‘Orange & Green Vote!’ – This is how many have described the decision at a full Causeway Coast and Glens council meeting on Tuesday evening to reduce the community grants by 5%, a vote at which saw only one Unionist Councillor opposed to these cuts, while fellow Unionists voted in favour.
Councillor Adrian McQuillian voted alongside nationalist Councillors, but lost, as the decision to cut money from the community grants programmes was carried by a majority of 3 votes.
Posting on social media after the decision was made, Councillor McQuillian said:
“I believe i was the only unionist to vote against these petty cuts. Let’s start looking at the senior management and see what cuts can be made.
“These aren’t big decisions this is the easy way out saving peanuts lets start taking some big decisions and looking at what we can save in the way of senior management“
SDLP Councillor, Angela Mulholland, has hit also back at the UUP’s Richard Holmes after he responded earlier today to his and his party’s decision to support the cuts. Councillor Mulholland had this to say to Councillor Holmes:
“Your comments (Cllr Holmes) regarding the SDLP vote was based on purely an election stand and is disgusting. I work day in day out in the community and voluntary sector and this sector is ‘struggling’ big time.
“Again our council attacks the most vulnerable in our society. This is shameful and an attack on all community groups and associations in our Borough.
“The SDLPs vote was again, I stress not a reaction to an election, but rather an appreciation of our community sector and volunteers.”
Councillor Holmes had earlier said that the SDLP & Sinn Fein proposals to restore a £750,000 community capital grant fund were, “merely to chase cheap headlines in an election campaign but given the sums of money involved in the headlines were anything but cheap.”