My name is Thomas Phelan, from Ballinroad near Dungarvan. I am applying to be your voice on Waterford City & Co. Council. I am asking you for your first preference at the local elections on Friday May 24th. A vote for me is a vote for a new voice with integrity, dedication and experience.
This election is too important to waste time pandering to the electorate or promising everything to everyone. This is what gives politics a bad name. I’m not interested in fake outrage or indignation just to get my name in the papers. I won’t be rising to the bait of armchair pundits or keyboard warriors online. I’m here to work as hard as I can on the things that matter to people in their daily lives, in their homes and in their communities.
The next council will need to take a step back and think strategically about our future. The county development plan is long overdue for updating. This plan will set priorities for Waterford for years to come and it will help to determine how resources are shared out across Waterford. This plan must be fair to all. In addition to an overall plan for the city and county, every town and village in Waterford should have a detailed and resourced multi-year development plan based on consultations with local people. That is true democracy. This will require councillors with a background of working in communities. Over the years, I have volunteered with a wide range of organisations, including:
· Waterford Public Participation Network
· Waterford 1916 Commemoration Committee
· Waterford Heritage Forum
· Waterford Greenway Forum
· County and Western Scór
· Macra na Feirme
· Ballinroad Soccer Club
For the last number of years my main voluntary focus has been on my role on the committee of Ballinroad Community Group. In that role I have been involved in a wide variety of activities, including:
· Representing the community with council staff to get roads resurfaced and potholes filled; pedestrians crossings installed; new lighting installed; parking spaces lined; and obtaining grants
· Establishing Text Alert
· Organising community litter picks
I am asking for your first preference vote so that I can continue and expand on this work to be of help to more people across the Dungarvan Electoral Area, from Youghal bridge to Kilrossanty and everywhere in between.
My previous job with AOL/TalkTalk gave me invaluable experience:
· Handling complaints from customers, the media, and the regulator
· Representing my colleagues as an elected Employee Representative
· As an Employee Representative I joined Unite, and I’m still a member.
· I gained negotiating skills during several rounds of redundancies.
· I also helped secure EU funding to support redundant TalkTalk workers to return to education or to set up their own businesses.
My current day job is as a Quality Consultant. I help SME’s to plan and carry out their continual improvement objectives to drive business success. Waterford too needs to be continually improving in terms of roads, housing, services, health, the environment, jobs, retail, businesses, farming, fishing, tourism, and heritage. I would like the opportunity to be your councillor so that I can use my skills and experience to help individuals, organisations and communities in Dungarvan and West Waterford. I’m here to help, so please feel free to contact me.
Due to electoral area boundary changes, many people who would have voted for my Labour Party colleagues, Cllr. John Pratt and Ger Barron, will no longer be able to do so. If you are one of these voters I would be very grateful if you would trust me with your No. 1.