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Spellar Renewal Strategy flawed

14 January, 2004


Commenting on the public launch of the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy in rural areas by British Direct rule Minister John Spellar, Sinn Féin spokesperson on poverty issues Kathy Stanton said:

"Neighbourhood Renewal has been presented as a key answer to tackling the unacceptable high levels of poverty and disadvantage which affects communities across the North. However this same strategy, which was introduced by the Labour government in Britain, has not made any significant impact on alleviating the many varied social and economic conditions facing disadvantaged communities.

"While Neighbourhood Renewal‚s objective to produce a more integrated approach to these issues has merit there are however deep concerns around the fact that additional resources have so far not been earmarked for its implementation.

"What is required is a multi-faceted approach and a serious commitment from British Direct rule ministers and Departments to tackling identified need in deprived communities of which Neighbourhood Renewal is but one aspect.

"It is also of extreme concern that a major flaw in the strategy is its complete failure to acknowledge the detrimental impact of discriminatory policies and practices employed by successive administrations. This remains a core issue which must be addressed by Ministers, departments and those with statutory responsibility for tackling poverty and disadvantage in our society. If not, then no amount of strategies will succeed in turning back the increasing despair which poverty imposes on too many people." ENDS

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