DUP Councillor John McAuley has Responded to Sinn Fein’s criticism of the decision by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to reopen recycling centres for ‘black bin’ waste from Monday.
Cllr John McAuley said:
‘‘This decision is a proportionate step taken on the basis of available evidence on public safety and the advisory principles set out by the Agriculture Minister.
“Council continues to encourage ratepayers to stay at home unless absolutely necessary to protect the NHS and save lives. This is the right thing to do.
“However, with an unwelcome rise in fly-tipping since social distancing regulations came into force, and limited capacity for storage in many households, there is demand and support for this graduated and sensible approach to managing waste.
“Sinn Fein’s objections are not only disappointing but endemic of the Party’s divisive attitude throughout the public health response to Covid-19. Rather than be guided by the scientific evidence and balancing this with the needs of local communities, they have dragged their heels on proportionate and uncontroversial steps such as the restricted opening of cemeteries.
“Unfortunately we only have to listen to the comments of Mary Lou McDonald citing Covid-19 to make the case for Irish unity to realise that this strategy is less about principle and more about narrow party politics.
“This is a time for responsible leadership, not the same old divisive rhetoric, and it’s time Sinn Fein started to work with others and not against them in the interests of all of the people that we represent.’’
Sinn Fein Councillor, Cathal McLaughlin has responded to Mr McAuley, saying:
“Just in a response to Mr McAuleys outburst attacking Sinn Féin. This is not a time to be playing orange against green.
“Can I first of all say I did not criticise any other political party as he did, and secondly, this is a serious matter which some dont seem to be taking seriously.
“Black bin waste only! Black bin collection has not changed so therefore there should be no more than normal. That shouldn’t be hard to understand.
“Now what constituents have to take on board is that council employees have to man the gates and interact with people who are coming to the recycling cntre for absolutely no reason.
“This closure was about trying to save lives, not destroy them Mr McAuley.”