I am sure the Minister is surprised that we are here to have this debate this evening, but I am sure he will understand that I believe in doing my best and pushing as hard as I can for my constituents so that they get the best possible services for their community.
As the Minister will remember he came to visit Beechfield at my request and met the Beecfield Residents Association and listened to their concerns at the state of the roads and paths in the area.
As a follow up to that meeting the Minister was good enough to write me a letter to outline what might happen.
And I quote
“In relation to Beechfield in Donaghadee, staff will be assessing the various roads raised for potential inclusion in a future resurfacing programme, however again this will be subject to funding allocations and other competing priorities. In addition consideration is also being given to replacing the concrete flagged paths with bitmap whilst addressing ponding issues.”
While the Minister knows that I really appreciate the visit and follow up there is no definite agreed way forward despite the letter. As the Minister is aware Beechfield is designated as an Area at Risk by DSD and there has been a lot of effort by DSD to put in double glazing and new heating systems into the HE properties and improve the lives of the residents.
Yet the one thing left to do is the problem with the state of the road infrastructure. I would remind the Minister that in the last three years alone there have been 105 potholes which clearly demonstrate the mess the road infrastructure is in at Beechfield. I know that work has been done to resurface Northfield Rd and work has started on Cannyreagh Road, but what about Beechfield Drive and Ashfield Drive.
Today I am hopeful the Minister would agree with me that it is time to do something with the area to help the residents and bring Beechfield up to the best possible standards we can, because I don’t want the Residents of Beechfield to have to put up with the state of the roads and I won’t be going away until the infrastructure is up to scratch.