This Summer 60,000 or so householders in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown received instalment two of their bin bill. Inside in bright red ink it declared "It is intended to replace the traditional refuse collection method with a wheeled bin refuse collection to be introduced on a phased basis from September 2000. Wheeled bins will only be allocated to those householders who have a clear account"
By the end of October every household had been given a wheelie bin. Only 20% have paid their full bin charges bill. Quite clearly this stand down is a major break through for the campaign in Dun Laoghaire. The campaign has also established through talks with bin workers that ALL bins will be collected. It now appears that the council will have to resort to the courts in order to try to recoup some of their charges. As was proven in the anti-Water Charges Campaign this will be messy for them and give activists a chance to publicly fight each case, both in court and by mobilising people outside.
Meanwhile this September South Dublin County Council unanimously rejected charges arguing, as the campaign groups have done, that they represented an unfair form of double tax on PAYE workers. So Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the PDs who have lined up for the charges in Dún Laoghaire have argued passionately and voted to abolish them in South Dublin County. Clearly once again, as ever, the politicians have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted on this like many other issues. Instead the power of ordinary people in not paying and in signing up to the campaign is beating the charges. In Dún Laoghaire despite mutterings from several Councillors none have come out and argued for non-payment. Clearly, though, the council are reeling though not out for the count! A few more follow through punches could finish the charges in Dublin.
With this in mind the campaign has called for a major demonstration at Dún Laoghaire Town Hall (across the road from the DART Station) at 7 pm on Tuesday November 21st for the estimates meeting. The campaign intends to lobby all councillors with gifts of brown envelopes, as it appears from the planning tribunals to be the only language that they speak. The WSM calls on supporters especially those in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown to come out in support of this protest and to join the campaign.
Conor Mc Loughlin (Watson co-ordinator in the Campaign Against Service Charges in Dun Laoghaire - in personal capacity - email@example.com)
Rubbish dumping outside the City Hall has become a regular feature of the campaign against the bin-charges in Cork city. Rubbish has now been dumped on the City Hall steps on every Monday night for nearly three months and this, if nothing else, is a clear warning to the Corpo bosses and councillors that the campaign isn't going to go away.
The Corpo's initial efforts at intimidating protesters with litter fines have faltered and in recent weeks rubbish has been dumped without any harassment from the Corpo's 'Litter Wardens'. With regard to the fines already imposed, Householders Against Service Charges (HASC) has rejected the claim by the Corpo that this regular Monday night dumping constitutes an act of 'littering'. The Campaign is pledged to fighting these 'littering' fines and to defending any member of HASC threatened with prosecution.
As important, the campaign has begun the work of targeting a number of local areas with the aim of establishing local HASC groups. This work will be indispensable to building the Campaign over the next while.