TOWNS such as Ennis will only benefit from the investment in The Gathering project next year if cleaning levels are maintained, according to Dr Tom Cavanagh, chairman of Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).
Speaking at an international conference of environmental experts in Brussels, Dr Cavanagh said IBAL was concerned that in the current climate, local authorities might cut back on cleaning schedules in 2013 and jeopardise the success of The Gathering. Ennis was among 32 towns and cities to be deemed ‘clean to European norms’ in the IBAL Anti-Litter League survey earlier this year.
“There is a lot of expectation in Ireland surrounding the Gathering but we need to start talking about basic housekeeping to ensure these guests arrive to a clean and well-presented country,” he said. “Ploughing money into attracting visitors on the one hand, while cutting back on keeping the place free of litter at the same time, would be a very misplaced policy.”
“In the current environment, local authorities need to look at cost-effective ways to maintain cleanliness levels. Enforcing fines on property owners who fail to heed the Litter Act, as opposed to individuals, is one,” he concluded.