the Battle Against Water Charges

Local authority accused of pre-empting water charges by installing meter-ready connections


Photo (left) shows meter ready stopcock at Mayfield in Cork City.  The blue cover simply screws out and a water meter can be screwed into its place in a matter of seconds.  Unfortunately during the recent freeze up many of these plastic covers simply burst under the pressure of frozen water. 

Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan has accused Cork City Council of pre-empting the introduction of water charges by installing meter-ready stopcocks in parts of the city over the past five years.


Cllr Tynan said that meter-ready stopcocks had already caused water outages in some areas during the recent freeze-up.   He had seen such appliances in the Mayfield area which had a screw-on plastic cap with could be removed in a matter of minutes to install a meter.  Many of these covers had burst during the recent freeze.


“While Minister John Gormley has this morning announced that installation of water meters would begin next year, the fact is that Cork City Council have been preparing for this for several years and have jumped the gun on this issue”, said the Workers Party councillor.


Councillor Tynan said that the debate on water charges was totally skewed and householders were being blamed for water losses through leakages which were mainly due to years of underinvestment in the public water system.  “For the past few weeks we have been bombarded with propaganda about people leaving taps running and wasting water but not one city or county manager can tell you how much of the water is being lost in this way and how much is being lost in the public mains through leakages”, he said.


“There is going to be a major battle in opposition to water charges which are a precursor to privatisation. These charges are another tax on working people and a totally unjust form of double taxation.  It should be remembered that public opinion forced the scrapping of water charges over ten years ago.  We are confident that this can be done again through a rigorous and determined campaign of opposition”.


“The Workers Party is already preparing its own campaign against water charges and we will work closely with others who oppose these unjust charges in building alliances around the country to oppose them. Water charges make no sense whatsoever, they are against the interests of public health, and water privatisation has been a disaster for ordinary people wherever it has taken place.  The battle starts now and Minister Gormley will find he is facing a formidable opposition to charging for water.”, said Cllr. Tynan.


Issued 25th January 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politcs