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Sinn Fein demand power sharing in Lisburn Council

17 June, 2009

Sinn Fein has warned Unionists politicians on Lisburn City Council that any legislation going through the Assembly to confer city status on the new Lisburn council will require cross community support at the Assembly and that unless the DUP remove the blockage on proper power-sharing arrangements on the Council, Sinn Fein will not support such legislation.

Paul Butler was speaking ahead of the Council AGM this Monday 22nd June. Legislation is required under the new boundary changes which will see Twinbrook, Poleglass and Lagmore move into Belfast.

Paul Butler said:

“Any legislation to confer city status on the new Lisburn Council will require cross-community support in the Assembly. Sinn Féins support for such legislation will be contingent on whether or not arrangements are in place within the Council to guarantee proper power sharing and genuine partnership.   

“The abuse of power by Unionists on Lisburn Council has meant that Sinn Féin representatives are excluded and the council is being run to a unionist agenda. We are continuing to challenge this. We will not countenance a situation where the present unacceptable and undemocratic arrangements are recreated under a new Lisburn City Council.

“Nationalists hoped that when city status was conferred on Lisburn that it would become a city for everyone including nationalists and non-unionists.

“Sinn Féin supported the campaign for Lisburn to become a city on the basis that Lisburn Council would be more inclusive and representative of both communities within Lisburn.  This will require the establishment of new governance arrangements within the new Council based on genuine partnership.”

Paul Butler continued:

There is no willingness by unionists on Lisburn Council to share power with Sinn Féin despite the fact that we have had a power sharing executive at Stormont since May 2007. Power-sharing, mutual respect and equality should apply to local councils such as Lisburn. City status should not be conferred on Lisburn until it changes its discriminatory policies.”

Notes for Editor

New legislation regarding city status is required due to the boundary changes which will see Twinbrook Poleglass and Lagmore areas move into Belfast. When city status was conferred on Lisburn in 2001 it included areas such as Twinbrook Poleglass and Lagmore being part of Lisburn city.

When the boundary proposals were brought forward by the Boundary Commissioner it arose that city status for the new Lisburn council area would need new legislation to be put through the Assembly. 

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