LOCAL COUNCIL. Mayor Lommel critical of Batopin: “Fortunately, small banks still offer ATMs”


Geert VanBaelen

Church policy: Alderman Peter Vanderkrieken (cd&v) reviewed the updated Church Policy Plan. “The churches of Balendijk, Barrier and Kattenbos are no longer used for worship. All kinds of partners are looking at which new destinations are possible for these church buildings,” said the aldermen. “The churches of Lutlommel and Kolonie will remain open until the end of 2025. As you know, there are plans for a heritage house in Kolonie and the church factory is also negotiating a possible redevelopment in Lutlommel. The church of Stevensvennen, which has been completely withdrawn from worship services, can now be prepared for a complete redevelopment. The winter chapel in Kolonie will eventually remain available for worship.”

ATMs: Opposition council member Stefanie Lieben (Samen/Vooruit) asked about the continuing complaints about the CASH point on the market square in Lommel, which replaces the ATMs of the major banks. “In the meantime, we have been in contact with Batopin, but for now they remain deaf to our comments. We see that this is also the case in other municipalities,” outlined Mayor Bob Nijs (CD&V). “We have also discussed this issue in the mayoral meeting and want to bring it before the VVSG. After all, this problem will spread throughout Flanders by 2024.” In Lommel, the criticism of a difficult location and accessibility continues to apply. “Despite our comments, the door has still not been adjusted. However, more cleaning is already being done. But I maintain that the services around ATMs are being phased out far too quickly. Fortunately, there are still smaller banks that do offer an ATM and take into account a social reality in which people still pay with cash.”

slum lords: Opposition councilor Sooi van Limbergen (PVDA) noticed that some slumlords were active in Lommel and he wanted to know how the city could act against this. Alderman Nancy Bleys (cd&v) responded in detail about which steps can be taken. “After a report, the mayor can take the initiative for a housing quality control. In 2022, 28 procedures were initiated in which 10 homes were declared unsuitable and 11 uninhabitable. As a preventative measure, we also write to all private landlords to request a certificate of conformity. In 2022, 31 certificates of the 41 requests were delivered. The city can assist the tenant with legal advice and consult with the owner to possibly provide another building.”

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