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No Guarantee from Margaret Ritchie that Neighbourhood Renewal jobs will be saved

13 October, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Carál ní Chuilín, has slammed Margaret Ritchie's failure to guarantee that Neighbourhood Renewal jobs, currently under review by her will be saved. This follows a Private Notice Question to the Minister for Social Development asking her to clarify her position.

Speaking today Ms ní Chuilín said:

"Today in the Assembly the Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie, refused to say whether jobs and services from Neighbourhood Renewal Projects would be lost. Those in Neighbourhood Renewal jobs based in Belfast need clarity on where Margaret Ritchie's review will leave countless projects across the city.

"The simple fact is people in many community workers in these projects are now on protective notice because of the failure by Margaret Ritchie to move on this vital issue or give any indication of what groups will receive funding.

"These are projects that cover a wide range of themes and deliver much needed services to some of the most deprived wards in the North of Ireland. Issues such as suicide prevention, family centres, crèches, interface projects to name few are ones that will suffer.

"This is not new money. This traunch of funding was agreed in the budget. However none of this money has been released form the end of August. Margaret Ritchie is now, in effect, guilty of political interference in much needed jobs and services in areas of high social need." ENDS

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