MICHAEL CLARKE Independent
CLLR MICHAEL CLARKE is an independent candidate running for election in the Tubbercurry Ballymote areas.
A family legacy in politics and a willingness to highlight rural issues is the main reason why Cllr Clarke is running for re-election in 2019.
He said: “I was elected first in 2009 and re-elected 2014 to the Council. I’ve always wanted to be involved in politics , having been reared in a household where politics is in our blood, leading from 1916 and the legendary Linda Kearins, I could not stand idle and watch when rural life is under threat from poor government policy, pulling the life out of our country side while our cities are bursting at the seems.”
In terms of what he brings as a councillor, Cllr Clarke points to his work ethic and approachable nature as some of his strengths.
He explains: “The people will look at my track record in the council and hopefully will decide that I represent them well. I always work tirelessly for my constituents and I am always available, approachable and deliver with commitment and confidentiality. I am a strong independent voice not aligned to any party and not afraid to speak out.”
Jobs and a pushing for better services will be his main remit.
“Sligo needs more jobs. I have continuously made representation to Ministers and departments. In the Council we need collectively to stand together and be a loud voice
to bring employment to the area. This along with infrastructure and broadband need to be priorities,” he commented.
If Cllr Clarke is successful in his bid for re-election, planning restrictions, Brexit and agriculture will be top of his agenda in the first year.
“We need to remove the restrictions surrounding rural house planning. We need new life to
come back into our areas to keep schools and shops open to protect and enhance our rural way of life. Scenic routes must not be a blocking tactic in planning applications but a stepping stone to injecting life back into our beautiful County. Protected structures need financial support to enhance and further protect them from decline.”
“The next year may be a difficult year for all of us depending on the fall out from Brexit. We need to keep focus on small businesses to help them survive and flourish.”
“Government needs to be pressured to stop the drain on rural Ireland and give us the chance to stay local. Agriculture and, in particular, grant aid for suckler cows needs to be targeted to help the sustainability of the farming community. I will continue to campaign for rural families.”
Cllr Clarke describes the last 10 years of being a councillor as an “honour” and his message to the electorate is his commitment to continuing to work on behalf of his area.
“It has been my honour to work on your behalf for the past 10 years. I hope that you will allow me the privilege to continue working for you. I have been and will continue to be available to you all at anytime, working to make better the ordinary things in your lives, roads, housing, employment and your own particular needs. I am not afraid to speak out, not afraid to be a voice, your voice. I hope you will support me and candidates who will help me achieve the goals of the people of West Sligo, not those who hinder our progression. Finally, I would like to say that this week we have lost a champion for rural Ireland. I hope we can build on her achievements. I am proud to call Cllr Margaret
Gormley my mentor and my friend as well as colleague”.