Parts of the country are being left to grow wild, with grass cutting suffering as a result of budget cutting.
DUP MLA Stephen Moutray has now taken DRD Minister Danny Kennedy to task issuing an ‘urgent call’ for him to attend a meeting at Stormont to discuss the budgets, which have left residents with overgrown roadsides and verges cut just once a year.
Mr Moutray said: “It is evident whilst travelling throughout the country, that there are areas and pockets of land that are being left to grow wild as a result of the directive issued by the Minister that no external contractors are to be used on routine maintenance.
“This has led to a situation where the health and safety of pedestrians and motorists is being impacted, with the potential for a serious accident.
“The Minister needs to take responsibility for this matter and so order his budget to accommodate the needs of the people who pay their rates and deserve such a service.
“I know that urban areas traditionally got five cuts per year, with rural getting two. This has been slashed - with the entire area only getting one per year, if budgets permit.”
The DUP MLA continually stressed the importance of the matter, emphasising that, if maintenance issues were not resolved, there could be serious implications for the safety of local residents:
“I believe Minister Kennedy needs to address this matter urgently. Other authorities - be it Council and Housing Executive - are in a position to continue this work, and I believe it is scandalous that Road Service, because of this directive, are found wanting.
“I was delighted to get unanimous support when I called for the Minister to urgently attend a committee meeting to discuss this mater. With the warmer weather approaching, it is vital that action is taken before something serious happens as a result of sight lines and visual restrictions.”