Public realm works ‘farcical’ says Allister

TUV leader Jim Allister.
TUV leader Jim Allister.

North Antrim MLA Jim Allister fears that the controversial public realm works in Ballymena are ‘descending into farce’.

And now he’s written to the Chief Executive of Mid & East Antrim Council to highlight complaints he has received from traders.

He said: “Yet again, traders in Ballymena who are currently being impacted by the public realm scheme are being left in the dark about what exactly is going on. Areas have been blocked off for days with no work being undertaken by contractors, and now it seems that NIE work is required when it was supposed to already have occurred. This is a whole new level of farce. Surely, evening work by the contractors could offset the disruption to the traders and would show that the Mid and East Antrim Council have the best interests of the town centre at the heart of this development.

“I have today written to the Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to highlight these concerns and request immediate action. One thing is for sure – something needs to be done.”

In his letter Mr. Allister says: “I am in receipt of complaints from Church Street traders as to the handling of the ongoing public realm works. They have many frustrations, including who in fact is in charge, why areas are blocked off for days with no work going on, why have there been days with nothing happening on site, why NIE work is now said to be required when all such was supposed to have happened, why there is such disregard to their needs and interests of the traders and why the situation could not be ameliorated by doing work in the evenings?

“It seems clear to me there needs to be an enhanced effort to liaise properly with the affected traders.”