Alliance Councillor Connie Egan has said she is disappointed after some Councillors on Ards and North Down Borough Council voted to cut a community recycling fund in half.
The Recycling Community Investment Fund has funded projects such as sea bins, beach cleaning, community gardens and cigarette ballot boxes among others across the borough. Councillors from the DUP and UUP on the Council’s Environment Committee voted to halve the fund, a decision ratified by the same parties at this week’s full Council meeting.
“Cutting this fund is a massive step in the wrong direction,” said Councillor Egan.
“The fund was designed to encourage residents to recycle and see the benefits of doing that in the local community. In the context of a climate emergency, it is baffling some parties voted to cut this fund, given waste management is one of the most practical ways the Council can contribute towards sustainability.
“Since the decision to cut the fund was taken at committee, I have been contacted by many residents who have been helped by it and whose areas have been improved by projects coming from the fund. They are frustrated and I feel the same. That’s why I attempted to bring an amendment, alongside the Green Party, to retain the funding. It was disappointing the DUP and UUP voted to slash the funding in half.
“The loss of the Recycling Community Investment Fund will be felt across the borough, as it brought people together to work on projects in the community, while improving health and wellbeing for residents. The small grants went a long way to helping people and I am incredibly saddened they will not be able to access that same amount of money now.”