Shashank Chakerwarti

Independent candidate for Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart

How would you help get more housing built in Fingal?

  • Promote Affordable Housing Policies: I would advocate for policies that support the development of affordable housing. This includes implementing zoning changes to allow for higher-density housing, offering tax incentives to developers who commit to building affordable units, and securing public funding for affordable housing projects. These measures would help ensure that more affordable homes are available for our residents.
  • Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): I believe in the power of collaboration between the government and the private sector. By encouraging Public-Private Partnerships, we can leverage the efficiency and innovation of private enterprises while maintaining public oversight to ensure affordability. This approach can significantly boost the financing, construction, and operation of new housing projects.
  • Utilise Vacant Properties: It's crucial to make the most of our existing resources. Identifying and repurposing vacant or underutilised properties in Fingal can be a game-changer. Transforming these spaces into housing units would not only increase the housing supply but also breathe new life into our communities, making them more vibrant and sustainable.

What would you do to help make sure adequate amenities and services would be added along with any new housing built?

  • Integrated Planning: It's crucial to plan for amenities and services simultaneously with housing development. By collaborating closely with various local government departments, such as education, health, and transportation, we can ensure that new communities are well-serviced from the outset. This holistic approach guarantees that essential services like schools, healthcare facilities, and public transport are incorporated into the planning process.
  • Partnerships: Forming partnerships with private businesses and non-profit organisations is key to providing comprehensive amenities and services. This can include bringing in grocery stores, healthcare facilities, schools, and recreational centres. Leveraging the strengths and resources of these partners ensures that new housing areas are vibrant and fully equipped to meet residents' needs.
  • Sustainability: It's important to consider the environmental impact of new developments and strive to create sustainable communities. This involves planning for green spaces, implementing energy-efficient building practices, and providing infrastructure for sustainable transportation options, such as cycling lanes and electric vehicle charging stations. By prioritising sustainability, we can ensure that new housing projects contribute positively to the environment and the well-being of residents

What are your views are on Dublin Airport’s current operations and its proposed expansion?

  • Economic Impact: Dublin Airport is a vital economic engine, facilitating the movement of people and goods that underpin our economy. The proposed expansion has the potential to further boost Ireland’s economy by attracting more tourists and enhancing business travel. This would not only create jobs but also support local businesses and stimulate economic growth across the region.
  • Sustainability: It’s essential that any expansion prioritises environmental sustainability. The commitment to ensuring that all new buildings meet or exceed Nearly Zero-Emission Building (NZEB) standards and equipping new aircraft stands with Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) instead of diesel generators is commendable. These measures demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to reducing the airport's carbon footprint and aligning with broader environmental goals.
  • Community Impact: The expansion will inevitably impact the surrounding community, particularly in terms of noise and traffic. It’s crucial that these impacts are meticulously managed. I advocate for robust community consultation throughout the planning process to address concerns and incorporate feedback. Ensuring transparency and engagement with local residents will help mitigate negative effects and foster a sense of cooperation and mutual benefit.

What needs to be done to improve public transport in Fingal?

  • Improve Frequency and Reliability: We need to increase the frequency of public transport services, especially during peak hours, to reduce waiting times and make commuting more convenient. Additionally, ensuring that services run on time is crucial for increasing reliability and encouraging more people to opt for public transport over private cars.
  • Upgrade Infrastructure: Investing in infrastructure is key to making public transport more efficient and attractive. This includes developing dedicated bus lanes, cycle lanes, and pedestrian-friendly paths. Furthermore, building more park-and-ride facilities will encourage people to use public transport for the main part of their journey, reducing the number of cars on the road.
  • Integrate Different Modes of Transport: We must make it seamless for passengers to switch between different modes of transport. This can be achieved by synchronising timetables, providing real-time information, and implementing pay-by-card systems. By making the transition between buses, trains, and other forms of transport smooth and efficient, we can create a more user-friendly public transport network.

What should be done to make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike?

