Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has called on all parties to agree the removal of banners on street furniture, to remove the “intimidating atmosphere” many create.
South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw said the recent erection of banners supporting ‘Soldier F’ in various locations across Northern Ireland, as well as a number of other banners such as those erected by the Saoradh group, was creating an intimidating atmosphere for many people in our society.
“I want to see all the main political parties calling for the removal of all banners, no matter their political persuasion. That would send a message we all want our community to be welcoming. That does not mean neutral but everyone should be free from intimidation and the marking out of territory.
“I admit the current situation is in somewhat of a vacuum but simply doing nothing and waiting for political agreement is not an option, for either the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) or PSNI. The Roads Order bans all banners and signs on street furniture but there currently appears to be a selective at best enforcement policy carried out in practice.
“Under the Fair Employment and Treatment Order, the DFI has a duty to their staff to provide a neutral working environment. With these banners hanging off various items of street furniture, that currently is not the case.”