Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Proposal to host ‘illegal dumping forums’

31 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Environmental Health Committee Chairperson, Councillor Pat McGinn, has said that it was now time to have full and proper roundtable discussions on illegal dumping.

Cllr McGinn said:

"Illegal dumping impacts the environment, the character of neighbourhoods and the quality of life of local residents. It causes safety hazards to the public and costs local governments every year in cleanup costs. It is a serious problem in most rural and urban areas and is causing this Council hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

"This is not just a Council problem alone. There are other agencies, including, the Housing Executive, Roads Services, and enforcement Agencies such as the Environmental Heritage Service, as well as the local communities, that have a role to play to helping tackle this huge issue.

"We are not working together on this and that has to be addressed. I would also want to see our Council supported by these other stakeholders holding a series of 'Illegal Dumping Forums' which could take place throughout the District.

"The purpose of the forums would be gather input from citizens, community and voluntary sector, government agencies and businesses about how illegal dumping and tire piles have impacted their communities. Forum participants could also be invited to offer suggestions for combating illegal dumping.

"This Forum model has been used in other countries and can help to devise a cohesive, effective, joined up and all, embracing strategy to tackle the issue. It will not be dealt with in isolation.

"It is time to collectively develop an illegal dumping prevention and response program, rather than the sole policy of reaction that seems to be the strategy at present. I will bring the proposal for 'Illegal Dumping Forums' to the Council for discussion at the next full monthly meeting." ENDS

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