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Castlebar council defend use of street sweeper

Castlebar council defend use of street sweeper

Anton McNulty


Officials from Castlebar Town Council have denied that the town’s road sweeper is under utilised after some councillors raised concerns over the apparent lack of sweeping around the town.
The issue was raised by Labour councillor Harry Barrett who expressed concern that the town’s streets were not being swept enough.
“I have concern over the lack of sweeping around the town. How many council staff sweep? My information is that there is only one,” he told last week’s monthly meeting of Castlebar Town Council.
The issue was raised when the Council were discussing a ‘great week for Castlebar’ when the town won a bronze medal at the Tidy Towns Awards. Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Brendan Heneahan praised the tidy town’s committee and added that the street sweepers do be out early in the morning cleaning the streets.
Cllr Barrett explained that he was raising the issue because he was concerned with litter in the centre of town and wanted to bolster the tidy town’s chances of success in the years to come.
“I am concerned with litter in the town because of the lack of sweeping and that the man power is not their,” he said.
He was supported by Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne who asked if spending €250,000 on a sweeping machine and using it only 30 hours a week was ‘value for money’. He said the streets should be swept more often and asked that there would be two shifts a day.
However, Seán Higgins, town engineer said there was a lot of misinformation and explained that two people work the street sweeper. He said it operated early in the morning when there were no vehicles in the way and ‘at the moment it was operating very efficiently’.
Town Manager, Seamus Granahan said the town has improved and the debate had become negative considering what it achieved in the tidy town awards. He said that for the town to improve so much in the last 12 months ‘not everything we do is wrong’. He added that they should try to eliminate litter in the town and that will be done by stopping people dropping it in the first instance.

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