Radical litter management
proposal gets wide support
meeting 11th Dec 2006 in Aras Cill Dara in Naas - KCC HQ
By LESLEY HUNTER-NOLAN
THE RADICAL restructuring of litter management in Kildare has gained unprecedented momentum after a special meeting between Tidy Towns Associations and Local Representatives last Monday evening.
Representatives from an impressive 13 Tidy Towns groups, eight County Councillors and three TDs came together at Aras Cill Dara in Naas to make plans for change, which they most certainly did.
The most important decision taken by the Counciliors was to enlist the help of Kildare County Council’s Environment Director Des Page who has been asked to prepare a comprehensive plan for the separation of litter management from the Roads Department.
The idea that litter management be given its own department, or that it be moved into the Environment department, was first mooted at a cross county meeting between Tidy Towns Associations in Ceibridge November.
At the November meeting, a four point plan was put together with the separation of litter management at the forefront.
The other priorities identifled were to increase litter bins
and litter collection across the county, make sure derelict buildings are being maintained by owners waiting for planning permission and to ensure greater enforcement of the Litter Act.
Since then Cllrs Fionnula Dukes, Tony McEvoy and Paul Kelly have all tabled motions at their respective area meetings to the same effect.
It is hoped that Mr Page will be ready to make his proposals by the end of March 2007.
“I hope that he will come up with a new, dynamic programme that will make Kildare an example to all other tidy towns”, said Chairman of Ceibridge Tidy Towns, Tony Maher.
“The timing of this meeting and the release of the latest IBAL figures was coincidental”, he added, “but the timing should give added incentive to all involved. We feel that they are not an accurate reflection of the Tidy Towns efforts, but a reflection of Kildare County Council’s inaction”.
The next step on the litter management agenda is to select Tidy Towns representatives from each area and arrange a meeting with Council Officials.
“I am convinced the separation will go ahead”, said Mr Maher, “we have the full sup-
port of the Councillors and the TDs and I think we have lit the fuse on litter management. Even the Minister of the Environment has communicated that he wants to be kept abreast of developments. This is Kildare County Councils opportunity to set the standard for once”.
Chairing last nights meeting was Seamus Cummins who suggested that the three TDs present, Deputy Catherine Murphy, Deputy Emmet Stagg and Deputy Sean O’Fhearghail, go back to Dali Eireann and demand a review of the litter act.
The Act, he explained, is full of loopholes and get out of jail free clauses and needs to be tightened up significantly.
It was also suggested that individuals working in litter management be given a morale boost in the form of bonuses and perhaps a new uniform.
The option of naming and shaming litter fine evaders was also discussed at the meeting and it appears that a publication of names may be on the cards before Christmas.
“There is a great sense of cohesion and solidarity and I think we will see action on a new, dynamic approach to litter management very shortly”, said Clane Area Cllr Tony McEvoy.