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Newry Housing Executive Office Closure

6 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has expressed his deep concern at today's news that staff from the Newry District Office of the Housing Executive are being transferred to Craigavon.

Mr Brady said:

"Staff from the maintenance department have been told that they are moving to Craigavon. This has a wide series of implications. It will cause major inconvenience and distress to those staff affected, and also gives further credibility to those who have voiced concerns as to the whole sustainability of the District Office and the plans that the Housing Executive have for it.

"Housing Executive staff that I have met and discussed the issue with are completely demoralised. They are saying that the District Office is being hammered into the ground, and is effectively being "closed by the drip". Departments are being trimmed and shifted off, and the next question we will probably see from those in charge will be about the viability and need for a local Newry Office.

"I am deeply concerned that this is part of a wider pattern of the closure of offices providing public services in the area, in recent times we have also seen the departure of the Rates and electricity office personnel from Newry, as prime examples.

"I will be contacting the DSD Minister Margaret Richie to seek clarity about the issue of transfers, and an assurance about the sustainability of the Newry City office.

"The people of Newry and Mourne are entitled to a full, effective and efficient service from the Housing Executive. The only way that the type of service we need can be maintained is with a fully resourced and staffed District Office." ENDS

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