CORK City Council has been urged to opt out of the Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) survey after it condemned Mahon and the north side of the city in its latest rankings.
The IBAL survey monitors the cleanliness of towns and cities across Ireland and was scathing of parts of the city suburbs. The survey ranked Cork Northside 37th and Mahon 38th on a list of 40 areas across the country and both were deemed to be ‘littered’ by the report.
The survey, which is carried out by An Taisce, highlighted the North Ring Road as being ‘almost landfill like’ in places and stated that ‘long-term littered sites that have been repeatedly highlighted in previous surveys are not being dealt with.’
Surveyors inspecting The Maples in Mahon said it was “not just littered but subject to dumping with soiled nappies strewn about.”
Conor Horgan of the IBAL organisation said the socially underprivileged areas continued to struggle. “Three years ago we deliberately shone a spotlight on specific city areas in the hope that the attention would spur councils and communities into action,” he said.
“It is fair to say we have seen no noticeable improvement in any of these areas.”
City councillor Ken Collins urged City Hall to withdraw for the IBAL surveys and said he had reservations about the scoring system that was in place for the IBAL survey. He also said that the results were based on a single visit to the area which could not be an accurate reflection of the district.
The city councillor also called for more funds to be made available from central Government in order to tackle the issue of dumping and said that at present Cork City Council did not have the resources to combat the problem. Contrary to this, Sinn Féin Councillor Chris O’Leary said that the survey had a valid role in society by ‘keeping us on our toes’.
However, Mr O’Leary said it “sadly does show the areas that are in need of resources”.
The Sinn Féin Councillor, who is based in Mahon, said that the ‘man with a van’ operations that dispose of rubbish illegally need to be clamped down on. “It is a small minority that is getting away with taking down the rest of the community,” Mr O’Leary said.
The survey also instigated a call from Labour Representatives for Mahon and the Northside Peter Horgan and John Maher to significantly change Cork City Council tactics in relation to dumping and litter.
Both reps called for an increase in monitoring and fines for those dumping and to adopt zero-tolerance measures through the use of CCTV.
A spokesperson for City Hall said the litter results for Mahon and the North City area are disappointing and do not reflect the work carried out by both the City Council and Community Groups in these two areas.
“Cork City Council has a role in the upkeep of the public realm however, we cannot solve the problem of littering on our own. Tackling the issue must be done in conjunction and partnership with all the citizens of our city and an element of personal responsibility must be brought to bear to resolve the scourge of littering and illegal dumping.”