2 - Environmental Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 2 (Environmental Policy) held on Monday 27th February, 2012 at 11:00am in The Meeting Room, Environmental Services Section, Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo


  • Councillor Pat McGrath.



  • Kathleen McGuinness,
  • Councillor Dara Mulvey,
  • Councillor Mary Barrett,
  • Councillor Hubert Keaney,
  • Ms. Kathleen Henry,
  • Councillor Marcella McGarry.



  • Mr. Tom Kilfeather, Director of Service,
  • Mr. Fineen O’Driscoll, A/Senior Engineer
  • Ms. Pamela Bergin, A/Senior Executive Scientist
  • Mr. Enda Killoran, A/Assistant Scientist
  • Mr. Pete Murtagh, Waste Enforcement Officer
  • Ms. Mairead Clerkin, A/Senior Staff Officer
  • Ms. Olivia Black, A/Assistant Staff Officer



  • Councillor David Cawley,
  • Councillor Aoiffe McLoughlin,
  • Mr. Brendan Queenan.



Proposed by Councillor Hubert Keaney.

Seconded by Councillor Dara Mulvey.    

and agreed

“To confirm and adopt Minutes of the SPC Environmental Policy meeting held on 24th June 2011”.



Review of Beach Bye-Laws: 

Fineen outlined that due to the lack of resources it is not possible to review the Bye-Laws at present.  Mairead gave a breakdown of the work, staff and time involved.

Mary asked about Easkey Caravan site to which Fineen said this would be a matter for the Area Office.


CCTV Cost: 

Mairead received a quote from Coleman Electronics, and gave a copy to all present.  Pat was informed that no funding was available to install covert cameras.  Pete said that the Enforcement Office had one covert camera which is continually used in illegal dumping problem areas. 

Dara said how Coillte have erected No Dumping signs which have been a deterrent in some areas.


Draft Waste Presentation Bye-Laws: 

Pete handed out a Draft copy and said they don’t have to be done up immediately as National ones maybe done up.  Fineen said we have existing Bye-Laws and our Solicitor may advise amending them. 

Kathleen McGuinness said that education is the best awareness.



Pat said this was a Notice of Motion at the last Council meeting and that further discussion should take place at today’s meeting.  A discussion followed in particular with businesses advertising on national routes (N59, N4 and N17) and he asked about the possibility of businesses being allowed to have a sign on the main road once it didn’t cause any problems with Road Safety.  Fineen said the NRA play a big role on the National routes.  Hubert suggested identifying sites for events, maybe have a purpose built sign where a certain amount of businesses could insert their slot and people could see all events together.  Tom said the Council have a policy in place, which cannot be ignored.  Businesses are struggling and the Council could not be too lenient as too many signs are unsightly.  Road safety is very important and the Council could not tolerate signs if they were in dangerous places.  Dara asked if a Warning letter is sent out before signs are removed and if businesses are aware, to which Tom stated that businesses were made aware of their obligations under the signage policy when first adopted, that an advertisement was placed in the local newspapers and that letters were sent to estate agents.  Mairead said Management are very lenient in not going after businesses in relation to illegal signage, however, Tom suggested that maybe the Area Offices could go through their list and see who the persistent offenders are.  Pat suggested that Area Offices could work together with the local businesses and give them encouragement within reason as Road Safety is the priority. 



Septic Tank Charges: 

Fineen said it is still Draft legislation.  Enda said the public are as well informed as we are and that this is the first year the Local Authorities will be registering household septic tanks.  He stated that he was unsure if a panel will be set up for doing inspections and that it could take another few weeks before there is any legislation adopted.


Water Charges: 

Tom said it is still at the early stages.  An Irish Water Board is to be set up, and that the Local Authority may be working for the Board.  He stated that there is a lot of uncertainly at the moment.



Mary thanked the Environment staff for being so helpful to all the Communities, with providing bags, gloves and for all their assistance during cleanups of beaches, roads etc.  Pat agreed with Mary, he said Environment work very well with the groups and voluntary support is needed.  Hubert said some roads are very poor but local groups are doing good work with the help of the Environment Section.  Hubert suggested developing a strategy to target specific roads and have one day for picking litter which maybe football clubs, community groups, etc, could help out.  He also suggested encouraging businesses to help, in that they could sponsor two/three cleanups per year, they could advertise this through their business.  Fineen said it is a national issue and that a lot of education is being done through the Green Schools programmes, etc.  Hubert appreciates all the good work being done but would like to see a bit more improvement.  He complemented Barna Waste with the ebin system which is now in place.

Kathleen said in relation to bags being left out at collection points, they are being left out before the pickup day and bags are being scattered.  Pete said there are Bye-Laws and states when bags should be put out.  He said if this is being repeated to make Environment aware of it and if any details are found the Litter Warden can issue a fine. 



Dara asked about the cleaning of signs as some have overgrowth and are dirty, Fineen said it this would be a matter for the Area Offices. 

Kathleen proposed a vote of Sympathy to Eithne Garvin on the death of her Aunt Beatrice Toolan.

Fineen said a tender is being done on the Textile Banks so that we will have more funding and more control of such banks at our Bring Bank facilities.  Fineen thanked Mairead for all her work with this project.  Mairead said an advert for the tender will be going in the paper in the next week.  She stated that there are 13 public sites and the other 27 are private sites.  The aim is to have Textile banks on all the public sites and if any of the private sites want textile banks they should get in touch with us as they were all notified by letter.  She stated that there was money to be made from the Textile banks, and at private sites, 80% of cost per tonnage would go to community/landowner and 20% to Sligo County Council for weekly/fortnightly upkeep of the sites.  Mairead tanked James McGowan for all his work at the bring bank sites.  Pat thanked Mairead for all her work.

Pat read an email from Michael Ewing, Environmental Pillar, with their new nomination Mr. Fergal Spain (replacing Mr. Guy Marsden).


Next meeting to be scheduled for June 2012.


Meeting concluded at 12:40 p.m.





Meeting Date 27/02/2012