THE man behind a film highlighting dereliction in Ballymoney says urgent action is needed to prevent the ‘death’ of the town.
Jay Hanna posted a video on YouTube featuring dozens of pictures of rundown sites to the tune of ‘Death of my town’ by Bruce Springsteen.
And it has racked up hundreds of hits since going online.
Jay - from Semicock - said the reason he made the video was to put into focus numerous eyesores blighting Ballymoney at present and called for local political representatives to take action immediately to curb the decline of the town.
“I wanted to raise the profile of this,” the 53-year-old told the Times.
“This town is going through a really hard time with shops closing and the property crash really taking their toll.
“I wanted to do something to show how bad the situation really is.
“I spent a day going round with my camera taking photos and I had so many I wasn’t able to get them all into the video.
“We are so used to it now though we are oblivious to it. It doesn’t register now.
“There just doesn’t seem to be anything being done, no plan of action.
“Linenhall Street for example is a disgrace, it must be one of the worst streets in Northern Ireland.
“If anyone sees that when they come to Ballymoney why would they stop? They just keep going on through.
“I want council to tell us, the people of Ballymoney, what their plan is.”
Jay said more must be done to encourage inward investment to Ballymoney, particularly given the fact hundreds of millions of pounds are being poured into the north coast for regeneration at present.
“What are they (politicians) doing for this town because I can’t see anything being done,” he continued.
“I was personally affected by the economic downturn too.
“I worked at Sherwoods for 32 years before I lost my job.
“There is nothing here. I work in Ballymena and my eldest son has to travel to Belfast for work.
“There is nothing for young people and there are no murmurs of anything coming.
“This town is dying and I feel really strongly about that.
“The next time a councillor comes to my door looking for a vote I will be asking what they are doing for the town and they better have an answer.”
A number of people who watched the video praised Jay for putting it together in a comments section underneath.
One wrote: “Well done for bringing this to light, so much more could be done in the town with just some effort - when smaller businesses on their own try to do something new they have to battle the fact that people constantly turn to other bigger towns in the area which are much more developed and this really isn’t their fault. Save the Toon!”
“An excellent video showing the dereliction afflicting our town brought about by uncaring developers and apathetic council. Why do we not make our representatives follow the lead of Coleraine in doing up Portstewart and Portrush?” another reads.
Another said: “The heart of the town is not in the buildings - it’s in the people who live there and I think Ballymoney folk are down to earth and genuinely friendly folk. Well put together video, can’t wait to see the next one.”
Jay said the reaction to the video has been very positive and he plans to do another soon - this time highlighting the plus points of Ballymoney.
“I will do that too,” he said.
“The town has a lot of good aspects too and I’m looking forward to showcasing them.”