Anna Lo said: “Caitríona Ruane’s decision to make significant cuts to her Department’s community relations budget will have a very profound impact on services and on vital moves to ensure good relations across the whole community.
“We need to be doing all we can to tackle division in our society. Given the importance of providing young people with the most positive start possible, the education sector is one in which I would have hoped there would be strong community relations provisions, as opposed to cuts to them.
“This is a very important issue and I am glad to have the opportunity to put this to the Assembly. Creating a shared future has to be a top priority, and we need strong services, not cuts.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Alliance Party motion to be debated on Monday:
Motion – Department of Education’s Community Relations Budget
That this Assembly expresses deep concern at the Minister of Education’s decision to introduce significant cuts to her Department’s community relations budget for 2010/11; and calls on the Minister to explain how her Department can now make any meaningful contribution to building good relations between young people and to an overarching Executive policy on Cohesion, Sharing and Integration.