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Coleraine votes against power-sharing in new councils after RPA shake up

19 December, 2007

Coleraine council have voted against a motion to have laws ensuring equality and power-sharing in the new Councils which will come into being under the Review of Public Administration.

The Sinn Féin motion was tied at 7 votes for and seven against therefore it fell. Five DUP councillors voted on block against the motion with two Ulster Unionists in support.

The proposer, Councillor Billy Leonard, said it "sent the completely wrong message out to the public."

He added:

"This was a straightforward motion which gave the opportunity for Coleraine Council to demonstrate a willingness to move forward. Seven unionists failed to show that type of leadership by voting against laws to uphold equality.

Ironically, it makes obvious the need for Arlene Foster to enact legislation to underpin equality, power-sharing and proportionality in the new set-up as it is clear that some unionists will not deliver these unless they have to.

There will be minorities in all the Councils. It is therefore essential that they are fully protected and if Coleraine unionists are anything to go by it is critical that there is legislation in place to do just that." ENDS

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