Businesses demand rates rebate over water cuts
Published 19/01/2010 | 05:00
BUSINESS leaders have demanded the repayment of cash from their water rates as the water crisis continues.
Chambers Ireland, which represents 13,000 businesses, yesterday called for a reimbursement programme for firms whose water supplies have either been cut off or curtailed.
The water shortages have hit certain sectors particularly hard, including pubs and restaurants.
Food processors have also been badly affected, with Bachelors announcing last week that it had run out of water at its cannery plant in Cabra in Dublin.
A spokesperson for the firm said yesterday it had enough water to last the day but it was unclear if there would be any production this morning as the council was unable to confirm when a full supply would be back.
Sean Murphy, deputy chief executive of Chambers, said with local authorities set to collect €200m in water rates this year, it was only right businesses be reimbursed for a service they could not now use.
However, Dublin City Council has refused to repay water rates saying that about two-thirds of customers have meters and would therefore not be charged when supplies were cut. The remaining third who paid fixed rates "incur modest charges", said a spokesperson.
Meanwhile, thousands of households across the country are still without water, with night-time cuts set to continue.
In Dublin, Fingal County Council said it would continue to reduce water pressure from 10pm until 6am to allow reservoirs to refill. While supplies were restored to certain areas over the weekend, including to Garristown village, the wider Garristown and Oldtown areas still have low pressure or no supply at all.
In south Dublin, the council said that despite an improvement in reservoir levels over the weekend, it was still proceeding with plans to restrict water supplies in all areas last night with the supply not due to be restored until 7am today.
Dublin City Council continued "severe" reductions in water pressure in many parts of the south of the city, including in Crumlin, Drimnagh, Irishtown and Sandymount; while tankers supplied households in Coolock, Clonshaugh, Raheny, Killester, Artane, Santry and Finglas.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said water was restored to those areas that were without a supply on Sunday night, with the exception of some parts of Killiney.
Residents in Cork city, particularly those on the northside, will face overnight cuts to their water supply as the city council struggles to repair a number of pipe leaks. Supplies will be cut from 8pm until 6am.
In Co Clare, there are restrictions in several areas, including Ennis and Tulla. In the Shannon area, householders only have running water for seven hours each day.
The water supply in Co Wexford is also subject to overnight cuts while in Co Westmeath, the supply in and around Athlone will be cut from 11pm to 8am.
However, there was good news for householders in Co Meath as the council said everyone should now have a supply.