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Budget debate – will funding for vital community services be resolved

28 January, 2008

Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann speaking ahead of the Budget debate in the Assembly put a question to the minister of the Department of Social Development to what steps she will be taking to ensure that the additional resources allocated to her Department will include resolving the funding problems concerning vital community youth services in West Belfast and Shankill.

Ms McCann said:

"There are a number of concerns throughout West Belfast and Shankill that vital and essential services in the youth and community sector will be cut due to funding ending in March and June 2008.

"A report on the future of the community sector arguing for mainstream long term funding for community based projects including Youth projects has been with the Department of Social Development for several years yet none of the proposals have been implemented.

"I am calling on the Margaret Ritchie to use part of her additional allocations given to the Department through the Budget to resolve this situation immediately and secure those vital services that are due to be withdrawn.

"Community organisations in West Belfast and Shankill deliver a number of frontline services to local people. It is essential that these services continue and given the core funding they need." ENDS

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