18 September 2003 Edition

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Fingal admits bin privatisation plans

Chairperson of Dublin Sinn Féin, Daithí Doolan, has called on local authorities across Dublin to come clean on whether they are preparing to privatise refuse collection services. Doolan was speaking after learning that last February Fingal County Council contacted SIPTU to try and begin discussions on 'privatisation' and 'the orderly wind-down of the refuse collection service'.

"The forcing through of bin charges, under the threat of bringing down local Councils and the subsequent heavy handed behaviour towards both residents and Council workers is wrong and entirely counter-productive," said Doolan. "And it is clear that such confrontational actions will lead to further anti service protests this week.

"We believe there are two distinct, but related, issues at play here. One is the introduction of unfair bin charges and the second is the ongoing attempts to privatise the entire service. There are justifiable concerns about both."

In a letter sent from Fingal County Council to SIPTU on 18th February 2003, a senior council official stated that 'it is felt that private refuse collection contractors are better equipped to deliver the service' and asked to meet with workers representatives at an early date with a view to discussing 'the orderly wind-down of the refuse collection service'.

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