AAA calls on Government to ‘immediately’ replace pipes

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

AAA Councillors John Loftus, Cian Prendiville and Paul Keller put forward a motion for the Government to cease water meter installations
THE Anti-Austerity Alliance has called on the Government to “immediately” cease the water meter installation programme and to divert resources to replacing all lead piping, this week at the metropolitan district meeting

THE Anti-Austerity Alliance has called on the Government to “immediately” cease the water meter installation programme and to divert resources to replacing all lead piping, this week at the metropolitan district meeting

The motion was brought forward by Councillors Paul Keller, John Loftus and Cian Prendiville at the council this Monday.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Keller said that the use of water meters is “pointless” because of the cap on charges, adding that charging people for “unsafe water is irresponsible”.

Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan said that the “money being wasted” by Irish Water would be better used in replacing “dangerous lead piping”.

“The government by their own admission does not need to meter water supplies for a number of years as they are charging flat rates to householders. The supply of proper, consumable water should be the number one priority, not metering houses,” he said.

Cllr Quinlivan said that Minister Alan Kelly needs to provide for people who cannot afford pipe replacement. Cllr John Gilligan said that the council has a “duty to provide drinkable water to the people”.

Labour’s Elena Secas, however, disagreed with some of the councillors’ views regarding the removal of the water meters.

“The water meters are not solely there for charging, but they are also used for water conservation as well.”

Fine Gael’s Michael Sheahan proposed an amendment to the motion; to “call on Irish Water to commit all necessary resources as a matter of public health and safety, to the replacement of all lead piping as a priority”.

Of the 17 councillors who voted, 11 were in favour of the amendment and six were against it.