Former Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin has said other parties should stop bickering about people having fun, and address the real issues in Belfast, not least threats to local employment.
The Alliance Councillor stated: “Why do other parties spend so much time niggling about symbols no one sees and issues no one cares about?
“In Belfast alone, hundreds of people face losing their job through the withdrawal of British Airways; teachers are facing redundancies because electricity price hikes are putting pressure on school budgets; and one in five of Queen’s University students leave Northern Ireland for their first job.
“Elsewhere, essential counselling services are closing; after-school clubs are being abandoned; and school crossing patrols are being removed. All because we waste billions on segregating our services and propping up bureaucratic inefficiency – because other parties cannot prioritize the issues which really count.
“For all their bluster about festivals and symbols, the truth is no one cares about what most politicians are saying. None of them is prepared to take on a proper leadership role in delivering answers on the matters which really count. It is much easier to rant and rave about a street party than to find real answers to unemployment, services closures and the
“Small wonder that so many people are turning their backs to our sectarian political system. But my party at least will continue to provide the alternative.”