West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Fein pressing Housing Executive on Inisfree Gardens ECM Scheme shortcomings

Published: 17 September, 2013

Sinn Féin is pressing the Housing Executive to address shortcomings in the ECM scheme carried out at Inisfree Gardens in the town.

Local Councillor Jay Mc Cauley said,

It is clear that the range of remedial works undertaken to Housing Executive homes in Inisfree Gardens has not been as extensive as those undertaken in other ECM schemes such as: the concrete canopys over the front doors of properties being replaced for health and safety reasons; walls, fences and railings at front and rear of properties being left unpainted; railings along footpaths left unpainted; walls along back allyways left unpainted and outstanding remedial work to the small wall at the entrance to the estate outstanding.

Also residents have reported to me a range of snag problems within their properties which have not yet been actioned particularly in relation to the replacement of some defective windows and doors.

I have been in e-mail and verbal contact with the official in the Derry Housing Executive Office responsible for overseeing this ECM scheme in relation to these outstanding issues. In response he stated that when the scheme was commissioned these works were not were not included, "in line with NIHE policy at the time."

The official went on to state that approval was subsequently sought from "the Housing Executive in Centre, as required under its standing orders," to have these additional works included in the scheme but for "procurement reasons" these were unable to be approved.

Given that this is the first ECM scheme in Inisfree Gardens in 10 years it is unacceptable that such essential works have been left undone because of a procurement issue. Michaela Boyle MLA wrote to the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive asking that he intervenes to ensure that all works are completed in full and we eagerly await his response.

I have also been lobbying for some time to have the back lane from Fountain Terrace backing onto Inisfree Gardens re-surfaced and I welcome confirmation from the Housing Executive that this is now programmed to be carried out in November. Having also raised local concerns among local residents about asbestos being present in shed roofs in Inisfree Gardens, the Housing Executive have now come back saying that they have investigated the matter and are advising that no asbestos has been found and hopefully this will alleviate these local concerns.