Cllr Joanna Byrne Repeats Calls for Plastic Bring Banks

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne reported “Monday night’s Municipal District of Drogheda meeting saw the Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin announce to the members that she is immediately suspending charging for parking in Drogheda pending the adoption of new Bye Laws, and the financial implications of this would be to the tune of a loss in €300,000 in revenue at a minimum.

“On a positive note though, the CEO assured the members that she had been able to identify a number of sources to meet the sum involved and would be bringing proposals to the full council in three weeks time to meet the shortfall,therefore avoiding any cuts to the 2018 Budget.”

Joanna Byne said “This 300,000 was identified in the short few hours between the management team receiving legal advice on the Bye Laws on Monday morning and the meeting at teatime on Monday evening.

“The question now needs to be asked, how could such a substantial sum of money be identified in such a short period of time?

Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision


“November 2017’s budget meeting nearly saw the entire Council dissolved over major dissatisfaction amongst the members with many things, cuts in services without consultation and in particular, the collection of Plastics from Bring Banks was a major bone of contention. The cut in this particular service was in my view, always a cost-cutting measure.

“Despite all councillors voting and unanimously backing my Emergency Motion back in July to restore this service, worth €136k per annum, and several lobby attempts for the same in the period since then, this has not happened.

“I have written directly to the Chief Executive of Louth County Council today, asking that if she can pluck €300,000 from the sky to cover the costs of an administrative error then she must pluck another €136,000 from the same place to restore this vital service and stop defying the will of the elected representatives, and indeed the public of this county.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Tells LCC to Stop Playing Cat & Mouse

Joanna Byrne Council PicFollowing Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne’s queries last month at both the Municipal District and Louth County Council meetings, she noted that nothing has changed at this month’s meeting. Cllr Byrne had drawn attention to discrepancies and conflicting information in the housing report at the June meeting and then at the July meeting this morning, she again noticed it was a copy and paste effort that had not been updated.

Cllr Byrne said “I noted to the chamber that it was not only on paper the communication was lacking. I attempted to bring to their attention an extremely sensitive and traumatic case which exposed a total lack of communication between the Director of Services (DOS) for Housing and the senior Executive Officer (SEO) for Housing. “

While Cllr Byrne tried to bring this to the Chamber, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Louth County Council, Joan Martin attempted to prevent her from speaking.

Joan Martin slammed her for bringing this up at a public meeting and advised her if she had an issue then she should go to her directly. Determined not to be silenced, Joanna Byrne stood her ground and said “My point in raising this here this morning, if you would let me finish, is because I am calling for a commitment from the DOS for Housing that there will be more transparency and communication between him and the senior officials on his Housing Team. I don’t and won’t accept people playing cat and mouse with information, especially when it has such a significant impact on people’s lives”

There was no response from the D.O.S in relation to this commitment for transparency but the SEO has since sent written confirmation of the updated data that was originally omitted from the housing report printed on the agenda.

Cllr Byrne said “The reason I am pushing for this data to be accurate every month is because  it is our guide as public representatives as to where we stand on a month by month basis with regards to social housing applicant numbers, up to date information on projects under construction and so on. It is imperative that is given to us correctly so that we are passing out the right information to our constituents. This morning’s outburst from the CEO and her attempt to prevent me raising my concerns just proves the lack of accountability within the organisation.”