Investigation into council blunder begins

John Murphy

One official has already apologised publicly for the blunder, which saw businesses in Dungarvan urged to impose increased charges for refuse collection tags by the county council, even though the tags have not even been considered by the local town council.

The nine elected town councillors have reacted furiously to the county council officials who circulated the letter, with Labour’s dual town and county councillor Billy Kyne accusing them of showing a lack of respect for the town council.

“How anyone without jurisdiction over Dungarvan would allow a circular to go out to shops about these charges, knowing that the matter is one for the town council, is either bad management or a lack of appreciation of the town council’s role,” Mr Kyne said.

The town councillors are accusing the county council officials of displaying a complete lack of respect for the local authority.

Town manager, Denis McCarthy has now apologised to the councillors and has promised to investigate how the county council letter came to be circulated in the first instance.

Mr McCarthy said the council will be making immediate contact with all of the outlets involved, and refunds will be made in any and all cases where they are applicable.

This error follows the refusal by the nine town councillors to adopt the estimates at Monday night’s meeting.

The contentious proposal is to increase the various refuse and recycling charges by an average of 66%. Mr McCarthy said the hike would have been even higher had they not adopted charges comparable with those recently approved by the county council.

Private refuse collectors in the South East, he said, are charging even more than the proposed new rates in Dungarvan.

The councillors refused to adopt the estimates, agreeing instead to meet again in two weeks time when a detailed report on additional revenues accruing to the council in the coming year will be outlined. The report will also include the rates that will be forthcoming from the town’s new shopping centre which opened last November.

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