Belfast City Centre problems comes from “years of inaction”


A councillor has stated the outcry over the state of Belfast city centre is “the results of many years of inaction.”

Green Councillor Brian Smyth has stated there are “structural issues” behind the rising sense of unease round cleanliness and environmental well being in metropolis centre streets.

Belfast has seen months of unhealthy headlines regarding littering, graffiti “tagging” and rat infestation resulting from fly tipping, with enterprise homeowners and residents alike crying out towards a perceived “run down” metropolis centre.

This week a report of giant chunks of masonry falling from the dilapidated George Finest Resort on to the road under appeared to sum up the sense of neglect.

Learn extra:“Dangerous” George Best hotel cordoned off after masonry falls onto street below

Councillor Smyth stated that latest dialogue within the council in regards to the risk for the Sunday opening of Metropolis Corridor and earlier store opening occasions had been “beauty.” He stated there have been “actual long run structural points with the town centre.”

He added: “Backside line is that as an elected consultant of this metropolis, I maintain listening to the same theme from individuals, they discover the town centre soiled and do not feel secure. I really feel embarrassed and a way of disgrace once I hear this – we’re failing on the basics.

“Ranges of graffiti and garbage are a difficulty in components of the town centre. The coverage on graffiti is not match for goal, solely offensive materials is eliminated, but tagging and the rest is not touched. As Greens we’re pushing for a change on this urgently.”



Boarded-up shop fronts, graffiti and falling masonry on Great Victoria Street
Boarded-up store fronts, graffiti and falling masonry on Nice Victoria Road

He stated the council was about to purchase new gear and prepare up a staff to cope with cleansing the town centre, and specifically to energy wash the road extra, notably in areas round Fortress Place, operating as much as Metropolis Corridor. He stated the enforcement of littering needed to be improved.

He added: “With regard to security, there’s a humanitarian subject within the metropolis centre, loads of weak individuals on the streets. We’d like a multi-agency response to assist them, and on the similar time construct confidence that the place is secure.

“We have seen with the pandemic the significance of public area, however Belfast has been sluggish to maneuver on pedestrianisation. Greens have been advocating this for years: habitable, accessible secure streets, which different cities throughout Europe have moved in the direction of – however we could not even maintain Hill Road car free.”

He stated: “Belfast Metropolis Council is not answerable for all the pieces within the metropolis centre, however it could and will lead. Others such because the Department for Infrastructure, the Department for Communities, the Housing Executive, and property homeowners additionally must step up collectively for a typical and constant commonplace. Some areas will want laws change.

Great Victoria Street is the proper instance – it needs to be thriving because the connection from Shaftesbury Sq. to the Metropolis Centre, but it’s run down, dilapidated, with empty properties wanting grubby and unhappy. How can buildings sit derelict for years?

“This is not a brief time period repair, it’s the results of many years of inaction. However the council wants an early response on constructing confidence once more with the general public within the metropolis centre.”

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