Alliance seeks meeting with Sinn Féin on education and tackling congestion

The Alliance Party is seeking a meeting with Sinn Féin and Party Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy MLA says they want to discuss delivering in education and improving public transport in Northern Ireland.

Kieran McCarthy MLA stated: “We are re-stating our determination to see the Assembly deliver by pushing Executive Ministers to prove that devolution works better than direct rule. Ongoing gridlock in our political system serves no purpose.

“We want to discuss how a compromise route forward on education can be agreed, based on improved resources for those outside the grammar sector and better matching of skills to the needs of modern business. We have also sought a review of the viability criteria for integrated schools, to ensure every parent who wishes to see their child educated in a mixed classroom as access to one. This is central to the Alliance strategy on tackling segregation and exclusion in Northern Ireland and delivering real shared future.

“On the Irish language, the Executive must not turn the issue into a sectarian bargaining chip, and that any resources allocated must be allocated on the basis of genuine need. We also want to discuss the Executive’s failure, thus far, to secure adequate resourcing for Sign Languages, particularly for deaf people seeking training and access to the job market. We cannot go on allocating scant resources away from those who truly need them, and could make a contribution to society with them.

“We will be raising our concerns on the Regional Development Minister’s transport and water charging policies. We must deliver a public transport and water delivery system that does not punish people financially, and reverse the current trend of focusing transport policy on roads rather than rail. This is at the heart of our objective of promoting social inclusion and sustainability.

“We will continue to seek meetings with each party’s leadership to find ways of placing the shared future agenda at the forefront of the Assembly agenda, not excluded from it as it was by all four Executive parties last year.”


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