Glengormley Councillor Phillip Brett has hit out at the Housing Executive after it confirmed that long-awaited property maintenance work in Queens Park has been put on hold until next year.
The planned external maintenance scheme, which would have included works to windows, doors, roofs, gutters and the painting of properties, was due to have commenced in the spring of this year. However, the Housing Executive this week revealed that the work has been postponed until late 2015.
Slamming the announcement, Councillor Brett said: “I am absolutely outraged at this delay. The 106 NIHE tenants in Queens Park had prepared themselves for these improvements to begin in the coming weeks, now to be told they will have to wait another 16 months is unacceptable.
“My party colleagues and I had been meeting with the NIHE on a regular basis to ensure this scheme was delivered on time, as the people of Queens Park have been waiting many years on these much needed improvements.
“Locals are rightly angry at this decision, and I will be seeking an immediate meeting with the Housing Executive to demand an explanation for this delay. I will also be seeking a meeting with the Minister to reiterate my concerns and stress that these works need to begin as soon as possible.”
Responding to Cllr Brett’s concerns, a Housing Executive spokesperson said that the scheme had been delayed due to “contractual and procurement issues.”
“The scheme for homes in Queens Park is currently on the programme, with an estimated start date of August 2015. Due to contractual and procurement issues it will not take place as initially anticipated in spring 2014,” she explained.
“This is an external maintenance scheme, which will include redecoration and repair works, where necessary, to roofs, chimneys, doors, windows, brickwork, roof spaces (tank and pipe insulation), paving and hard standings etc.”
Meanwhile, the DUP’s council election candidates for the Threemilewater DEA - Robert Hill, Billy Ball, Pamela Barr and Stephen Ross - have called on the Housing Executive to bring forward a window replacement scheme in the area, which is due to start in October.
“Although we welcome the scheme and the benefits it will eventually bring to residents we also feel that winter is not the time of year for our residents, including pensioners and families with young children, to endure a period, no matter how short, without windows in their homes,” they said.