Belfast Alliance Councillors plan for the future

The Alliance group on Belfast City Council has published its manifesto for the remainder of this Council term.

Alliance group leader Michael Long said: “Alliance has delivered positively across many areas for the people of Belfast, both through the work of our eight Councillors in City Hall and eight MLAs at the Assembly. We are the first party to clearly set out what we have delivered and what we aim to achieve over the remainder of this term.

“In City Hall, Alliance has identified three themes to our work; A Shared Belfast, An Open Belfast and A Liveable Belfast. Through these we will aim to provide a comprehensive service for our citizens across the community.

“A key success of the Shared Belfast theme was the removal of a peace wall in North Belfast. We have also worked on developing ways to tackle the abuse of symbols on street furniture and delivered an agreed strategy for dealing with memorabilia at City Hall. We have just published our Language Strategy, which seeks to support the Irish language and Ulster Scots culture. We also believe more needs to be done to support the language needs of newcomers to our city.

“An Open Belfast seeks to help make Belfast open for business in every sense. We have advocated a more transparent approach to how the Council does business, including broadcasting meetings and publishing Councillor expenses and allowances. Alliance believes that segregation results in financial waste, which can be better used for our citizens if we can break down barriers.

“A Liveable Belfast supports the develoment of a city that is healthier, greener and culturally vibrant. We have supported initiatives that have improved leisure facilities, and worked to protect greenways, which many people use for leisure and exercise activities. For Alliance, mental health issues have been a core element of the public health agenda, and we have worked with statutory and voluntary bodies to help Belfast become a zero suicide City.

“Looking to the rest of this Council term we gave set ourselves challenges to build on our successes. We will work to ensure all new Council policies are proofed to assess if they harm or help our move towards integration. We recognise that a strong Belfast economy can be a key driver for the region, so we will seek to establish a City Growth Strategy. The devolution of regeneration powers, which has been reneged on by the Communities Minister, would be a vital economic tool and we will lobby for this to happen soon.

“Openness and transparency in public life helps to engender public confidence and we will continue with the successes we have had to date and also ensure Councillors only attend conferences and events that provide value for money and will benefit Belfast. Bonfires and flags can prove to be divisive and we will aim to develop an effective strategy to support the celebration of cultural activities in a lawful way.

“Our Assembly team will be working to deliver marriage equality, which we as Councillors give full support to. It is important that all our citizens feel equally valued.

“Belfast is an amazing city and Alliance believes we can play an important role in making it make it truly Shared, Open and Liveable.”

The Manifesto can be accessed at the following link,

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