After a gap of 18 years, in 2019 Castleknock TidyTowns (CTT) was reformed as a community group and since then has become a very active and recognised team of volunteers. 2024 is CTT's sixth year caring for Castleknock Village and its approach roads. As well as community Clean Ups CTT works on environmental, sustainability and climate action projects. CTT has lobbied extensively and secured significant improvements and upgrades in Castleknock for the benefit of the whole community.
During and after the last election in 2019 CTT members observed the problems which extensive and indiscriminate election-postering caused in Castleknock. During that campaign, posters came loose in the wind and created dangerous conditions for both cyclists and drivers. Pedestrian barriers were covered in posters which hindered visibility and made crossing the roads more unsafe for children. Hedges and gardens were littered with shredded posters and most of the cable ties were left in situ on poles after poster removal.
As there is no requirement for candidates/parties to mark their own cable ties with their identification it is not possible to identify the ownership of cable ties left in place after the permitted postering period. This results in huge quantities of cable ties not being removed. CTT volunteers removed many hundreds of cable ties which remained on the poles and pedestrian barriers after the last election and some still remain to this day. CTT also lobbied Fingal County Council (FCC) for the numerous posters actually left in situ to be removed.
Sadly, it takes generations for corriboard PVC sheeting (which these posters are generated from) to break down. It is neither eco-friendly nor sustainable. It is a non-biodegradable material and leeches micro plastic over time. Cable ties are non-recyclable and must all go to landfill.
As a result CTT intends to implement a voluntary Poster-Free Zone (PFZ) for the upcoming referendums (8 March 2024) and for the elections that follow (and for any subsequent elections). Since beginning to work on this initiative in early 2023, CTT is very pleased to advise that they have received overwhelming support from local political parties to implement the PFZ initiative i.e. to eliminate all referendum and election posters from the immediate environs of the historic heritage village of Castleknock. CTT is taking this initiative for a number of reasons:
To address climate change and sustainability
To ensure safety of those in Castleknock Village
To prevent littering and the obstruction of public infrastructure
CTT members take the democratic process very seriously. It is imperative that people standing for election are given to chance to compete fairly and equally, and this applies particularly to new candidates. CTT members understand that posters do play a part in the overall campaigns for candidates seeking election.
To this end, CTT lobbied FCC to place a large poster board in a prominent location within the village on which each candidate could display their poster. Unfortunately FCC would not engage with CTT on this initiative. This practice is common in a number of European countries and CTT would be keen to play a leading role in such a scheme as a trial for rolling it out nationwide, if successful.
Therefore, the voluntary Poster-Free Zone will just be confined to a short stretch through the village and will apply to the Castleknock Road from the pedestrian walkway to Dunsandle Court to the Park Drive roundabout plus limited sections of the approach roads, i.e. Auburn Avenue, College Road and Beechpark Avenue. Parties and candidates have the entire rest of Castleknock to erect posters. No one will be able to get in or out of Castleknock Village without passing candidate and political party posters.
Click to view the detailed map with the shaded roads representing the PFZ:
CTT has already written to all parties, candidates and politicians in the Castleknock constituency detailing the PFZ. As this is a voluntary scheme, CTT is asking for the goodwill of all political parties, candidates and election agents to kindly respect this initiative and adhere to this election PFZ along the short route identified through the village. If every candidate abides by this voluntary initiative, nobody will be at a disadvantage.
CTT encourages every citizen entitled to vote to go out and cast their vote in the upcoming referendums, local and general elections.
If you have any queries on the PFZ, please do get in touch by email to email@example.com