Dual language street sign freeze request defeated

Mid Ulster District Council’s environment committee has voted against a proposal to halt dual language street sign applications until the policy has been reviewed.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:41 pm

The policy has been voted on at every meeting of the environment committee since October and it was also called into question at October’s monthly council meeting.

The issue reared its head again at January’s committee meeting when Councillor Clement Cuthbertson highlighted a dual language street sign application that saw nine surveys issued and received no responses.

The street in question is Cloneen Avenue in Dungannon. Committee members were made aware of the request for a survey on October 13, with surveys issued on October 23.

Cllr Clement Cuthbertson

The responses to the survey had to be returned by November 20. With nine surveys sent out and no responses received, there was no indication of a preference by occupiers in relation to signage being provided.

As such, a dual language nameplate at Cloneen Avenue will not be approved or erected.

Speaking about the issue Councillor Cuthbertson said: “Yet again we see one of the surveys someone has applied for has gone unanswered.

“This is going on and becoming more evident month by month.

“It comes at a time when our departments are stretched, some of our departments are sending automated responses out telling residents they are understaffed.

“This is a waste of resources and staff time at this time and I propose again these requests and surveys be put on hold until such time as the review of the policy, which is due to take place this year, has been completed.”

This proposal was seconded by Councillor Wilbert Buchanan.

Another proposal was put on the table by Councillor Brian McGuigan to continue the process as is. This proposal was seconded by Councillor John McNamee.

Councillor Cuthbertson’s proposal was then put to the floor and the committee voted against it meaning the policy remains in place.

Councillors Brown, Buchanan, Burton, Cuthbertson, Glasgow, Graham and Wilson voted in favour of Cllr Cuthbertson’s proposal.

Councillors N McAleer, S McAleer, McFlynn, B McGuigan, S McGuigan, McNamee, Milne, O’Neill and Totten voted against the proposal.

With the proposal defeated the process remains unaltered.

This is not the first time dual language street sign surveys have been distributed and no response has been received.

In October’s committee meeting, members were informed of a request for a dual language street sign for the Derry Road in Coalisland that also went unanswered.

This process, it was revealed, cost Council £90.

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