Flags row was a ‘waste of monies’

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The flags row at Craigavon Council has been described as ‘a waste of public monies’ by the Upper Bann Workers Party.

The party’s local representative Damien Harte said it was ‘a total disregard for equality and public opinion’.

He said: “Ultimately the continuing difficulties surrounding flags relate to the failed politics of the past, the deliberate fanning of sectarian embers to maintain a political power base and the failure to create the new order envisaged by the Good Friday Agreement.

“The flying of flags is less about the promotion of culture or national identity and more about marking out territory. It too is also used as an occasion or excuse to play out other underlying sectarian tensions or promotion of party political 

“The flying of the union flag at Craigavon Council is a case in point. Evoking a negative response from Nationalist members of the new ABC Council (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon) who are moving to have the name of ‘Craigavon’ excluded from the official title.

“The Upper Bann WP feel that very few people, if any, will even noticed the flag 
flying whether it be on designated days or 365 days per year - now and even in the future.

Meanwhile, the party has warned the Stormont House Agreement may result in around 920 public sector job losses in the area.

Mr Harte added that the Welfare Reform will ‘affect the weakest and most vulnerable sections of Craigavon Society’.

He said the picture at local level is ‘harrowing’ adding that if 920 local workers were made redundant 
it could mean a loss of £24m a year to local households, communities and local business.