Tobin slams Waterford refuse service privatisation

Sell-off of refuse collection service is greatest surrender in history of City Council

Joe Tobin
Joe Tobin

Workers’ Party spokesperson Joe Tobin, has roundly condemned the proposal by the management in Waterford City Council to privatise the city’s refuse collection service.


“This proposal” said Joe Tobin “represents the greatest surrender by the senior management of Waterford City in its entire history. The proposal to hand over a service that affects every family and individual in this city to private profit companies whose loyalties lie only in the bottom line is an abject admittance of failure.”


“Since the time of Queen Victoria, all city councils across the developed world have had responsibility for three essential services. These services were the supply of safe drinking water; the provision of a proper sewerage service; and the collection of domestic and commercial refuse. These services were the main contributors to the mass improvement in public health and the ending of the disease and stench of the early period of the industrial revolution as immortalised by Dickens.”


“It is morally wrong that senior management and certain political cliques should hand over long-standing municipal services to private-profit companies. Right across the UK we have seen what has happened when the supply of drinking water was taken away from Local Councils and handed over to the private sector. Investment ceased, service rapidly deteriorated, prices soared and the privateers laughed all the way to their off-shore banks”.


“At this time, when we have been betrayed by the bankers, betrayed by the builders, betrayed by the land speculators it is time the democratically elected local council stood up and offered decency and hope to the people. The City Council should demonstrate imagination not cowardice. The City Council should be expanding its range of activities not curtailing them. The City Council should be looking to create jobs not destroy them”.


“In conclusion” said Joe Tobin “we must seriously ask one key question: If this City Council cannot even keep the streets of our estates clean exactly what is their purpose and why are they in the well paid positions they now occupy? We must also ask one further question. If the Council management succeed in privatising refuse collection just how long will it be before they will propose to privatise the much more lucrative water service?”


Issued 20th December 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics