A LOCAL councillor has called on statutory agencies to tackle "unsightly" weeds that have blighted kerbs and footpaths in the Beechmount area this summer. 

People Before Profit representative Matt Collins relayed residents' health and safety concerns over a lack of regular street cleaning. The Black Mountain councillor said constituents across the Upper Falls area had reached about the state of their streets.

He said residents feared the weeds could create a hazard for people with mobility issues or disabilities. 

"There is a sense that they are being neglected by statutory agencies and the level of weeds growing along kerbs and footpaths is getting out of hand," he said. 

"Some of those who contacted me about this issue are pensioners and residents with mobility issues or disabilities, they fear it is becoming a health and safety issue, as well as being unsightly.  

"At the end of the day, you'd unlikely get this in the most affluent parts of the city and people living along the Falls Road shouldn’t have to put up with it either.

"The Department staff and our Council workers who clean our streets provide a brilliant service to this community, but there is clearly a need for more investment in street cleansing, as the workers who do carry out these jobs are often overworked, overstretched and underpaid.

"I have been in touch with both the Department for Infrastructure and Belfast City Council to request action to address this, in the short term to target areas that really need it at the moment, and in the long term to ensure the infrastructure and investment is there to clean our streets on a regular basis."

A Departmental spokesperson said: “The Department’s 2022 weed control programme in Belfast is underway and plans (for) the Beechmount area are currently being finalised.”

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said: “Belfast City Council is not responsible for the maintenance of roads and pavements, including the removal of weeds. This is the responsibility of the Department for Infrastructure. However, on occasion council staff will work to remove weeds from a particular area where they are impacting our ability to carry out other council services.”