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Sinn Féin launch North West Charter

26 February, 2007


Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin's North West Charter, Foyle Assembly election candidate Ms Anderson said,

"Sinn Fein has a vision of an integrated North West Region - and to that end we welcome you here today to the launch of Sinn Féin's North West Charter.

"Historically, wealth creation in Ireland has been concentrated along the Belfast - Dublin - Cork Bloc. Over 68% of the wealth created in Ireland is located in the Belfast and Dublin areas.

"Partition - and by extension the existence of the border has distorted the political, social and economic life of the people of Ireland - particularly the people of Derry and Donegal. It causes poverty, dislocating public services, economic systems and infrastructure.

"Given that poverty is a human experience and not merely a mathematical calculation, Sinn Féin is proposing a new type of planning approach which involves the development of a co-ordinated plan that pools our collective resources, creates common public services, and promotes the growth of economic enterprises within the North West of Ireland.

"Building an integrated North West region would mean that local government departments on either side of the border could no longer work in isolation from each other. The plan outlined by the British and Irish government for a North West Gateway Initiative - is insufficient, because it is a non-statutory integrated spatial plan which puts no obligation on government departments to implement it.

"To achieve an Integrated NW region requires the development of joined up regional government; it requires the development of an integrated area plan, accompanied with a dedicated NW anti-poverty strategy to eliminate poverty in the region.

"Derry is part of the basket case economy of the North and whilst we sit alongside one of the strongest economies of the world in the twenty-six Counties, not all areas in the Twenty Six Counties have benefited from the Celtic Tiger - as proven by life in Donegal. Sinn Féin believes that both governments have over looked both Derry and Donegal. We want to see our areas become a highly competitive and attractive employment location and a region of excellence and innovation for the new ICT/Knowledge based industries.

"Sinn Féin supports the creation of a North West Workforce development forum and seeks to ensure that local bodies such as the Strategic Investment Board and others are legally oblige to consider the probable impact of Local Labour Clauses when appraising capital projects. Can you image the community benefits that would result from ensuring apprenticeships and the up skilling of our youth were built into contracts?

"Sinn Féin also seeks the establishment of a North West Small Business Task Force to develop a comprehensive NW strategy for the indigenous Small Medium Enterprise sector.

"These are only some of our proposals. As the only all-Ireland party that has increasing political representation across Ireland, Sinn Féin will use every ounce of our increased political strength to create an Integrated North West region." ENDS

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