  • Education and Awareness: Regular road safety campaigns are essential to educate all road users about traffic rules, safe driving practices, and the importance of respecting others. This can include a range of initiatives such as workshops, driving courses, school programmes, and public service announcements. By raising awareness and promoting responsible behaviour, we can reduce the risk of accidents on our roads.
  • Enforcement of Traffic Laws: Strict enforcement of traffic laws is crucial to deter dangerous behaviours like speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving. This requires regular patrols, the use of traffic cameras, and imposing severe penalties for violations. By holding accountable those who disregard road safety regulations, we can create a safer environment for everyone.
  • Safe Design of Vehicles: Encouraging the use of vehicles equipped with safety features is essential. This includes anti-lock braking systems, airbags, and electronic stability control. Additionally, promoting the use of helmets for cyclists and motorcyclists can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. By prioritising vehicle safety, we can mitigate the severity of accidents and protect road users.

What should be done to make the roads safer for all road users?

  • Expand and Improve Infrastructure: We need to develop more pedestrian paths and cycle lanes, particularly in areas that currently lack these facilities. It’s important that these paths are well-maintained, well-lit, and clearly marked to ensure they are safe and accessible for everyone.
  • Safety Measures: Implementing various safety measures is crucial. This includes traffic calming measures, installing pedestrian crossings, and cyclist-friendly traffic signals. Additionally, providing secure bike parking facilities will help prevent theft and encourage more people to cycle.
  • Integration with Public Transport: It should be easy for people to combine walking or cycling with public transport. This can be achieved by providing bike racks on buses and allowing bikes on trains during off-peak hours. Such measures will make it more convenient for people to use multiple modes of transport, thereby promoting a more integrated and sustainable transport system.

How would you help create more natural green spaces and promote biodiversity in Fingal?

  • Promote Native Planting: Encouraging the planting of native trees, shrubs, and flowers in both public and private spaces is crucial. Native plants not only provide food and habitat for local wildlife but are also better adapted to local weather and soil conditions. By promoting native planting initiatives, we can enhance biodiversity and create healthier ecosystems throughout Fingal.
  • Create Wildlife Corridors: Establishing wildlife corridors is vital for enabling animals to move between different habitats, promoting genetic diversity and ensuring their long-term survival. This can be achieved by preserving strips of natural vegetation along rivers and streams or constructing "green bridges" over roads. By connecting fragmented habitats, we can support the movement of wildlife and promote ecological resilience.
  • Monitor and Protect Existing Natural Areas: Regular monitoring of local ecosystems is essential for identifying threats and taking proactive measures to protect them. This may involve collaborating with local wildlife groups, engaging with the community, and hiring professional ecologists to assess and manage natural areas effectively. By safeguarding existing natural habitats, we can conserve biodiversity and preserve the unique natural heritage of Fingal for future generations.


How would you help get more parks and sports facilities built in Fingal?

  • Partnerships: Forming partnerships with private businesses, non-profit organisations, and sports clubs is essential for financing, building, and operating parks and sports facilities. By leveraging the expertise and resources of the private sector, we can enhance efficiency and innovation while ensuring public oversight and accessibility. Collaborative efforts will enable us to meet the diverse needs of our community and maximise the impact of our investments.
  • Planning and Zoning: Advocating for planning and zoning policies that prioritise the development of parks and sports facilities is key. This could involve designating specific areas as parklands or providing incentives for developers to include sports facilities in their projects. By integrating these considerations into our planning processes, we can ensure that new developments contribute to the creation of vibrant, healthy communities with ample recreational opportunities for residents of all ages.
  • Promotion of Physical Activity: Promoting the benefits of physical activity is essential for increasing demand for parks and sports facilities. This could include organising sports tournaments, fitness classes, and other events that encourage people to engage in physical activity and utilise these amenities. By fostering a culture of active living, we can improve overall health outcomes and create a stronger sense of community within Fingal.