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 SIOBHAN MCLAUGHLIN|
|QUESTIONS: AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?||RESPONSES: I have served on a large number of boards and local committees including the Social Inclusion Measures Group, the County Development Board and the Donegal Intercultural Platform and the Community Workers’ Cooperative. I currently manage a large community based organisation in Letterkenny (Donegal Travellers Project) and I am the current Chair of the Council’s Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee. I have also served on a range of national forums and advisory committees and for the past two years has been an active voluntary member of the board of POBAL.|
|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: I am fully committed to working for accessible, affordable childcare for all families. This would form a central plank of my programme as a county councillor for the next 5 years. I regard this as both a national issue – requiring a national policy, and then the need for a properly resourced infrastructure at local level. I look forward to working with TUSLA and Children Services Committee to implement this over my term in council.|
|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 would promote the value and role of all carers and work to raise the recognition and profile of the vital work they provide in the county. I would argue that there should be designated seats on the new Public Participation Networks for carers.|
|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?||I would argue through the Local Community Development Committee of Council for increased support s to the DDVS.|
|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: Use the opportunity to openly debate issues through the LCDC and in the new Public Participation Networks. I would also be an advocate for marriage equality in all public forums open to me.|
|QUESTION: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN?||RESPONSE: As the outgoing chair of the LTACC, I would continue to support the full implementation of the 2014-18 plan. I am committed to a collaborative approach to delivering on the commitments within the programme.|
|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.||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?||30 % participation and gender quotas are Labour Party policy already.|
|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?||Support a review by the elected members within their first year of office to explore strategies that would promote family-friendly policies and progress.|
|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|