Bins situated in laneways along the main streets of Ennis belonging to businesses have been described as an “eye-sore” and “unsightly”.
Cllr James Breen has put pressure on Clare County Council ahead of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to implement a solution so that the bins which are the responsibility of local businesses in the town are removed from the different laneways of the town. At the February meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, Breen asked if a permanent solution had been found.
Acting Director of Service, Tom Tiernan in his reply stated that three provisional sites for the removal of bins had been located. “The proposed sites are located within Parnell Street car park, the Friary car park and lower Market Street car park. Preliminary layout plans which indicate likely capacity have been produced and discussion has taken place in relation to planning and conservation issues”.
Tiernan added, “The next step is for the Environment Section and the Municipal District area office to agree the proposed layouts following which final layouts can be developed and agreed prior to quotations being sought. Consultation with local businesses is ongoing throughout the process and it is anticipated that the solution will be in place prior to commencement of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017”.
Breen expressed his disappointment with the response saying that he raised the matter twelve months ago and only provisional sites had been identified. The Independent Councillor asked, “How long does it take to get rid of the dustbins in the lanes of the town? Have we enough people in the Council that we don’t need to listen to the general public”? He remarked that having provisional sites was not good enough, “I’m totally and utterly disappointed with the response, it is about time we started delivering in this Municipal District to the notices of motion”.
In contrast, Cllr Johnny Flynn felt the response was “good news”. The Ennis Councillor maintained that it was a “huge problem in a small medieval town like Ennis”.
Laneway bins in the town caused the robbery of Cllr Mary Howard’s handbag on one occasion. In recounting the incident, Howard said it reminded her of a Carry On movie as a drunk man who saw the incident reclaimed the handbag from the thief.
She advised officials to check the archives of Ennis Town Council’s recommendations as she could recall an arrangement with businesses that they would take bins in premises until the day of collection. The Fine Gael Councillor said she understood Breen’s frustration with what she described as “an eye-sore” and “unsightly”, Mary informed elected members that some businesses were now forced to lock their bins.
According to Director of Service, Gerard Dollard “it is an issue we would like to see resolved” and acknowledged Cllr Breen wanted this done sooner rather than later. Surveys were done prior to last year’s Fleadh, the outcome of which showed that some businesses had no storage. Dollard told the meeting that an argument from one business was that had an all female staff and didn’t want them to be bringing the bins to Abbey St. “It requires individual engagement from individual owners”, he concluded.