Letterkenny, Fianna Fáil
The National Women’s Collective – Donegal Women’s Network sent an ‘Open Invitation’ to all 2014 local election candidates to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern by voters in Donegal.
Each candidate was invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions if they are successful and elected onto Donegal County Council.
This we believe will give the electorate an insight into each candidate as well as giving the candidates an open forum which could be helpful in securing votes.
Below are the questions with the candidates response.
|YOUR CANDIDATE JOHN WATSON|
|QUESTIONS: AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?||RESPONSES: I am a Letterkenny based business man, employing 26 people. I was president of Letterkenny chamber in 2012 & 2013. I have good organisational skills and the ability to get things done. I believe my many skills as a business person could be put to good use in our council. I am involved in the community through many different groups and I see first-hand the many issues we need to resolve.|
|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: Firstly I believe that our larger employers should be encouraged to have childcare facilities on site. I also believe the roll out of a decent broadband service could encourage parents to work from home. We see this in the case of Pramerica where many of their staff are based at home. As I believe this to be a national issue we must lobby our TDs for the introduction of some incentive for working parents perhaps through our tax system.|
|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: I have met with many principals already about the SNA situation and have had discussions with our TD about this issue. I will continue to lobby on this issue.If elected I will be seeking cross party support from our councillors and from representative organisations to take this fight to the government. I feel we are not highlighting these issues enough and we need to be more vocal.|
|DOMESTIC ABUSE + VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN|
|QUESTIONS: HAVE YOU OR WILL YOU SIGN UP TO THE MAN-UP CAMPAIGN?||RESPONSES: YES|
|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?||If elected I will meet with DWDVS for a briefing of what issues I need to raise on your behalf. I will undertake to seek an increase in the funding provided to this vital service|
|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 will strongly support and defend the rights of any person to get married to another. I will support the introduction of same sex marriage.|
|QUESTION: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN?||RESPONSE: I will support the implementation of the plan. If elected I will meet with the DTP to get briefed on any issues I can make representations on.|
|WOMEN’S POLITICAL REPRESENTATION|
|QUESTIONS: DO YOU SUPPORT THE 5050 CAMPAIGN TO SECURE EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN IRELAND?||RESPONSES: YES|
|IF NO PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY.|
|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 have identified a number of women who I believe could be worthy election candidates for the next general election. I intend to have these people get involved in the party to see if it is something that will interest them. I also will be encouraging the rebuilding of the very successful women`s committee that was in existence in the past.|
|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?||The provision of childcare facilities would go a long way in making the job more family friendly. Meetings should take place during normal working hours.|
|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|