Councillor Long raised concerns about the lack of grass cutting across Belfast at a Council meeting at the start of July and an urgent meeting with the Minister was sought to discuss the matter, but five weeks on there had still not been a date set for the meeting, with the summer season is likely to be over before a meeting can take place.
“The situation regarding the reduced grass cutting by the Department is unacceptable and the Minister is literally allowing the grass to grown under his feet,” said Councillor Michael Long.
“We asked for an urgent meeting to discuss our concerns and to seek solutions over a month ago and we still have no date set. Given that these meetings tend to be made several weeks in advance, it is likely that the summer will be over before any meeting takes place.
“Given the level of complaints that I have received from ratepayers, I think that this is unacceptable. I understand that the new Minister has been left in a difficult position by the previously UUP Minister’s decision to reduce the number of cuts but his response to date has been inadequate.
“We need sustainable solutions so that our city does not look in such a poor state for both tourists and potential investors. I believe that we can achieve this by targeting resources on key areas, by developing more environmentally solutions such as planting out areas with wild flowers, by getting private sector sponsorship and by possibly even getting the Council to bear some of the costs.
“As a former Councillor in Castlereagh, the maintenance of green areas was always a source of pride, but now areas like the dual carriageway are an eyesore and the contrast with the areas taken over by Lisburn has left a particularly sour taste.
“I really would encourage an immediate response by the Minister as I believe that we can resolve the issues by working together.”