The East Belfast MLA said: “I am very disappointed by the Minister’s decision to cancel this meeting with parents and local politicians. I understand that, on occasion, meetings do have to be cancelled at short notice; however, what I fail to understand is her refusal to reschedule the meeting. Whilst elected representatives do have the opportunity to meet with Ministers on a reasonably frequent basis, for the parents of Lisnasharragh School, this was their only opportunity to speak directly to the person who will ultimately take such a momentous decision about the school which their children attend. Her refusal to
reschedule is particularly disappointing given that the Minister has also turned
down a number of invitations to visit the school and meet the pupils and
parents who will be directly affected by her decision.
“I would again extend an invitation to the Minister to attend the school and meet with the parents and teachers so that she can make a truly informed decision on the proposal for closure. Surely that is the least that the parents, pupils and teachers deserve.
“This whole episode again demonstrates the problems with part-time Ministers being flown in to take decisions. What we need are locally accountable ministers directly responsible to the electorate and the restoration of the Assembly.”