Questions over Robinson ‘Freedom’ ceremony

Alliance Party Councillor Michael Long has expressed his anger that an unrepresentative sub-committee has been set up by Castlereagh Borough Council to decide how much ratepayers’ money to spend on a Freedom of the Borough ceremony for Peter Robinson.

There are to be four councillors on the grouping, three DUP and one UUP. Cllr Michael Long, speaking after a Council meeting that refused to allow Alliance members to join the sub-committee, said the new committee had executive powers.

Cllr Long said: “This is typical of democracy as practised in Castlereagh by the DUP and UUP. Given that this committee will have powers to spend ratepayers money, it is disgraceful that it will not be representative. What is more worrying for those of us who opposed the award in the first place, partly because of concerns about costs, is that this group will now decide how much of the ratepayers’ money will go into this event.

“Given the recent huge cuts to services proposed in the DUP/UUP rate, one would have to question the decision to go ahead with the ceremony at all. Surely ratepayers’ money would be better off being spent improving services for local people rather than in being wasted backslapping one of the councillors?”


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