Louise Heavin (Green Party)
Q: What do you think will be the main issues coming up on the doorsteps now that the election campaign is under way?
A: Health, housing and the environment top of a lot of people's demands for government action. All three areas have reached crisis point over the past few years and need to be addressed with concrete and realistic actions.
Q: What should be the key local priorities for the constituency in the next Dail?
A: Community development to boost our local economies and make our towns and villages more livable. Plans also need to be in place for a just transition forparts of the Midlands that rely on carbon intensive activities. Reforming CAP and agricultural funding models also, to ensure our farmers are getting a good price for their quality local produce. The protection and restoration of our natural heritage and environment is also vital.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
A: As an experienced Architect I can bring my expertise to national policy in the areas of housing, planning and community development.
Q: If you had the power to make one big thing happen, locally or nationally, what would it be?
A: I would ensure that there is a positive programme for housing. We should be prioritising renovation of properties in town and village centres, creating new housing developments in appropriate locations with access on foot or bike to local schools, shops and amenities. I would also introduce a deep retrofit scheme that works for people looking to upgrade their homes.
Q: Who will top the poll in the constituency?
A: It's difficult to say. I think many people are looking for a change and that should make the count in Longford Westmeath quite interesting. It would also be great to see at least one woman elected.
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