Kieran Rose, LGBT activist and human rights campaigner, has decided to run for the Seanad, and is particularly concerned about the fact that housing standards appear to be determined by the needs of what he calls “certain vested interest groups” within the construction industry, rather than by the needs of the public. He has warned that greater openness, transparency and accountability are needed in the Department of Environment Community and Local Government.
Rose, a senior planner with more than 30 years’ experience, standing for Seanad Éireann on the NUI panel, was responding to coverage in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post of the recent reduction in apartment standards by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
He is a staunch supporter of strategic investment in quality housing and urban regeneration.
“On critical planning and other issues, especially on housing standards central to peoples’ quality of life, there has to be public consultation so that we get public policies that suit the people not just sections of the industry. This did not happen in the case of the recent Department of Environment, Community and Local Government reduction in apartment standards. The consultation was private and confined to property interests and some professional bodies” said Rose.
He has criticised the reduction in size of apartments which will reduce quality of life for people, especially the older population. He stated:
“Tiny bed-sits or studios must not be allowed. The new minimum of 40 square meters for an apartment reduced the previous minimum of 55 square meters, which was already lower than those of other countries such as Germany, Denmark and Norway”.
Rose, who was very active in the recent marriage equality campaign, and has been active for years in both LGBT issues and the area of human rights, feels that public servants should be able to speak out when they feel that public policy is going in the wrong direction:
“We must build a new culture that truly values Openness, Transparency and Accountability and that allows public servants in exceptional cases where they have expertise in a particular area to bring to the public’s attention policy initiatives they consider are misguided” concluded Rose.
You can visit Kieran Rose on facebook HERE
Kieran Rose is a lifelong equality and human rights campaigner. He is a senior planner with Dublin City Council, a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and founder and Co-Chair of GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.