At last night’s meeting of Waterford City Council (Monday 13th February) the motion 'That this council opposes the imposition of the household charge” was proposed by Cllr Walsh, seconded by Cllr Roche and adopted by nine votes to six:
Two weeks previously Cllrs Walsh and Roche had submitted the motion: "That the members of Waterford City Council fully support the campaign of the anti-household charge and water tax."
Just one hour prior to the council meeting the Mayor informed Cllr Walsh by telephone that following legal advice he had ruled that motion invalid. Cllr Walsh however was not going to be pushed aside easily. Cllr Walsh states: “At the meeting I challenged the decision of the Mayor. We debated the issue with him and I invoked the right of a member to amend the motion so that it would be legally acceptable. I called for the adjournment of the council for 10 minutes so we could engage with the officials as to what form of wording would be acceptable. We then brought forward an amended motion: 'That this council opposes the imposition of the household charge”. We called for a suspension of standing orders so the motion could be debated and this request was acceded to by the members of the council. Our motion was then passed by the councillors on a 9 : 6 majority”.
“In the mid 1980s” continued Cllr Walsh “when another FG/Labour coalition attempted to introduce Water Charges I was to the forefront of the opposition and we defeated those unfair and unjust charges. I am proud to again be in the forefront of this campaign and am certain that we can again achieve victory”.