McAllister says halving of community fund will seriously impact community relations

Alliance Executive Office spokesperson Nuala McAllister MLA has said the slicing in half of a long-term community fund will have a serious impact on community relations.

Nuala McAllister Executive Office Community relations

The Central Good Relations Fund from the Executive Office supports the community and voluntary sector to provide good relations programmes. It is due to have its funding cut by 50 per cent, which North Belfast MLA Ms McAllister said was an extremely disappointing move.

“The Central Good Relations Fund carries out vital work in helping build a united community,” she said.

“It is therefore extremely disappointing it is now due to receive a funding cut of up to 50 per cent. That is particularly disappointing, given this programme focuses on long-term work. Meanwhile short-term, reactionary interventions such as summer diversionary programmes have been left unaffected.

“I appreciate every Department has difficult budgetary decisions to make at present thanks to the absence of an Executive. However, the focus should remain on strengthening sustainable and positive relationships across our community.

“The Central Good Relations Fund is a proven way to do that. Slicing its funding in half will have a serious impact on community relations and I have written to the Executive Office Permanent Secretary urging a serious reconsideration of priorities before any final decision is taken.”