Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

New leaders must back the Tele campaign

One of the most remarkable changes that has occurred in Belfast since I lived there in the 1970s has been the growth of a powerful conservation movement, now represented by the Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust.

The start of your very welcome Save Our Heritage campaign (News, May 17) coincides with the arrival of new ministers at the Northern Ireland Office, Owen Paterson and Hugo Swire. Both have a deep interest in heritage matters.

How can the new coalition Government, which seems to have no plans for significant political change, really make a difference in Ulster?

It should start by working closely with the devolved administration, the BBPT and your new campaign to safeguard landmark buildings.

Let's make this Northern Ireland's decade of conservation and renewal, so that the people of the province can associate this new type of UK government with something truly worthwhile.

Serious progress to bring 'restorative justice' to the Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church - the 'Methodist cathedral' of world-wide heritage significance - would make an inspiring start.

ALISTAIR COOKE

Chairman, London Friends of the Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust

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