ATHY councillors have discussed the possibility of putting an initiative in place to prevent out of control ‘postering’ in advance of the upcoming local elections in May.
In a motion tabled by Cllr Thomas Redmond at Athy Municipal District’s January meeting, it was suggested that Kildare County Council (KCC) could – with councillors – identify a number of ‘agreed sites’ where election posters could be displayed during the next campaign.
A response from KCC to members of the district noted that a proposal like this would require a protocol to be agreed locally by candidates or political parties, on a voluntary basis.
Cllr Redmond described the proposal as a good way of getting messages across to the electorate and for everybody running in the elections to have a fair chance to display their poster in certain places where the whole community would be able to see it. He also highlighted the environmental impact of election posters and described it as a chance for Athy Municipal District to show good leadership on the matter.
Cllr Mark Wall said that proposal has a lot of merit and noted that cable ties left on poles has got to stop, describing it as “totally irresponsible”. He noted that there could be issues for new candidates and that nobody wants to restrict that, saying there is a need for balance. Cllr Wall also noted that, for the last local elections, the community in Kilkea requested that candidates not put up posters, something he said was largely adhered to.
Cllr Martin Miley, who noted that he agreed with the proposal by and large and said he believes there are too many posters, said that he wouldn’t like to restrict them to certain areas. He also said that if the biggest issue is cable ties being left behind on poles the candidates could look after them.
A representative from KCC explained that there could be potential issues regarding new candidates in the elections who may be unaware of protocol.
The report to the members also noted that the issue has been discussed at a number of other municipal district meetings in the county, as well as at the Environment and Water Services Strategic Policy Committee (SPC). The issue has since been sent to KCC’s Protocol Committee for further consideration and a response is being awaited.