Local Councillors met recently with representatives from Down District Council, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Police Service for Northern Ireland to discuss the roll out of the action plan in Drumaness, which has been funded by the Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (DPCSP).
The Action Plan has been designed to look at community issues or concerns such as graffiti, litter and anti-social behaviour. Attendees at the meeting agreed that a community survey would be distributed to every household in Drumaness seeking the views of residents on what elements they would like included in the plan.
DPCSP Chairman, Councilor Carmel O’Boyle stated, “The DPCSP hope to work with the residents in Drumaness to improve safety within their area. This may be the introduction of diversionary programmes for young people, a review of signage or increasing Council Enforcement Officer patrols to address dog fouling for example.
“I would therefore urge everyone who receives a survey to fill it in and return it to our Council Officers at their earliest convenience. We then hope to collect and present the survey findings to the wider community. The action plan is a positive inter-agency response but can only be effective if the community help us identify the real problems.”
Ballynahinch SDLP Councillor Anne McAleenan added: “We are having a meeting with sports and community groups this Thursday evening and that will be the first real consultation step in drawing the action plan together for the village.
“At the moment Drumaness does not have any major issues… it is much like any other rural community its size. But there are still social needs there we must address, particularly affecting our young people.
“I would urge everyone to complete their consultation forms and return them. All ideas are important and will help shape the action plan which once accepted will be implemented.
“I don’t want to pe-empt what people may wish to propose, but matters such as the inter-generational gap are important and some work could be done there. It would be ideal if we could help foster a sense of responsibility in our younger people as many of the opportunities are just not ther any more.
“It I important in any community that everyone knows what is going on and hopefully this initiative may open this up more.”