SDLP: ‘Invest in our district to stabilise and grow our economy’
SDLP Group Leader Councillor Sean Rogers has called for more investment in the Newry and Mourne area to help revive the weak economy. He was speaking at Monday night’s meeting when the district rate for 2012/2013 was struck and he acknowledged that agreeing a district rate was an extremely challenging process.
Rogers said, “We are only too aware of how the current economic crisis is affecting our district. We have a rising unemployment figure; our young people are emigrating, our tradesmen are finding it difficult even to get one or two days work per week and we are experiencing closure of our commercial premises. With this backdrop any rate rise is a major challenge, but I believe we need to invest in our district in order to stabilize and ultimately kick-start our local economy.”
Councillor Rogers continued, “Through the best efforts of everyone in the chamber (Councillors and Officials) we have managed to keep the rate rise just under 2%.” Reflecting on the forthcoming investment, Rogers stated, “£7.5m is being allocated to capital projects including phase 1 of the leisure village in Newry, tourism projects in Kilbroney Park and a Household Recycling Centre in Crossmaglen. These projects will help provide much needed work to the construction industry and I hope it will encourage the private sector to begin reinvesting in the area.”
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