SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has said that the Sub-Regional Economic Plan currently in development by the Department for the Economy must deliver for Derry, adding that it will not be enough to address long-standing regional inequality without binding legislation.
She was speaking after the Department published its response to the Call for Evidence on Place 10X, the sub-regional economic strategy document currently in development.
Said the Foyle MLA: “For too long, the Department for the Economy’s strategy has relied on allowing the highest performing areas to prosper, while letting places like Derry stagnate.
“The obvious shortcomings of this strategy have been laid bare by the Department’s abject failure to move the dial in any consequential way for communities suffering from deprivation, particularly here in the North West.
“The publication of this report is a welcome step towards acknowledging these failures and crafting a different strategy that can build on the existing strengths of places and spread jobs and opportunity equitably throughout the North.
“I am pleased that the Department acknowledges the need to work with other Departments across government as well as Councils and Labour Market Partnerships in order to ensure its actions are successful.
“I look forward to participating in the process that the Department is undertaking to draft a Sub-Regional Economic Plan with measurable targets.
“However, it is disappointing but unfortunately unsurprising that the Department’s report on its call for evidence does not address the specific context of the North West and again fails to acknowledge our region’s status as the second city that requires specific interventions to raise skill levels, incomes and productivity.
“These failings add yet more evidence to the case for the binding legislation that I have proposed which could finally address the imbalances in our economy.
“On day one of a restored Assembly, I will be urging the new Executive to back my Private Member’s Bill to change the way Stormont works once and for all and ensure that every area of the North receives its fair share of jobs and investment.
“I would urge anyone with a stake in our economy to complete my consultation that is currently open online and have their say.”Tags: