19 July 2001 Edition

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Manager rejects Sinn Féin waste motion

In an extraordinary abuse of power, the Cork City Manager has refused to accept a Section 4 motion from Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O'Brien, which called on the manager to present the city's waste management plan, which councillors have amended, for decision at a special meeting.

Under the new legislation, passed two weeks ago, the city manager is empowered to formulate a waste management plan in place of the democratically elected councillors, where the local authority members have failed to do so.

So far, Cork has failed to adopt a waste management strategy because successive city managers have refused to endorse the unanimous view of the Corporation in support of local opinion that the Materials Recovery Station (MRS), where waste would be sorted, should not be sited at the Old Kinsale Road Dump.

Councillors O'Brien, Dan Boyle and Con O'Leary called for the Section 4 motion last week, but the manager refused to accept the motion, on what Councillor O'Brien calls a technicality - that the motion used the word `wish' instead of the word `intend.'

``The effect of the motion,'' says Jonathan, ``would have been to give the councillors the opportunity they want to express the democratic will of the Corporation to adopt a waste management plan based on minimising waste production and maximising waste recycling. But the City Manager and the Minister of the Environment have an alternative strategy, which is to incinerate all the waste with a token policy of recycling. This strategy is deeply unpopular with the people of Cork City.''

``I believe that this explains the quite illegimate decision by the manager to refuse our motion. After all it is the Chairperson of the council who ultimately should decide the agenda of the council, not the manager. This decision raises the fundamental question of who runs this council?

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1