Derry City Council back addiction services report

Derry City Council has called for a report to be compiled on all addiction services currently available in the city.

The move comes after a motion tabled by SDLP councillor calling for the report received unanimous support at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council on Tuesday.

Colr. Tierney called on the Western Health and Social Care Trust to compile the report and identify any gaps in provision which need to be addressed.

During the debate on the motion, Colr. Tierney referred to work carried out by Sinn Féin councillor Elisha McLaughlin to establish a multi-agency taskforce to deal with addiction services available in Derry and accused her of using the issue as a “political football.”

Cor. Tierney said; “Before I conclude I would like to comment on the article in today’s Derry Journal which intimates that Sinn Féin are to establish a task force to tackle the issues defined in this motion. We as a party support any initiative that will address alcohol and substance addiction in our city but we do feel that any such task force should be representative of all parties and stakeholders in the Council area and not done on an ourselves alone approach.”

Colr. McCallion rejected Colr. Tierney’s claim and said: “This is not about politics and the problem is there has been too much politicking. Sinn Féin cannot deliver this alone and that is why we are bringing together this task force to take on this piece of work. There is no issue of with attendance of any party.

“It is disingenuous for the SDLP to say that this is in any way political.”

DUP alderman Maurice Devenney described the debate as “political posturing at its best” and said his party would be supporting any move to approve addiction services in the city.

“We know the problems and support this notice of motion. We are all aware of the issues and instead of bickering in the chamber we should be working together,” he said.