‘Culture of conversation’ solves issues

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SDLP Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood says Derry’s ‘culture of conversation’ is an example of how bringing people together to engage with each other can benefit society.

The assemblyman was speaking during Monday’s debate seeking a recall of the Civic Forum by the end of January. The SDLP motion was passed. Mr Eastwood said the true benefit of a civic forum is for people to sit down, debate and discuss, and try to solve problems before they arise.

Mr Eastwood said: “Take the example of our city in the last year, and even before that. The example is of the creation of a culture of constant conversation in which people, from all different sections of society, get together and look at problems that might arise.

“Why not cut these issues off at the pass? I do not understand why we would be afraid of that.

“The very fact that things like the flag protest happened is because of this place’s failure to get to grips with issues that were coming down the line.

“That is very sad,” he added .the Foyle MLA.