‘I am not a tout’ - Blaney

A MOYLE councillor says he is not a “tout” and will not pass on information to council officials after claiming he knows of three houses where rates have not been paid for ten years but bins are still lifted.

Independent representative Seamus Blaney was speaking at a Moyle Council meeting where he said he was aware of the houses. Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan said if he had such information he should give it to Council officers.

Cllr Blaney said many people are “up in arms” about houses not paying rates and still getting bins emptied.

Council officer Moira Quinn said Land and Property Service manage registrations concerning rate collections and she said if the Council has any information they pass it on to them.

Cllr Blaney added: “These people (the rates-dodgers) are proud they have a bin supplied by Moyle District Council and they are not paying rates.”

Cllr McMullan said if a councillor has such information they should bring it forward.

Cllr Blaney said he would not be doing so and said: “I remember when people were called touts and they were kneecapped.”

The comments came after DUP councillor Robert McIlroy said the Council’s enforcement of an existing policy regarding the lifting of two bins from households was causing a number or problems for people.

Cllr McIlroy said people who qualified for two bins under the six or more people in a household criteria or on medical waste grounds were not getting their bins lifted and he said it should there should be a six week delay to allow problems to be ironed out.

But some councillor objected to the enforcement being delayed saying the lifting of two bins from houses where it shouldn’t happen was costing time and money both in the amount of extra time taken to lift the bins and because waste taxes have to be paid at dumps.

Council officer Aidan McPeake said they are sorting out the new system and said he could assure councillors that if somebody didn’t get a second bin lifted they were straight on to the Council and if the collection did qualify under the system it could be quickly rectified.

Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane said the two bin issue had been allowed to “fester” over the years and some councillors were perhaps reluctant to grasp it because they wanted to be popular as opposed to trying to be prudent with cash.

A vote was taken and six councillors - three SDLP, two Sinn Fein and Council Chairperson, Independent Price McConaghy - voted not to have a six week delay and six - three DUP, two Ulster Unionists and Independent Seamus Blaney - voted for the move.

That left a tie but the Chairperson used his casting vote to reject a six week delay.