15 April 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally and Peter Hughes

Addressing litter-related problems cost Monaghan Co Council €680,000 during 2015, it has emerged – with the local authority’s Senior Executive Engineer Declan McKiernan describing the problem as the biggest scourge the Council faced.

The recent monthly meeting of the local authority saw councillors agree to seek to change the mind of the Office of Data Protection so the Council can “name and shame” people convicted of littering and illegal dumping offences.

Members requested the data protection authority to alter its stance on this issue in order to enable them to further their campaign to prevent and control litter problems in the county.

An additional €40,000 has been set aside by the Council to provide more CCTV surveillance in known litter “hot spots”, the meeting was informed by Declan McKernan.

The Senior Executive Engineer said that in order to mount evidence for a successful prosecution the local authority had to ensure that they had the registration number of an offender’s car, or someone who had seen the illegal dumping or littering offence and who was prepared to go to court as a witness.

The meeting was told that 180 on-the-spot litter fines were issued in 2015, a 45% increase which was attributed to the introduction of extra CCTV surveillance along the N2 focusing on littering by motorists.

A report before the members stated: “Three private companies were used which produced 45 detections, resulting in 23 on-the-spot fines being issued. A further ten Northern Ireland-registered cars were detected, and fines were issued which were forwarded to a London-based company for collection.”

The Co Council responded to 223 litter-related complaints last year, an average of almost four per week.

The report added: “A grant of €15,000 was drawn down for litter-related awareness activities. This was spent on Tidy Towns activities, the …

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