Dickson says that OFMDFM has had its head in the sand over flags resolution

Alliance Party Chief Whip, Stewart Dickson MLA, has said that the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister has had its head in the sand over the resolution of how flags are respectfully flown. His comments follow a statement by the PSNI saying that they will not interfere in flags disputes unless lives are at risk.

Mr Dickson said: “OFMDFM has had its head in the sand over flags for years. There is an urgent need for a new Flags Protocol to be agreed which is supported by all groups and is enforceable.

“It is the responsibility of OFMDFM to find agreement on flags, yet many people are not only asking what progress has been made, but whether any progress has been made at all?

“Calling for a new way forward on flags has been a long standing Alliance Party policy, yet OFMDFM continues to sit on their hands on this issue. It must be tackled if the DUP/Sinn Fein proposals ‘Together Building a United Community’ are to be successfully concluded by Christmas.

“The delays in resolving this issue have left the Police holding the line. However, they also have a duty to maintain the rule of law which include the removal of illegal flags and emblems such as paramilitary flags. The Police must work with other agencies including the Department for Regional Development and local authorities.”


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