Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan said that the recent prolonged cold spell has exposed a huge level of non-compliance
with building and planning standards with regard to water supply and said that local authorities including Cork City Council
had failed to enforce the regulations properly, particularly with regard the depth of water pipes and stop-cocks.
The Workers’ Party councillor said that he had been contacted by dozens of householders whose water pipes or stopcocks
had frozen because they had not been buried deep enough. He pointed out that
regulations have existed for many years governing the depth of pipes and stopcocks but these had not been adhered to in many
Cllr. Tynan said that the problem appears to be widespread in Cork City but he has also heard of people with the same
problems throughout the country as far away as Westmeath and Kildare.
The Mayfield based councillor said that local authorities such as Cork City Council should pursue developers whose shoddy
work has led to problems and expensive emergency works for the local authorities and has caused untold damage to homes, expense
and inconvenience to householders. However he also stated that local authorities themselves have questions to answer on enforcement
matters and Cllr. Tynan will be raising some of these questions at the next meeting of the city council.
“Building regulations have been flouted on a massive scale and there seems to have been a huge amount of leeway
given to these developers. The cost of this is now being borne by cash strapped
local authorities but in particular by householders and taxpayers who will have to pay the cost of the damage. This is yet another example of how property developers were allow ride roughshod over rules and regulations
during the Celtic Tiger era. The chickens are coming home to roost but it is
ordinary people who are being made carry the can”.
Cllr. Tynan said that the crisis showed the complete stupidity of the government’s plan to introduce water charges
and spend over €1 billion on installing water meters. “It is not
householders who are wasting water but the state itself which turned a blind eye to sharp practices in the property sector,
just as they did in relation to banking. Proper enforcement of the regulations and pursuing developers who have cut corners
should be the priority instead of attempting to use a water management crisis as an excuse to introduce an additional tax
on the family home”, said Cllr. Tynan.
Issued 29th December 2010