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A disappointing day for openness and transparency, says Donnelly, after Council vote

It is a disappointing day for openness and transparency, Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly has said, after the three unionist parties on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council joined together to block attempts for an independent investigation into what led to the decision to remove staff from Larne Port.

An Alliance proposal calling for the inquiry fell, with an amendment to postpone a Council investigation until one by the Assembly’s DAERA Committee was also defeated.

“This was an opportunity to stand up for openness and transparency, to signal as elected representatives we deserve to know the reasons behind our decisions, yet sadly sticking together to block that was just too important for the DUP, UUP and TUV,” said Councillor Donnelly.

“It was discovered this week the Chief Executive has held unionist group meetings with those three parties, so ratepayers will rightly ask whether this decision was taken there.

“This is a disappointing day for openness and transparency, not just for Mid and East Antrim, but across Northern Ireland. Alliance will not be dissuaded from continuing to stand up for that, in an attempt to move beyond divisive politics and the backroom deals which have again left our council’s reputation in tatters.

“Unionist parties need to ask themselves why they don’t want the same.”