A SPECIAL council meeting has been called for next Wednesday morning ahead of proposed changes to the bin waiver.
Thousands of people across the city benefit from subsidised bin collections worth around €250 at present.
But from the end of the month, this will change to a subsidy of approximately €85 to €100 per week. This has sparked a massive backlash, with Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville successfully demanding a special meeting, with the support of his party colleagues, plus Independent councillor John Gilligan.
Cllr Prendiville is calling on members of the public affected by the cuts to attend the meeting, which kicks off at 9.30am at County Hall in Dooradoyle.
“I think it is a crucial meeting. It is only at a full meeting that the council can have an impact on the new scheme. The idea of adopting an new scheme without a council meeting I think is a mad idea,” he said. “Nobody can end up worse off because of the new bin waiver scheme. Michael Noonan said austerity ended 12 months ago. But if people have their waivers cut, austerity will be alive and well in Limerick.”
Cllr Prendiville warned if the bin waiver is cut, it will “push people into poverty” and result in “further increases in fly-tipping” across Limerick.
Ahead of the meeting, the Fine Gael group on the council has called on council chief Conn Murray to continue operating the win waiver scheme until at least the end of the year.
“The Fine Gael members feel very strongly that the bin waiver/voucher scheme be fully protected. While Limerick may be one of the last if not the last local authority in the country to operate such a scheme it is one where councillors can deliver back to the most vulnerable in our society,” a statement from group leader Cllr John Sheahan read.
Meanwhile, a public meeting is to take place tonight at 6pm in St Leila’s Hall, Ballynanty, for people opposed to cuts to the bin waiver scheme across the city.