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Concern at funding threat to community and voluntary sector

18 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill has expressed concern about the continued funding of the Community and Voluntary sector because of the reduction in monies coming from Europe and the failure of the Executive departments, particularly Social Development to deliver mainstream funding.

Ms O'Neill said:

"SDLP Minister for Social Development Margaret Ritchie needs to give detail of how she intends to maintain, develop and fund the community and voluntary sector in light of the reduced funding from Europe in the next period. We are facing a crisis in our community and voluntary sector and the Minister is not giving any indication that she has any understanding of the seriousness of this issue."

In a question put to Margaret Ritchie today Michelle O'Neill has asked the minister to explain what her long term plans are for the community and voluntary sector.

Michelle O'Neill said that a lot of valuable work is done by this sector and we must ensure that groups are not left in limbo due to a funding crisis. She added:

"This matter must be taken up immediately and as a priority by the minister if she is going to support this good work of the community and voluntary sector." ENDS

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