Cllr Tommy Reilly at Market Square, Navan, on Monday morning.
A call for a seven-day rota system for Meath County Council street-cleaning staff has been made following heavy littering in Market Square in Navan over the weekend.
Cllr Tommy Reilly said the state of Market Square on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and into Monday morning could no longer be tolerated.
Fast food wrappers, cans and other litter remained scattered over the grass and paved areas at the Bull sculpture, and on the ground near a litter bin at the former ACC building.
Cllr Reilly said that the littering was "nothing short of disgraceful" in a town which was the county capital. Street cleaning in Navan was recently scaled back as a result of budget constraints, meaning streets were not being swept at weekends. "Of course, there are people who have no community spirit whatever. They were the ones who sat around on the seats at The Square on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and just threw their litter at their feet. They have no ethics and no consideration for other people," he said.
However, he said that was no reason why the council should stand back and allow such a situation to continue. "We have to be proactive in looking for solutions. Up to 1st September, street cleaning staff were on a five-day week, with overtime done on a Saturday and Sunday. That has now stopped so there is no street cleaning service at the weekend," he claimed.
While individual shopkeepers could keep the pavements outside their own premises clean, they should not be expected to clean up The Square and the main streets. "I'm calling for a seven-day rota system for our street cleaning staff. This should be done immediately. I know that some form of rota working operates with other staff in the council - I don't see why it couldn't be agreed elsewhere," said Cllr Reilly.
The latest Irish Businesses Against Litter Awards (IBAL) put Navan 38th out of 42 towns surveyed and adjudged that it was "moderately littered".
While some public areas, including St Patrick's Classical School, Our Lady's Hospital, Pairc Tailteann and Timmons Hill - did well in the survey, many of Navan's main streets (Trimgate Street, Watergate Street, Flower Hill, R147 approach road and Brews Hill) did badly.
Reacting to the report, town clerk Shane Donnelly told a meeting of the local town council last week there was huge disappointment at the results. He said that a huge effort was being put in by the council's team.