Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

BangorDonaghadeeGroomsport

Welcome

Peter MartinI'm very privileged to have been elected by the good people of Bangor East & Donaghadee to serve them for the next few years in our new Borough. We live in a wonderful and very beautiful part of Northern Ireland.

Thanks for visiting my website and if I can help you in any way please get in touch – that is what I was elected to do!

Peter J. Martin Signature

Recent Updates

 

Gambling Addiction can destroy families

February
2019

We all know people who enjoy gambling and do so responsibly, however for some in our society gambling can have a deeply detrimental impact. It can destroy families and leave individuals being sucked into crime and even end up in prison.

 

Gambling Addiction can destroy families

Northern Ireland has a particular problem with gambling addiction. In 2017, the Department of Communities published research which found that 2.3 per cent of individuals living in Northern Ireland were found to be problem. In England, the equivalent rate problem gambling prevalence rate stands at 0.5 per cent, Scotland 0.7 per cent and Wales 1.1 per cent.

One of the worst offenders are ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals’ or FOBTs which are machines found in bookmakers and they allow players to bet up to £100 every twenty seconds on games such as roulette or simulated horse races.

These machines have been proven to be especially problematic for individuals at risk of problem gambling. HM Government has sought to take action to cut the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2. From April 1 2019, the stake will fall to £2 instead of £100 in the whole of Great Britain. Due to the lack of an Assembly, this change will not apply here. 

I was deeply concerned by the fact this legislation was not going to apply here. So along with my colleague Tom Smith we have now got Council agreement to write to the Department of Communities and the Department of Health highlighting the issue and asking them to take action to support those with this problem. We are also asking for a response from the NI TurfGuardiansAssociation (who represent bookmakers here) as to whether they will advise all bookmakers in NI to follow voluntarily the new legislation in GB.

 

 

Linear Park Oil Leak causes distress for local residents

February
2019

I was alerted last Thursday by a constituent about oil being present in the Cotton River which runs through Linear Park. I immediately contacted our Council Officers who had already being working on trying to find the source of the oil in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Northern Ireland Water. AES Marconi, who are experts in tracing oil spills, were also employed in trying to find the source of this contamination.

 

Linear Park Oil Leak causes distress for local residents

Our Officers have now concluded that the most likely cause of this was home fuel oil, spilling out of a household tank upstream, seeping into the soil and finally finding its way into the river. When I walked along Linear Park on Friday, even in high winds, there was clearly the smell of oil in the air. I was advised by a constituent that some residents had voluntarily moved out of their home because of the smell. 

This was a complex problem given the fact that the oil was not obvious above ground and most likely to be entering the river through the water table. I’m glad to say that Officers have advised me that we are now close to solving the problem. I would finally appeal to all householders in the area to check their oil tanks just in case one of them is still leaking.

 

 

Martin secures an extra £70,000 for Play Park

February
2019

For a number of years now I have been working towards delivering a new play park that will serve all the children of Ashbury, Ballymagee, Ballycrochan and Kilmaine. As part of our Councils Playpark Strategy for 2014–18 we commissioned an independent review of play provision within the Borough and this area was one of two which were highlighted as “cold spots”. In fact, based on the figures from that report, there were 2632 children in the area without satisfactory access to play facilities.

 

Martin secures an extra £70,000 for Play Park

In the summer of last year I conducted my own survey of the area to identify where residents felt would be the best location for the facility. As part of that consultation two areas were identified, Linear Park (which Council currently owns) and the green area adjacent to the Ashbury shops (which is in private ownership).

The budget currently attached to the project is currently £100,000. It should be noted that this is £25,000 less that the one currently being delivered in Scrabo. I have therefore asked Council this month to add an additional £70,000 of capital funds to the project. It makes sound sense to plan ahead in terms of budgets to ensure that nothing will hinder this project from completion. This addition money in the budget will allow flexibility to deliver the very best facilities we can for this area in terms of equipment and space. 

The final decision as to where the park will be situated is yet to be made and Council Officers are just about to carry out their own consultation exercise with residents in the area, but I personally found that a clear majority want the play park fenced, gated and situated at Ashbury. There were a number of legitimate concerns raised by residents who lived adjacent to Linear Park regarding the possibility of greater levels of anti–social behaviour. Residents need to understand that there is considerable work to complete in order to bring this project to completion but we have achieved a major step forward. I intend to press forward on this campaign to ensure this project is delivered in as timely a way as possible.

 

 

Let technology help our Dog Fouling problem

February
2019

People are rightly annoyed and frustrated by the behaviour of a tiny minority of dog owners who continue to let their dogs foul on our streets and near our schools. As a Council we continue to do our best to both clean up after these individuals but also catch and fine them.

 

Let technology help our Dog Fouling problem

We believe that technology has its part to play and we have therefore asked our Officers to research a number of Apps for mobile phones that will allow individuals to take photos of the dog mess and send them to directly to Council with the press of a button. There will be GPS technology in the App which will allow our Officers to compile a map of the worst areas and target both cleansing and enforcement resources most effectively. Given that resources are limited we need to ensure that Council uses them as efficiently and effectively as we can; this technology will allow us to do exactly that. We will now wait for Officers to bring back a report on the technology out that and if any suits the needs and requirements of our Borough. Rest assured that my DUP colleague and I will continue to fight hard to keep our streets and schools clear of this mess and to press for more enforcement action for those caught.

 

 

Leaving dog poo on the pavement is simply no longer acceptable

December
2018

Over the last number of days I have noticed a spike in the reporting of dog fouling on social media, particularly in the Robinson Road, Kilmaine and Towerview areas. A number of constituents have already contacted me directly about this.

 

Leaving dog poo on the pavement is simply no longer acceptable

The behaviour of some dog owners in allowing their dogs to foul and then not pick it up is wholly unacceptable. As well as being socially repugnant it can have serious medical repercussions for those of us with young children, should it get in their eyes from prams travelling through it. It needs to be made clear that most dog owners are very responsible and have already got the message to bin their dog foul, either in council bins or at home in their own green bin. But it is also clear that there remains a small hard core who feel themselves above such behaviours or who simply don’t care. We must catch these people and fine them appropriately. 

This Council has made very positive progress over the last four years with the sheer number of fines over this Council period escalating by over 400%. This is due in part to an increase in staffing levels but also we have better information coming from constituents through to Council Enforcement Officers so that streets and areas can be targeted at certain times in the day. I would encourage everyone to come forward with information which will lead to individuals being caught. You can telephone our enforcement officers directly on 02891 824005. I will be raising this current spike in dog fouling at the Environment Committee this week and asking that the areas that have already been highlighted to me will be observed by our enforcement teams with a view to catching the offenders.