Only one prospective employer is scheduled to visit East Derry in the next three months, it has been revealed.
In the past year, just two prospective employers visited the area “with no indication that any jobs will arise out of these visits”, according to Limavady SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.
The Limavady town councillor said Limavady’s third place ranking as an unemployment blackspot in the North should serve as a “reality check” for Limavady Council “where petty incidents over flags must be relegated to the back burner and indeed out the door”.
“The haemorrhaging of jobs over the last decade and, in particular, the loss of nearly 1, 000 jobs at Seagate alone has created untold despair and despondency on a level unparalleled anywhere and is not being addressed with any degree of urgency by those now in control on the hill at Stormont,” he said.
“John Hume’s observation many years ago that people can’t eat flags is now more relevant than ever in the borough of Limavady where the preservation of existing jobs and businesses has to be a priority coupled with a new determination to bring new employment and new wealth to an area crying out for it.
“In a question tabled by our assembly member John Dallat this week asking the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arlene Foster for details on employment prospects in the future she replied that there is only one prospective employer due to visit East Derry in the next three months.
“Only two prospective employers visited the area in the last 12 months with no indication that any jobs will arise out of these visits.
“I have repeatedly asked for Limavady to be made a special case with an employment task force made up of the various stakeholders sitting down together with the relevant ministers at Stormont to identify the opportunities for reversing this employment wasteland.
“Unfortunately I can detect no sense of urgency outside the SDLP which would suggest there is a sense of urgency and a real concern for people who are increasingly losing confidence in the ability of politicians to address real issues rather than silly pranks relating to flags and their own sense of importance.”