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Adams raises concerns over Shankill

1 November, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP for West Belfast this morning spoke to NIO Minister David Hanson. Mr. Adams raised with the British Minister his concern at the absence of a coherent regeneration strategy for deprivation in urban areas.

In particular he raised with the Minister Sinn Fein's worries that the approach currently being taken by the government in respect of the Shankill area is unlikely to see any substantial progress in the socio-economic conditions of people living there.

Mr. Adams said:

"I am concerned that a potentially dangerous situation is developing where working class unionists blame working class nationalists for their difficulties and that the British government might feed into this through the decisions it takes in the allocation of resources.

"The fact is that unionist working class areas have been politically abandoned for many years by unionist politicians. Consequently the levels of deprivation and poverty have increased.

"Any agenda for regeneration and reconstruction needs to be consistent with the Good Friday Agreement and should ensure that areas are targeted on the basis of objective social need. This requires the widest possible consultation and an inclusive approach to the allocation of resources. This was the approach adopted in the West Belfast Task Force initiative." ENDS

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