11% cut to neighbourhood funding will undermine critical work: Tierney

Brian Tierney.
Brian Tierney.

SDLP Derry Councillor Brian Tierney has said that proposed cuts of 11 per cent to Neighbourhood Renewal projects will undermine critical work happening across the city.

He said: "Every public representative knows that value of Neighbourhood Renewal projects in their communities.

"The flagship programme is lifting people out of poverty and building new services in health, education, regeneration and environmental protection.

“Now Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy Managers are being told to prepare for a funding cut of 11 per cent that will critically damage their ability to deliver local services.

“I’ve spoken to staff, they’re telling me clearly that there is no room left for further cuts to a programme that has already had funding reduced by £7m.

“The Council should write to the Department for Communities to set out our strong objection to this path and defend those in our communities doing such vital work.”

His motion, passed in the Guildhall on Thursday, propoded that Council recognise "the value of Neighbourhood Renewal as a flagship programme to tackle poverty and disadvantage; further recognises the contribution that Neighbourhood Renewal projects make to our most disadvantaged communities across this Council area".

He further expressed "concern at the proposed 11 per cent cut to Neighbourhood Renewal budgets for the financial year 2018/19; and called on the Department for Communities to protect the existing budgets for these valuable projects".