The Alliance Party, SDLP, Green Party and People Before Profit have said they are disappointed attempts to ensure all those in need across Belfast had fair access to support have been blocked by the DUP and Sinn Féin. Despite this, we will continue to work together to ensure transparency, accountability and that council resources can meet need across all communities in the city.
Speaking after a Special Belfast City Council meeting, representatives said the on-going DUP and Sinn Féin funding carve ups had reached new levels of concern, with those two parties now openly signalling who is and isn't worthy of support. We are disappointed that SF and DUP choose to only allocate money to the 9 strategic partners. We want council to step in to meet the needs of communities and individuals in what is going to be a hard winter and holiday period.
We had an alternative proposal that would have broadened that support to a wider pool of communities and individuals. SF and Dup have used their positions through the new standards and business committee to prevent smaller parties from bringing forward proposals. They refused to accept our proposal to broaden the support we could offer across the city.
We proposed £350,000 funding to organisations that would provide fuel, food, financial and emotional support. These were Saint Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, mental health and wellbeing organisations, domestic and sexual violence organisations and asylum seeker and refugee organisations. We also proposed £300,000 to the strategic partners and thematic partners that have done fantastic work in the city.
We also brought an additional proposal which sought to add a pot of £150,000 for an open tender fuel poverty scheme, which was also rejected.
Party Group Leaders, Nuala McAllister, Donal Lyons, Malachai O’Hara and Fiona Ferguson.