Laneways across the city will be cleaned and revitalised to allow communities to take pride in once neglected backstreet corridors.
Over the years laneways have become a public health risk in the Rosemount and the lower Strand Road areas because of illegal dumping.
Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper said these lanes are privately owned meaning residents could not avail of any council interventions.
In other parts of the city where for example the Housing Executive owns the land it has provided funding to transform once troublesome alleyways.
One such project in Ballymagroarty saw residents transform a laneway with hanging baskets and planters in which they now grow their own fruit and vegetables.
The Glen Development Initiative (GDI) looked at the possibility of securing a funding package to clean the lanes while also offering employment to people in the area.
GDI was granted funding from the council through the community growth partnership – each neighbourhood renewal area was allocated money, Cllr Cooper explained.
Equipment was bought for the provision of services in the Foyleside DEA, for the maintenance of back yards and so on, but the equipment will also be used to clean every laneway.
Cllr Cooper said: “The idea is that it’ll do every single mews lane in Rosemount, every single mews lane in the lower Strand and Racecourse Road over the next couple of months.
“GDI have a Men’s Shed who would do crafts, woodwork and other bits and pieces.
“The idea is that the youngsters will clean the lanes, and instead of allowing the weeds to grow back again, planters boxes, hanging baskets etc will be made in the Men’s Shed and put it the lane so that it looks presentable.”
With the lanes being used by residents it is likely that people will be discouraged from dumping there or ‘shamed’ by locals.
“It’s a win win, we’ll have residents using the back lanes, they’ll be kept clean, it creates employment for the young people and the work of the Men’s Shed will be put to good use.
“This will be a long-term solution because when we’ve got council in to do a clean-up as a one off the lanes then go back to square one with the weeds growing and so on.
“But this way, if the lanes are being used by the residents themselves, if anyone does attempt to dump materials the residents can intervene,” Cllr Cooper added.
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