SEVERAL weeks of antisocial behaviour at the ‘Flat Pad’ in Strabane culminated in an extensive fire at the weekend.
According to reports items such as wheelie bins, tyres, a bicycle and even a tree were set ablaze at the site adjacent to Melmount Villas, also known as the Plot Pad.
Council grounds maintenance workers were subsequently on site at the beginning of the week removing the debris and rubbish.
“The clean up of the Plot Pad is now well underway following representations I made to council’s Environmental Services Department,” West Tyrone MLA, Maolíosa McHugh said.
“The fire bugs responsible have shown complete contempt for the local community and should wise up.
“Full credit to the unfortunate council workers who have had to pick up the pieces of this wanton destruction and have to spend hours trying as best they can to clean up this mess that has been left behind.”
Similarly, SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said locals have suffered this antisocial behaviour for an extended period of time.
“For weeks the residents of this peaceful residential area have suffered the consequences of the reckless behaviour of vandals setting fire to their bins and burning car and lorry tyres behind their homes and on a public pathway which is used by large numbers of local people on a daily basis.
“Over the weekend, a number of bins and tyres were burned, a tree was set on fire and considerable damage caused to public and private property. After visiting the site, I am disgusted to see the extent of damage caused and the obstruction of this pathway which prevented elderly residents and families from accessing the area.
“I would ask those responsible for this unnecessary and unjustifiable behaviour to desist. The residents of this area do not deserve to suffer this, nor can they afford to continually pay out for new bins. This town belongs to us all, take some pride in the place in which you live and do something positive with your spare time instead of abusing and destroying public and private property.”