I intend to come back to the blog on a more regular basis once again.
Last week saw the Indian community celebrate the Diwali festival. Similar to the our own Celtic celebration of Samhain it was great to see so many at the Short Strand Community Centre last week taking part in the celebrations. There was a great mix of music, craic, food and dance, well done to everyone involved in making it such a success.
Regular readers of the blog will know how important the campaign for the closure, demolition and replacement with the social homes at Mountpottinger Barracks has been to the community in the Strand; thankfully work is currently underway inside the base to dismantle it and we will no doubt see real physical progress in the coming weeks. We must now ensure we keep the pressure on the DSD Minister to ensure the site is developed with Social, Family housing.
At the top of the Mount we succeeded in getting the Housing Executive to remove a number of unwanted (and many would say unnecessary)flowerbeds. Residents were concerned that the flowerbeds were simply being used a dumping spot and were becoming increasingly unsightly to look out their living room windows at. Haven spoken with residents along there, they are glad this work has taken place.
A number of us recently went to planning service objecting to a planning application for 32 apartments on a vacant site beside the shops at the opposite end of the Mountpottinger Road. You can read more on that issue here
Tonight Sinn Féin in east Belfast will hold their selection convention to choose who will go forward for the party in the upcoming elections. I will be sure to keep you all up to speed on that!
PS: And I forgot to tell you that after a long piece of work the NIE have completed work to remove the redundant electric substation at Strand Close. The facility has been removed after concerns that given its inactivity, it because used for graffitti and antisocial activity. The Short Strand Partnership are working with local residents in the hope that they can come up with ideas around what to do with the small, vacant piece of land. One idea has been to locate a piece of community art on the site to brighten the area.