The 5 Green Councillors have written to Minister Darragh O’Brien and Ministers of State Malcolm Noonan and Peter Burke asking them to bring forward changes to the Electoral Act to allow local authorities to restrict postering to designated sites.
Minister Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing Local Government and Heritage
Minister Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Biodiversity and Electoral Reform
Minister Peter Burke, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning
Custom House, Dublin 1
Dear Ministers O’Brien, Noonan and Burke,
We write to you all as this matter spans your responsibilities, being a local government issue covered by the Election Act and the Litter Pollution Act.
Currently, by virtue of Litter Pollution Act 1997 as amended by the Election (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2009, election posters are excluded from the scope of the overall ban on posters. In these circumstances we have been advised that we cannot use our general powers under the Local Government Act to enact byelaws to regulate the erection of election posters. We attach a copy of the report received when Cllr. Healy raised this issue at last month’s meeting.
The suggestion we wish to put to our colleagues on Fingal County Council is to restrict the placing of election posters on land in the ownership or in charge of the Council including public roads to some dedicated Council-provided sites as is common in many other jurisdictions. The reasons for such restriction, are, in our view, very strong, including reduction in resource use and environmental impact, reduction in litter and associated impacts on terrestrial and marine biodiversity, avoiding visual blight, and reducing the costs of running for election.
We appreciate that restrictions on postering may be somewhat controversial, and that the implementation of a system of postering at dedicated sites may be complicated. Therefore we’re not directly asking you for a national decision to restrict postering. Instead we’re asking you to propose to the Oireachtas a change to the legislation to enable local authorities to make up their own minds on the rules to be applied in their area.
Thank you for considering this request.
Cllr. David Healy and on behalf of Cllr. Pamela Conroy, Cllr. Daniel Whooley, Cllr. Karen Power, Cllr. Ian Carey