FOLLOWING ON from a discussion at last month's meeting of Balbriggan Town Council on the notion of criminal offenders carrying out community service by cleaning up Balbriggan, a formal motion to that affect has now been proposed.
Cllr Sean Brown (NP) talked at length about the idea last month and following on from that discussion, Cllr Monica Harford (Lab) has proposed a motion calling on offenders to be used for this kind of work.
Her motion stated: 'Balbriggan Town Council call on Fingal County Council to draw up a programme of works i.e. litter picking, general cleaning of areas, removal of graffiti etc., needed to be carried out in Balbriggan and present it to the relevant Government department/person requesting these works be carried out by community services penalties imposed on offenders in our court.' Fingal County Council responded to Cllr Harford's suggestion, saying: 'Fingal County Council have been working in partnership with the Probation Service over the last 12 months in identifying areas for graffiti removal and carrying out that activity by the Probation Service
'There are a huge number of conditions attached to areas where these works can be carried out There are also limitations to what the probation service can deliver for us as part of this programme. 'We are currently reviewing this operation in conjunction with the Probation Service. In relation to litter picking and general cleaning of areas these are core activities of the county council and any attempt to 'contract out' is likely to be met with resistance from the unions representing staff.
The Council provide a service to cover both these activities.' Cllr Harford said: 'Fingal County Council doesn't have the finances to do some of this work and this is a way of getting the work done.' She said it was also a way that offenders can 'put something back' into the community. Cllr Dermot Murray (FF) said he supported the motion and said it was a way of tackling ' litter black spots' in the town. Cllr Gráinne Maguire (NP) said she believed there were people ready to take up this kind of community service and Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Town Council, Larry Dunne (FG) said it was not about competing with the council but tackling work that the council didn't have the resources to do.