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Long disappointed for ratepayers after DUP and Sinn Féin vote against holding virtual committee meetings

Alliance Belfast City Councillor Michael Long has said he is disappointed for the ratepayers of Belfast, after the DUP and Sinn Féin voted against holding virtual committee meetings until August.

A proposal by People Before Profit and Councillor Long, Alliance’s Group Leader on the Council, to hold the committee meetings in June fell following DUP and Sinn Féin Councillors failing to back it. The Lisnasharragh Councillor said it was a disappointing move from the two biggest parties.

“At the beginning of this crisis, we voted for Belfast City Council decisions to be taken by the Chief Executive, with input from the party group leaders. It’s therefore strange when we try to have Councillors making decisions, the DUP and Sinn Féin vote against it.

“Many other Councils in Northern Ireland have held virtual committee meetings using online software or apps, with little or no issues. There is no reason why committees in Belfast with between 14-20 members can’t do similar.

“Whilst it is welcome the Council’s AGM will proceed in June, we think it is now time the decision-making role on day-to-day issues was handed back to elected Councillors. I’m disappointed for the ratepayers of Belfast the DUP and Sinn Féin don’t appear to think similarly.”