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Sinn Féin demands "Equality of Treatment" for Strabane District

14 March, 2006

Strabane Sinn Féin Councillor Ivan Barr, through a motion to be debated at the full monthly meeting of Strabane Council tonight (Tuesday 14th March), is to challenge what he describes as not only the indifferent attitude of the Direct Rule Administration to the economic plight of Strabane District and its people, but also the discrimination against the district due to the continued absence of a package of economic and social regeneration measures equivalent to that being made available to other areas of acute economic and social deprivation.

Cllr Barr said,

"The motion is calling on Council to express its growing concern and frustration at the continued failure of the Direct Rule Administration to pro-actively respond to repeated Council requests for the District to be designated as an area of "special economic and social need" and for a comprehensive package of economic and social regeneration measures to be brought forward in an effort to help turn the deteriorating economic situation in the District around.

"It also notes with interest the initiatives that are currently being undertaken by the Direct Rule Administration in terms of formulating and rolling out economic and social aid packages for certain areas that are deemed to be economically and socially deprived.

"While welcoming these initiatives the motion demands consistency from the Direct Rule Administration and given that Strabane District tops the multi-deprivation league in almost every category and in light of the continuing catastrophic job loses we are demanding that economic and social aid packages are targeted on the basis of need and not political expediency

"If the motion is successful Council will be officially writing to British Secretary of State Peter Hain to express the above sentiments, to seek clarification as to the qualifying criteria for the economic and social aid packages that are being currently overseen by his Direct Rule DSD Minister David Hanson, and to challenge him as to why no similar economic and social regeneration package has been forthcoming for Strabane District. ENDS

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