[Sinn Fein]

24th June 2003

British strategy for renewal must tackle legacy of discrimination

Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew commenting on the publication of the `People and Places, A Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal' by the Department of Social Development has said that it will fail unless it genuinely tackles the legacy of discrimination.

Ms Gildernew said:

``DSD has acknowledged that 70% of people living in the 10% most deprived wards, as measured by the Noble Index, are Catholic. All statistical evidence and indicators show that the legacy of institutionalised discrimination against Catholic communities has resulted in significantly higher levels of disadvantage. Any strategy that aims to tackle disadvantage and deprivation must address this legacy of discrimination.

``Sinn Fein has already voiced serious concern with the department and Equality Commission at the criteria developed by DSD in implementing the EU Peace II Programme for Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (under measure 2.11). Any repetition of this approach is unacceptable and runs contrary to commitments in the Good Friday Agreement and the Joint Declaration. I would warn Mr Speller against failing to recognise that need must be addressed on an objective basis. Targeting objective need means targeting objective need.''

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