UUP Councillors raise concerns on Lough Neagh debate

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UUP Councillors raise concerns on Lough Neagh debate

Ulster Unionist Party members on the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council have raised serious concerns with the council Deputy Chief Executive on the process carried out during a motion on Lough Neagh at the most recent Council Meeting.

Alderman Ian Burns, Ulster Unionist Group leader on the council, explained.

“After the amendment was brought forward, the Lord Mayor allowed a ten-minute recess for Councillors to consider the revised motion. During this period, the amendment was provided only to one party, with others not given the opportunity to see it in writing.

“Once the meeting recommenced, the amendment was given no further time for debate and the Lord Mayor pushed for a vote on the full motion. This stopped any winding up speech on the motion and removed the opportunity for other Councillors to bring forward their thoughts on the amendment.

“These actions are highly irregular, so much so that my colleague, Councillor Kate Evans, has submitted a letter from the UUP council group to the Deputy Chief Executive asking for a review of the full process relating to this motion. 

“The UUP have championed the creation of an independent Environmental Protection Agency for many years, with our members being among the most vocal on the need to address concerns around Lough Neagh, both recently and going back as far as 2011.

“It is unfortunate that this confusion and these irregularities forced our members from supporting this motion. It is our hope that, after review by council officers, such situations will not be repeated.