Belfast Telegraph

Maintenance staff at New Lodge flats threatened

By Staff Reporter

Threats against Housing Executive staff and contractors in north Belfast must be lifted immediately, nationalist politicians have said.

It is understood that workers in the New Lodge carrying out maintenance work on the Seven Towers were threatened.

Two North Belfast MLAs — the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon and Sinn Fein’s Carál Ní Chuilín — condemned the threats.  Ms Mallon said: “The New Lodge is an area of severe housing need.

“The individuals behind these threats to Housing Executive staff and contractors carrying out essential work do nothing but harm the community they claim to care about. They don’t represent this community. They should be ashamed of themselves.

“The work being carried out to improve the quality of life of tenants cannot be disrupted by a small number trying to hold us back. The threats should be withdrawn immediately and the much-needed maintenance work resumed as soon as possible.”

Ms Ní Chuilín said: “These threats have led to work being stopped which means residents are being kept in fuel poverty by the actions of those responsible.”

A Housing Executive spokesperson said: “We utterly condemn this threat. The Housing Executive takes these matters very seriously and the safety of people who work for us is paramount and we are now reviewing the provision of services to the blocks.

“We are calling for this threat to be withdrawn immediately and are currently seeking assurances from local community representatives.”

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