Statement from Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fail Group Leader, Dublin City Council
The City Manager today confirmed that the private Company Greyhound will over the coming days issue bills to approximately 140,000 homes in Dublin City for bin collection services provided in the fourth quarter of 2011 and demand immediate payment.
Homeowners in Dublin City were seriously let down in January of 2012 when after more than 100 years, and with very little prior notice, Dublin City Council withdrew from the waste collection business. This left many homeowners with no option but to go with Greyhound who demanded a minimum €100 up-front payment before they would collect their bins. This deal poorly served homeowners in Dublin City many of whom were given no choice of service provider. Now, to add insult to injury, homeowners in Dublin City are to face a demand for immediate payment for services provided over five months ago.
As a City Councillor I have three issues with this arrangement. Firstly, there has been an unacceptable delay in issuing these bills. This delay causes a problem for homeowners and the demand for immediate payment from Greyhound is heavy handed and should be reconsidered.
Secondly the delay in issuing the bills also presents a major problem for Dublin City Council because it increases the risk of bad debts. Already Dublin City Council had allowed bad debts of up to €6million accumulate and it is my understanding that the bills for last quarter 2011 amount to close to €4million. This delay could cost the City Council close to €10million and wipe-out much of the proposed savings.
Thirdly, I still don't understand why Dublin City Council out-sourced the collection of these arrears? Why couldn't Dublin City Council staff who have been collecting payments for more than 100 years collect the payments? What tactics are Greyhound proposing to use that Dublin City Council wouldn't? and how much is Greyhound being paid to collect these debts?
I will raise these questions with the City Manager and I again call on the Minister for the Environment to review this deal. Mary