Slieve Gullion area Councillor Terry Hearty has said that Newry Mourne & Down Council have an important role in tackling the areas of deprivation that exists throughout the Council area in particular those in south Armagh.
According to the Multiple Deprivation Measure 2017 Report Creggan, Forkhill, Silverbridge and Crossmaglen featured in the top tempo most deprived areas.
The South Armagh Councillor said,
“The fact that four wards in the Council area are featured high on the list is a damming indictment on our Council. There is little evidence that we as a Council and our lead officers are tackling this issue in a serious way. We must lead the campaign to tackle deprivation and deliver for our communities”
said the Sinn Féin elected representative and he continued,
“I share the serious concerns that Not enough interest is being taken in rural areas by Council as is taken with urban areas. City Deals, Lesuire Centres, Sport Centres are positive developments but where is the focus for such developments in the rural areas. Council is involved in supporting Business Start-Ups and attracting investment to the area, what rural regions have they focused any of their efforts on these issues”.
The Councillor concluded by stating
“There is a need for senior Council Officers from all Departments to come out and listen to the communities and in particular those business, sporting, community and voluntary groups who were working day and night to ensure the sustainability,health and well being of their communities. An achievable, ambitious and fully resourced strategy to lift areas such as Crossmaglen, Creggan, Silverbridge and Forkhill out of deprivation needs to be agreed and implemented”