Hailing it as an Alliance victory – the Party has constantly campaigned for a fair, legitimate process – Councillor Long said he was ‘glad common sense prevailed’, adding he was particularly pleased to see the DUP completely u-turn on the issue, recognising the Alliance Party’s genuine concerns.
“Regardless of the groups involved, this has always been about Belfast City Council acting in an open and transparent manner,” he said.
“Yet again Alliance has been left to hold others to account, exposing the ad hoc nature of allocating this funding. With any sort of formal process lacking, it appears that while the DUP has u-turned on the issue, Sinn Fein remains content with the groups funded on a first come first served basis.
“To date OFMdFM has failed to provide a legitimate process. Every time this issue has been raised at Committee I have made it clear Alliance believes there should be no further funding without a proper process ensuring the scheme is open to all.”