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Attwood must clarify his hostile position to assisting deprived communities – Anderson

22 September, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA (Foyle) Martina Anderson has called on Social Development Minister Alex Attwood to clarify his position on the Community Renewal funding bid from OFMdFM following today’s committee meeting and his ‘bizarre’ comments on the subject in last weeks Irish News.

Speaking from the Assembly this evening Ms Anderson said;

“Last weeks criticism levelled by Alex Attwood and the SDLP against OFMdFM’s “Community Renewal Fund” is one of the most bizarre to date from a party who stand for little but are opposed to lots.

As part of seeking to help assist areas suffering the greatest levels of deprivation OFMdFM put forward a bid to be considered as part of the next Comprehensive Spending Review and are in the early stages of developing a programme to tackle poverty in the most disadvantaged communities in the north. I welcome the news from the First Ministers at today’s Committee meeting that they intend to raise this matter further with the British Chancellor in the coming period.

This programme will go to compliment and be additional to existing departmental interventions in areas of disadvantage.

The bid, like all others, will be considered by the Executive and it is they who will decide; so last weeks bizarre and anti-community intervention from Alex Attwood has been further exposed as being more about headline grabbing than about actually helping those people and those communities in most need during very uncertain and difficult economic times.

All of this is further information being brought to those of us on the Committee, which includes SDLP representatives, so Alex Attwood’s assertion that this funding application is in some way ‘secret’ or being ‘cooked up’ needs urgent clarification from the Minister.” CRÍOCH

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