Former rep backs litter crusade

A FORMER SDLP rep has called on the council to do more to address the rising tide of rubbish accumulating across the borough.

Oran Keenan spoke out after a local man branded the litter problem ‘disgusting’ in last week’s Antrim Guardian.

“I would like to agree with the sentiments expressed in last week’s paper regarding the lack of litter picking and the dearth of fixed penalties to combat this province-wide issue,” he said.

“As a resident of a local road that runs close to Belfast International Airport, where we are told that over five million people pass through their doors, I’ve seen it first hand.

“The main roads to the airport, the Ballyrobin and Dublin Roads, are devoid of any form of pedestrian access. With the long overdue arrival of a retail outlet in the area, people are accessing it at their own peril.

“As regards litter picking, the Antrim Road end is a 100 per cent non-starter due to health and safety. The only litter pick we are aware of on the Ballyrobin Road was done by BIA staff as a team building exercise.

“The British Road is litter picked by locals - and while it is little more than a mile long it usually yields about five full sacks of rubbish.

“One annoying aspect of this is the number of empty bottles of alcohol pulled from the hedges.”

He added: “The article also mentioned the lack of support from elected representatives. I believe a request has been made for an uplift in their remuneration for the work they do, at a time when their MLA colleagues - on twice the average normal wage - are not at their desks on a daily basis.

“I know that some are quite active but also quite selective as to what they do. In September I tried to get help for someone and I got a pass the parcel ‘not my area’ reaction.

“At the same time we can send people off to far flung places on fact finding errands to see how they can provide and improve services for their founders, the ratepayers.

“Maybe the New Year will bring with it a new brush, shovel or even a sweeper to make our highways and byways more appealing.

“Rural folk pay their rates too but are not receiving the same services available to our town and village dwellers.”

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