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DUP failure to meet November deadline will have far reaching implications for local people

24 August, 2006

Cllr Willie Clarke MLA has said he is determined to use his time as Chairperson of Down District Council to increase awareness of why it is so necessary to reinstate the Power Sharing Executive in the run-up to the November the 24th deadline.

Cllr Clarke said:

"The negative implications for people should the Power Sharing Executive be mothballed indefinitely will mean, to name but a few, increased water charges, further cuts to health and education budgets, rates' hikes and ever stricter planning regulations. This will be the lasting legacy of having unaccountable Direct Rule Ministers taking decisions where they are answerable to no one.

"There is little or no pressure being placed on the DUP to strike a deal with Sinn Féin despite the fact that power sharing is a fundamental aspect of the Good Friday Agreement. In the run-up to the November deadline, I am determined to engage with business people, community groups, sporting organisations, the clergy, trade unions and ordinary people across Down District in order to listen to their concerns and emphasise how important it is Assembly Members are given the opportunity to do the jobs they were elected to do.

"It must also be remembered that the British Government dissolved the previous Assembly in the most arbitrary way possible and in so doing undermined an internationally recognised agreement between two sovereign Governments which has now led to the people of the six counties being disenfranchised and severely penalised.

"When we had locally elected Ministers like Martin McGuinness and Barbrie de Brún in place, they were able to make a real difference to peoples' lives and implement measures locally such as increased funding for schools across Down District and the building of the new Downe Hospital which is set to commence soon." ENDS

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