SDLP Councillor for Foyleside Shauna Cusack has spoken of her delight at the positive reaction and input of Council officers following an initial meeting to discuss her motion on combatting graffiti and promoting positive art projects in the City and District.
Cusack states ‘ I’m delighted to report that the first meeting with Council officers and myself has taken place this week to discuss how my November motion on the issue of graffiti and street art can be proactively progressed. I outlined to officers my strategy of a two pronged approach of being both reactive and proactive, with Council taking the lead in being the first point of contact for these issues.
I described how the public can report unsightly and offensive graffiti to Council and their reactive approach should be to ascertain the property owner responsible and advise them on the options available, whether that be to conceal, remove or replace with an art project or works.
I would hope that any property owner whether that be a large organisation or local business would be receptive to acting on any suggestions and help to improve the visual impact of their environment. I also highlighted how homeowners, who have found their own property attacked with graffiti, can also receive advice on how and where to receive help and materials.
The second strand of my proposal was the call for Council to be more proactive in scoping out the potential for the extension of iconic works of art throughout the City and District, particularly in focal and gateway locations. I have listened to many constituents who are extremely passionate about people, themes and non political traditions such as music, but particularly our shirt manufacturing history which could be the subjects for some amazing works.
As a group we discussed the numerous pros and cons involved and while the officers shared my enthusiasm and ambition the issue of funding and finance will prove to be a hurdle to some of these plans. I am however undaunted. We are just at the start of this process but I have confidence that we will, in time and through perseverance, see these projects come to fruition. I believe that through working together Council, cooperations, the community and business will soon realise that the benefits of ‘the bigger picture’ are well worth the investment. ‘