Alliance Carrickfergus Alderman Stewart Dickson has said the Executive parties must be made to pay for decisions they took in 2002 leading to likely fines for Northern Ireland for breaches of commitments on environmentally friendly sewage treatment.
Alderman Dickson stated: “How on earth can those of us who represent the people in local government now trust the Executive parties on planning and the environment?
“It is quite clear that the Executive parties, collectively, took a decision which was the worst of all options, knowing fine well that the people of Northern Ireland would have to pay for it later. This is incompetence of a truly shocking nature.
“Alternative options were presented to our local ministers at the time. Why should the people of Northern Ireland pay the penalty for their mistakes? We are challenging those ministers to provide a clear explanation for this perverse decision.
“There was already a serious lack of trust between the public and the Executive parties due to political stagnation. Now that is worse still. They chose to make a decision and then hide it – people will rightly wonder what other decisions have been hidden?
“We have heard much, rightly, about how environmental protection must in future be based on the principle that the polluter pays. In this case, the Executive parties are the polluter, and they must be made to pay by the electorate.”