Former Mayo Green Party member Andy Wilson has announced his intention to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming council elections. Mr Wilson, who works as an energy consultant and is editor of Sustainability Journal, says he has absolutely no faith in the ability of the mainstream political parties to get to grips with the economic catastrophe facing Ireland.
“The country is bankrupt, unemployment is growing by the day, and money is being pillaged from strategic public services such as education, transport, and health. The Government is deliberately playing down the scale of the emergency whilst simultaneously blundering from one ill thought out measure to the next.
“We are facing into a 15 or 20 year economic wasteland and unemployment of 30 or 40 per cent. The key components of survival are food production, energy security, primary manufacturing, the development of strategic industries, and the maintenance of a high level of essential public services. County councils have a crucial role to play in developing survival strategies, providing guidance and advice to local communities, and ensuing that public money is spent in a way that will yield the most benefit for the greatest number,” stated Mr Wilson.
“I want to see Mayo County Council draw up a completely new development plan aimed primarily at the long-term sustainability of local communities. This should include the provision of allotments, low cost rented accommodation and county-wide public transport, the safeguarding of public water supplies, the establishment of new industries based on recycling and re-use of all waste, support for community based forestry and new agricultural initiatives, and responsible stewardship of the natural environment. The plan should also take into consideration both fossil fuel depletion and greenhouse gas emission-reduction obligations, and examine strategies by which oil imports into the county can be reduced by 50 per cent by 2020.”