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£7m for deprived areas welcomed

19 February, 2009 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed news that £7m is to be
spent in deprived areas over the next two years, ending months of
speculation and uncertainty that key community posts were to be axed.

"I welcome the announcement by the Social Development minister that
jobs in the Neighbourhood Renewal scheme are to be continued until
2011," said Carál Ní Chuilín.

"This will mean an extra £7m for some of the most deprived communities
in the North.

"Sinn Féin has been lobbying since August last year for an extension
to the posts of people working in Neighbourhood Renewal as they have
been providing vital services in areas which are suffering most from
poverty, neglect, discrimination and social inequality.

"The announcement that these jobs will now be supported until 2011
will also bring to an end the uncertainty which has hung over the
future of these posts and the services they deliver like a dark cloud.

"We hope that these workers can now get on with the task of ensuring
that those most in need can continue to avail of their services."
Carál Ní Chuilín also said that the two-year breathing space provided
by the announcement now needed to be used well.

"The work carried out by people working to renew and rebuild deprived
communities cuts across several government departments," she said.

"Tackling poverty, neglect and deprivation is clearly an issue of
social justice.

"All departments, which have a role in ending the inequalities which
flow from these social evils, must use the next two years well to make
the transition from Neighbourhood Renewal as seamless as possible

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