|This week Councillor Casserly and her son, James, joined volunteers from the Lucan Disability Action Group to collect donations at St Patrick’s Church in LucanRead more|
|Councillor Casserly has been actively involved in liaising with residents in Johnsbridge about crime prevention methods. Read More|
Councillor Casserly is please to bring constituents information about the Back-to-School Allowance.
This payment is designed to help parents with the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.
Parents or guardians must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes to avail of the allowance and the child or children must be aged between 4 and 17 on or before September 30th. Parents can also apply for the allowance for children aged between 18 and 22 if still in second-level education.
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) is paid by the Department of Social Protection and will be automatically allocated to those who qualify. This means that many people do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you should receive a letter stating when and how your Allowance will be paid.
The 2017 scheme is now open and the closing date for applications is 30 September 2017.
It is expected that those automatically entitled to payments will be notified and the payment will be made during the week ending 14 July.
For further information please visit the website by clicking here.
In recent months Cllr Casserly has been working together with residents in Hillcrest to address some issues locally. Below are the details of several projects she has been involved with…
In addition to this, Hillcrest Grove has been subject to dumping which Councillor Casserly had investigated by the litter warden, resulting in the rubbish being removed and the culprits identified.
In conjunction with Councillor Casserly South Dublin County Council has also carried out pedestrian safety improvement works close to Tesco.
If residents have concerns or issues they would like to raise they are encouraged to contact Councillor Casserly through the website.
Councillor Casserly was honoured to be part of the Inclusion Ireland working group which toured Áras an Uachtaráin to see the newly installed ‘Changing Place’.
A ‘Changing Place’ differs from standard accessible bathrooms in public places as it is a step beyond current regulations for space and includes additional equipment such as a hoist and a bench.
Councillor Casserly said: “Most of us don’t give visiting a public building a second thought, but many people with a disability are unable to participate in activities we take for granted because standard accessible toilets don’t meet their needs or needs of their carer.”
“Imagine having to change your son, daughter or partner on the floor of a public toilet – most of us would agree this is unacceptable but unfortunately a reality for many carers who simply have no other choice.”
As part of her role on the working group, Councillor Casserly facilitated meetings between the then Minister for Public Works, Simon Harris TD and the OPW to open links with Inclusion Ireland and play a part in creating an “equal accessible Ireland.”
She explained: “Stepping outside the norm, in this case current regulations to add to our society by being progressive in our actions to allow inclusion and participation, will open doors that may not have been possible to enter for many. It allows for greater dignity, equality and opportunity in our communities.”
The Fine Gael councillor was proud to see the OPW and Inclusion Ireland progressing the concept of ‘Changing Place’ within Áras an Uachtaráin.
Councillor Casserly is also pursuing the idea for buildings in Lucan and Palmerstown. She said: “Within South Dublin County Council, I continue to push for any new buildings, including the Lucan Swimming Pool or public buildings to be renovated to include a changing place. For what is a nominal cost of approximately €12,000, it will give greater access to all in our community which can only be a positive moving forward.”
The issue has been included in the current Development Plan 2016-2022, with councillor Casserly making representations and receiving assurances that a Changing Place will be built during construction of the Lucan Swimming Pool.
For more information about the campaign or to find out where Changing Places bathrooms have been installed visit Inclusion Ireland.
Cllr Casserly was a member of the Participatory Budgeting committee which allowed local people to have an input into how the budget of €300,000 is allocated.
The local democratic process served to inform the council about how residents want the extra discretionary money spent within their community & was run as a pilot project in Lucan & Palmerstown.
There were a number of locally facilitated workshops to explain the process & there was also an online consultation portal where residents were invited to make suggestions.
Proposals put to the council were assessed by the committee and council staff, taking into account the benefit to the community. The successful submissions were costed & the information made available to the public which voted for the preferred projects earlier this year.
The proposals with the most support were chosen in June and are set to be constructed within 12 months.
This initiative allowed the people of Lucan & Palmerstown to have a direct say in how the money is spent within their community & Cllr Casserly is “extremely proud & very excited” to have been part of the process.
In 2016 Cllr Casserly approached South Dublin County Council about the possibility of including a Paralympic section to the Schools Cross Country Programme in an effort to give students with a disability an equal opportunity to qualify for competitions.
The project was piloted in schools across the county with huge interest from students with disabilities attending mainstream schools, to the delight of the Fine Gael councillor.
Cllr Casserly said: “The introduction of the Paralympic section has opened up so many doors for students & is a huge step towards total equality for children with disabilities.
She also praised South Dublin County Council Sports and Recreational Department on the success of the recent Schools Cross Country events, which she believes “broke the mould” by introducing a new category for Paralympic school going children.
Cllr Casserly’s own son, James, attends Scoil Áine in Lucan and is passionate about sports. The 10-year-old has Cerebral Palsy & Juvenile Arthritis and is determined to compete alongside his school friends.
“The addition of the Paralympic section means that James, along with other children who are interested in sports, have the opportunity to compete in the same way as their friends & peers.”
South Dublin’s Primary Schools Cross Country Programme has grown in recent years with 67 schools set to take part in the 2017 programme.
According to the council the Paralympic section has “developed & grown” since it was first introduced & there is currently a Paralympic section in three out of the four local cross country event venues – catering for Wheelchair users, those on walking frames, and those that are ambulant.
Earlier this year Cllr Casserly announced that, following representations from herself, South Dublin County Council agreed to allocate €55,000 for footpath repairs included in 2017. Part of the money allocated will go to repair the uneven and cracked footpaths; an issue raised with Cllr Casserly by the residents in Ardeevin.
Fairy Wood Lucan
Cllr Casserly was present at the opening of Lucan’s own Fairy Wood in 2015 – she had been working on the proposal for the venture since before she became a councillor.
She said: “I first proposed this to the Council before my election in February 2014, with the help of Minister Frances Fitzgerald.”
Situated in Lucan Demense, the Fairy Wood is a collaboration between the Irish Fairy Door company and SDCC. Set over 2.5 km, there is no charge to visit the magical space which will capture the imagination of young and old alike. There is lots to see and do in the wood, for more information visit www.theirishfairydoorcompany.com.
Cllr Casserly believes that this fantastic amenity gives young families a great place to go and explore & vowed to continue to support the development of amenities & facilities across Lucan & Palmerstown for all ages.
Cllr Casserly will join with Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD to hold an information morning with The Irish Hospice Foundation on Friday, April 28th at 11am in Kenny’s Lucan.
The Coffee Morning will offer an opportunity to to discuss the newly launched initiative from The Irish Hospice Foundation “Think Ahead” which encourages people to talk about and record their preferences in case of an emergency or sudden illness.
Although the prospect may be difficult to talk about representatives from The Irish Hospice Foundation will be on hand to answer questions on the morning and will be participating fully in the “positive and relaxed event”.
So please come along and join Councillor Casserly and Minister Fitzgerald in the back lounge at Kenny’s Pub in Lucan Village from 11am on Friday, April 28th.