DUP Councillor John McAuley is calling for DFI Roads and Council Management to get their act together by sorting the growing problem of weeds, dog foul, overgrown grass and rubbish in towns and villages across the Borough.
Commenting Cllr McAuley said;
“There is a growing problem across the Borough where Senior Management are not taking responsibility for ensuring that areas within their remit are kept clean and tidy, with clear evidence of this in virtually every town and villages.
“There appears to be a ‘reactive approach’ rather than being proactive, with problematic areas only being addressed when elected representatives log complaints on behalf of their constituents, leaving large sections of the province in an unacceptable state. This must be addressed immediately with proactive planned schedule of works being implemented to return and maintain our Borough to an acceptable standard.
“I am now receiving complaints on virtually a daily basis from constituents and business owners with requests for footpaths to be cleared of weeds and dog foul, overgrown grass to be cut and overflowing bins to be emptied across the local towns and villages – these are basic services which appear to have been forgotten about and are now in some areas being addressed by business owners, community groups and residents who are simply fed up waiting and opting to take action themselves for the betterment of their communities.
“The common response now is to blame the situation on lack of resources/Covid-19 which I do not accept as all of these tasks could have been carried out by individuals or small groups of employees safely socially distanced at no risk to anyone – if the local communities can do it then so can the authorities.
“It would appear that Senior Management are opting to let basic services suffer by reducing the available labour resources available to middle management whilst maximising the benefits of the Furlough Scheme to make their job of balancing the books easier.
“Finances are of course very important but not at the expense of basic services, which will cost more in the long term to restore than it would to maintain regularly. Our Borough in particular is highly dependent on tourism and we are quickly getting to the point where its not very appealing to visit, which will have a detrimental effect on Local businesses who are already struggling during a very tough and challenging year.
“This problem has been raised with both Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and DFI Roads with no visible response of action to date and I urge Senior Management to address as a matter of urgency.
“They have proved in the past with fantastic clean-up projects what can be done, so I have no doubt that this is simply a management issue at the top tiers of both organisations and in no way any reflection of workers and supervisors on the ground who do a fantastic job when allowed.”