The Alliance Party today led a cross-party delegation to the Audit Office, in a bid to highlight the on-going carve up of Belfast City Council funds between the DUP and Sinn Féin.
Joined by UUP and SDLP representatives, the meeting aimed to address the latest allocation of £200,000 to organisations pre-agreed by the DUP and Sinn Féin, without any consideration for a fair and transparent process, as well as addressing growing concerns around the abuse of the call-in procedure.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown said: “The Audit Office was extremely interested in what we had to say and I look forward to seeing how this funding mess is dealt with before the same problems can happen again.
“This was a cross party effort, signalling that party politics cannot come before openness and transparency when it comes to how ratepayers’ money is spent.
“We need to be realistic about what is going on here. While the DUP and Sinn Féin continue to stall Northern Ireland with a lack of progress at Stormont, they are both more than capable of working together when it comes to dividing up money at City Hall. This cannot be acceptable.
“Add to this carve up their determination to abuse the call in procedure, the one process in place meant to hold council procedures and elected representatives to account, and these two parties really have questions to answer.
“The Alliance Party has always been the loudest advocate for openness and transparency and we will continue to call out the attempts of others to take key decisions behind closed doors. That’s why Alliance will also be meeting with key civil servants from the Department of Communities to ensure these mistakes in process are corrected.”