Said Cllr Harkin: “The Stormont Executive is meeting in Derry today and Sinn Féin’s joint First Minister Michelle O’Neill is tweeting about the ‘good news’ and ‘great opportunities’ for people here.
“Derry is certainly an amazing place with amazing people but the Sinn Féin and Stormont Executive spin machine is increasingly out of touch with reality.
“30 per cent of people live below the poverty line in Derry. We have the highest level of youth unemployment. The highest number of people on the housing waiting list. The highest number of people out of work.
“People here have been crushed by Tory welfare reforms brought in by Sinn Féin and the Executive. Substandard pay is rampant.
“Our Council has declared a hardship emergency, a mental health emergency and a climate emergency.
“Our public transportation infrastructure continues to be completely inadequate.
“Derry rail provision has been an afterthought for the big parties. The Executive has once again broken the commitment to expand Magee to 10,000 students.
“The lack of investment for Derry and the North West from Stormont hasn’t changed since the good old days of one-party unionist rule.
“None of this can be described as ‘good news’ and speaks to the continued ‘denial of opportunity’ for Derry and the North West.
“The Stormont Executive has failed the people of Derry and no amount of spin can wash this over.
“We need an alternative that’s based on actually addressing structural inequality.
“This requires a full-on challenge to the status quo instead of propping it up.”