Littering very difficult to prosecute in court
Wicklow County Council is wasting its time issuing litter fines, according to councillors in the Bray area.
At a meeting of Bray Municipal District last Tuesday it emerged that in 2011, 68 fines were issued and 12 paid; in 2012 52 were issued and 17 paid; and in 2013 37 were issued and 15 paid.
District Administrator David Forde said that there is no litter warden in Bray at the moment and the function is now at Wicklow County Council.
All reports of littering go to that body.
Cllr Chris Fox said that low collection rates are endemic through the whole system including things like water rates and charges for calling out the fire service.
He said that he and Cllr Pat Casey have been calling on Wicklow County Council to do something about revenue collection.
Administrative Officer Triona Irving said that it is difficult to prosecute littering.
She explained that there were some where the person had not paid and the matter was taken to court.
The litter warden would have identified them by paperwork in the rubbish bags.
It emerged in court that this was not sufficient proof that they were responsible for the dumping.
She said that members of the public who witnessed dumping were reluctant to go to court to give evidence of same.
Des O'Brien said that at one stage Bray had the second highest rate of collection in the country.
'We're looking forward to a great new sunrise every morning,' he said as one of the councillors said the function is now in Wicklow.
Cllr. John Ryan, who raised the motion which led to the discussion, said that while Tidy Towns and Coastcare are working so hard, others are 'giving the two fingers to the town.'
Cllr. Brendan Thornhill said that every journey starts with a small step. 'We have to go into the schools,' he said. 'These are the people of the future.'