A DATE has been set for Derry City councillors’ walking tour of Strabane and Castlederg, that they might see for themselves, the “disparity in funding” for local areas.
First mooted back in July in a motion to council by Strabane independent councillor, Raymond Barr, the walk will now take place on Friday, October 15.
Cllr Barr said he conceived of the motion so city-based representatives might appreciate the lack of facilities in areas of deprivation, following years of neglect.
“I will be highlighting the areas I would like them to visit,” Cllr Barr noted. “The so-called river walkway – this hasn’t been sorted out since the flood (in 2017). And if they’re walking around the centre of town I’d like them to see the greenway – such as it is. And then the playparks, like the one in Courtrai Park. It’ll show them how lacking we are in that department. We’ve seen other places like Sion and Artigarvan get updated facilities and that’s great but I’d like to see more for Strabane areas.”
Cllr Barr remarked that he would have liked to have shown the city reps around some of Strabane’s green areas, “but,” he added, “We simply don’t have any.”
“I know the public realm works is designed to upgrade the town. Hopefully that goes ahead soon. But for me, the state of the town speaks for itself. And that’s why we want the city councillors to see for themselves the obvious disparity in funding between Derry and places like Strabane and Castlederg. I’ll interested in what councillors have to say rather than council officials. I would like to get an honest opinion after the event, in terms of what they think of what they’ve seen.”