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SDLP's crocodile tears for west Belfast

2 March, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann


West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann has accused SDLP Cllr Tim Attwood and his party of “failing to provide one single positive idea for tackling disadvantage in west Belfast”.

Her comments come after Cllr Attwood cynically attacked Gerry Adams' record as MP for west Belfast.

Speaking this evening Ms McCann said:

"In a written response to me this week the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has confirmed that unemployment figures in both South Belfast and Foyle are up by 717 and 966 since this time last year. The greatest number of men out of work is in Foyle. The greatest number of women out of work is in Foyle. The greatest percentage increase in unemployment is also in the Foyle constituency.

So by Cllr Attwood's infantile economics, his SDLP colleagues Foyle MP Mark Durkan and South Belfast MP Alasdair McDonnell are inept and should go.

In stark contrast to the lack of constructive proposals from the SDLP for west Belfast, Gerry Adams has provided real leadership in devising and implementing innovative job creation programmes and social improvement initiatives. Most clearly through the west Belfast and Shankill Task Force report which is part of the Programme for Government.

Cllr Attwood’s concern for the Visteon workers is commendable but what did he do to help? The fact is that the record shows that no elected representative worked harder on behalf of the Visteon workers than Gerry Adams – a fact acknowledged by the workers themselves.

If Cllr Attwood is really concerned for the citizens of west Belfast perhaps he could have a word in the ear of his Ministerial colleague the DSD Minister and persuade her to stop obstructing community participation in the Ard na Ghleanna project or invest in the Task Force report recommendations or meeting with the residents of the flats in Ross Road to listen to their demands for demolition. " CRÍOCH

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