Kildare County Council’s water info strategy slammed

Cllr. Tony O'Donnell has salmmed the Council's handling of the information campaign.
A Kildare area councillor has lambasted the council’s communications strategy on the new River Barrow water supply.

A Kildare area councillor has lambasted the council’s communications strategy on the new River Barrow water supply.

Cllr. Tony O’Donnell told the Kildare Area Committee meeting on July 17 the council had conducted the information campaign in a “high handed and arbitrary” fashion.

He said the council said the number of households who received the new water supply leaflet in error was not significant. However, Cllr. O’Donnell said his calculations amounted to at least 100 homes.

He complimented Director of Services, Joe Boland for tackling the issue in a recorded interview on KFM, however he said there was still a lot of anger out there. He also said people were angered that the email address and contact phone number were coming back with out of office replies because the person was on holidays. He said the people who received the letter in error were those on the hard water supply. He said it angered them further to learn the new supply would not be available to them.

“It’s the classic example of how not to do things,” he said. He explained there was a lot of misinformation out there and people didn’t know who to trust. Cllr. Suzanne Doyle said this should have been a good news story where the county’s water supply would be protected. She said the council was very bad at selling itself. Cllr. Fiona O’Loughlin said there was a huge amount of animosity towards the council as a result.

A council spokesperson said Mr. Boland was at a meeting and didn’t know the issue was going to be raised. She said she understood the email address and phone line had multiuser status. The council previously said leaflets had been delivered to the wrong homes because of the pipelines converging on townlands. A full list is now available on www.kildarecoco.ie

- Niamh O’Donoghue