Tipperary County Council has ruled out cutting grass in estates it has taken in charge because of it has no budget provision to do so.
A call for the work to be done was made by Cllr Seamus Morris at Nenagh Municipal District Council after he was contacted by residents in Drom na Coille, Cluain Mhuillean and Coille Bheithe.
“Residents have seen a dramatic drop in paying management fees since the Local Property Tax came in,” he said in a notice of motion calling for the council to do the work.
The Sinn Fein councillor and general election candidate said the residents felt that the Property Tax was for local services and had pointed out that the council cut grass in other estates.
“Why should there be an apartheid system in place for people who pay their tax,” he said. “What killed them was the Household Charge. They expect the bloody service to be there when they have paid their Property Tax. People can’t take anymore.”
He said that residents were not paying a charge that could amount to E50 per year to have their grass maintained and “we are going to have to take grass areas in charge”.
He was backed by Cllr Hughie McGrath, who said: “You have estates with a lot of rented housing and you end up with the same few people who pay all the time.”
The Independent councillor said that under the present system grass could be cut by the council in an old part of an estate but not in a new part.
However, Marcus O’Connor, district manager, said it could cost up to E70,000 per year to cut grass and that as any cost would come out of the council’s discretionary budget, he felt it could be better spent elsewhere.
It was pointed out that under its taking-in-charge policy, the council maintained public open spaces but that did not include grass cutting.
Cllr Morris suggested that the council try look at a scheme to help residents, with MDC chair Cllr Ger Darcy saying: “If we assist local communities to help themselves we get better value.”