Manifesto 2019, Kieran McCarthy’s brochure, Local Elections, Cork, May 2019
1 Recreation & Amenity:
I will promote and develop better facilities in the community.
In the Cork City Development Plan it is important that we devise services and plans for the South East Local Electoral Area that will enhance the sporting and cultural facilities of our community. This includes the future of our old and new parks such as Marina Park and Tramore Valley Park with links to Grange, improving and developing playgrounds, community centres, sports and youth facilities.
2 Environment & Sustainability:
I will push Cork City’s challenge to become a European Green Capital.
The Award recognises cities that are leading the way with environmentally friendly urban living. The initiative was launched by the European Commission in 2008. It aims to reward cities, which are making efforts to improve the urban environment and move towards healthier and sustainable living areas. It covers diverse urban agenda topics such as sustainable land use, local transport sustainability (bus and bicycle programmes), housing, urban forestry management, nature and biodiversity, air quality, suitable flood defence programmes, waste production and management. The award aspires to create an integrated environmental management system where all stakeholders are engaged.
3 Marketing the City Centre:
I will promote a marketing plan for Cork.
Marketing Cork is crucial to keep it vibrant and attractive. The City Council and city and suburban traders need to develop mechanisms to face off against the challenges of online buying. The City Centre has a strong sense of place – we need to keep capturing this sense of place and continue to make it meaningful and ‘personable’ to citizens. Trade and business in the city is diverse. Sometimes I feel the sense of diverseness is perhaps not celebrated enough.
4 Local Government Reform:
I will foster greater local government reform.
We need to spend wisely, changing old habits and looking to more efficient and effective ways of doing things. There needs to be greater accountability and transparency in how local government departments communicate. I believe that I have influenced and challenged the complacency of local politics and government. Change has to happen at a local level in order to impact national politics. For my part, I have tried to remain open and genuine with people and in the decisions I have made in the Council chamber. I have chosen not to attend conferences in order to redirect those costs towards supplementing my own financial investment in education programmes in Cork.
5 Civic Awareness, Culture & Community Work:
I will encourage more community participation through the provision of community and school civic awareness programmes and events.
Learning, education, citizenship engagement, participation empowerment, social inclusion and building community capacity are all concepts I have designed, curated and woven into my community initiatives over many years now. Historical walking tours, newspaper articles & school work remain foundations of my work. I work with pupils across 20 schools in the City with the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project. I also work with young people through my investment of my councillor expenses and salary in creating annual youth projects such as McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition and McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project as well as adult participant projects such as the establishment of Cork City Musical Society.