Councils town aand village signs not in place as Newry Mourne and Down District Council goes into second term.
Downpatrick Councillor Dermot Curran voiced his frustrations at the absence of new council signs for Newry Mourne and Down District Council noting the signage outside his home village of Ardglass and across the district generally.
He explained that the issue of council signage had been discussed in the pre-council formation stage and into the new council but somehow it seems to have settled on the back shelf.
Cllr Curran said: “It is vital if we are to be a top tourist destination that we present our villages and towns and indeed Newry in the best light. At the moment this is not happening. Visitors and tourists see old, dirty and often damaged signs at the entrances to the communities and I am at a loss to understand why this is so.
“An overhaul of this council road signage is long overdue. While we are trying to fight for inward investment to our district, we do need to present our case in the best light and for that reason signage is one important method of doing this.
“My own village of Ardglass is a classic example… it is an ‘historic fishing port’ and this should be written on the entrance signs. We have seven castles here, and local business people are making great improvements as I speak to the number of B&B’s available and I understand there is a growing interest for a small hotel too in the village.
“Local people too in Ardglass through different groups are working hard to make a difference to the appearance of the community and and I think Council needs to be seen to be helping these efforts too by modernising the signage.”
Cllr Curran explained that it was just “unacceptable” that the district is still using old Down District Council and Newry and District Council signage.
He added: “Many small villages and towns like Ardglass have the potential to be key players in the tourism infrastructure. So I will be asking the council officers exactly what is going on in relation to signage. Hopefully going forward we will get this sorted out before the next tourism season for 2020.
“I think it would be good for different towns to have bespoke signs with wording such as ‘historic fishing village, ‘market town’ etc.
“There is a danger especially with the impetus of the new administration centre to be built in Newry that the rest of the district gradually gets left behind.”
(Down News requested a response from Newry Mourne and Down District Council but a spokesperson said that due to holiday arrangements a response would not be issued until the week commencing the 12th August. Down News will post this update when received.)