SLIGO FOCUS.

‘Round the County.

 Sligo News File Online.

Week from 29 October 2014.

 ‘NO’ TO WATER CHARGES.

Sligo Water Charge Protest March

 More than 4,000 took part in protest march in Sligo.

Sligo protest against water charges

 

 Water charges on agenda for meeting of County Council

There will be more than passing interest in how councillors react to motions on water charges down for discussion at next Monday’s meeting of Sligo County Council. This is the council that only a short time back had farmers up in arms over charges for water.

Remember the protests?.

Then there was the more recent action where members sanctioned compulsory registration of all households for waste collection and service charges.

As if that massive financial burden on families wasn’t enough, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael also blocked a proposed 15% reduction in the tax on the family home.

The motions scheduled to come before councillors on Monday include a lengthy submission in the names of Sinn Fein members Thomas Healy and Sean MacManus. They are demanding that:

 Sligo County Council calls on the Government to;

– Immediately reverse domestic water charges which are an unfair and unjust double charge being forced on already struggling households.

– Stop the roll out of metering and redirect the €539m loan finance from the National Pension Reserve Fund towards fixing the massive leakage problems and interruption to supply.

– Recognise that Irish Water is not fit for purpose since it is unaccountable to the Minister and therefore to the Oireachtas and the citizens of this State.

– Prevent Irish Water from any further excessive spending of taxpayer’s money, including the proposed further €35m on the use of external consultants in 2015.

– Oppose any duplication of services being delivered by Irish Water and Local authorities and retain these services within full public ownership now and in the future.

– Listen to the widespread public anger that exists towards this Government and Irish Water by the Irish people, who are now rightly organising and mobilising in protest and opposition to these water charges through the Right2Water public campaign which includes activists, citizens, community groups, political parties and trade unions.

Another notice of motion in the name of Independent Cllr. Margaret Gormley makes a plea for the farming sector submitting that the council “rejects the proposal by the Commission for Energy Regulation and Irish Water to charge the farming community (a) a standing charge for meters and (b) to bill them on the double for household and farm water supplies…”

Fianna Fail councillor, Seamus Kilgannon is set to demonstrate how far seeing “we” were when it came to the setting up of Irish Water. A notice of motion in his name states:

“Now that it has been proven over and over again, as we suspected for some time that Irish Water, as set up by Government is indeed a ‘Gold Plated Bonus Driven Super Quango’, Sligo County Council calls for a full Review of Irish Water’s Role Model, its policy and delivery.”

Figure that, say us! Does it mean he disagrees with the establishment of Irish Water which Fianna Fail signed up to with the ‘Troika’ when the party in government agreed to slap charges on domestic water users and also hit families with a property tax on their homes?

Cllr. Michael Clarke (Ind) has listed a motion calling on the county council to sell off McFirbis House on Enniscrone’s Pier Road, and “purchase and build” more houses in the area.

Cllr.Jerry Lundy (FF) wants the minister for health to tackle hospital waiting lists where, he states, 41,000 patients are waiting a year or more for outpatient appointments.

Cllr. Declan Bree (Ind) has on the agenda a motion to,ask the chief executive the “value of commercial rates not collected in 2013” owing to premises being vacant, and the council’s policy on commercial rates in the case of partly occupied properties.

Cllr. Marie Casserly (Ind) apparently has in mind the promotion of business activity in primary schools. No kidding, Marie! Are you talking – or about to talk – about four or five year olds? Anyhow, her motion on the agenda for Monday reads:

“That Sligo County Council support an initiative to work in collaboration with public and private interests to develop and promote entrepreneurship in primary schools.”

Cllr. Hubert Keaney (FG) is to request the council to do an audit of all routes along the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and draft a schedule of works and costings to be submitted for department funding.

 Death of Sligo Ploughing Champion.

The death has taken place of Sligo ploughing champion, Joe (Josie) Harte.

The deceased, of Grangebeg, Skreen, represented the county in the National Ploughing Championships over a number of years.

His funeral took place to St. Joseph’s Cemetary following Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Templeboy.

WATER CHARGES: SINN FEIN MOTION CARRIED.

 A Sinn Fein motion to abolish water charges was carried by members of Sligo County Council. Councillors voted 14- 3 in favour of the motion.