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Now is not the time to fail communities

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland has been working in partnership with communities and government for over 30 years to support and give voice to those trying to make our communities a better place to live.

It is frustrating and disappointing, therefore, to see that voice diminished in the face of current political turmoil. With pressing issues to resolve in healthcare, education and with 360,000 people living in poverty, it is people living in communities across Northern Ireland who will lose out once again as a reluctant electorate is dragged back to the polls.

Communities have matured beyond campaigning on purely political aspirations and want the institutions of government to find processes which continue to function when political relationships break down.

People want political leaders with a vision and plan for economic growth, development of essential services and infrastructure, jobs and education.

Given the wider implications of Brexit, now is not the time to limit the vision, or distract the focus, of the institutions to deliver a shared, cohesive government which reflects and welcomes diversity and difference in our communities.

We will continue our vital work in supporting the most vulnerable in our society, connecting people who care with causes that matter.

Our hope, however, is that soon that crucial partnership working between communities and government will be restored - with better processes and a firm will to deliver for people living here.

ANDREW McCRACKEN

CEO, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland

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