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: Lets Work Together to bring Rough Sleeper Count to Zero

At Monday’s meeting of the Drogheda Municipal District, Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne expressed her shock at the results of this years Rough Sleeper Count.

This count took place unannounced by Louth County Council at 2.30am on Wednesday 15th November in both Dundalk and Drogheda and no persons were found to be sleeping rough.

Following Cllr Byrne raising this issue at the start of the meeting and asking questions regarding the zero count, which sparked wide debate, Senior Executive Officer Aoife Lawlor confirmed to the meeting that she herself had participated in this Rough Sleeper count and she could categorically say that there was not one person sleeping rough on these streets between the hours of 2.30am and 5.30am.

Rough Sleepers in Drogheda earlier this year

Cllr Byrne says ” To be honest I am shocked at this result returning at a count of zero, most people in this room knows of somebody somewhere sleeping rough in this town, a small number of people it may be, but is still a number.

“My understanding of this rough sleeper count taking place in the first place is to get a clear assessment of the problem, understand the magnitude of it, and allow the local authority to make provisions to provide effective and safe accommodation to these people to help deal with the issue.

“A zero count on the night, in my view, does not portray a clear image of the situation.”

Cllr Byrne stressed that whilst she was shocked by the result she did not doubt the merits of it, but made the suggestion that perhaps the local authority should liaise with the public reps in each area in advance of future rough sleeper counts to be aware of the hotspots known to the members and to include them on their route going forward.

“Let us all share our knowledge and work together to try bring that number down from the handful it probably is, to a realistic zero.

Drogheda SF Urge Public to Attend Joint Policing Committee Meeting

Drogheda SF Cllrs Kenneth Flood, Joanna Byrne & David Saurin

The 2017 Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Public Meeting date has been confirmed for 7.30pm on the 9th of October in The Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda.

Chairperson of the South Louth Joint Policing Committee Kenneth Flood said “I would encourage every Drogheda and South Louth resident to come along to the public JPC meeting. It is a vitally important meeting as it gives the people of Drogheda and South Louth the opportunity to put their questions, queries and worries regarding crime and policing to their elected representatives, the local authorities and the Gardaí. There will be informative presentations on the night, including one on crime prevention that would be very helpful to all residents.”
Cllr. David Saurin said “There have been well documented and highlighted cases of ongoing anti-social behaviour in several areas of Drogheda this year. Not least among them is in the Rathmullen Park area where new bollards have been erected to counteract the joy riding that was happening there. I want to welcome the new bollards but I would also like anyone affected by anti-social behavior to come to this meeting to hear about neighbourhood watch and other initiatives. We will only get on top of crime when the residents, local authorities and Garda all work together to combat it.”
Cllr. Joanna Byrne said “The JPC deals with all crime including headline crime cases like burglary and drug offences but it also deals with the crimes that affect all of us like illegal dumping. We have done a huge amount of work to combat dumping that is plaguing certain areas of our town and countryside but more is needed. If you feel like this issue, or any other has affected you, please come along on the night.”
Finally, Cllr. Flood said “If you wish to have a question answered on the night, please forward it to me in advance so we can assure that the answers are prepared and available.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Calls for re-opening of the Bring Banks for plastics to be permanent

Following the request from Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne to reinstate the collection of plastics from the Bring banks, Louth County Council has confirmed they will reinstate the service on a temporary basis. This is due to the increased volume of plastic bottles and containers used over the past week in Drogheda during the Irish Water crisis which saw tens of thousands of people left without running water for a prolonged time.

Cllr Byrne said “While I welcome the Council’s decision to temporarily reinstate this service following last week’s Water Crisis, I would like to reiterate my request that the decision should be made permanent and the full collection service of plastics resumed.”

Joanna Byrne went on to say, “In the short period of time since this service was axed there has been a significant rise in the levels of illegal dumping. The attached picture is one I took at the site of the bring banks on the intersection of Platin Road and The

Bring Banks overflowing with plastic bottles 1 week after the decision

Industrial Estate last Sunday afternoon. I reported this to Louth County Council and requested that it be tidied up immediately. This is only one example of what is happening right across the county.

“Whilst I commend the co-operation of the Local Authority with this temporary’ move, I have also written directly to Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council and requested that now that this service is back in operation, that it stay that way permanently.”

If the Chief Executive continues to defy the wishes and needs of the constituents of Co Louth, and indeed the public representatives of this county who unanimously supported a motion to keep the collection of plastics from the bring banks, Cllr Byrne has vowed she will continue to “pursue this request at any and every given opportunity”.

Cllr Byrne: Decision not to collect plastics in Louth should be reversed

Following a decision by Louth County Council officials to cease collection of plastics at Bring Centres across Louth, elected Representatives who were not party to the decision, debated the issue for over an hour at this morning’s Council meeting.

Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne brought an emergency motion to the chamber asking that “Louth County Council reverse their decision to cease collecting plastics from their bring banks, effective immediately.”

The motion was supported by all the Councillors present from all parties and unanimously supported. Almost all the councillors spoke on the issue, raising their concerns and questioning the logic behind the decision.

The Director of Services explained that most Local Authorities have in fact ceased the collection of plastics with the intention of providing additional capacity for glass and can collections.

Following the decision Cllr Joanna Byrne said “we are told to recycle, we are encouraged to recycle and yet they place obstacles in the way of recycling plastic. We were told today that it costs €136,000 pa for this service and people should recycle ‘responsibly’. Surely that’s what people are trying to do by bringing their plastics to the bring banks.”

Cllr Bryne also said “the Green Party Cllr Mark Dearey pointed out to the Chief Executive that this decision was a serious breach of the regional waste management strategy but M/s Martin told him that the strategy didn’t specifically mention bring banks.”

Following the passing of the motion, Chief Executive Joan Martin said “I have listened to the members and took on board their points but as of now I am not prepared to reverse the decision.”

Cllr Byrne said “What is the point of having a waste management strategy if the Council doesn’t support its ethos and takes decisions which will in effect increase fly-tipping as people have nowhere to bring their plastics. The Chief Executive is assuming that people have cars or transport to travel to the recycling centres in Louth and have the money to pay the entrance fees. People are using their green bins responsibly but putting plastics into them will take up room in them and add to the weight which in turn will lead to additional fees on the household.”

All bring banks have ceased collections of plastics from this morning.