‘Robust response’ to Programme for Government

Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15
Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15

Derry and Strabane Council’s Chief Executive said the council has left the Executive in no doubt as to the need for investment in Derry ahead of the new Programme for Government being published.

Mr. John Kelpie said the council had formulated a “exceptionally robust response” to consultation “arguing very strongly” for jobs and investment in the western region.

He said they had also called for support for major infrastructural projects “that this council and legacy councils have been campaigning for many years” to be prioritised.

Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher earlier said it was vital the council make a strong case and actively point out the regional imbalance in the north.

He said the council should be making it clear that there was massive unemployment in Derry and Strabane and warned that the government was looking at paying off thousands of public service workers and was administering welfare cuts.

“What sort of impact is that going to have on public services? It is going to have a great impact,” he said.

Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming said that his party had made it clear that it was demanding a regionally balanced economy.

He also said it was important to recognise that issues around cuts and constraints originated with the Tory’s austerity policies.

The new Programme for Government will set out the N.I. Executive’s main priorities for 2016 to 2021.