Wednesday 21 February 2018

Locals use petition to vent strong feelings about Mallow council

Tidy Towns volunteers at work on the streets of Mallow.
Tidy Towns volunteers at work on the streets of Mallow.

Bill Browne

MEMBERS of the public have used a petition book set up in to garner support for retention of town councils to lash out at Mallow Town Council.

Despite being set up almost four months ago the book, situated in the lobby of the town hall, has been signed by only around 200 people.

This would seem to indicate a degree of public apathy towards town councils, which are due to be dissolved next year under sweeping local government reform measures introduced by Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

The issue of the town council's controversial pay parking regime was one particular topic that sparked the ire of some of those who did put pen to paper on the petition.

One anonymous entry summed up sentiments expressed by many local people towards the measures since their introduction. "This parking is a disgrace, no wonder people are bypassing the town," it read.

Another entry, signed by someone who gave their name as Jude, commented, "get rid of the traffic warden".

Yet another person expressed their anger at the rigorous implementation of pay parking regulations saying, "when ye get rid of parking fees I might sign it"!

Dog fouling on the town's footpaths was another issue that incensed one person, who used a whole page of the petition book to vent their feelings on the issue.

"Please close down Mallow Town Council, they are unable to clean up the dog litter from our sidewalks," read the anonymous entry.

The person also took a swipe at Town Engineer Keith Jones, saying it was his responsibility to ensure that "we have clean streets/footpaths for the citizens of Mallow and all the tourists".

Another person simply wrote on the petition, "get rid of it [the town council], money grabbers."

The mayor of Mallow, Cllr Noel O'Connor, described the criticism of the council, and in particular that of Mr Jones, as "harsh and unwarranted".

"Pay parking is essential in order to both free up traffic and spaces in the town and to ensure revenue is generated to pay for the upkeep of car parks, signage and roads," said Cllr O'Connor.

"It is particularly unfair to target the town engineer as he has done some exceptional work since he came to Mallow. The way Mallow has steadily risen up the Tidy Towns ranking is evidence of that. This council does a good job and I think that this criticism is both harsh and unwarranted," he added.


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