Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Dumped cars an insult after fortune spent on Custom House Square

The three derelict cars dumped at the grassy area of Customs House Square are a disgrace. They are used for flyposters and maybe some other purpose, I don't know what.

Government, by which I mean you and me the taxpayer, spent a lot of money on the improvement of the square and the surrounding area, for it to be ruined by this wreckage.

It is an insult to those who make an effort to make Belfast a more attractive city. It is the sort of thing one sees in areas of inner city degradation, not in cities which aspire to high levels of success.

As a councillor I have tried to make Belfast more attractive and hence safer and more prosperous. I ask the owner of this wreckage to remove it for the sake of Belfast, presumably his/her city.

I ask also that the Assembly swiftly enacts an equivalent of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act which has been working in England and Wales for some years. This would give clear responsibility to councils to make the place clean and safe, instead of the present situation where no onebody has ultimate authority.

Some five years ago I was told it was being dealt with and that it would take about four years to legislate. I hear the latest dates for legislation is 2011. This is a disgrace.

Who sets these timetables?

Apparently most of the local councils want to see this legislation enacted. What is so difficult about copying what is done by our neighbours?

This legislation would give the city council the powers to remove such eyesores and potential health hazards and charge the owners for the inconvenience.

We were told that a locally accountable Assembly would be beneficial for the community. Let's see some results soon.

Tom Ekin

Alliance Councillor

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