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Sinn Féin hand Blair 12,000 strong petition against cuts to ELB services

14 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson, Cllrs Maeve Mc Laughlin (Derry) and Desy Ward (Banbridge) travelled to Downing Street yesterday where they handed in a 12,000-signature petition protesting at the erosion of the Education System in the Six Counties.

Speaking after the visit Michael Ferguson said

"It is a tradition in Ireland when one has a grievance to take the issue to the home of the wrongdoer and seek restitution so my colleagues Cllrs. Maeve Mc Laughlin and Desmond Ward are joining me for this purpose."

"We have a petition of 12.000 signatures which is a token of the frustration and anger felt across civic society at the deteriorating conditions within our schools"

"In the last two years we have lost over 500 school staff, in one area alone we lost over 78 school crossings and school transport in other rural areas where it is most needed.

"Instead of building confidence by investing in our schools British direct rule ministers boast about so called 'efficiency savings that have left schools without music and sports coaching, safe routes to school and teachers whose stress levels are rising and morale's at an all time low."

"This is the cost of British direct rule. The sooner the two government make it clear to everyone that they will get the institutions back up and running the sooner the DUP will move into the world of real politics and being to allow us to take responsibility for local issues. The longer the DUP refuse to engage the greater the damage that direct rule will do to our essential services." ENDS

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