A city councillor has accused City Hall of neglecting law-abiding residents in a Ballybane housing estate who have had to deal with mounting health hazards as a result of illegal dumping.
Speaking at a meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) for Environment, Recreation and Amenity, Independent councillor Colette Connolly said that residents were “sick, sore and tired of the inaction of the Council” and claimed the local authority was “doing nothing” to improve the situation.
Fána Glas has become a black spot for illegal dumping with a small number of residents disposing of rubbish in common areas of the estate.
Items such as broken-down cars, dumped mattresses and scattered household waste – as well as illegally-parked caravans – have blighted the area for a number of years.
Several attempts to tidy the area in the past, by means of community clean-ups and Council-led operations have failed – with the status quo returning shortly after the work is completed.
Cllr Connolly said that it was unacceptable that a small number of residents were able to behave in this manner and called for action from the City Council.
“I am told that there are rats up there now – this is a repeat performance of what we had when Hillside was there.
“It is disgraceful to treat law-abiding residents in this manner,” she exclaimed.
Cllr Connolly demanded that the Director of Services for Housing take direct action and said that those residents who have no regard for their tenancy agreements should be severely reprimanded.
Administrative Officer in the Environment and Climate Change Department, Helen McDonagh, refuted claims that the Council were doing nothing and said that they would soon be piloting a new anti-dumping initiative in Ballybane.
The Council have secured funding for the pilot scheme and as part of its ‘Managing your Waste, Caring for our Environment’ campaign and has been working with residents’ associations and city councillors in the area.
“We held a public meeting in August and invited all the residents in Ballybane where we outlined the initiative. We want people to come in and work with us and we will be sending out press releases and leaflets.
“We will be doing clean-ups but they will only happen after the campaign; we need people to tell us when dumping is happening,” said Ms McDonagh.
In a recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey carried out by An Taisce, Ballybane was declared ‘clean to European norms’ – with a significant improvement in the area’s cleanliness noted in the results.
However, Fána Glas was highlighted as an area that remained in need of attention.
The survey found that many individual properties in the estate were very well-maintained while others were quite neglected.
It described the overall impression of the estate as one of terrible neglect – overgrown, weeded and heavily littered.