Cllr Richard Holmes has criticised the misleading headline in the The Belfast Telegraph on Friday 19th March which read ‘Council challenged over £400k allocation for postponed events.’
The Ulster Unionist Group Leader on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said that the headline “was highly misleading and did not reflect the contents of the story contained within. It was so misleading that the editor should be issuing an apology to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and changing the online editions.”
Continuing Clkr Holmes said: “Those who read beyond the headline will find that £320k has been allocated to events that at this stage still plan to go ahead, including the Limavady’s Stendhal Festival, Supercup NI youth football competition and the Armoy Road Races. Only £80k has been allocated to cancelled events and of this almost £60k is for the internationally renowned NW200. Sustaining these events is critical to the financial recovery within Causeway Coast & Glens post pandemic as an events driven tourist destination.
“The story itself has been driven by a Sinn Fein attempt to stop council supporting these critical tourism events. Amidst cross party agreement to support events for a second year Sinn Fein proudly adopted an ourselves alone stance which would decimate the local events sector throughout the borough.
“The headline has been presented in such a misleading manner that it reads more like the synopsis of an episode of The Thick Of It rather than a council doing everything it can to support and grow events in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. Post pandemic the local tourist industry will be very happy that the Council dug so deep to winter the storm in the face of Sinn Fein attacks.”