LARNE Council is to encourage rural residents to display their house numbers in a bid to combat problems faced by the emergency services.
East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan tabled a written question to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to highlight the difficulties that paramedics and other emergency teams can encounter when trying to locate rural properties.
In response, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said she would support a call for rural residents to display their allocated house number, but added that it was primarily a matter for local councils to consider.
In a letter to the local authority, the Minister stated that councils were empowered to allocate postal numbers to houses in their district and that, other than in exceptional circumstances, the number should be prominently displayed so that it can be easily read.
“This is an important issue, as the emergency services and the general public need a way of locating and referencing properties,” she added.
At a recent meeting of the environment committee in Smiley Buildings, chief executive of Larne Council, Geraldine McGahey said: “I think we should be actively encouraging such a move.”
Councillor Mark McKinty added: “I would urge the council to appeal to the common sense of rural people and I propose we write to the Ulster Farmers Union to ensure their members have their house numbers displayed.”
The proposal was seconded by Alderman Roy Beggs, who also suggested that bins should display house numbers to help tackle the problem of waste contamination.