Vivienne Phelan, Fine Gael candidate in Laois.
Upper Main Street, Stradbally, Co Laois
Why have you decided to run in this election?
I decided to run in the Local Elections because I would like to work for my community. Growing up in a family business I have become accustomed to meeting people and listening to their concerns and frustrations. I believe that if elected I could work in an effective way to make positive changes. Over the years I have immersed myself in a variety of voluntary organisations locally which gave me a good insight into a broad range of issues.
Looking to the future, my own home town is developing at a fast rate thereby presenting new challenges for incoming councillors. Issues such as traffic congestion, recreational facilities and management of housing estates are high on my list of priorities.
Why should people vote for you?
I believe I am a strong candidate. I aim to be an approachable, hard-working and committed public representative who would provide strong leadership on important local issues such as housing, lighting, roads, traffic management and the environment. I would like to help people access their entitlements. I believe I have the necessary skills and experience to do the job to a high standard. As a young person passionate about making my community a great place to live, I would bring a new perspective and energy to the job and help to revitalise local politics in County Laois.
What do you think is lacking in your area?
I firmly believe there is a lack of local political representation in my area. On the campaign trail I was shocked to learn there are people who not only have never met their County Councillors but who don't even know their names. I intend to remedy this by providing a walk-in clinic on Main Street in Stradbally. This would enable people to call in to discuss concerns and talk to their representative at their convenience. I would like to ensure community groups are aware of the grants available to help with their work. I believe I can provide better quality service.
I will be campaigning for a new fit for purpose community hall in Stradbally Town. There has been talk about this for years. Action is now needed.
I am particularly passionate about improving facilities for young people and working for increased accessibility for people with disabilities.
I will be a voice for local businesses on the critical issues of commercial rates and insurance premiums. From my involvement in Macra na Feirme I am aware of the challenges faced by the farming community and rural youth and will do my best at council level to make improvements.