DC&SDC: Gates to be installed at Galliagh and Carnhill

Plans to instal security gates at laneways close to houses in the Galliagh and Carnhill areas of Derry have been welcomed by Members of Derry and Strabane Health and Community Committee.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 1:28 pm

The two gating orders, which will be used to close off laneways close to numbers 116 to 132 in Galliagh Park and numbers 224 to 259 in Carnhill, were introduced to address residents’ concerns about anti-social and risk-taking behaviour in the vicinity.

The report brought in front of committee explained that ‘the Department for Infrastructure has advised that it has no objections to the erection of gates as long as the gates are opened at 8.00am each working morning to provide access to utility services.’

SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell described it as ‘brilliant news for the residents’.

He said: “These gates are going to make a noticeable difference to the anti-community activity and the people in the vicinity can lead peaceful, calm and nuisance-free lives when the gates are erected.

“It’s a brilliant example of partnership working in Ballyarnett through the Community Safety team and I would like to thank the PCSP and the Housing Executive for their input. I am happy to propose.”

Responding to Councillor Farrell’s question of ‘how soon will the gates be installed?’ Head of Community and Leisure Barry O’Hagan said: “The local Policing and Community Safety Partnership would proceed with the installation as quickly as possible and we will try and progress this within a matter of months.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy seconded the proposal adding it was ‘great news and a sigh of relief’ for the residents.

Echoing comments from the other councillors, Aontu councillor Emmet Doyle spoke about the number of calls received about the anti-social behaviour adding that the residents will be ‘buzzing when this comes to fruition.’

Saying he ‘didn’t share the enthusiasm’ of the other parties, People Before Profit Shaun Harkin said he was ‘glad’ the residents of the areas were going to get ‘some relief’ with these gates going up.

He added: “This is anti-social behaviour because these are the very areas that haven’t had the amenities, haven’t had the kind of hope that can challenge some of the reasons for anti-social behaviour, that are very high on deprivation lists.

“I’m sorry but gates and more gates isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s actually disappointing that this ends up being the solution and we have to work towards actually seeing there being no gates and that’s the things we have been talking about here in council about how do we address poverty and the legacy of deprivation that create conditions for anti-social behaviour.

“I’m glad the residents are going to get some relief and control but I don’t think this is something we should be celebrating. This is hardly something we can claim as progress for the council.”

Members were unanimous in their support for the approval of the gating orders.

Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter