SINN Féin Councillor Liam Johnston has called on Down District Council to review the decision not to upgrade Market Lane in Downpatrick.
Councillor Johnston spoke of his “disappointment and frustration” following the news that the £30,000 required to upgrade Market Lane under the Downpatrick Public Scheme will not be made available, and Down District Council will now have to forward new proposals to DSD who may try and find the funds needed by the end of this financial year.
Cllr Johnston said, “It is totally unacceptable that out of a budget of £3 Million or more, funding cannot be found to include Market Lane in the scheme, and it raises serious questions as to why the traders in the busy thoroughfare are not being treated with the same esteem as other businesses in the area. In these tough economic times businesses across the whole town are suffering, and Sinn Féin believes it is unfair on these traders in Market Lane, who pay the same commercial rates as other businesses, to be excluded from a scheme which was envisaged to reinvigorate the entire town and improve trading conditions for all in Downpatrick.
“When these plans for the regeneration of the town where proposed way back in June 2009, the then DSD Minister Margaret Ritchie promised that “Downpatrick is on the cusp of a physical renaissance. Unfortunately it appears that such a renaissance does not extend to the traders of Market Lane!” added Councillor Johnston.