Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Executive decisions and action needed

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The interview with Martin McGuinness headed 'Friendly Persuasion' (November 13) was an interesting mix of wishful thinking and make-believe on the part of the Deputy First Minister.

Yes, we are all delighted that the First and Deputy First Minister are delighted with each other. But that only gets us all so far.

Back in August, the Executive reached its first 100 days. It was marked with a whimper. We are now approaching 200 days and, with the exception of the bravery of Margaret Ritchie taking on the UDA, the Executive is making little impact.

Mr McGuinness waxes lyrical about the Executive reaching 100 decisions. More than 100 decisions and still no sign of a replacement for the 11-plus. Still no commissioner to protect vulnerable older people. Still no end to PPS 14 strangling rural communities. Still no Single Equality Bill. Still no independent body to protect our environment. Still no resolution to the classroom assistants' dispute. I could go on.

Government is more than rubber stamping Civil Service priorities. It is about meeting the priorities of the people. Let us hope that the next 100 decisions take on these really important issues and start to make the impact that the First Ministers have promised so often.

Paul Callaghan, SDLP Northlands Branch, Derry

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