Cllr Tom Cunningham – A further tax on households as Pay by Weight is due to come into effect

SF Tom Cunningham council picSinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has hit out as what he describes as a ‘further tax on households’.

The ‘pay by weight’ charges on waste comes into effect on July 1st and Cllr Cunningham at yesterday’s Louth Council meeting asked if “the waste companies have informed their customers on the new payment structure, or to call it what it is, their new levy service charge? Have they informed them of the different price per kilo for each bin?”

Another problem raised by Cllr Cunningham is the fact that not all households in the county have received their brown bins yet and wondered if “the bin providers are going to make an allowance to those householders as it will cost almost double to place these waste items into the black bins? Have the waste management company committed to providing the brown bins before 1st July?”

Tom Cunningham pointed out that until this is rectified there will be an inequality in the county where “customers in the bigger towns will pay less for their waste collection than those in smaller towns and villages and in the countryside. Not only that but those who suffer disability or ill health, carers who are not able to recycle medical waste will be hit hardest.

At the minute this new regulation is giving waste collection operators a free hand to increase their yearly levy so how long will it take for more and more households to be in a position that they cannot afford their waste collection? Green bin waste charges facilitated by former Labour Minister Alan Kelly, will merely discourage recycling of household waste and lead to more illegal dumping and once again the tax payers will be forced to foot the bill.”

Cllr Cunningham was told it was the responsibility of these private companies and not down to Louth County Council. Cllr Cunningham said he has been left with no option “but to write to the private waste collection companies and ask these questions directly. The Council appears to have washed its hands off it. This makes no environmental or economic sense.”

Meanwhile in the Dáil this week Sinn Féin tabled a motion to stop the imposition of green bin waste charges and called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to allow this motion to be taken and voted on at the earliest opportunity.”


The full text of the motion is below:

Sinn Féin Dáil motion :

“That Dáil Éireann;

– Recognises the strong public opposition to green bin charges and opposes the introduction of a pay-by-weight system imposed by the previous Labour Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly which is due to come into effect from July 2016;

– Recognises the serious financial difficulties this system will cause for the 70,000 carers across the state who cannot recycle medical waste material, and; low-income earners; those in receipt of state benefits, and those who suffer from ill health or disability; 

– Recognises that the introduction of green bin charges will discourage people from recycling their household waste; 

– Calls on the Government to take into account the concerns expressed by citizens, carers and advocate organisations and stop the imminent imposition of this scheme.




Corrigan Hits Out At ‘Junket Culture’ In Dundalk Carlingford

Cllr Edel CorriganLouth County Councillor Edel Corrigan has hit out at the ‘junket culture’ which is prevalent in councils across Ireland. Sinn Féin candidate for the Dundalk Carlingford area Corrigan broke the figures down for her own area.

“Fine Gael Councillors Martin Murnaghan who was co-opted in 2010 and Terry Brennan who stood down at that time claimed € 6,482.71 between them on junkets.”

Corrigan reminded us that “this is public money and these junkets are needless trips and courses where you are put up in the best of hotels. Fine Gael weren’t the worst offenders it should be said.”

“Independent candidate Jim Ryan racked up a shocking € 13,156.88 which is greater than all the other councillors in the area combined. “

In addition to these ‘junkets’, councillors who chair a Strategic Policies Committee (SPC) which meet only 4 times per year can get an annual tax-free payment of € 6,000.

Corrigan went on to say “Sinn Féin have consistently spoken out on the issue of ‘junkets’ and I have previously proposed that the four chairs of the SPCs no longer accept their € 6,000 tax free payment as it is an insult to those who continue to suffer at the hands of the current Government’s austerity measures. This money could be put to better use.”

Councillor Edel Corrigan is asking that “all councillors elected on May 23rd put a stop once and for all to this ‘junket culture’ and start giving people value for money.”

Sharkey – Transfer Ridiculous And A Waste Of Money

Cllr Tomás SharkeyLouth Meath Education & Training Board will spend €100,000 renovating a prefab in Drogheda to transfer administration staff, Councillor Tomás Sharkey has learned.

An outraged Sharkey said “at a recent meeting of LMETB, I was shocked to hear that there is a €1million shortfall in funding for local schools. The CEO, Peter Kierans told us that there may not be money for light and heat by October.
“But to add to the ridiculous situation in the ETB, I learned that there is a proposal to spend €100,000 refurbishing old prefabs in Drogheda and then to transfer administration staff from Chapel Street in Dundalk to work in them.
“It is a nonsense in this day and age to waste public money on old prefabs and moving public servants. The ETB is a huge employer and this move will send Human Resources and Payroll functions to prefabricated units in the back yard of a secondary school. I was shocked to learn that the ETB management have not discussed the proposal with planning staff in the local council as there would be a change of use, additional car parking and a significant traffic impact on the Drogheda site.
“I was shocked to learn that the CEO shared his proposal with only one Oireachtas member for Louth and refuses to share the document with board members like myself.
“It appears to me that the good working environment of staff in Dundalk and the taxpayers money are to be sacrificed for the sake of giving Ged Nash TD a political boost when seeking re-election as a Labour Party candidate.”