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Maskey accuses Belfast City Council of failing to implement anti-sectarianism strategy

30 September, 2003

Former Belfast City Mayor, Sinn Féin South Belfast representative Cllr Alex Maskey has accused Belfast City Council of failing to implement its anti-sectarianism strategy.

Cllr Maskey said:

"In the wake of a number of brutal sectarian murders in Belfast last year Belfast City Council charged the Good Relations Committee with developing a coherent anti-sectarianism strategy. That committee brought together people from trade unions, civic society as well as church, community and political leaders in a groundbreaking move that set in place an anti-sectarian strategy for Belfast.

"I am both angry and disappointed that Belfast City Council has failed to implement its anti-sectarianism strategy. All the good work that has been done is in danger of being completely wasted. This strategy is just sitting on a shelf somewhere within city hall gathering dust yet the problems of sectarianism confront us on an almost daily basis right across Belfast.

"Belfast City Council must not let the initiative or momentum in creating a broad based response to sectarianism be lost because of inaction or the lack of political will. My position remains the same as when I was mayor, Belfast City Council must take responsibility for tackling sectarianism and it must show leadership.

"I am going to call for a special meeting of Belfast City Council in order to take steps to act on the strategy that we have already agreed but is currently gathering dust. People have a right to expect the council to act on its commitments and strategies." ENDS

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