Monday, 10 November 2014

Wicklow County Council votes no confidence in Irish Water and to abolish water charges

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has expressed delight that a Sinn Fein motion tabled at Mondays special council meeting of the County Council was supported by the majority of Councillors present. The motion was a vote of no confidence in Irish Water and called for its abolishment, it further calls on the government to immediately reverse water charges and to stop the water metering process. 

Speaking after the special meeting that was called by Sinn Féin, councillor Brady said "The six Sinn Féin Councillors in Wicklow called the special meeting so that Councillors from all political parties and none could take a stand on the issue of water charges and Irish Water. The people of Wicklow and right across the State have spoken out loud and clear on this issue and their voices need to be listened too. We put forward a motion which we believed encompasses the concerns of the people of Wicklow and thankfully that motion passed by 23 votes to 6 and 3 Councillors not present".

"I had the privilege of proposing the motion which commended the people for organising and mobilizing on the issue and taking to the streets in their thousands, sending a message that couldn't be ignored. The motion also called on the government to reverse domestic water charges as it's an unfair and unjust double charge that people simply can't afford to pay. It will suck another €14million from the local economy in Wicklow, an economy that's already on its knees. The bottom line is water is a basic human right that we already pay for".

Cllr Brady continued "The people of Wicklow have no confidence in Irish Water and the motion adopted by the council is a vote of no confidence in them and calls on the Government to abolish the quango that is Irish Water. The motion further calls on the government to halt the roll out of water metering and that the €539m loan finance that was taken from the National Pension Reserve Fund be used in fixing the infrastructure that allows over 40% of all water be lost through leaking pipes".

"The final issue dealt with in the motion was a call to government to hold a constitutional referendum to retain public ownership of water services and infrastructure. This is a hugely important issue as I believe the government is currently laying the foundations of privatising the natural resource in the future".

Cllr Brady concluded "I'm delighted the motion was adopted by 23 votes to 6. However the fact that the 6 that voted against the motion are all Fine Gael Councillors show that the message hasn't hit home to them and they are ignoring the will of the citizens of Wicklow. However it is an important step in the right direction, the Sinn Féin motion is now the policy of Wicklow County Council and the four government TDs in the county need to listen to the voice of the people of Wicklow, also the County Council and this message needs to be delivered to the government in the Dáil. The people of Wicklow won't accept anything less than the total abolishment of water charges because they simply can't pay and won't pay the unjust tax". Ends

Full motion passed by Wicklow County Council by 23 votes to 6 with 3 not present

That Wicklow County Council calls on the Government to;

 - Listen to the widespread public anger that exists towards this Government and Irish Water by the Irish people, who are now rightly organising and mobilising in protest and opposition to these water charges through the Right2Water public campaign which includes activists, citizens, community groups, political parties and trade unions.

 - Immediately reverse domestic water charges which are an unfair and unjust double charge being forced on already struggling households.

- Stop the roll out of metering and redirect the €539m loan finance from the National Pension Reserve Fund towards fixing the massive leakage problems and interruption to supply.

- Hold a constitutional referendum to retain public ownership of water services and infrastructure. 

- Abolish Irish Water as it doesn't have the confidence of the Irish People or Wicklow County Council

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