The Roe Valley Chamber of Trade has called on local councillors to put an end to the “petty squabbling” and “refocus their energy on issues that will create jobs and wealth”.
The call comes after the Roe Valley town dominated the headlines in regional newspapers and on the television and airwaves for a second consecutive week.
The trail of bad publicity stems from a row over TUV councillor Boyd Douglas flying a Union flag inside the Council chamber in protest at Sinn fein mayor, Sean McGlinchey, a former ex-IRA prisoner.
Some of the headlines alluded to the return of the ‘bad old days’, branding Limavady ‘Dimavady’.
Responding to the barrage of publicity, vice president of the Roe Valley Chamber of Trade, Marc McGerty said: “Over the past few days and weeks I have spoken to traders and business people throughout the borough and it is clear that they are getting tired of the ongoing petty and childish sectarian squabbling that has been tarnishing the good name of the borough.
“When council work together they can achieve great things, however, with 1,500 people in the borough unemployed and nearly double that economically inactive we believe Limavady Council have other more important things to address.
If the same energy and passion was put into developing the local economy we wouldn’t be in the economic crisis that we are currently in.
“Throughout the borough of Limavady we believe community relations are excellent, and in fact community relations practices by school children in the borough has been acknowledged as best practice, so maybe this is a good time for the adults to start listening to the children!
“The retail, tourism and hospitality sectors in Roe Valley are dependent on shoppers and visitors stopping in the borough and spending money in local businesses. The recent damage makes it much more likely that the Roe Valley will be bypassed by shoppers and tourists, further impoverishing the borough.
“I think I speak on behalf of all businesses in calling for council to refocus their energy on issues that will create jobs and wealth and reduce poverty in the borough.”