Alliance: Ormeau vote a victory for everyone in Belfast

Alliance MLA and Belfast Alliance Group Leader, Cllr. Naomi Long has hailed

the decision taken by Belfast City Council to locate its new leisure centre

for South Belfast at Ormeau Park as a victory for everyone in South Belfast

and across the city.

She highlighted the fact that the new centre would be located at the most

neutral site on offer, according to the PWC survey commissioned by the

Council, and would provide a far wider range of facilities than that

possible at the alternative Maysfield site.

Cllr. Long said, “Tonight this Council has taken a decision which will mean

that we can provide a top rate leisure facility for everyone in South

Belfast. Whilst it would appear that nationalist Councillors would have

been happy to short change ratepayers with a second rate facility at

Maysfield, it will now be possible to provide a much better equipped centre

at Ormeau Park.

Arguments about the site being less neutral simply do not stack up. The

independent report found that both Maysfield and Ormeau were considered

neutral sites in surveys and, in fact, there were even fewer concerns

expressed about the neutrality of the Ormeau site, making it the most

neutral site. It is sad that some politicians have tried to sectarianise

this issue but in the end their arguments have not prevailed.

I hope that tonight marks the end of an era of pandering to sectarian

divisions that meant that we always had a duplication of services. The

result was multiple second rate facilities which cost ratepayers a fortune.

Hopefully this decision can mark the beginning of a new trend which Alliance

has continually campaigned for- top class facilities which are accessible

for all. Tonight has been a victory for everyone in South Belfast and

across the city.”

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