Councillor Trevor Wilson, Chairperson of the Ulster Unionist Councillors Association, has stated that the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition's obsession with holding on to power at all costs is the real reason behind Mervyn Storey's failure to transfer regeneration powers to local councils. Councillor Wilson was speaking following a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Councillors Association on Saturday at which a motion was passed unanimously condemning the latest failure of the DUP/Sinn Fein led Executive.
Councillor Wilson said:
"This is yet another example of the dysfunctionality at the heart of the DUP/Sinn Fein led Executive. Both parties are so obsessed with holding on to power that they have even halted the transfer of regeneration powers to local councils. They seem to find it impossible to let go of any control. This was to be a central tenet of the reform of local government.
"Mervyn Storey's feeble excuse that it can't go ahead because of the restructuring of Executive departments is scarcely credible and about as believable as Sinn Fein's claims that the IRA doesn't exist. The fact that Sinn Fein have hardly said a peep about the failure to transfer regeneration powers is a clear demonstration that the DUP/Sinn Fein love-in continues apace.
"We'll continue to pursue this because if Mervyn Storey is allowed to get away with it, the powers to regenerate our town centres and boost economic growth may never be transferred and local businesses will be left high and dry once again."
Note to Editors:
Ulster Unionist Councillors Association motion:
The Ulster Unionist Councillors Association notes with grave concern the recent announcement from Mervyn Storey, the Minister of Social Development, regarding the latest failure of the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition to deliver on a key programme for government commitment to devolve much needed regeneration powers to local government and looks forward to the Assembly election when the people of Northern Ireland will have their say on the record of failure and dysfunctionality that have been the core characteristics of the last 8 years of DUP/Sinn Fein misrule.