DUP and Sinn Féin still have questions to answer over funding decision, says McDonough Brown

The DUP and Sinn Féin had the opportunity to show they respected all ratepayers’ of Belfast and they blew it, Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown has said, after a pact the two parties made to carve up £200,000 got the final go-ahead.

Speaking after a special Strategic Policy and Resource Committee meeting – which saw the DUP and Sinn Féin press ahead with plans to allocate money without a fair and transparent process – Emmet added the Alliance Party would not let the matter go, planning to raise it with the audit office next week.

“The Alliance Party again tried to block this move, wanting to see a fair process open to all installed within City Hall,” Emmet said.

“What is clear is that this plan between the DUP and Sinn Féin was decided and agreed long before any details about how the money would be spent were unveiled by their chosen organisations. This is not fair, especially while many other organisations never had the opportunity to be fairly considered.

“Also, it continues to amaze me that while the DUP and Sinn Féin remain incapable of working together at Stormont, when it comes to City Hall and the allocation of public money they manage to put all other differences aside to secure a common goal.

“The Alliance Party is proud to be the voice the reason and will continue to call out any and all injustices when it comes to ensure clear openness and transparency – which is why we are not accepting this abuse of power, but instead taking the case to the audit office. And we welcome the SDLP and UUP in joining us in that move.

“We must send a signal, this type of carve up is never okay and I would challenge every DUP and Sinn Féin member who signed up to this to explain exactly why they believe party politics must come before a fair process for all.”

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