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Join the ‘Stand Up For Derry’ cavalcade – Anderson

18 January, 2008

Figures that reveal the massive extent of job losses in Derry prove the need for rapid investment in the city, Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has said.

Ms Anderson said:

"Statistics from the North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG) reveal that there have been 10, 471 redundancies in the region between 1998 and 2004.

"Add to this the recent job losses in Limavady and today's loss of almost another 100 jobs announced by 'Glenaden Shirts' and we have a truly appalling figure and a damning indictment of the neglect endured by Derry and the wider North West region for many years.

"It is against this backdrop that as part of the 'Stand up for Derry' campaign I am taking a cavalcade to Stormont on Monday 21st January. And it's statistics like these which demonstrate why just such a campaign is so necessary.

"Our party response to the recent Programme for Government budget projections highlights the regional disparities that continue to affect Derry and the North West disproportionately.

"While our response to the Budget, ISNI and PFG is not and cannot be made in isolation from the political and financial realities that confront the Executive and the Assembly we welcome the statement in the draft PFG that the watchwords for all of the Executive's policies will be fairness, inclusion and equality.

"I recognise that there are a number of major obstacles to the progressive development and delivery by the Executive of a new social, economic and political reality, including the fact that taxation and public expenditure policy are all set in London. Not withstanding these realities, I intend to do my utmost to ensure that Derry and the North West receive their fair share of government investment and job creation.

"As republicans, Sinn Féin believes that the only context which will truly deliver the sustainable economic and social progress, to which the people of the North are entitled, is within a United Ireland. But in the more immediate period, we are faced with the challenge of achieving the best possible outcomes within the economic and political realities of the here and now.

"Sinn Féin is concerned that the commitment within ISNI 2 to promote regional balance does not go far enough and will not effectively address the legacy of the past which has led to institutionalised disadvantage in Derry and West of Bann. That is one of the main aims of the 'Stand Up for Derry' campaign - to challenge the Belfast centrist focus of the Civil Service and those who can influence the thinking of the Executive.

"I would encourage every one who is interested in making the case for our City to join the 'Stand Up for Derry' campaign cavalcade to Stormont on Monday 21st January. Buses will be leaving Shantallow Shops at 9.30 am and Ráth Mór Business Park at 10.00 am. Those not wishing to travel by bus are welcome to join the cavalcade by car." ENDS

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