Ducks plan ‘dead in water’

Carla Lockhart
Carla Lockhart

A DUP proposal to have the Ducks of Magheralin reinstated in the village looks set to fall ‘fowl’ of council’s cost-cutting policy.

Having agreed to look at the costs of reinstating the display bed in Magheralin, the proposal from Councillor Carla Lockhart has had its winged clipped while clarification is sought on the DUP notice of motion.

Back in February 2011 council decided to remove flower beds across the borough on non-council lands outside the public realm areas resulting in a saving of £30,000.

On being issued with this instruction, parks staff added topsoil to all the beds and grassed them over with the exception of Magheralin. This omission was due to an active community group who wanted to look after the bed and staff therefore did not convert this area into grassland.

Those looking after the bed have since stopped maintaining it. However officers were aware that there was a renewed interest in the community group taking over responsibility in the future through Ulster in Bloom.

The cost to upgrade the existing bed is £130.44, while the cost to replace with annual winter and summer bedding would be £1033.92

The option to replace the ducks with coloured stone would set the council back £486.96 while the fourth option was to do nothing.

The fear was that any decision to progress this initiative now, could lead to a number of community groups expressing a desire to have beds within their locality reinstated also.

The cost of this option would be well in excess of the £30,000 saved in 2011.

There was potential for the local community group in this area to maintain the bed in the future if council agreed to reinstate it at this stage.

Members had requested that officers ascertain if Magheralin was included in the village regeneration programme and officers could confirm that two village notice boards and some seats were being installed.

It was advised that the village notice board and park benches would be installed in a different location to the proposed site for the sign.