Town council fights back against IBAL litter criticism

In a week in which Athlone just managed to scrape into the top 30 in the Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL ) survey, the town council was serendipitously proactive at its first monthly meeting this week by adopting the latest draft litter management plan.

The plan, which the council is legally obliged to prepare, will set out the next level of objectives in topics such as enforcement, community involvement, prevention, education, recycling, and recovery, and will go on public viewing from next week.

In discussion, Cllr Alan Shaw (FG ) suggested setting more targets in the area of enforcement as, last year, the recouped fines from the 25 issued in the first half of 2009 “just cover the legal fees” required to get them.

Cllr Paul Hogan (SF ) felt it unfair to highlight the number of fines and commended the “enormous work” of the litter warden in the areas of Willow Park and Meadowbrook.

He pointed out how detection was getting harder as “dumpers were getting clever, burning everything and leaving no evidence. It’s going to be very difficult without CCTV,” he offered.

Cllr Aengus O’Rourke (FF ) believed a more visible warden and better advertised sanctions and fines would help the situation. While Cllr Boxer Moran (FF ) criticised the IBAL figures and said “they in no way compare with the Tidy Towns”.

A number of burnt-out cars on a private property in Baylough and the graffitti visible on the Battery Heights boundary wall at one approaches the town from Roscommon were the issues that most exercised Cllr Gabrielle McFadden (FG ) on this.

Mayor and chair, Cllr Mark Cooney (FG ), wanted to see more pressure put on late night fast food outlets after seeing the mess in the grounds of St Mary’s on Church Street at a Sunday morning funeral over Christmas. He also sought the ‘naming and shaming’ of convicted litterers in the local papers.

A Freefone number for reporting littering, fly-tipping and illegal dumping is avaiable to all residents in the county, the meeting learned.

Anonymous tips can be left on Lo-call 1890 320 005 or by emailing [email protected].

 

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