Council intervene over Northlands ‘crisis’

Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Paul Gallagher.

Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Paul Gallagher.

Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC.) is seeking an urgent meeting with management at the Northlands addiction treatment centre in Derry.

The local addiction clinic hit the headlines recently when the ‘Journal’ revealed that a change in policy could threaten the future of the centre.

Northlands Director and Founder, Denis Bradley revealed at a public meeting last week that the clinic would close within a year because of a critical funding crisis.

Speaking at the Derry and Strabane Council AGM earlier this week, Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher, put forward a proposal asking for DCSDC to write to management at the Northlands. The majority of councillors voted in favour of Colr. Gallagher’s proposal.

“There are people walking around this town today because of the Northlands centre,” said Colr. Gallagher.

“If it wasn’t for the Northlands centre some of these people would be dead. This is why I think it’s important that we, the civic leadership within Derry and Strabane do everything we can. We need to avert a civic crisis,” added Colr. Gallagher.

The Northlands Addiction Centre opened in Derry more than 40 years ago. In 2015 the clinic was informed by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) that its funding would be phased out over the next three years, but the HSCB said it would make up the shortfall.