SPC Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Action Meeting – September 2020

Waterford City and County Council

Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Action Strategic Policy Committee

Meeting held on Tuesday 15th December 2020 at 2.30 p.m. Online Meeting

Attended by:  Uju and Bríd


1: Minutes of meeting held on 23rd September 2020 – Adopted

2: Matter arising – None

3:  Upland Burning of heather – Liam Brazil and Bernie Guest

Upland burning of heather is carried ou on our mountains that are grazed by sheep. This activity helps in the growth of new heather and also helps in the control of certain parasites that effect the sheep. This burning is allowed between the months of September to March.

Liam Brazil spoke on extending this time period, he explained that the current time period is not effective and is affecting the sheeps health. He sujjested that the period of burning should be allowed to continue until the first week of May.

Bernie Guest (WCC Heritage Officer) explained that this extension could have detrimental effect on wildlife particularly ground dwelling birds – as spring is an important time nesting.

Further discussion was requested with NPWS.

The Department of Agriculture has complied guidelines for upland burning.

A report was presented and has been attached.

4: Report on Control of Dogs 2019 – Luke O Brien.

            There are 2 full time dog wardens and 1 pound keeper employed by WCC.

All dogs over 4months old must have a licence – cost: €20/year. It is estimated that 2/3 of dogs are not licenced. The number of licenced purchased in 2019 was 9256 and 28% of these were purchased online. There is a new data base to monitor licences and licence invasion.

In 2019 there were: 289 strays reported, 42% of complaints were in the city, 23 fines were issued and 10 these were paid. There were 2 prosecutions and 2 convictions. There were 13 complaints made in relation to dogs worrying livestock, all were investigated with the help of the garda and farmers.

Dog fowling remains an issue. Resources have been put into education programs through social media. Unfortunately, some dog owners are just not interested!

More funding is needed to tackle this issue.

5: Waste Action Plan for the Circular Economy 2020 to 2025 – Niall Kane

The plan moves away from Take, Make and Waste model. The aims to look at how we consume materials and resources, design the products we use, prevent waste generation, and resource consumption and extend the productive life of product.

The presentation is attached.

6: Summary of Environmental Awareness carried out in 2020 – Ella Ryan

A pilot project was run in Tramore on ‘Ditch Disposables’. It was run to encourage the public to use reusable cups for their take-away coffee.

A campaign was run on responsible disposal; of masks and glove and to encourage the public to use reuse able masks.

There was an online campaign tackling roadside litter.

2021 will see new campaigns such as:

‘Picker Pals’ used to encourage school kids.

Reuse of paints – funding has been awarded from LAPN

Leave no Trace – WCC hope to do more work with the organisation

The presentation is attached.


7: Electrical Charge Point Strategy Draft Plan – Liam Fleming

            The plan is to have between 19,00 – 23,00 EVs and PHEV in Waterford by 2030.

A question was raised if solar panels could be used to charge these points. The could supplement a charge but could not provide for a full charge.

The report is attached.

8: A notice of Motion – Tomas Hogan

Motion raised to keep the railway network open. The EU has designated 2021 as the year of rail and it looking to have 75% of all freight to be transported by rail by 2030.

The motion will be brought before the councillors. Particular interest is the line between Rosslare and Limerick Junction. Will be discussed at our next meeting.

9: Date for Next Meeting Tuesday 16th Feb – Online

 10: Any Other Business – None