Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Derry City Council censors DSD Minister for lack of commitment to Derry

28 November, 2008

Sinn Féin Group Leader on Derry City Council, Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed the support for a Sinn Féin Amended motion which commits Council to seek an explanation from DSD Minister Margaret Ritchie about her failure to include local labour/social requirement and procurement guidelines in the Dove Gardens, or the Public Realm plan projects in Derry while including them in the Victoria Square project in Belfast.

Maeve McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin will not be lectured by the SDLP about our record in standing up for Derry regardless of the Minister we may be dealing with.

"For the last three months we have seen an attempt by the SDLP - through motions to council - to engage in cheap political point scoring and blame republicans for all the ills on this island. All of this has been framed without any acknowledgement of ensuring that equality and partnership are central to the workings of the Assembly - a point which will come back to bite the SDLP.

"The record speaks for itself - in the previous assembly with the SDLP at the fore we had 10,471 job losses in the north west, a draft investment strategy (ISNI 1) which took no account of tackling regional disparities, INI total contribution to this city was 8% compared to 73% in Belfast., a ban on rail investment, no movement on investment on roads infrastructure in the North west and a regional development strategy which failed this city miserably

"How has their SDLP Minister, Margaret Ritchie addressed the housing needs of this City prior to the Credit Crunch? The 10% cuts made by DSD are now threatening the construction of 280 social housing units in Skeogh?

"Helen Quigley wants the Executive to increase funding for Invest NI! If Helen Quigley wants to raise money for Invest NI, maybe she could start by asking them why they are spending a million pounds of taxpayer's money renting an empty building at Campsie? Or why those gurus of economics at Invest NI managed to conspire to spend £125m of OUR money on a new headquarters in Belfast, which they didn't need and which is worth only £25m.

"If the SDLP want to be taken seriously they need to come out of their fantasy world of make believe where everything good emanated from the SDLP and all the ills were the fault of everyone else." ENDS

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