Tipperary Tidy Towns Group Seek A Change Regarding Election Posters

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Tipperary Tidy Towns group is seeking a change in approach from candidates in the upcoming elections as regards election posters. The group sent a letter to Tipperary Cahir Cashel Municipal District requesting that candidates use less posters and ask that a dedicated space be available for posters in Tipperary town and suggest a space in the Market Yard be used.  The Group say they want Tipperary to join the growing number of towns in this country saying ‘NO’ to unnecessary election litter. The group highlight that by creating a dedicated candidate poster space streets will be clear of visual clutter, less plastic/cable ties(less Carbon Dioxide) will be used and road signs won’t be obstructed.

The matter was discussed at yesterday’s Municipal Meeting and a consensus emerged to support the request although not all councillors supported the idea.  Cllr Andy Moloney says Cahir Tidy Towns would like a similar approach but commented that it had not been successful in the past. Cathaoirleach Cllr Declan Burgess said the idea was worthwhile and reported that it had been practice in Cashel not to have candidate posters on the Main Street.   Cllr Michael Fitzgerald was not in favour as Tidy Towns judging was after the election and that Election material – flyers or posters were paid for and should not be considered litter. Cllr John Crosse asked how all candidates could be made aware of the decision made by the current councillors and it was suggested that the Tipperary Tidy Towns group would circulate it’s request. Cllr Anne Marie Ryan pointed out the that request was not just relating to litter but also to visual clutter, cable ties left after the posters are removed and the use of plastic materials leading to higher carbon emissions. 

The Groups letter is shown in below –

Re:  Election posters

Dear Anselm,

As part of our on-going litter campaign, Tipperary Tidy Towns Committee respectfully requests that all candidates campaigning in the upcoming local elections support our campaign to keep the streets of Tipperary Town free from campaign posters. We would like to join the growing number of towns in this country saying ‘NO’ to unnecessary election litter.

We suggest that the Tipperary-Cahir-Cashel Municipal District council assign the Market Yard in Tipperary Town as the allocated area for displaying all campaign posters. This will allow candidates to promote their campaigns and will really help to keep our streetscape free from weeks of visual clutter. This can be tiresome for the public and can also be dangerous when it obstructs road signs, which is against Tipperary County Council protocols but still happens.

Most election posters are made from plastic boards and put up with plastic cable ties, much of which inevitably ends up as litter. In 2014, just over 2000 candidates ran for 750 seats in the local elections, erecting over 600,000 posters, the equivalent of 23 Croke Parks.

Those posters have reportedly produced 360 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the same amount generated if an average car drove non-stop for 592 days. A similar number is expected to be distributed this May during both local and European elections. (Malekmian, S. https://greennews.ie/election-poster-ban-150-towns/ April 2019 [accessed online 10.3.24])

Tipperary Tidy Towns Committee voted unanimously on the 13th of March 2024 to send this request to Tipperary County Council. We would welcome your cooperation in sharing this with local council candidates and are happy to support the council in any way we can.

Kind regards,

 Paul O’Callaghan.

Chairperson Tipperary Tidy Towns