herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Bin costs would have doubled, say City Council

DUBLIN City Council would have been forced to double bin charges if it had not privatised its waste service, it was claimed at a special meeting on the subject last night.

The announcement came following a special meeting due to unprecedented complaints over what has been described as one of the council's "biggest public relations disasters" to date.

City Council management apologised for its "ambitious" handling of the privatisation of its bin service and said the high number of complaints where justified.

However, despite the apology, assistant city manager Seamus Lyons said "if people think the current deal is bad then they should have seen the others".

The announcement came after furious councillors accused city management of attempting to operate a "secret organisation" that goes "against public concerns".

Cllr Paddy Bourke (Lab) said the council's handling of the bin crisis is among a "litany of disasters" by management, similar to its handling of bad weather events and flood protection.

In a war of words, councillors said homes in areas such as Donaghmede, the Liberties and in the south east of the city have not had their bins collected.

Councillors said they were "embarrassed" because they couldn't explain to local constituents the terms under the new contract, which was taken over by private company Greyhound in a "rushed manner".

Cllr Pat Dunne (PBPA) said: "The contract has a strange confidentiality clause. We have no way of knowing the details under the contract and how much the council have gained. It's a disgrace that the service is undergoing such secrecy."

Cllr Anthony Connaghan (SF) accused council officials of calling public complainants "freeloaders" at a recent private meeting.

However, city manager John Tierney refuted the claims: "This is purely a financial situation that is quite common. We are not the first council to agree with prepay charges and people need to understand that. We were a bit ambitious and rightly criticised, but the alternative would be to continue with the service and make cuts elsewhere."

hnews@herald.ie

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