There was an immediate and hostile reaction yesterday to the news that Waterford City Council intends to seek professional advice on the possibility of relinquishing its refuse collection and disposing of it to a private operator.

The twelve people employed by the Council on the service, which has 4,500 people on waiver schemes, were informed that, if such a situation came to pass, they would be redeployed to other work.

When contacted by The Munster Express, six councilors, David Cullinane (SF), John Halligan (Ind), Dick Roche (Ind), Seamus Ryan (Lab), Davy Walsh (WP) and Jack Walsh (Lab) all expressed outright opposition to the Council relinquishing the refuse service.

Councillors Davy Daniels (Ind) and Gary Wyse (FF) had serious reservations about such a move but they were worried that their hands might be forced by insurmountable financial problems. However, they insisted that, whatever happened, those on waivers would have to be facilitated.

The Mayor, Councillor Mary Roche (Ind), declined to say whether or not she was for or against such a move but stressed that she would do all in her power to retain a local authority service. Councillor John Cummins (FG) also declined to comment on the situation. He said no decision had been taken and he preferred to wait until he was appraised of all figures and details.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story or subscribe to our PDF version.