BY BRIAN MOORE
A CALL for the area’s civic amenity sites to be open on Mondays and at lunchtime was made at a meeting of the Western Committee.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said that more needs to be done to ensure that the civic amenity sites are open when people need them.
‘We have a situation where the amenity sites are closed on Mondays and are closed at lunchtime, this has to be reviewed,’ Cllr Carroll said. ‘If, for example, you are spending a weekend or a longer holiday in West Cork and you are heading back on a Monday, we can’t expect people to take their rubbish with them just because the amenity site is closed.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) called for the amenity sites to be opened on Mondays and at lunchtimes especially during the summer season.
Councillors were also united in their calls for more dedicated staff to be assigned to the monitoring and enforcing of the litter laws across the region.
‘There are only five full-time staff across the entire county dealing with litter and waste,’ Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said. ‘We need more staff on the ground especially in West Cork to deal with the litter and other waste dumping. There is a major problem with fly tipping in this area and we need more people on the ground to deal with this.’
It was also noted that according to Cork County Council’s environment report for 2017, West Cork’s Blue Flag beaches are classed as ‘excellent’, once again, for bathing water quality.
However, concerns were voiced at the number of septic tank inspections carried out in 2017 and the resulting non compliances. Out of 20 inspections there were 12 non compliances (66.7%) and while all 12 home owners received notices informing them that their septic tanks did not comply with regulations, just two have been brought up to the standards required to date.
‘Householders are encouraged to de-sludge their septic tanks using an authorised de-sludging contractor every two years,’ Ted O’Leary, senior executive officer with the Environment Directorate told the councillors. ‘There is a list of local authorised contractors available from the environment directorate offices at Inniscarra.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) noted that over a million litres of diesel was used each year by the council’s fleet of vehicles. ‘Would it not make sense to look more electric powered vans and such,’ Cllr Hayes said. ‘Especially when it comes to the shorter, more local journeys that most of these vehicles undertake.’
However, Mr O’Leary said that while electric cars and other vehicles were the way of the future, there were no plans, at this time to incorporate these within the fleet of council vans and trucks.