Quality of Life for All
Labour Party Manifesto 2020

Labour wants every place to be a good place to live for everyone, with a special focus on the needs of children and older people.

In most of our communities, parks, beaches, playgrounds, sporting facilities, libraries and arts centres are typically provided for and maintained by local councils. Their quality, safety and accessibility can be life-enhancing for people in terms of physical and mental health. The lack of these facilities can also diminish people’s quality of life.

We have a vision of how local government can raise the quality of life in every town, city, suburb and rural area, by providing access to good quality facilities.

Our cities and towns should not be overly focused on commercial concerns. Vibrant cities and towns need to be focused on people’s needs. We will promote liveable towns and cities, and advocate for a European-style culture of comfortable urban living and quality urban housing

  • We’ll explore schemes for the retrofitting of multiple above-the-shop dwellings in town and city centres into single, integrated housing projects that can have proper access, operating independently of owners/occupiers of ground floor retail premises

Everyone deserves to have easy access to clean, healthy environments like parks, outdoor gym equipment, sports grounds, swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, hill walks, beaches and woods, including for dog owners and for people practising sports

  • Young people need to have places to go. We will create spaces such as recreation areas, community buildings and youth cafés in council buildings, with the aim of encouraging community leadership and social participation by young people

It is common sense for local councils to have responsibility for the delivery of rural public transport. Labour will push for local councils to be able to fund these types of services, building on the Local Link pilot

  • Subsidies need to be made available for rural hackney/taxi schemes, to ensure people in rural areas can access shops and services in neighbouring villages and towns. Making more rural hackney taxi licences available will help to reduce the incidence of drink driving

We believe libraries and arts centres should have longer opening hours, especially at evenings, weekends and on bank holidays

  • We are passionate about the promotion of literacy programmes, that’s why we will heavily promote outreach initiatives by libraries and arts centres targeted at marginalised and disadvantaged groups, including people with literacy or learning difficulties, to encourage their use of these facilities
  • We’ll enhance the role of libraries as resource hubs for people seeking training or work, or seeking to set up their own businesses
  • Library programmes that promote computer and Internet literacy are really beneficial to people in our communities, especially for the oldest and youngest in our society. These types of programmes can help people avoid being caught by Internet scams while also promoting safety online
  • Libraries are a great resource for students, especially those doing exams. Labour councillors will promote funding for homework clubs to take place in libraries and community centres, run by community development workers
  • We’ll support the use of mobile libraries, especially in rural areas

All Councils should be empowered to work with the communities they serve. Labour Councillors will ensure that your local council is co-operating meaningfully with community, voluntary and neighbourhood groups that work to enhance people’s lives

  • We will work with local councils to make it easier for community groups to overcome barriers like insurance costs and accessing event permits
  • We want all neighbourhoods to have access to affordable, and where possible free-of-charge, public spaces for use by community groups. Labour will promote the use of public buildings after hours by non-profit community groups
  • There needs to be more opportunities for people to be active citizens, especially for people from minority groups, people with disabilities and others who are under-represented in public life
  • Labour has a track record of supporting our community arts organisations and promoting inclusive community cultural activities.We will continue to do so right across the county
  • We fully support traditional Irish festivals and parades, including promotion of the Irish language

The benefits of local policing forums when it comes to combating crime cannot be denied. Labour will work to improve the relationship between local councils and the Gardaí, and to promote community policing

  • More Home Security schemes need to be put in place to help people, especially older members of our community, upgrade the locks and security systems on their homes
  • Rural crime is on the rise, and many communities are rightly extremely worried. Labour funded the rural CCTV scheme, and we want to see it developed further to deter crime and speeding
  • The Community Graffiti Reduction Programme needs to be re-established. Labour will provide funding and assistance for public bodies, community groups and/or busnesses to remove graffiti, to improve landscapes and to divert young people into community arts activities including graffiti art zones, while also calling for a minimum age to purchase spray paint

Make Way Days are brilliant for highlighting the challenges people with disabilities have to overcome while living in our towns and cities. However, we cannot just have one specified day a year where we are made aware of these problems. Labour will work towards making all shared spaces designated as safe travel areas for older people, children and persons with disabilities

  • We need to make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. That’s why we will continue to advocate for policies to maximise road safety for pedestrians and cyclists, including more pedestrian crossings, with a particular focus on disability access on all footpaths and crossings
  • Town and city centres should be designed to be walkable spaces, not dominated by cars
  • Working with local councils and An Garda Síochána we will come up with solutions to controlling the unlawful and dangerous use of scrambler motorcycles on public roads and on public land

Ireland is a vibrant multi-faith country. While upholding the principle of State secularism and pluralism we will support religious communities when they wish to hold festivals in line with their faiths

  • We will support religious communities in attaining planning permission for churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other religious buildings
  • We’ll call for all local councils to ensure appropriate burial grounds are available for people of all faiths and for people who are not religious, including those who wish to build new forms of burial ground such as walls for interring the remains of those who have been cremated