A “disillusioned” councillor has resigned as vice-chairman of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council in frustration at the local authority’s slow response to cleaning up the unsightly carpet of debris and waste gathered at the boating marina in Carrick-on-Suir.
A furious Cllr Kieran Bourke declared that the new local government system wasn’t working and he was “ashamed” to be a public representative as he tendered his resignation from the position at the District Council’s latest monthly meeting.
He declared that Carrick-on-Suir has deteriorated hugely since the abolition of the Town Council and amalgamation of north and south Tipperary Co. Councils last year.
He said he felt the new local government system wasn’t a “patch on the old system” and wasn’t working.
The Independent councillor first raised the unsightly state of the marina, located on the River Suir in the town centre, at the Council’s June meeting. He appealed then for the debris and waste to be cleaned up as soon as possible. At the Council’s latest meeting he was incensedthe job still wasn’t done a further month into the summer tourist season despite a commitment being given by the Council in June.
He reported that a video of rats running over the debris at the marina was being shown on a local social media Facebook group that was viewed by ex-pats from around the world.
“I am so frustrated as a public representative and Cllr Dunne (SF) feels the same. People are going around saying we are doing nothing. They are probably right because we are getting nothing done. We are making representations to the Council but nothing’s happening. I am sure if a citizen took this council to court over the marina they wouuld win hands town. It’s a disgrace,” he declared.
He reminded Council officials that Tidy Towns judges had visited the town in recent weeks when the marina was in this state. He also complained about weeds growing up on both sides of the town’s Main Street, illegal dumping of waste and several other issues concerning his hometown.
He believed this problem wouldn’t have arisen if the Town Council was still in place. He said he was disillusioned, upset and ashamed to be a public representative and was tendering his resignation as Council vice-chairman.
Fellow Carrick Cllr David Dunne (SF) supported Cllr Bourke’s comments about the marina and echoed his frustration, reiterating that the public were “slating” them on the streets over this and other issues. He said people were being told to pay the Local Property Tax so the revenue can be invested back in their communities but they were not getting value for money. “The marina is a disgrace though it’s not all the Council’s fault. Your hands are tied in relation to the amount of workers you have and you are not allowed hire extra boots on the ground. If we had that we could have cleaned this when it came up,” he conceeded.
District Council Administrator Martin Nolan said he had spoken at the last meeting about health & safety issues in relation to working in water to clean up the marina. This Council engaged a firm specialising in this work to remove the debris and the trees growing from the flood wall starting on August 11.
The delay was caused by the fact the Council had to source, vet and appoint this contractor, he explained
District Council Director Pat Slattery said he accepted Cllr Bourke felt frustrated but reiterated that the Council agreed straight away to clean up the waste at the marina. In the past the Council would have done this work, which was extremely dangerous. That was no longer acceptable for health & safety reasons and they had to tender for specialist workers to do the job. There was a process to go through and that took time.
He said if Cllr Bourke had issues he felt were being left unresolved he would be anxious to work with him to solve them.
Cllr Bourke pointed out that Carrick Development Association highlighted the waste problem with the Council weeks before he raised the issue at the June Council meeting and nothing was done. The marina was the Council’s responsibility and surely someone from the Council should be watching it regularly, he added.