Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster, has criticised the decision to introduce charges for green bins saying it will lead to less recycling and an increase in illegal dumping.
Deputy Munster said:
“In Louth we have recently seen the decision taken by the CEO of Louth County Council to remove the plastic bottle bank facilities throughout the county despite the fact that they had become hugely popular and successful methods of recycling and awareness.”
“Within days of this happening the entrance charge at the recycling centre was increased. And now we have plans by waste collectors to introduce a new charge on green bin collection on top of existing waste collection charges.”
“We have already witnessed an increase in illegal dumping both in rural and urban areas, and in some cases on public streets in the middle of housing estates, and this new charge is only going to compound this problem even further.”
“It is a lazy policy which will lead to more illegal dumping and less recycling. The government planned this move two years ago but kicked it down the road when there was opposition to the plan. Despite this fact, charges are now to be introduced, with China’s decision to shut its doors to our recycling waste being used as an excuse.”
“People cannot afford another household charge. This is another charge on families which serves no purpose as it will not lead to an increase in recycling.”
“We need to address supermarket and packaging waste and ensure that materials that can be recycled by businesses and households are used in packaging, rather than materials such as plastic wrapping that is now not recognised as recyclable waste for the purpose of green bin collection.”
“Industry has a role to play here. The government can’t solve these problems by slapping yet another charge on hard-pressed families.
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today called on the Minister for Transport to ensure that damage caused to roads during Storm Emma is quantified and a plan, including details of additional funding, is put in place to allow for the repair of damaged roads in the very near future.
Deputy Munster said:
“There has been widespread damage caused to roads due to snow and ice in the past week. The extent of this damage will become clearer in the coming days and weeks, but it is important that the Department of Transport has assessed the road network, and has made provision for all required repairs and maintenance.”
“It is important that the Department has a plan for assessing the damage to transport infrastructure, and I would like to hear detail on plans to carry out repairs including how they will be funded.”
“The Department of Transport and the Department of Housing, Local Authorities and the TII are all on the same page in this regard. “
“After a very difficult week for most people during Storm Emma, the Department must ensure that roads are brought back to a decent condition to ensure that the legacy of Storm Emma does not drag on for months or even years, as has unfortunately been the case after previous extreme weather events.”
“The Department has a very poor record indeed on this, and I am sure that we are all aware by this stage that our roads have been significantly underfunded for the past decade.”
“I am calling on the Minister to review the funding situation for our roads, both this year, in the aftermath of the storm, and in the coming few years to bring funding to the required level to ensure the viability and safety of the network.”
Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has welcomed the current investment in primary care provision with the imminent opening of a major Primary Care Centre in Patrick’s Street, Drogheda. The Primary Care Centre will be based in the recently refurbished Boyne Centre.
Deputy Munster stated “this development will include five fully refurbished dental Surgeries and will restore the dental services and clinics that had been removed from the town over the last 15 months. For the past 15 month’s school children had to travel to Dundalk or Ardee to access dental services. Other much needed services such as public health nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy for children and adults, psychology, a blood clinic, podiatry and ophthalmology.
Deputy Munster said “This primary care centre will provide much needed services along with the provision of Births, Deaths, and Marriage’s office and a dedicated room for civil ceremonies which will have its own entrance. It’s imminent opening will be very welcome especially as it will mean patients no longer have to travel to access dental services.
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the passing of his council motion which will see the Borough District of Drogheda Councillors make a joint submission to the forthcoming public consultation process on Drogheda Port.
Cllr Flood said “At the Oireachtas Transport Committee, Imelda Munster TD sought answers from the incoming Chairman of Drogheda Port, Dr Joseph Hiney. The questions centred around on the Port Company’s future and on the issues surrounding it in Drogheda. The answer to each question was that there would be a master plan and a public consultation process in the near future.”
Cllr Flood then explained that “The Port Company have now confirmed they are finalising an ‘Issues Paper’ for circulation to all the stakeholders of Drogheda Port and a public consultation process will follow early next year.”
Cllr Flood & Imelda Munster TD at Drogheda Port
The Drogheda Councillor who has been outspoken on this issue said “I have not seen many of the Councillors as animated in the past when we’ve discussed important issues for Drogheda. There is universal agreement that as Louth County Council is now a shareholder in the Port Company we must use this opportunity to try and resolve some of the serious and long-standing issues surround the Port in Drogheda: the car parking regime: the neglect of Donors Green and the buildings on the North Strand: the lack of a formal system of consultation with local representatives. These must all be addressed. We have not had this opportunity before and we must speak with a unified voice for Drogheda to resolve these issues.”
Cllr Kenneth Flood then thanked the Drogheda Councillors for supporting his Council motion and looks forward to “bringing the energy from the debate into the consultation process itself.”
Speaking after Louth County Council’s rejection of Budget 2018, Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to request that the Minister appoint a strong team to go to Louth to listen to concerns and to examine the dysfunctionality of the County Council.
Speaking in the Dáil this week, Deputy Munster said:
“This day has been coming for a long time. The fact that 75% of members opposed the draft Budget should be a wake up call. It was a lack of accountability and transparency that led to this. There were many contributory issues, including the removal services such as the bring banks, no proper assets register, audits of house purchases never published, poor public services, poor amenities leaving parts of the county, especially Drogheda, badly neglected”.
In response to Deputy Munster raising the matter with the Taoiseach, he responded that he was aware of the matter. He outlined the various options that are available to the Minister, which are: the appointment of a Commissioner, a new election or the council may attempt to put another budget together. The Minister is currently examining the legal options with the Attorney General.
Deputy Munster said:
“It’s clear that the Minister needs to be made aware of the lack of accountability, transparency and poor service provision, and even a neglect of certain areas within Louth County Council which is felt by the elected members. The Minister needs to recognise that the rejection of the Budget is part of ongoing wider problems that need to be addressed.”