I was somewhat surprised that the DUP group leader on Castlereagh Borough Council, Jimmy Spratt, should have claimed in a recent press release on the upcoming by-election that “unlike other candidates Sharon Skillen lives and works in the area and understands the issues that matter to the people in this community”.
Mr Spratt is very well aware that I also live and work in the area. It is therefore disingenuous in the extreme to issue a statement which — at the very least — implies that the fact Ms Skillen lives and works in the local area distinguishes her from the other candidates in the race.
In light of recent developments, the DUP, Mr Spratt in particular, should know better than to attempt to mislead the voters of Castlereagh.
His statement is an insult to our intelligence. We in the Castlereagh area have been conned once too often by the DUP (Developers Unionist Party). We will not be conned again.
As for his claim that the by-election is unnecessary, this displays something of the breathtaking arrogance of the DUP.
This by-election was caused by the scandalous behaviour of his DUP colleague, Iris Robinson.
Furthermore, before Mrs Robinson resigned her council seat she had left the DUP. There is therefore no grounds for the DUP either to look for or be granted a co-option in this case.
In recent times Castlereagh has become a place for what many regard as excessive development, and its Council ridiculed for lack of openness.
Whether Mr Spratt and the DUP like it or not, it’s time for change. Mr Spratt can see that coming, and that is why he is annoyed about the by-election — not because of any concern for ratepayers.
TUV Castlereagh Council