Council in Newry, Mourne and Down are paying almost £20 per person in the district for cleaning – which includes the scourge of fly-tipping.
Which is why Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Larkin is calling for increased cooperation between NMD Council and Louth County Council.
He wants to see a joint operation in a bid to combat the relentless fly-tipping which is blighting the Mourne, Cooley, Gullion region.
“Sinn Féin councillors from North Louth and South Armagh have been working together with local communities in an effort to reduce illicit dumping in these areas of outstanding natural beauty,” said councillor Larkin.
“Our own district has the highest level of fly-tipping in the north. The Council spends in the region of £18.40 per head of population on its street cleansing budget which includes litter picking and lifting of illegal dumping. This equates to approximately £3,000,000 annually which is an enormous drain on finances.
“Ultimately it is the rate payer who pays the bill for those who desecrate our beautiful countryside.”
He added: “In response to this continuing scourge, Sinn Féin has brought a motion to Council requesting increased cooperation between ourselves and Louth County Council in an effort to tackle the issue.
“We are calling for a review of penalties for dumping to reflect the increasing costs to the Council and ratepayers of this district.
“My Sinn Féin colleague, councillor Antoin Watters brought forward a similar motion to Louth County Council with a view to placing this high on the agenda of the joint committee which deals with issues affecting both Councils.”
Actions agreed by councillors included: the Council contacting both Louth County Council and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council with a view to addressing fly-tipping in a unified way; addressing enforcement action in conjunction with the NIEA; to carry out a fly-tipping review and market the message of zero tolerance; to write to the relevant department raising concerns and requesting prompt action.
Councillor Larkin concluded: “We must do all in our power to protect our district from this menace and the message must go out that the polluter must pay.”
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