The Alliance Party in Castlereagh has opposed a DUP /UUP motion calling for the Council to bestow Peter Robinson with the Freedom of the Borough at a special Council meeting.
Cllr Michael Long believes that it is inappropriate that on only the second awarding of the honour to an individual, a sitting Council member should be the recipient.
Cllr Long said: “Alliance could not support this motion, as to do so would be to endorse the record of DUP rule, assisted by the UUP, over the past 20 years. During that time those from other political traditions have not had their electoral mandates properly recognised by the DUP and Castlereagh has become one of the few Councils in Northern Ireland which has refused to embrace power sharing.”
“As a party which calls for equality and justice for all, Alliance could in no way back this motion, which would effectively be endorsing the DUP’s style of negative politics.”
“Alliance believes that it was completely inappropriate to support the awarding of the Freedom to a fellow Councillor when he is simply carrying out the duties he was elected to do. There are many other people in our community who voluntarily work to improve the lives of people in Castlereagh who are more deserving of this kind of recognition.”
“The fact that the Council has awarded one of its own Councillors such a position when he would be only the second individual to receive the award smacks of self-congratulations. The Councillor in question has already been singled out for special praise, as the Council’s swimming pool is already named after him; surely this is reward enough for anyone!”