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A5 money must be used wisely

19 June, 2013

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said that it was important to have the A5 monies secured for projects that are shovel ready rather than lose it back to the British Treasury.

 Speaking at the debate in Stormont Mr. McAleer said,

 "Sinn Féin introduced an amendment to ensure that monies freed up from the A5 holdup are used immediately on projects that are shovel ready and that it is an Executive rather than a departmental decision where these monies go.

 "It is crucial that rather than attempting to make a cheap headline on pet projects that cannot meet the criteria of a start date before monies are returned to the British Government we use it for shovel ready ones.

 "Not only will this improve infrastructure across the North but will also be a much needed boost to the construction industry.

 "Sinn Féin also moved to ensure that these projects would be identified and agreed through the Executive as opposed to giving one Minister absolute control of this money.  We were concerned that projects West of the Bann would again be ignored in favour of projects in the greater Belfast area.

 “With the A5 designated an Executive priority it is important tat we spend this money wisely.

"Given the lacklustre approach of the local UUP to securing the A5 I wouldn't have confidence that in giving total control of these monies to their minister we would see any benefit in this area from further investment.

 "I was disappointed that the SDLP were content to allow this money to be pocketed by one department and therefore exclude investment in projects like the shared educational campus at Lisanelly.”

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