LOCAL Rowallene Councillors Billy Walker and Terry Andrews have called on parents in Killyleagh to support the community safety action plan launched for the town.
The Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) met with local councillors, community reps, Down District Council representatives and key agencies such as Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the PSNI at the Bridge Centre in Killyleagh to announce the launch of the Community Safety Action Plan for Killyleagh.
This action plan has evolved as a result of the increasing community safety concerns in Killyleagh in recent months. Representatives at the meeting agreed the action plan will have an impact in improving community safety issues in the village. Attendees agreed the way forward is to distribute a community safety survey to households in the Killyleagh area to gather resident’s opinions on what elements they would like included in the plan.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor William Walker welcomed the action plan in the Killyleagh area and hoped it will have a positive impact. Councillor Walker emphasised the importance of engaging with the community and believed setting up a constituted group will generate many benefits such as securing funding for the area.
He said: “I believe this initiative will be very sussessful in Killyleagh. I urge parents to come along to the public meeting in September and show their support. Recently Crossgar and Shrigley have got community groups up an running and and we can see the benefits already in these villages. We don’t have a bone fide community group as such in Killyleagh and there is a danger we will lose out on much key funding.
“There have been a number of antisocial incidents recently and I would ay it is important not to brand all young people as ‘bad’. There are a few who get bored and mischievous and we need to address this issue. For example, the Bridge Centre closes down at 6pm on a Friday and Saturday evening. It would be great to full utilise this public asset to the full and make it accessible to our young people.
“This issue of the Bridge Centre is already running through the Council Recreation Committee and I hope it produces some positive results.”
Councillor Terry Andrews added: I welcome the efforts by the Down PCSP to address these issues in Killyleagh. It is a step on the right direction. It is good to see so many key players involved and I’d like to pay tribute to the PCSP for bringing this forward.
“It is up to the people of Killyleagh to get involved and make this a real success and be part of the initiative. Quite simply, it is your town and everyone can get aboard this scheme and have their say.”
PCSP Chairman Councillor Willie Clarke added: “It is important as a partnership that all agencies come together to ensure this action plan works and improves the quality of life of people living in Killyleagh. The action plan will include a number of elements such as youth intervention programmes for young people and crime prevention workshops for vulnerable people.
“I urge residents within Killyleagh to complete the community safety survey to ensure it meets the needs of the Killyleagh residents and return it at their earliest convenience. The information gathered will be collated and presented at a public meeting at the end of September.”