Residents ‘frustrated’ over locking of new car park gates

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly pictured previously at the new gates when they were installed back in January.
Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly pictured previously at the new gates when they were installed back in January.

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly has said William Street residents are frustrated after further incidents whereby gates installed at William Street car park to deter anti-social behaviour were not locked at night.

Council officials had agreed to investigate after Colr. Donnelly raised the same issue during a council committee meeting several weeks ago.

Speaking atThursday’s full council meeting, Colr. Donnelly said: “I was contacted by residents last Friday night at 11.30 p.m. Has there been any developments or do we know what the problem is here because the residents are getting very frustrated?”

SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney concurred: “I have also been contacted by residents about the exact same issue. The problem seems to be the guy that is supposed to be locking this car park is away somewhere with the keys but, surely there must be more than one set of keys, if he can’t get there someone else can go?

“It got to the point last Friday night for example were the residents were going to go over and lock these gates for themselves. We’re obviously paying out to this contracter to have this done,” he added.

Colr. Tierney said that this was very high on the list of priorities for residents, and that action was needed to address their concerns.

Stephen Gillespie, Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Director of Business & Culture responded: “Obviously we take the issues very seriously and we have met with the contractor and are meeting with the contractor to ensure they fulfil their obligations.

“They are contracted to lock the car park, the car park should be locked every night as per the times and if not we now have a protocol in place in terms of keys so we can get it locked.

“We take on board absolutely this serious issue, the gate is up for a reason: to stop the anti-social behaviour.”

Mr. Gillespie said that if council could not get the contractor to perform then there was an issue and it would be dealt with.

The gates were erected back in January.