Speaking at last week’s meeting, the SDLP councillor said: “We had invited the Minister for the Economy to this committee.
“We wanted Diane Dodds here to speak about the economic performance of this council area and to reinforce our argument that Invest NI and the Department for the Economy must adopt a regionally balanced approach to job creation and investment.
“This council’s view is that the areas with the greatest need, the highest unemployment and the highest economic inactivity should get more attention and funding.
“The minister hasn’t accepted our invitation to attend, but she had indicated that officials from Invest NI and the Department for the Economy would be here in attendance at this committee today.
“As you can see, they’re not here.”
The Ballyarnett representative continued: “It’s vitally important that this conversation takes place. And in my view, it should happen as a matter of urgency.
“The minister’s attendance would be preferable. But as a bare minimum, we need officials from Invest NI and the Department for the Economy here for a very frank conversation.”
Following Councillor Farrell’s request for an update on the situation, the Director of Business & Culture, Stephen Gillespie, indicated that Invest NI had agreed to attend, but that senior officials from the Department for the Economy were unavailable, therefore the presentation was to be postponed until October.
Mr Gillespie further advised that Invest NI had suggested that October’s delegation include representatives from Ulster University and North West Regional College along with department officials.
Councillors agreed that Invest NI and Department for the Economy officials only be invited to next month’s Business & Culture committee to discuss regional balance, job creation and investment across Derry and Strabane.Tags: