Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin will defend Library Board services for children

2 November, 2004


Sinn Féin Lisburn Councillor Paul Butler, a member of the South Eastern Library Board has speaking ahead of today's Emergency Board meeting to deal with the issue of the financial crisis facing the Board has that Sinn Féin will defend services to children and young people.

Mr Butler said:

"Sinn Fein's priority is to ensure that problems within the SEELB will not impact on the quality of education for children and young people in the board area.

"The proposals aimed at cutting millions from the Board's budget could have very serious consequences. Children's education must not suffer because of problems with the board.

"We will defend services to children against cuts that could damage their education and safety.

"Within the SEELB area there is a significantly higher level of certification of children with special needs - with something like 4.2% of children certificated compared with the next highest which is something like 2.9%. Sinn Fein will fight any cuts to services that will affect children and young people with special needs.

"I know that my colleagues on the BELB will also fights cuts that will adversely impact on children and young people. While there are problems with the board the reality is that we should not be in a position where the direct rule education ministers enforces cuts that then impact on the quality of the school experience for our young people.

"It is clear that we need effective financial management throughout the Education Library Boards but equally we must have financial management within the Department of Education.

"The approach adopted by Barry Gardiner will have only one outcome. It will impact on services for young people and have a long-term impact on the education of our young people. This is unforgivable and it is time that Mr Gardiner accepted some responsibility for this situation." ENDS

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