Sunday, 6 October 2013

"First Fix Free"

In June 2013 Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan promised homeowners that the Government will pay to fix any leaks found on the homeowner’s side when domestic water meters are introduced.

I have repeatedly requested details of Minister Hogan’s promised “first fix free” scheme but been unable to obtain any. Dublin City Council and Irish Water, the two organisations that work for Minister Hogan, and are responsible for water services have advised me that they have no information and suggested I check with the Minister. The last update I received from the Minister’s office indicated that the Minister is still working out the details.

This week Irish Water will start connecting meters to homes in Dublin City. There will be considerable cost involved for the state in connecting meters to more 130,000 homes in Dublin. Apart from the fact that it makes no sense to install meters on leaky pipes, if the Government is going to pay to fix leaks on the homeowner’s side, they should keep costs and disruption to a minimum by fixing the leaks at the same time as meters are installed.

130,000 homes in the city will be affected by this deal. At the City Council meeting on Monday October 7, 2013, I will propose a motion calling for the installation of domestic water meters to be put on hold until the Minister meets with City Councillors to address our concerns. I will ask all Councillors, including the majority Labour and Fine Geal Councillors some of whom must share our concerns, to support the motion.  Mary

Motion in relation to Item 8 Report No. 340/2013 Transition to Irish Water

Report No. 340/2013 details a number of significant issues around the Governments plans to transition water services from Dublin City Council to Irish Water. Secure and reliable water services are essential for the Dublin City. The elected members of Dublin City Council are concerned about the negative impact the issues raised in the report could have on every home and business in the city. We call on the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to immediately provide details of his promised “first fix free” scheme that he said will see the Government pay for leaks found on homeowner’s property. We call for the installation of domestic water meters to be delayed until such time as the Minister meets with City Councillors and addresses our concerns.