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It's time to get facts straight about Maze site

In response to the letter from Derek Hussey regarding the recent announcement on the development of the former Maze prison site (Write Back, August 17), Councillor Hussey should get his facts right and not attempt to rewrite history.

The fact is that the current chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Campbell, was chair of the Maze Implementation Panel when the proposals for the Conflict Resolution Centre first came forward.

This proposal was endorsed by the leadership of the UUP and if Councillor Hussey has any issue with that, he should take it up directly with his own party chairman and leadership.

Another fact is that the DUP was the only party, at the time, to oppose the listing of buildings on the Maze site by direct rule ministers. The legal advice that our ministers have been given is that the buildings cannot be de-listed.

I have checked the records and discovered that neither the UUP leadership nor Mr Hussey, who was an MLA at the time, lodged any objection to the listing of the retained buildings.

Why did he not oppose them being listed in the first place?

As usual, it will be left to the DUP to ensure the buildings do not become a republican shrine.

The regeneration of the Maze site has the potential to attract millions of pounds of investment and to create thousands of jobs - including in the hard-pressed construction industry.

Has Councillor Hussey nothing positive to say about such a massive opportunity in the midst of the worst recession for years?

JEFFREY DONALDSON MP

Lagan Valley

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