Multi-agency meeting addresses maintenance issues in Crossmaglen

June 30, 2009

Following a recent multi-agency meeting in Crossmaglen and surrounding areas, Councillor Terry Hearty has expressed his satisfaction with the outcome and assurances that have been given by the agencies involved.

Local councillors joined officials from Roads Service, the Housing Executive and Newry and Mourne District Council to tour the area and inspect the general condition and maintenance of the town’s housing estates and note improvements that could be made.

Mr Hearty outlined how the meeting progressed:

“The tour began in Lismore where I pointed out to Roads Service that the weeds in the estate must get sprayed much earlier, as it is growing along roadside kerbs, footpaths and alleyways.  I also explained that some of the footpaths were in very poor condition and that the perimeter fence, which has timbers missing needs to be mended and painted.  The relevant agencies then agreed to put in a concrete base and put a fence around the recycling bins in order to protect them.

“The tour then went to Ard Ross where similar issues were raised. We also met with a number of residents who raised concerns that cars were being driven onto the green beside the play area.  We asked the Council to resolve this issue by blocking access for cars onto the green. While it is sad that we have to go to these extremes to protect children in a play area, I am glad that we have gone some way to addressing the issue,” he said.

It was also requested that Roads Service install low kerbs for wheelchair access at a number of locations and that the Housing Executive should move to replace windows in a number of houses that still have original windows which are in a poor state of repair.  Mr Hearty also pointed out to Roads Service of a previous request he made a number of years ago that the area to the rear of Ard Ross, facing onto the Carron Road, be re-tarred.  It has now agreed to involve this project in the next scheme of work.

The delegation then moved to Rathview Park where there the front area facing onto the Blayney Road is in need of resurfacing.

“We also asked for the summer seats to be replaced and also play equipment that had been removed and more litter bins to be placed round the play area,” the Councillor said.

A representative from the NI Fire and Rescue Service joined the group at the Culloville Road to brief officials on road traffic accidents at this junction.  As a result, Roads Service has agreed to improve the road signage and markings on this road where it joins The Square.

The group then travelled to Culloville where they met with members of the Residents Group.  All of the agency officials spoke of the impressive flower displays along the Culloville road and the Concession road.

“The Residents Group takes great pride in their area and the agencies agreed to the maintenance that needed to be carried out,” Mr Hearty said.

At the junction of Lough Ross Road and the Blayney Road, Roads Service officials witnessed the dangers for motorists exiting this junction and were asked to consider a scheme to improve it.

“We then went to Anamar School where I asked for signs and road markings to be improved so that strangers were made aware of the school,” Mr Hearty continued.  “We also heard from the Principal, Anna Shields, about the danger for children entering and exiting the school.  Mrs Shields raised with Roads Service, the need to have the ground around the school salted in icy weather.  We were given assurances  on the signage and road markings but unfortunately they could not assure us that it would be salted.”

Councillor Hearty described meetings such as this, where several agencies meet together, as extremely useful and says he will be seeking to organise more such meetings for other local areas.

“Once again we stressed to the Agencies the importance of having our areas properly maintained. I would also call on anyone who feels that there is any issues that they feel need to be addressed to contact the Sinn Féin office in Crossmaglen or Newry,” he said.