I’m writing this letter to ask why nothing is being done by Derry City Council, NIE, the PSNI, the DoE and Social Security to stop the illegal trading going on in our city.
These ‘mobiles’ are selling cigarettes and DVD’s to anyone who goes into them, including, in some cases, under-age children. The mobiles do not pay rates and I suspect that you could find a case or two of electricity being connected illegally. Then there’s the question of ‘staff’ members on benefits who are working illegally.
Surely legal traders should be allowed to earn an honest living. Here we are in the City of Culture 2013 and it’s amazing how many of these mobiles are being allowed to trade when they give nothing towards the city. They are answerable to no-one, and it appears no-one is doing anything about it. What exactly does that say about Derry? Other towns and cities in Ireland have these problems but not on this scale.
Shops that are trading legally are closing daily. We have boarded-up premises and streets that look neglected. It’s a poor reflection on our City Council that legal traders are being put out of business because they can’t compete with the cheap sale of illegal cigarettes and God knows what else.
Derry is on show for ‘City of Culture, but if nothing’s done there’ll be a mobile on every street corner. We are all hoping for a lot of tourists visiting this year, but is that the look those in authority in this city really want to see.
It begs the question - who is really looking after our city? Something needs to change!
(name and address supplied)