DUP group leader Carla Lockhart has said her party have not and will not be supportive of a £75,000 spend that is not community-based.
Alderman Lockhart said: “We as a party pride ourselves in achieving for our communities and the areas we represent. We have not and will not support this ridiculous figure of £75,000 on items such as fireworks, gala dinners for ex–mayors and medals for councillors. This is simply not our approach and therefore our party were the ones who put the brakes on this spend in money.”
The DUP group leader continued: “We have as a party worked extremely hard within the reserves working group to achieve a spend in our local communities. Our work has ensured that almost £1million will go right to the heart of the community before Craigavon Borough Council ceases to exist and in that same vein we have not and will not be accepting that £75,000 is spent on items that massage councillor’s egos.
“I can assure you that the DUP team remain committed to spending this £75,000 within communities and will only support initiatives and events that leave a legacy amongst our children, young people, and elderly population.”
Addressing the proposal to spend the money on a new family centre in Portadown, she said: “Whilst some would suggest giving this money to a specific charity let me make very clear whilst we are sympathetic to any plea from a charity for this money, legally we are not permitted to fund charities and would as a council be taken to court and fined for such activity which would in the long term cost the rate payer an extortionate amount of money.
“As elected representatives we are acutely aware of the feeling on the ground in this regard and I am on behalf of the DUP group giving a commitment to the people of Craigavon we will not waste £75,000 but will ensure that it is spent within communities and on those who most require it.”