Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Dove Gardens Housing scheme ‘at risk’

14 January, 2008

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has criticised Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie after it emerged that a major housing project in Derry's Bogside is 'at risk'.

"I recently wrote to Margaret Ritchie asking her to state what priority her Department has placed on the Dove Gardens housing project which would see 63 badly-needed new homes built in area of high deprivation.

"I was extremely disappointed by her response which stated "Once Planning approval and Northern Ireland Housing Executive project approval are in place, North & West (Housing) intends to proceed to onsite stage. However all new capital projects are currently at risk pending the outcome of the draft budget".

"That simply isn't good enough. These homes are desperately needed and it is Margaret Ritchie's responsibility to ensure that they are delivered.

"She is under no more pressure than any other Minister and it is unacceptable for her to continually scaremonger around issues that affect the most vulnerable in order to mask her ineptitude.

"The Minister needs to stop whinging, show leadership and come up with innovative, imaginative solutions to meet the needs of the people she is there to serve.

"When Conor Murphy's bid for funding for the Derry railway was turned down, he committed himself to sourcing the money elsewhere.

"That is the kind of leadership which Margaret Ritchie needs to be demonstrating rather than simply wringing her hands and blaming everyone else for her Department's shortcomings." ENDS

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