Limerick Leader - Saturday, April 18, 2009
slate City Council over handling of litter
from across Europe have reacted with shock at the litter and
filth in some of Limerick's estates.
And the European Commission is to launch a probe into Limerick
City Council's handling of dumping in the city, it was revealed
in Brussels on Thursday.
and MEPs have accused the city council and the government of
lying over the extent of the litter problem in the city s regeneration
estates after both had previously written saying the problem
was under control.
Weston Gardens, has just returned to Limerick after leading
a delegation of residents' representatives to the European Parliament
calling for better clean-up measures in the regeneration estates.
states that all EU members must take necessary measures to ensure
waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human
health and harming the environment. But residents' representatives
ìn Limerick do not feel this is happening.
It is the second
time Mr McCarthy has put together a petition - the first one
last year was thrown out by the petitions committee - despite
their visit to the city.
The petitions committee
said it rejected the petition as it had received a report from
the local authority stating the problem was under control.
During his visit
Mr McCarthy presented recently-taken photographs of waste and
damage in Limerick's regeneration estates, shocking commissioners,
committee members and MEPs - and now the commission will open
dialogue with the city council.
Speaking in Brussels
Mr McCarthy - who was assisted by Tommy Daley and Mark Franklin
from Moyross, and former Weston Gardens resident Heather Cunningham
- said, "Anti-social behaviour and illegal dumping are
rife in these areas as they are being deliberately run down
to encourage people to leave. The regeneration process is one
of depopulate - demolish - develop."
He added residents
from his native Weston Gardens have been told they would have
weekly waste collections.
"Limerick City Councils claim there is a waste collector
with a small truck that could collect our domestic waste regularly
is false. I have continually raised this issue with Limerick
City Council and never once have they provided me with the name
of such a collector," he told commissioners.
And he added that the fact the commission rejected his last
petition "pertains to a school bully being vindicated.
The teacher is intervening and acting on the bully's side."
Vice chairman of
the committee, Ireland South MEP Kathy Sinnott said "I
think this shows the commission has been duped. It's only when
we actually see the problem for ourselves we can see we are
being lied to."
British MEP Sir Robert
Atkins called for a "management order" to be placed
on Limerick City Council over the mess.
have had the wool pulled over their eyes entirely. What I see
is an absolute disgrace. When I was environment minister in
the UK, if this came to me via a member of parliament, I would
put a management order on Limerick City Council and demand they
do something about it. This should be fixed period by the authorities,"
Romanian MEP Victor
Bostinaru added "What we are seeing here is reminiscent
of the developing world, yet this is taking place in a first
world country. We should look into the source of the information,
and ask the question why letters printed with official letterheads
are not worth the paper they are printed on."
Ms Sinnott said the
litter represents a wider problem. "Obviously this is an
impossible situation for people to live with, but this is a
weapon of war. The reason this waste is here is that gangs rooted
in drugs are using waste as a way of getting rid of people in
decent neighbourhoods which then provides them with the community
they need to operate.They burn out cars, they vandalise people,
but more importantly they attack human beings, intimidate old
people, and they murder," she said, making reference to
the slain Roy Collins.
Chairperson of the
petitions committee Marcin Libicki confirmed that the commission
will write to the city council advising them of their role,
inviting them to address the commission themselves.
He added the European
commission will remain in contact with both the Irish government
and Limerick City council over the issue - and will revisit
the city in the near future to look for improvements.