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Focus needs to be on those in greatest need – Sinn Féin MLA

4 June, 2013 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has called for more to be done to tackle poverty and social exclusion in areas of multiple deprivation. 

The West Belfast MLA made the comments as she opened a major two-day conference at the e3 Building on Springvale Campus.

Jennifer McCann said:

“The Delivering Social Change framework gives the Executive, working alongside the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, the focus to ensure that social policy is delivered in an holistic way across government departments.

“However it will be meaningless unless it results in real actions and outcomes which will tackle poverty and social exclusion.

“Today we're launching this conference in a building that straddles two of the most deprived constituencies across the North in terms of poverty and disadvantage. 

“North and West Belfast have seen a history of under-investment and higher than average cases of generational unemployment, health inequalities and a widening gap in educational attainment.

“Delivering social change has to be about making a difference and tackling poverty and social exclusion. We need to focus on health inequalities, poor educational attainment, family support, unemployment and the lack of lifetime opportunities for people.

“If we are to move forward to create a society where everyone has equality of opportunity then we need to have a particular focus in those communities and families who are in greatest need.”

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