Use of security firm at amenity sites queried

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The Chair of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Environmental Services Committee has questioned Council’s use of a private security firm at its amenity sites.

Following the reopening of amenity and leisure facilities Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough confirmed that it was using Eventsec staff at both its recycling centres and parks.

This has led the Environmental Services Chair, Councillor Darryn Causby, to wonder if the money used on this service could have been better spent elsewhere.

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Responding to questions from the Local Democracy Reporting Service a spokesperson for the Council said the use of Eventsec staff is covered by central government funding.

“There are eight Eventsec staff at four recycling centres,” said the Council spokesperson. “Their role is to provide support to Council staff in managing the flow of cars into the recycling centres.

“Eventsec staff had also been employed in parks but that finished on Friday, May 29. The position of other Eventsec staff will continually be reviewed with the possibility of further staff being required as other recycling centres open not yet determined.

“The employment of Eventsec staff to fulfil these roles has come at no cost to Council since these additional costs are covered by central government funding.”

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Councillor Causby says he is interested to know if the money allocated to Council from central government could have been put to use elsewhere in the borough.

“There is a central government fund these Eventsec staff are being paid from what i don’t know yet and what I am waiting on an answer to, is if that money could have been used by Council for something else,” said Cllr Causby.

“As councillors we are being asked these questions by constituents. Certainly at the Fairgreen Recycling Centre in Portadown, things are working fairly well now.

“On the two occasions I have been down this week there has been no need for EventSec staff, the site has not been swamped, there were very few cars and I was there before midday.

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“Personally, I thought it strange we still required them, the staff at the site are doing a good job. Whether the staff at the site feel they need the Eventsec staff there I don’t know but at Christmas and New Year we don’t bring them in.

“Now, in mine and my party’s opinion, it is time that we trust our staff to manage the sites, we know they are very capable of doing so.”

The DUP’s group whip also called on Council to open up all recycling centres and restore them to full operation as soon as possible.

“We are also keen to see sites return to full operation capacity and by that we mean all vehicles and all waste types accepted as soon as possible,” said Cllr Causby.

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“We want a full service resumed as soon as possible and we believe it is safe to do so, particularly with social distancing measures in place.

“It is good to see that amenity sites at Keady and Dromore have opened but it is now time other sites are opened as well and we want to see it sooner rather than later.”

Adam Morton , Local Democracy Reporting Service

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