2 - Environmental Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 2 (Environmental Policy) held on Wednesday 6th December at 11 a.m. in the Meeting Room, Environmental Services Section, Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo


  • Cllr. J. McGarry


  • Councillor M. Barrett,
  • Councillor G. Mullaney,
  • B. Queenan,
  • G. O’Connor,
  • Councillor P. Conmy,
  • Councillor M. Fleming,
  • Councillor R. O’Grady


  • Mr. Pat Forkan, Director of Service
  • Mr. John McHugh, Senior Engineer
  • Ms. Emer Concannon, Senior Executive Engineer
  • Ms. Breda Ronayne, Administrative Officer
  • Mr. Conall Calleary, Veterinary Officer
  • Ms. Mairead Clerkin, Staff Officer
  • Ms. Aideen Feeney, Litter Warden
  • Ms. Sharon Eastwood, Awareness Officer


  • Ms. Sally Ward


Proposed by Cllr. Mullaney
Seconded by Mr. B. Queenan


“To confirm and adopt minutes of the SPC Environmental Policy meeting held on 26th April 2006”


Cllr. Mullaney stated that there was still a problem with the collection of farm plastics but he was aware of two companies that collected the wrap, namely, Farm Relief Services and Irish Farm Film Producers Group.   Cllr. Mullaney also stated that he was aware of a letter from Connacht Gold giving permission to use Ballymote as a depot for farm plastic collections.


Cllrs. Conmy, Barrett, Mullaney, Fleming & McGarry raised concerns over the exemptions of some groups in relation to erecting signs.   Mr. McHugh explained that while there were exemptions for non-commercial groups as outlined in the Planning & Development Regulations, 2001, the draft policy states that prior to any group or organisation erecting signs on public property, contact must be made with the environment section and approved by the Roads section.  He stated that no-one is exempt if the structure causes a road safety hazard.   Mr. McHugh also stated that there would be an advertising campaign initiated when the policy becomes a working document.   In conclusion with regard to various concerns, it was unanimously agreed that the policy be brought before the next SPC meeting before being adopted by the full council.


Mr. McHugh gave an update on the Work programme for the Environment Section for 2006 as outlined to SPC members at the meeting of 17th November 2005.   He gave a brief outline on what was included on the programme and was satisfied that targets had been met, as far as practicable.

A number of items with regard to the plan were discussed as follows:

Litter Free Ballymote

In relation to the Litter Free Ballymote project, Ms Eastwood and Ms Feeney outlined that a grant of €5,400 had been given to the community under the Anti-litter Awareness programme.   This grant would be spent jointly by the community and schools in the area.   It was also stated that 4 refuse bins had been installed in the town, that the Operation Clean Sweep initiative was being enforced, lunch-time patrol by the Litter Warden was being carried out on a fortnightly basis and that 2 schools attended the recently held Green Schools Seminar. 

Water Quality

Mr. McHugh stated that the draft source protection plans would be brought to a forthcoming SPC meeting

Beach Bye-laws

Ms. Ronayne said that it was hoped to bring the bye-laws before the full council early in the new year. Cllr. McGarry stated that he had received a submission in relation to the bye-laws and he then proposed that this submission, and the bye-laws in general, be discussed at the next SPC meeting before going to the full council.   This proposal was seconded by Cllr. Fleming.

In conclusion to the Work Programme, Mr. McHugh asked that we leave the development of the 2007 Programme until the next meeting where it can then be developed and formalised.   This was agreed unanimously.


Ms. Concannon gave an update on infrastructure and waste collection requirements in the CWMP and stated that all our obligations under the plan were being met.   Mr. Forkan stated that it was not a requirement in the Plan for Sligo to have a landfill site or thermal treatment plant, however, this may be a requirement in the next number of years.

Mr. O’Connor queried the conditions applied to Waste Permit Holders in relation the state of roads.   In reply, Ms. Concannon stated that Waste Permits can be revoked if conditions are not adhered to.   Cllr. McGarry asked if conditions could be reviewed in relation to public liability insurance for permit holders, especially for damage to public/private property to which Mr. McHugh stated that it would be reviewed.   This proposal was welcomed by Cllr. Fleming.

Cllr. Fleming queried the opening hours in Tubbercurry Civic Amenity Site and also the possibility of a hazardous waste collection facility for the area.   In reply, Ms. Concannon stated that was not financially viably to have the facility in Tubbercurry open on a full-time basis.   In relation to the second query, Ms. Concannon stated that Sligo County Council were in consultation with Greenstar about the possibility of setting up a designated area in the Tubbercurry facility for hazardous waste.


Mr. McHugh informed members with regard to the Nitrates Regulations which controls activity on land that could impact on water quality.   Cllr. McGarry asked if the summary document on these regulations could be circulated to members.   Other concerns were raised by members with regard to the Lough Arrow Management Plan, slurry spreading,  testing of mains water and wells were responded to by Mr. McHugh and Ms. Concannon.
Mr. McHugh also gave an update on the On-site Treatment System Consultant Panel stating that the second round of interviews were held and that there are now 24 on the panel.   In reply to queries from Cllr. Mullaney and Barret, Mr. McHugh stated that there is a Code of Conduct for all companies included on the panel and that the names of the companies are available on the website.


Cllr. Conmy, on behalf of the SPC members, expressed a vote of sympathy to Cllr. Mullaney on the death of his uncle recently.  

A vote of congratulations was also expressed by members to Ms. Emer Concannon on her achievement of completing the New York City Marathon.

Special votes of good luck, health and blessings were passed by all members and officials of the SPC to Mr. Pat Forkan, his wife Marie and family on the occasion of his retirement on 15th December 2006.   All members and officials described Pat as a courteous, respectful, patient, hard-working and approachable gentleman on a personal and business level.   It was agreed that Pat would be dearly missed and they wished him all the best for a long and happy retirement.  

The meeting concluded at 12.30 p.m.


Meeting Date 06/12/2006