WATERFORD City & County Council remains reluctant to publicly display CCTV images of people engaging in illegal dumping – despite further calls to do so.
Speaking at the November Metropolitan District meeting of Waterford City & County Council, Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) said illegal dumping is one of the issues which he and his party colleague, Cllr Jason Murphy, receive the most amount of representations on. He spoke of the strain which such activity is placing on the local authority.
“We seem to be constantly trying to provide deterrents and constantly trying to clean up rubbish,” he said.
Cllr Mulligan highlighted the cost of removing this rubbish and expressed disappointment at the low number of fines which are actually paid.
“The percentage of paid fines seems to be consistently quite low,” he said.
Cllr Murphy believes the low level of fines paid to date this year is “unacceptable and a reflection that the risk of a fine, as a deterrent, is not working”.
In relation to other possible deterrents, Cllr Mulligan noted that Dublin City Council had engaged in an initiative whereby images of offenders, as captured on CCTV, were publicly displayed.
Cllr Mulligan asked if Waterford could engage in a similar activity now that there is a “precedent” for such a measure.
Waterford City & County Council is to review the Dublin campaign and check if it can be carried out within the confines of the law, in relation to current data protection legislation.
However, Director of Services Ray Moloney pointed out that Dublin City Council had encountered problems with their initiative and “fell foul” of the Data Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Cllrs Mulligan and Murphy have thanked the Council for the installation of a number of overt and covert cameras to monitor known illegal dumping sites.
Both Councillors complimented the civic pride of the vast majority of Waterford’s citizens, the ongoing anti-litter work of Waterford City & County Council, businesses and in particular the work of groups such as the Tidy Town volunteers.
“The thoughtlessness of the appalling, grubby, filthy habit of people persisting in illegal dumping must be tackled by new innovative means,” said Cllr Mulligan.
Cllr Breda Brennan (SF) has highlighted the need for additional CCTV at a number of other city locations in order to combat illegal dumping and littering.
Cllr Brennan also spoke of the need for dog waste bins in a number of areas, including along the popular St John’s River walkway.
Meanwhile Cllr Mary Roche (Ind) has raised the issue of unsightly road signage and called for a programme of road signage cleaning to be implemented.
She said many signs are “illegible”, citing some in the Dunmore Road area as being particularly bad.