Lagan Valley Assembly Member Paul Givan has called on the Minister of Regional Development to tackle overgrown grass verges in Lisburn.
“Over the past number of weeks the overgrown grass verges have been the primary complaint that I have been dealing with from local residents,” said Mr. Givan.
“They are expressing their frustration at the unsightly nature of residential areas and also safety concerns at road junctions with sight lines being impaired by the length of grass and weeds.”
“I have engaged with local staff in Transport NI who are responsible for the maintenance of verges and I know they have been inundated with complaints but because of a direction from the Department to save money they have restricted the number of cuts to only one this year when previously there would have been five cuts carried out on most roads.
“After engaging with the Minister Danny Kennedy, he confirmed he has limited grass cutting to only once this season unless there are safety related concerns at junctions.
“The impact of this decision has created unsightly residential areas across Lisburn and local people want this issue addressed.
“This basic function had previously been identified to transfer to local councils but this didn’t happen and I believe this decision should be reviewed.
“I will be seeking all of the statutory agencies involved in this issue to come together and identify a way forward.
“The ratepayer doesn’t differentiate between Council, Stormont, Education Authorities and the Housing Executive, all of which are involved in grass cutting, they just want their area properly maintained.
“I have written to the Chief Executive of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council asking for this issue to be considered and taken forward to find a long-term solution.”
Alderman James Tinsley, DUP Council Group Leader, said: “The Northern Ireland Executive will be having a review of the functions that transferred to local councils and this issue is one that will need to be considered by the Council.
“I will be raising this issue with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council as within the new responsibility for community planning we can bring together the relevant stakeholders and seek a resolution. “