Thursday, 25 October 2012

Angered Householders to protest outside Wicklow County Councils Monthly meeting in November

The Wicklow campaign against the Household charge group are set to
protest outside the Wicklow County Council monthly meeting on November
5th. The group is to take its campaign against the household charge to
the council following the recent debacle by Wicklow Council Council,
which seen them send threatening correspondence to 23,000 households
in the county. Many letters were sent to residents who had already
paid the charge but it was also sent to children and to people who are
long deceased. The group will also protest over the cuts of €373,000
to services that where pushed through at the October council meeting,
these cuts where imposed based on the noncompliance of the unjust
household charge.

Cllr John Brady who is part of the group said "It has been decided to
stage a protest outside the next council meeting on November 5th to
show the level of anger that exists against the unfair and unjust
household change and the manner in which Wicklow County Council is
dealing with the situation on behalf of Local Government Management
Agency. What we seen happen here in Wicklow over the last week is a
costly blunder and is nothing short of an expensive pantomime. Over
23,000 letters were sent out to Wicklow residents, many of whom had
paid the charge already whilst others where children or people who are
long deceased"

Cllr Snell continued "I have been inundated with calls from very angry
residents since these letters started landing on doorsteps. The whole
situation is a shambles and people want to vent their anger. At the
last council meeting in October we had a crazy situation when the
majority of Councillors in Wicklow embraced cuts of €373,000 due the a
cut of funding to the council by the government because of peoples
refusal to pay the unjust household charge. Some of these Councillors
particularly in the Labour Party are trying to run with the fox and
chase with the hounds on this issue. They need to make up their minds,
they are either with the people or with the government, they cant be
with both on this issue"

Cllr Brady continued "It is understood that the database used to
identify non-compliant households had been sent by the Local
Government Management Agency, charged with collecting the tax, to the
local authority. The latest blunder should be the final episode in
this sorry saga. The latest mistake will cost the exchequer tens of
thousands of euros nationally. Paul McSweeny, CEO of the Local
Government Management Agency, admitted that the agency do not know who
has paid or who has not paid, they have no proper addresses or
database. Minister Hogan must be brought to account for this mistake.
He can no longer hide behind the government’s quango, the Local
Government Management Agency. From the onset Sinn Féin said the
Household Charge was unjust, unworkable and now. It is time the
government realise this and reverse this charge"

Cllr Brady concluded "We are calling on everyone who is opposed to the
household charge and the cuts to services to attend the protest on
November 5th starting at 1pm at the County Council offices. Sinn Féin
will be proposing a suspension of the standing orders at the meeting
to discuss the latest blunder, but we will also given all the
Councillors an opportunity once and for all to take a stand on the
household charge issue and demand that its scraped and ordinary
citizens are not threatened any further"

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