentary when they have signed up to it.|
|WOMEN’S POLITICAL REPRESENTATION|
|QUESTIONS DO YOU SUPPORT THE 5050 CAMPAIGN TO SECURE EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN IRELAND?||RESPONSES: UNDECIDED|
|IF NO PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY.||NA|
|WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE WITHIN YOUR PARTY OR AS AN INDEPENDENT TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT AT LEAST 30% FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION?||I would like to see all council meetings take place outside of normal working hours so that work or childcare is not a barrier to participation. This applies not just to women, as it is a barrier to a more inclusive council from a diverse range of experience.|
|EQUALITY IN DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL|
|QUESTIONS DO YOU AGREE THAT DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL SHOULD BE MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY FOR ITS ELECTED COUNCILLORS?||RESPONSES: YES|
|WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THIS CHANGE?||AS ABOVE|
|DO YOU AGREE GENDER EQUALITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE UNDERPINNING THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS IN IRELAND?||YES|
|Part of the “BE INFORMED… about your 2014 Local Election Candidates” by NCCWN-Donegal Women’s Network www.donegalwomensnetwork.com|