Major concern at closing down of access to Stormont
Sinn Féin MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has voiced concern at the negative message being sent out about access to Stormont and said that there must be a greater commitment to opening up the corridors of the Assembly to the general public and the media.
Mr McLaughlin said:
"While everyone accepts, particularly following the Michael Stone incident, the need for improved security the fact is that now the one of the first images visitors have of Stormont is a padlocked gate at the bottom of the steps and a sign saying 'No Entry'.
"I am deeply concerned that the implementation of the recent security review has meant that there is a more negative message being sent out about access to Stormont at a time when there should be a greater commitment to opening up the corridors of the Assembly to the general public and the media.
"Having been at the Assembly for some time I believe that we are now moving in the wrong direction.
"I am also concerned at the costs associated with the new arrangements and with bottlenecks at the new single security point.
"If we are looking at what we can do then one of the first things we need to look at is the provision of a dedicated visitor's facility." ENDS