Dickson disappointed by opposition to shared space amendment

Alliance Social Development spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has expressed his disappointment that the DUP, Sinn Fein and UUP voted against his amendment to the Licensing of Pavement Cafes Bill in the Assembly. The amendment would have ensured that any public space used by a café, restaurant or pub promotes shared space.

Stewart Dickson said: “I am disappointed that the DUP, Sinn Fein and UUP voted against my amendment. It shows that they won’t even take small steps towards the creation of a shared future.

“While they may pay lip service to a shared future with the publication of the ‘Cohesion, Sharing and Integration’ and ‘Together: Building a United Community’ strategies, it is clear that they won’t support a shared future when the opportunity comes to pass legislation on it.

“I put forward a reasonable amendment that would have further promoted the concept of shared space. If we are licensing public space to private vendors, we have a duty to ensure this space remains shared. The amendment would not have been burdensome on owners. It used the phrase ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ which would have protected licensees from the inadvertent display of material by clients. It would also have allowed displays for events such as St Patrick’s Day or a Royal occasion.

“I hope the public will realise which parties are actively working to promote a shared future and those who are seeking to block it.”


Alliance amendment to the Licensing of Pavement Cafes Bill

Clause 6, Page 4, Line 41

At end insert –

‘(1A) A pavement café licence must include a condition requiring the licence holder, so far as is reasonably practicable, not to display in the area covered by the licence anything that would be detrimental to good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.’ [Mr Stewart Dickson, Mr Kieran McCarthy]

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