NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive have denied suggestions that Rathcoole residents are being treated like “second class citizens.”
Both organisations spoke out this week after an East Way resident contacted the Times claiming that government agencies need to do more to help keep streets and grass areas within the estate clean and tidy.
The man, who didn’t want to be named, commented: “It’s an absolute uphill struggle to get anything done in this estate. We’re paying our rates and taxes like anyone else, but we’re being treated like second class citizens. Agencies like the council and the Housing Executive do the absolute bare minimum required and sometimes they don’t even do that.”
While admitting that much of the rubbish problem in the estate is down to local people discarding cans, bottles and other litter inappropriately, the man added: “A very small percentage of people are responsible for the littering and I believe that agencies like the council, the Roads Service and the Housing Executive could and should be doing more and taking more pride in this estate.”
A spokesman for the Housing Executive said that its contractors cut grass areas in the estate on a regular basis (weekly in the summer months) and perform litter collections at the same time.
“Over the last two years the NIHE customer service unit has only received three complaints about litter, all of which were dealt with soon after,” he commented.
“In 2011 the Rathcoole estate won an award for the Best Kept Large Housing Area. This is a testament to work performed by residents, our grounds maintenance staff and contractors. The NIHE asks residents to support their work in order to ensure that the area is kept in the best condition possible.”
In relation to street cleaning within the estate, a council spokesperson added: “The street cleansing teams are in Rathcoole every other Tuesday. This follows in sync from the bin collections each fortnight on a Monday.
“In addition, the street cleansing teams respond during the fortnightly period to individual complaints and clean up specific problems that are reported to them.
“If anyone has any specific concerns in relation to street cleansing they should contact the council on Tel: 9034 0056.”