Concern voiced over cost of new ‘welcome’ signs across Antrim and Newtownabbey

The cost of new “welcome” signs across Antrim and Newtownabbey was criticised at a meeting of the borough council’s Policy and Governance Committee on Tuesday evening.

New “welcome” signage for the borough’s villages was installed in February in Ballynure, Ballyrobert, Burnside, Doagh, Dunadry, Parkgate, Straid,Templepatrick, Toome and Whiteabbey.

“Welcome” signs on main arterial routes into Antrim, Ballyclare, Crumlin, Glengormley and Randalstown were erected in 2019.

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The next phase of the council’s  signage project is scheduled to extend to 29 hamlets in the borough.

A sign at the entrance to Straid. Image by Google

Antrim Ulster Unionist Councillor Jim Montgomery said that he had seen two signs, at Ballyclare Road and Belfast Road, which are legacy council signs.

“These two signs are not updated. We need to do a full audit of all town and village signs and get them up to date.”

Dunsilly Sinn Fein Cllr Henry Cushinan reported that one of Antrim and Newtownabbey signs at B182 road is within the Mid Ulster Council area.

Airport DUP Councillor Matthew Magill pointed out that Mallusk has not been included.

Commenting on the proposed new hamlet signs, Ballyclare Ulster Unionist Cllr Vera McWilliam asked: “Are these really necessary at this stage? The only one necessary is Ballyeaston which is now known as a hamlet not a village.

“Is it really necessary to put up signs for all these hamlets at the minute and the cost involved?”

An officer told councillors: “I’m very happy to review the list. The list of hamlets designated has been designated by the planning section.”

Dunsilly SDLP Councillor Ryan Wilson commented: “I would be minded to take a position where our signs are updated as and when they deteriorate.

“From an environmental and cost perspective, I think these signs are still in a decent enough condition, To take them down and incur that cost and scrap them, I just do not think that is an appropriate thing to do at this stage.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Councillor Billy Webb said: “I think it is important that hamlets are marked, and townlands. I do not want this to stop in order to preserve and maintain these names.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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