Council defends seizure of street furnitureOctober 26, 2012 - 7:15am
BY FRANK FARRAGHER
Four premises in the city centre area have had ‘outside’ tables and chairs seized by the City Council this week, for breaches of the planning act.
The catering outlets on Quay Street, Augustine Street, Mainguard Street and Middle Street, had their on-street tables and chairs seized on Wednesday by the City Council in the presence of a Garda.
A spokesman for the City Council told the Galway City Tribune that the seizures were only made as a “last resort” after repeated letters of warning had been sent to the proprietors.
“The furniture was confiscated as the premises were in breach of Section 71 of the Roads Act and Section 254 of the Planning and Development Act. All four had received a final written warning on July 16 last,” said the City Council spokesman.
He added that the City Council also had a duty of fairness to the many establishments who annually applied for permission to utilise the area in front of their premises for an annual fee.
However, the approach of the City Council has been strongly criticised as being “heavy handed” by Cllr Padráig Conneely, the Chairman of the Council’s Recreation, Amenity and Cultural Committee.
“This is really not the way for the City Council to do business with people who each year are paying a serious amount of money in rates. The Council should not be acting like the banks, going round seizing property that doesn’t belong to them,” said Cllr Conneely.
“This is the classic case of using a sledgehammer to crack the nut,” said Cllr Conneely.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.