In October, Minister Lyons was invited to a special council meeting to discuss Invest NI job creation targets and Magee expansion, but the response received from his office stated the minister “does not have currently have diary availability at present”.
Addressing last week’s full council meeting, the Ballyarnett representative said: “I’d like to discuss the response from the Economy Minister Gordon Lyons where he has informed our council that he cannot find room in his schedule to come to speak about job creation or university expansion.
“Am I surprised? No, not at all. Because he has nothing to tell us, because he has done nothing about either issue.
“And it’s Groundhog Day again for this council, we have another meeting request denied by another DUP Economy Minister and it’s reminiscent of a war of attrition.
“I think that the Economy Minister believes if he continues to deny meeting requests that he’ll eventually wear us down and that we’ll stop requesting them.
“But, that can’t be allowed to happen. Job creation and university expansion are the two most important issues across our city and district.
“And the minister, whether he likes it or not, is responsible for both of those.”
Cllr Farrell added: “So, this is very much a live issue for the SDLP and we need to discuss this with the minister.
“So, I propose that we respond to the minister to express our profound disappointment that he is unable to meet at present and that we request a meeting at the earliest opportunity.”
The proposal was unanimously supported.Tags: