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Leadership seriously lacking on FICT report implementation, says Bradshaw

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said delivery after the release of the Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT) report will need leadership that is currently lacking, after an action plan for implementation failed to be agreed.

Ms Bradshaw was speaking after what she termed the ‘disappointing process” came to a close without actions included, adding the move signalled abandoning the overarching aims of the report, rather than showing willingness to deliver change.

“Effectively we have a worthless piece of paper that will do nothing to actually deal with the issues around flags and identity, “ she said.

“It is extremely disappointing to see the FICT report published today as a stand-alone document. This has wasted yet another opportunity to move society forward, to secure a lasting way for everyone in Northern Ireland to celebrate their culture.

“This report has been delayed time and time again, with £800,000 of public money already spent with now very little to show. Alliance warned during the Haass Talks that this process would be a waste of time and money without political will to drive it forward and that’s exactly what we are seeing playing out today.

“Alliance wanted to see this process succeed, that’s why we also brought a motion to the Assembly earlier this year to push for the report and a full implementation plan to be brought forward at that point.

“We feel very let down today by the attitude of the Executive Office and the lack of seriousness that has been shown throughout this process.”