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Sinn Féin request Magherafelt council meeting to discuss street disturbances

24 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Magherafelt Councillor Peter Bateson, following the serious street disturbance in the Sperrin Drive and Leckagh areas of Magherafelt last weekend, has written to the Chairperson of Magherafelt Council Paul McLean (DUP) requesting a meeting of all elected representatives from Magherafelt Town at the earliest opportunity so that they can collectively begin to examine the serious issues that are affecting neighbouring communities and agree to the establishment of mechanisms to address ongoing issues.

In his letter addressed to the DUP council chairperson, Councillor Bateson said:

"I am sure you are as disappointed and frustrated as I am at the events of last weekend in the Sperrin Drive and Leckagh areas of our town. These serious civil disturbances are having a huge detrimental impact on the quality of life for the many people who live within these areas.

"As Chairman of Magherafelt District Council and elected representative for Magherafelt Town you can undoubtedly play an important influencing role within the area. I as an elected representative for Magherafelt Town and as Vice Chairman of Magherafelt District Council also wish to use my influence positively to see if a resolution to the problems can be found.

"It is important that in the current political climate the community is receiving a strong collective message from all political parties in the district that this type of behaviour has no place within our areas. An important starting point in all of this would be to show the entire community that all of the political parties are at one on this."

Speaking to journalists today, Councillor Bateson said

"Elected representatives and service providers as well as the great and the good who purport to be community leaders must not think that they can sit comfortably in their private developments and ignore what is happening to those who are trying to get on with family life in the midst of all the chaos that is happening in Magherafelt housing estates. Now is the time for true community leadership and solidarity." ENDS

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