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Community Confidence Forum for West Belfast

11 May, 2008

Sinn Féin west Belfast MP Gerry Adams and British Direct Rule Minister Paul Goggins will tomorrow announce the establishment of a west Belfast Community Confidence Forum.

The Forum has been modelled on the Upper Springfield Safer Neighbours Forum. Mr. Adams today described it as "a positive development which has the potential, if properly resourced, of making a real difference to the quality of peoples lives in west Belfast."

The approach taken in the Upper Springfield area, of bringing community, political, statutory and policing and justice agencies together has made a significant difference in the area in recent years.

The West Belfast Community Confidence Forum will seek to replicate that model and extend it across the entire constituency.

The west Belfast MP Gerry Adams has held a series of intense discussions with Paul Goggins on this in recent months.

The meetings with Mr. Goggins have been part of Sinn Féin's wider initiatives to deal with Policing and Community Safety issues, particularly following the murders of Harry Holland, John Mongan and Frank McGreevy.

The objective of these talks has been to secure the establishment of a west Belfast Forum, as well as additional resources.

Gerry Adams said:

"The decision that will be announced tomorrow is a major step forward. Of course, its success will depend on the commitment of all the agencies and groups involved, and the financial and resource commitments they are prepared to make to this approach.

"Sinn Fein's priority is to ensure that the people of west Belfast live in safe neighbourhoods with access to a proper and accountable policing service, a criminal justice system and statutory agencies that are dealing efficiently with their needs." ENDS

Note to Editor:

The Forum will be formally announced at a press conference in the Falls Community Council tomorrow morning, May 12th at 10am.

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