Councillor unhappy over CCTV reaction

MOYLE Sinn Fein councillor Colum Thompson has said that he is disappointed with the reaction of several of his council colleagues in relation to a request for the installation of a single cctv camera at the High Street entrance to Cottage Wood in Cushendall.

The camera was requested by Councillor Thompson on the 22nd of October at a meeting of Moyle District Council. The Glens representative said: “I had asked for the installation of a single cctv camera for two reasons, firstly Moyle District Council has invested a large amount of public money in transforming the site into a wonderful resource. The play areas, the paths and natural areas within Cottage Wood have created a fantastic landscape and atmosphere which is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike.

“Recently a vandalism attack where windows were broken and bins were burned caused almost three thousand pounds worth of damage. I am sure everyone would agree that we need to take whatever action is necessary to ensure this type of attack does not happen in the future.

“Secondly the residents of High Street have suffered for many years due to the actions of nuisance and anti social drivers. On many occasions residents are being kept awake to all hours due to the noise of cars careering up and down the road. I am convinced that if the situation is allowed to continue then it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed due to the irresponsible actions of these anti social drivers.

“I have investigated several possible solution options but none of them were possible. Speed ramps could not be installed due to the gradient of the road and realistically The PSNI do not have the resources to patrol the area regularly. I have spoken at length with High Street residents, Cushendall Development Group and the PSNI and they were all in favour of a single camera being installed to try and combat these two problems.

“It is also interesting that several of the councillors who spoke out against the camera have been on the council for a number of years and during those years they have done little or nothing to try and help deal with the problem on High Street. Some of them are living in a dream world, quoting irrelevant information about cctv cameras in London and yet doing nothing to actually help the residents of the area.

“Attempts have been made to mislead the public about what has actually been requested and it is time councillors started dealing in reality rather than spouting off waffle and propaganda to suit their own personal agendas and actually contributed to solving these problems.

“Not one single councillor who opposed the camera actually offered any alternative suggestions of how to effectively combat the issues. They are doing nothing to help the residents of High Street who have had to live a nightmare scenario for many years.

“It is also interesting to note the hypocrisy of the councillors who so vocally opposed a single cctv camera in The Glens and yet have had absolutely nothing to say about a number of cctv cameras which Moyle District Council has installed in Ballycastle over the years. I would not for a second suggest that they are happy to have money spent in Ballycastle but are against money being spent in The Glens for the same type of project, however if this is what residents of High Street and regular users of Cottage Wood are thinking then who could blame them?”