Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Kildare North Cllr Frank O’Rourke says the state should do more to support local Residents’ Associations in communities across Kildare.
Cllr O’Rourke commented, “Residents Associations play an important role in the upkeep of communities in towns and villages across Kildare. They step in and provide additional services to these areas such as street cleaning, grass cutting, wall painting and ensuring drains remain clean to help prevent flooding. These associations would be sorely missed if they suddenly disbanded.
“People feel that the level of service provided by local authorities has declined steadily in recent years, despite the introduction of additional taxes such as the Local Property Tax. Meanwhile the Government are expecting Residents’ Associations to step up to the plate and contribute to services that local authorities are no longer in a positon to provide.
“It’s important to recognise that these Residents Associations are voluntary bodies. People give up their own time to help maintain their local community. I believe that the Government should be doing more to support these Residents’ Associations. For example the Government should consider amending the tax laws to allow these associations to claim tax relief on dues paid by residents for the upkeep of their community. This would operate in the same way that charities can claim tax relief on donations.
“It’s time that the valuable work of Residents’ Associations is recognised. The very least the Government could do is introduce a tax relief scheme to encourage greater participation in these associations. It’s a win-win situation as it takes pressure off local authorities while at the same time ensuring good upkeep of communities,” said Cllr O’Rourke.