Tracks Of My Years: John ScofieldApril 30, 2019
The La Touche Hotel Rides AgainMay 31, 2017
With campaigning already underway for May 24th’s local elections, we’ve asked each of those running to answer five simple questions about where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where they hope to take us all.
Especially given that they’ve all agreed to keep our town and village centres free from campaign posters.
Day by day, each entry will be given the floor, unedited, to express their plans and hopes, their dreams and schemes.
And to keep it fair, we’re doing this alphabetically. So, next up is Lourda Scott, stepping up to her first local elections with the Green Party on her side…
Take it away, Lourda…
What inspired you to become involved in local politics? Was there a Road To District Council moment…?
I had been thinking about entering politics for a while but as a mother of three small kids I put it to the back of my mind. Last year I campaigned for Repeal with our Together for Yes branch and it was incredibly empowering being part of a movement led by strong women. It made me want to step up, challenge the status quo and continue to lead change. I want to see an increased female presence on Wicklow County Council. With 80% of Councillors being men we need to see more women elected and reflecting our society. I was drawn to The Green Party as their core values of social justice, equality and environment are the areas I feel most passionate about.
Of your work so far, are there particular achievements that you are particularly proud of?
On a career level moving from Veterinary Practice to completing my PhD in Food Safety. From a community point of view I would say meeting and volunteering with the women who provide great and varied support and education to parents in Cuidiu North Wicklow branch and of course playing my part in Repeal. On a personal level, my greatest achievement most days is managing to get out of the house with my three young children dressed and wearing matching shoes!
Looking forward, what are the main goals that you would like to achieve over the coming years?
In general, to be part of positive action and changes to improve the quality of life for people in our community, whether that be through actions as a Councillor or continuing to work with community groups. If elected I would like to see consideration of the environment at the heart of every council decision, particularly in relation to planning. People have already raised concerns with me regarding planning applications that contravene the Greystones Area Development plan. I want to see the Wicklow National Biodiversity plan updated and a Climate Action Plan for Wicklow developed, subjects particulary close to my heart as I was involved in organising the Climate Strike in Greystones recently. Long term I want to see sustainable communities where everyone is valued and where the quality of life isn’t just measured by economics. If I had the power to do so, build more social houses and solve our homeless crisis.
To turn a fine Mayor Quimby quote into a question, ask not what you can do for your county, but what you can do for Greystones…?
I believe in talking to people and listening to what their needs are. I am very humbled by the time people have given me to talk and share their stories on the doorstep when out canvassing over the last few months. Again and again there is demand for more secondary school places, concern about the planning process and a desire for improved public transport. It is very noticable that people want to leave the cars behind but there aren’t enough DARTs, 84x buses in particular and parking at Park and Rides. My husband and I both commute and I absolutely will push for improvements in this area. Regarding schools I have sent in a PQ to the Minister for Education asking when the patronage process will be opened for the proposed new secondary school and await an answer. Other measures that have been raised that I would like to take action on include Greystones moving towards being a plastic-free zone, improved access to the beach for those with impaired mobility, walking buses for school children and innovative ways of helping people working remotely to reduce or improve the commuting experience.
If being a politician doesn’t work out, have you got a Career B in mind? Dancer? Magician? Traffic warden…?
I will still work towards achieving my goals as listed above and I will continue to be involved with community groups such as Cuidiu, the North Wicklow Environmental Group, North Wicklow Together for Social Justice and Bray Refugee Solidarity. Of course, my yoga and mindfulness classes will continue as will trying to get my kids out the door in the mornings!
You can find out more about Lourda Scott on the Green Party website here, on Facebook here, or you can get in touch directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.