Meet the Candidates: John Sheridan, Fianna Fáil, Ardee/Mid-Louth
Why have you decided to run in the local elections?
For me, I have worked in Ardee town for eight years in a local healthcare company and been involved in a number of community groups all my adult life and wanted to run in this election to bring a fresh new voice to local politics. Last year, a report from the ICSI said the biggest threat to rural Ireland was the decline of small towns and the second biggest threat was poor broadband. I see these daily challenges every day and feel that towns like Ardee and Dunleer can be economic hubs in their own right. I feel many people who pay their property tax don't necessarily know what services they get from this tax, or don't feel the benefits, so I think from that perspective I wanted to run and highlight the projects I feel can help locally.
Why should people vote for you?
As a first time candidate in my early 30s, I feel that I can be a fresh new voice for the area. I feel I can bring energy and some fresh thinking as well as a practical can-do approach to the area. Like many others, I've made the decision a few years ago, that I want to settle down where I grew up and that was here in Louth. I think there are many people, perhaps still in Dublin, who would like to move back home. There are also so many other people commuting daily to office jobs in Dublin. I think if we can do more for our rural towns and villages we can promote more people moving home to Louth. Some of these issues that I've been promoting: a pilot of a work from home incentive as an alternative to commuting. The only promise I'm making in this election is to work as hard as I can and to work with the other councillors elected in order to have the best outcomes for all of mid-Louth.
What do you think is lacking in your area and what will you be campaigning for?
For me my main campaign points are: a Council led pilot of a work from home incentive to promote more people working from home. This will bring benefits for the environment and childcare and I think benefits will result in more people wanting to live in Louth and a boost for the local economy.
The Ardee N52 bypass, Ardee Castle restoration and Ardee urban renewal are big issues which are already funded but need to be delivered. They will be a huge benefit to Ardee town and ensuring the town flourishes. The Dunleer Local Development Plan up to the year 2023 needs to be delivered. Rural broadband is a huge issue I'm highlighting as it has been the single biggest issue spontaneously coming up in rural areas.
Finally, I have come across so many local requests for public lighting and traffic calming right across the area. I think there needs to be a clearer process and guidelines made available to the general public so that expectations can be realistic as to what can actually be done about these issues as I know there are strict rules around both public lighting and traffic calming.