the ferris wheel - labour party 2012 2013 2014 jobless trend in avoca falling arklow jobs, p1 avoca
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CONTACT ANNE FERRIS TD
Dáil Éireann, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 Phone: 01 618 3539 Fax: 01 618 4671 Email: email@example.com
Constituency Office: 115 Main Street, Bray, Co. Wicklow Phone: 01 2764699 Fax: 01 2116664
In the three year period since the current government was elected the number of people from Avoca, Arklow, Inch, Aughrim, Redcross and Brittas Bay signing on the live register in Arklow has stopped climbing and started to fall. It’s still far too early for celebrating and there’s more to be done before we are back to the levels of unemployment experienced in 2008 but there’s definitely a strong downward trend. In fact the number of people signing on in Arklow has now fallen below 2009 levels.
There’s still far too much unemployment in the Arklow live register area. It’s frightening to think that things could be twice as bad if the post-crash trend had continued without active policy intervention.
This welcome change in trend is, we are told, not reliant on emigration or the number of people that have returned to education. According to the experts in the Economic and Social Research Institute (the ERSI) the downward trend in unemployment nationally is matched by an upward trend in numbers of jobs being created. The ESRI tells us that this year alone will see the creation of 50,000 new jobs nationally, bringing national employment back to 2008 levels.
One of the encouraging aspects to the current pattern is that we know that recent employment growth is not linked to another construction bubble. The hope is that the growth we are experiencing now represents a more sustainable type of base employment pattern. The more of these stable jobs that can be created in areas such as services, tourism, small industries and food production the better. Then when the construction sector begins to recover Ireland can enjoy the benefits of further employment growth without the fear of another devastating bust.
Earlier this year I travelled to the town of Ypres in Belgium to honour more than 100 young men from County Wicklow, including several men from the Avoca area, who died there fighting in World War I.
Some were nationalists, some were unionists but the vast majority were just young men in their late teens and early twenties who left Ireland in a spirit of adventure to see the world. All were proud of the country that they left and most died hoping for peace and prosperity for the families they left behind.
When I visited their memorials in Ypres, I brought with me a suitcase filled with little sprigs of Wicklow heather. The idea was to bring a small token of the beauty of the Garden County to the place where these men from County Wicklow experienced the full horror of a wholly unnecessary war.
On the new WWI monument unveiled on 18th September at Woodenbridge, the men’s names are carved in Wicklow granite and the memorial is set within a wild mountain landscape. I can’t think of a more fitting or more peaceful tribute.
A newsletter by Anne Ferris TD
Anne with Myles Smith and Bernie Ivers at the Woodenbridge Memorial opening
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JOBLESS TREND IN AVOCA FALLING � Arklow jobs, p1
� Avoca World War I, p1
� Garda Authority, p2
� Community Courts, p2
� Mandatory Retirement, p2
� Adoption, p3
� *COMPETITION!* p3
� Wind Farms and Pylons, p4
� The Red Kite Walk, p4
� O’ Moore’s Tree Avoca, p4
AVOCA AREA WAR DEAD HONOURED
Justice Committee Update by Anne Ferris, Vice Chair of Oireachtas Committee on Justice Defence and Equality
GARDA AUTHORITY SCOTTISH OR NI MODEL? At the height of the controversies about GSOC and Garda penalty points I was the first TD to call for a truly independent Garda Authority.
As a result I was asked to author Labour Party Policy on the shape and direction of the new Garda body.
I have yet to be convinced that we should blindly follow the model of the Northern Ireland Policing Board which has 19 politician members. Firstly, that size of a board can be just too big to be effective. Secondly I would prefer to have a smaller board dominated by non-elected board members.
I prefer the structure of the new Scottish Policing Authority which has 13 members, none of whom are elected politicians. In my view Garda Authority board members should be selected by public advertisement and open competition.
There is a real value to having members of the public involved in overseeing the work of the police force that protects their communities. We have to get back to basics. The key issues are crime prevention, safer communities, more transparency and trust.
The new Garda Authority should have the power to recruit, and if necessary dismiss, senior Gardaí. In my view the Authority should also have the role of distributing budgets to the various Garda functions. The new body should prepare strategies, set targets and measure success and failure.
The bottom line is that a democracy needs an effective trusted police force. Our Garda Síochána still ranks amongst the best police forces in the world. The challenge is to retain what is good and to build a stronger policing service for the future.
COMMUNITY COURTS COMING I have to say that I’m a big fan of Community Court systems. I studied how it works in parts of New York and I was impressed.
Every day of the week we are hearing stories of street crimes that cause great upset in our communities.
These types of crimes range from graffiti to structural vandalism, from hand bag snatching to the spate of car-jacking that has been witnessed in Dublin and Wicklow in recent months.
Crimes like this are expensive to police and prosecute and more often than not the perpetrators reoffend on release.
Started in New York in 1993, the Community Court system seeks to apply restorative justice within localities. In a nutshell, if through an obligatory pre- trial process an offence is deemed to be suitable to go through the Community
Court system, and if the accused pleads guilty, there will be no criminal sanction and a community based restorative justice programme will apply.
So the graffiti vandal could find herself paying back the local community through a supervised arts or landscaping scheme and the handbag snatcher could be placed supervised in a community charity role.
In July our committee issued a report recommending a major pilot scheme. The trial scheme would be carried out in one of the policing districts in central Dublin, under the supervision of a dedicated Judge, supported by a cross body Implementation Group and importantly, with the support of the local community.
Launch of Report on Hearings in relation to Community Courts
We have to get back to basics. The key issues are crime prevention, safer communities, more transparency and trust.
“The graffiti vandal could findherself paying back the local community through a supervised arts or landscaping scheme and the handbag snatcher could be placed supervised in a community charity role.
There was a strong welcome amongst the general public for my recently published Bill to abolish mandatory retirement ages. The employers’ representative body IBEC made some disapproving noises but I’d imagine that even their members realise that they must move with the times.
It is wrong for people to be forced to retire just because they hit a ‘magic age number’ like 55 or 65. If a person is fit and able to do a job and willing to work then that person should be able to make their own mind up about retirement.
This autumn I will continue to lobby for change and will be strongly promoting my Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2014 with colleagues in the relevent Government departments.
ADOPTION - a subject close to my heart Many readers will already be familiar with my personal experiences of our archaic adoption laws. I was adopted and, when I was a teenager, my first born daughter was placed into adoption.
I was reunited with my daughter after 23 years. This summer I met a long lost sister for the first time, some 55 years after her birth.
Gaps like this are just too long. So much that should have been shared within a family unit has been lost forever. That is why I am very keen to do what I can to help update our laws.
In April of this year my Open Adoption Bill was debated in Dail Eireann for the first time. The idea is to allow today’s adopted children to have the possibility of maintaining contact with natural family members, a mother, a grandmother, an uncle.
Our current laws work like a closed door. There’s no room to slide a birthday card or a Christmas greeting or a communion photograph under that door. I want to see the term ‘Open Adoption’ on our statute books.
And that’s just a start. I have also drafted a Labour Party Position Paper on Adoption called ‘Opening the Door’.
This new approach would allow adult adoptees access to all the information needed to pie