herald

Sunday 20 January 2019

Who'll empty the bins once council stops?

RIDDLE: No firm lined up to take over

DUBLIN City Council will stop collecting bins on December 5 and a private company has not yet been appointed to take over the service.

And the council has today been accused of "acting secretively" by not communicating its plans to sell off the service to residents and councillors, the Herald can reveal.

An independent consultants' report earlier this month-- commissioned by the council -- found that the bin collection service was suffering "considerable and unsustainable" losses.

But while it was widely expected that the service would be sold off in the new year, we can today reveal that the council has fast tracked the sale.

Council bosses are now coming under fire for "acting secretively" in making the decision.

A council spokesperson stated on September 14 that he had "no knowledge" of plans to privatise the service. However, documents seen by the Herald show that assistant city manager Seamus Lyons wrote a letter to Impact trade union two weeks previously where he revealed that the council would no longer continue to run the service after December 5.



ALARM

"Having further considered the situation in light of both of the 2012 budget and the recent Report, Dublin City Council has now decided to cease the provision of the kerbside waste collection, both household and commercial with effect from Monday 5th December 2011," he wrote.

A council spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.

And the Herald can further reveal that the council's plans to redeploy the 147 staff involved in the collection service -- a decision that has prompted Impact to refer the matter to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

A union source said today that the plans had caused "major alarm" among workers.

Councillors blasted council management for failing to consult them over the plans.

Independent councillor Cieran Perry said that the decision would have a "disastrous effect" on struggling families.

"We, the councillors, are the elected representatives of the people of this city and we have not been informed," he said.

"Who gave council management the mandate to decide that a vital public service is to be privatised? Such an important decision cannot be simply decided by the unelected bureaucrats in civic offices."

And People Before Profit councillor Pat Dunne labelled the council as "chaotic". "The whole approach is appalling. They have not been open about their plans," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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