Fuel ban fairness call

KILDARE County Council is to be asked to include all north Kildare towns on a list of towns in which only smokeless fuel can be sold and used in open fires.

KILDARE County Council is to be asked to include all north Kildare towns on a list of towns in which only smokeless fuel can be sold and used in open fires.

At their meeting on 15 March, Celbridge area councillors said there was a discrepancy in that while fuel merchants in Celbridge and Leixlip were required to sell more expensive smokeless coal, those in Maynooth did not have to do so.

Cllr. Frank O’Rourke said if we wanted to protect the environment there should be one rule for all the towns.

He said fuel merchants based in Celbridge were “crippled” by having to sell higher priced smokeless fuel.

He said they should ask the Department of Environment to make sure that Straffan, Ardclough and Maynooth had to meet the same standards as Celbridge.

Cllr. Kevin Byrne agreed.

“We are getting attacked,” he said referring to verbal represenations from Celbridge merchants.

The proposal will be referred to the full Council with a view to lobbying the Department of Environment.

In January, Kildare County Council told the Leader that compliance with regulations banning smokey fires in Kildare has been very good.

Changes to the regulations for parts of Kildare are being introduced on 1 May, expanding the ban areas within most cities and towns already covered by the smoky coal ban, including Celbridge, Leixlip and Naas.

The ban was established in the above three towns established in 2000.

Newbridge and six other new towns are being added to the list on 1 May.

Celbridge and Leixlip have been merged into a single ban area.

The Naas ban area has been extended to include the neighbouring town of Sallins.