Gym and lights for Cushendall

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Cushendall beach is to have an outdoor gym installed and street lighting extended along the beach.

Moyle District Council voted last Monday night to accept a tender for £50,774 to carry out the scheme.

However, there was some concern that the lowest tender - which was accepted - came in at £10,000 more than the council budget.

Councillors were told that Moyle Council would cover the £10,000.

Cllr Robert McIlroy asked: “Where do we get this £10,000 from to make up these projects? It has to come from somewhere. What other projects will suffer if it comes from somewhere else?”

Chairman of Moyle Council, Cllr Donal Cunningham said that the shortfall would be covered by “easement in other projects”.

Aidan McPeake from the Council’s Environmental Service department said that Council would be working with the contractor to make savings.

Cllr Randal McDonnell said: “I don’t like this idea of stringing lights up everywhere. There is no point in it other than making a better venue for all night drinking parties.

“And if we take that part of the project out, it would reduce the price,” he added.

Mr McPeake said that the beach was a popular walking area for locals in the evening and that Phase One of the lighting project had been successful so there was only one section left unlit.

Cllr Margaret Anne McKillop said the scheme would add to the area. “The beach is brilliant,” she said but pointed out that the existing lights were all out at present.

Cllr Cara McShane paid tribute to council officers for accessing rural development funding for the project and said it was a “small amount we are putting in for a large return”.

Cllr Joan Baird was in favour of the outdoor gym as she said it had proved to be very popular in both Ballycastle and on Rathlin Island.

However, she added that she was against the street lighting for the beach as it was light pollution.

“We already have massive light pollution on our planet, never mind in Cushendall. It is a waste of energy and is destroying the environment,” she said.

After the debate, Clllr Cara McShane proposed that Council press ahead with the project, seconded by Cllr Margaret Anne McKillop. A vote was taken and the proposal was passed by five votes to three.