Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long has said that the DUP should offer to cover the costs incurred by the Department of Regional Development after it lost its House of Lords case yesterday.
Speaking after a meeting of Castlereagh Borough Council at which the new Regional Transport Strategy was discussed, Councillor Long expressed his anger that money from the DRD had been used to fund a DUP legal action.
Cllr Long said that during the course of the meeting it was made clear by members of all parties that much of the strategy could only be implemented if adequate public and private funding could be secured.
He stated: “Now we have discovered that money from the DRD was used by the DUP for their legal action against the First Minister’s re-election.”
Cllr Long said that the institutions could have been brought down last November if three Alliance MLAs had not temporarily redesignated in order to save them.
“The DRD Minister, who is also a member of Castlereagh Council should recognise that he cannot cry poverty on his department’s behalf when he is spending its funding on court cases.”
“While I have no problem with the DUP pursuing their beliefs, I think it is a bit much that taxpayers’ money is used to pay for their political point scoring, especially given the scant resources that are available for our roads and public transport.”
“I would appeal to the DUP to meet the costs incurred by the Department in light of their acknowledgement of the great needs of the Department.”