O’Dowd points finger

A SINN Fein councillor has accused the DUP and SDLP of attempting to impose decisions on the newly formed Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

Mairead O’Dowd made her comments during and after Monday’s mid-monthly council meeting at which councillors were asked to approve the ‘shadow’ designation of seven organisations onto the PCSP until formal regional processes are complete.

Those organisations are PSNI, Probation Board, NI Housing Executive, Youth Justice Agency, SELB Youth Service, DRD Road Service and Health and Social Care Trust.

The Sinn Fein councillor accused Craigavon’s DUP and SDLP councillors of acting outside of their remit in attempting to impose their choice of statutory agencies on the new Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

Councillor O’Dowd, a PCSP member, pointed out that this body is not a “committee of council” and cannot be dictated to by council. She explained that ‘statutory designation’ lies with the Assembly, not Council and will not be decided until after completion of a consultation process.

She said: “The DUP and SDLP arrogantly ignored both the right of the public to have their voice heard and the authority of the Assembly to legislate.

“They also blatantly ignored the fact that they cannot make decisions which are the responsibility of the PCSP. Only those appointed to that body can make such decisions and it is the responsibility of PCSP officers to ensure that once made those decisions are carried through.”