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McAllister: Ratepayers should not be funding diversionary programmes

February 4, 2019 7:21 PM

Nuala McAllisterThe Alliance Party has again put on record its opposition to the inclusion of money designed to enhance a Summer Diversionary Programme - which includes diversionary activities for bonfires - being included in the 2019 rate for Belfast.

Having previously raised concerns both in committee and the January Council meeting, Alliance again pushed for the issue to be re-examined, criticising the rate of 1.98% - which takes an additional half a million pounds unnecessarily - as failing to deliver for everyone.

Councillor Nuala McAllister added: "Alliance has been strong in our condemnation of a plan that, simply put, will improve the life of some in our city at the expense of others.

"We are extremely disappointed that this rate has gone ahead unaltered, especially as we consistently proposed a more realistic rate of 1.67%, and we will be watching to see just how well this additional money is spent and if it really can make a difference later this year.

"As it stands, I would just remind ratepayers that this rate has been increased by the joint-up efforts of Sinn Féin and the DUP, who have opted to prioritise their own agenda over the promotion of the Belfast Agenda, or support for those in need."

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