ALLIANCE Councillor Geraldine Rice, leader of the Alliance group on Castlereagh Council, lent her support to the rate set by the Council at their meeting on Valentine’s Day.
An increase of only 3.48% was agreed by the Council following work undertaken by a cross party grouping, including Alliance. After lobbying by Alliance, the Council agreed to provide additional funding for anti-dog fouling measures without having to increase the rate, by using funds from an expected under-spend.
Cllr Rice said: “I am pleased that Castlereagh will again have one of the lowest rates in Northern Ireland as well as one of the lowest rate increases. This is down to the hard work of Councillors, including members of our own group.
“I am particularly pleased that money has been set aside for upgrading the play area at Lough Moss as I have been campaigning for improved facilities for Carryduff children for some time.
“In addition, Alliance was responsible for preventing proposed cuts to the budget for anti-dog fouling measures. Dog fouling is undoubtedly a major problem within the Borough and we are pleased that Councillors from other parties finally came around to our point of view on the matter. The additional money will not add to ratepayers’ bills but will be found from within a projected under-spend.
“Owners must act responsibly and clean up after their pets, but the Council also must play its part and the additional funding will undoubtedly help us reduce the problem of fouling.”