Belfast Telegraph

Ford hears Kilcooley concerns

Justice Minister David Ford has met with representatives of Kilcooley Community Forum to discuss work being carried to tackle crime, racism and bigotry in the area.

During his one and a half hour meeting last week he heard concerns about the “lack of funding spent in Kilcooley by the North Down Community Safety Partnership (CSP)” and worry about any potential merger with CSPs and DPPs and how reflective they would be as far as communities were concerned.

Alison Blayney, director of Kilcooley Women’s Centre, asked the Minister if within his role in the Stormont Executive he could help change the “Belfast biased” funding allocation as there were many areas province-wide that suffered from the legacy of the Troubles and were deprived communities.

The Minister said funding should be allocated according to identified need and he was aware of the “strong feelings” from other communities that so much funding seemed to be distributed to areas of need in Belfast.

Jamie Bryson, from the Youth Cohesion Project, told the Minister of the work he was doing with various groups of young men within Kilcooley and from other communities in tackling issues such as racism.

The visit ended with the Minister thanking everyone for their input. On leaving he called into Kilcooley Tenant Support Project and spoke with the manager Joanie Brown about the services it provides.

Belfast Telegraph

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