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Lisburn Council to discuss Power Sharing on Local government

5 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Lisburn Council Group Leader Cllr Paul Butler MLA has said that there is an opportunity to advance partnership politics on local councils over the coming month.

Mr Butler said:

"During the month of June, councillors will meet on the 26 local government councils across the north of Ireland to elect new civic office holders as well as appoint chairs and vice-chairs to committees.

"On councils with a nationalist majority, the principles of power-sharing and proportionality have been well established and, consequently, unionists will take up many of the posts in these councils without any dissension from within the ranks of nationalism- as should be the case.

"However, in unionist controlled councils like Lisburn and Antrim - as well as many others, nationalists once again face being excluded and marginalised as unionist politicians fail to come to terms with the dual principles of power-sharing and partnership that even their own party colleagues at leadership level have embraced through the new Executive and all-Ireland institutions.

"It is time for a new chapter to begin at local government. The DUP, as the largest unionist party on both of these councils, holds the key to a future based on partnership and equality. All of the wafer thin excuses formerly used by unionist politicians to justify discrimination have been stripped away. Now is the time to affirm their true commitment to democracy, power-sharing and a future as equal partners." ENDS

Note to Editors

The council will be meeting tonight, Tuesday May 6th, at 6 pm to discuss power sharing arrangements on Lisburn council.

There has only been one nationalist mayor of Lisburn council in 35 years.

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