Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

By gum, it's time to clean up Belfast

Belfast City Council cleans the pavements in and around the city centre after complaints about the grim streets. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Belfast City Council cleans the pavements in and around the city centre after complaints about the grim streets. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.

The Orange Order can maybe be accused of metaphorically dirtying (I chose my verbs carefully) in their own nests.

But can they be blamed entirely for the post-Twelfth filth which has now, partially at least, been power-hosed from Belfast city centre paving?

This gunge we are told, included melting, sticky globs of chewing gum and seagull droppings.

Unless we're agreed the Brethern have a serious Wrigley's habit and band music scares the grit out of the gulls, on these two counts at least, they aren't to blame.

Let's be honest, the streets of Belfast are paved with cold junk food wrappers, spilt drinks, discarded fag butts, bird droppings and all sorts of vile unmentionable stuff all year round.

Large swathes of the place are a tip. With running rats to boot.

Some of that chewing gum freckling the pavements (and now melting in the unusual warmth of summer sun) has been there longer that some of the shops.

So the clean-up isn't just a couple of weeks late. It's several years late.

Which is why the council, having got the hang of the power-hosing thing, need to keep it going.

One of the added problems we have in this place is that much of the light coloured paving in the city centre is the concrete equivalent of a cream carpet. It shows up the dirt.

This we have to live with. And deal with.

If we want visitors to take away an impression of a pleasant looking city centre shopping area, the odd deep clean is therefore essential.

It's as simple as that.

Like the worst of the chewing gum, you've got to stick with it, city council.

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