Brian Higginson, UKIP candidate for Lagan Valley in the May Assembly election, has said that the £3.15 million spent on public realm projects in the city would have been better spent giving rates reductions to city centre traders and shop owners.
He stated, “£3.15 million would have gone a long way to helping keep businesses afloat. Instead, what we have had is another big vanity project massaging the egos of local councillors from the old parties while the grandiose spendthrift irresponsibility of the Department of Regional Development cannot, apparently, find enough money to fix our potholes, reinstate roads properly after road openings and keep the street lights on.
“These people have had long enough to mess things up. It’s time for change and for a dose of sanity to return to managing public money. UKIP wants far more care taken with what is taxpayer’s hard-earned money. They have made Lisburn the ‘Polo Mint City’ – all the development is on the outskirts and the centre has been abandoned to expensive public monuments. I’ve got news for you. UKIP cares and, if elected, will root out their wanton waste and start to turn things around and make things better.
“We need to take action to rebuild Lisburn City Centre. I have already proposed a free shuttle bus service between Sprucefield and Lisburn City Centre. Only 8% of shoppers at Sprucefield are visiting Lisburn City Centre at present. Even a modest increase in this number would make a major difference to the City centre.”