A CAR abandoned outside a halting site in Bantry is hurting the town’s chances in the national tidy towns competition.
That’s according to Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) who raised the issue at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District on Monday, when she complained to Council officials that the car is now being used as a receptacle for rubbish.
Cllr Hegarty said she has received numerous representations about the fact that there is also a campervan parked outside the halting site at Harbour View and that the car is sometimes without wheels.
The locally-based councillor said one person wrote to her saying: ‘I place a value on taking pride in our town, for residents, other businesses, and visitors. The Béicín walk, the old pier, and the new amenity area are important facilities for the town and it saddens and angers me to see the condition of the road adjacent to the halting site.’
Cllr Hegarty told Council officials: ‘We want this area kept in a proper manner. The tidy towns committee is doing everything in its power to increase Bantry’s points and this are will be poorly judged unless something is done to make it look more presentable.’ The councillor said people are also asking questions about the new amenity area near the old Railway Pier and she asked for a report for their next meeting on what Bantry Port Company plan to do with it, or if it will be taken over by Cork County Council.
The County Mayor, Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) agreed that the area in front of the halting site had become ‘a bit of an eyesore’ and he asked the people living there to take responsibility for keeping it clean. The chairman, Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said he actually saw rubbish being dumped in the car last week and said: ‘It is a shame: this is one of the best beauty spots in Bantry and people don’t want to walk there.’
A Southern Star reader contacted the paper recently to make a similar complaint about the car packed with rubbish and also a supermarket trolley of beer cans at the newly finished amenity area.
He said a group of Asian tourists passed him as he was taking pictures of it and he felt very embarrassed for the town.
The issue was also raised for a second time at a second Council meeting when Cllr Hegarty complained at the Western Committee meeting, last week, that ‘nothing is being done about it.’
Cllr Hegarty insisted: ‘Something has to change.’ And she described how visitors to the town – during the recent West Cork Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Literary Festival –were asking her to explain: “What’s going on here?”
Cllr Hegarty insisted: ‘Every tenant has to adhere to rules and regulations.’ And she said that should be the case inside and outside the halting site at Harbour View.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) agreed saying: ‘Tensions are building. There’s a fear that the situation is coming to a head.’