Independent councillor Roma McAfee has welcomed the decision by Ballymoney Borough Council to provide the Compass Shadow Council the use of the Council Chamber.
On Monday of last week councillor McAfee proposed ‘to recommend that council agree to allow Compass Advocacy’s Shadow council to use the Council Chamber up to three times per year at no cost’.
This was seconded by Cllr Anita Cavlan and was unopposed.
Councillor McAfee’s proposal was due to be ratified at the full council meeting last night.
Speaking ahead of last night’s meeting, Cllr McAfee said:
“From an early stage after becoming a councillor I committed myself to do everything I could to support the Shadow Council and their desire to use the Chamber for their meetings in Ballymoney.
“I found it strange that anyone would obstruct any group that works for people with learning disabilities to lobby for change to policies that impact on their health and social wellbeing, however that seemed to be the case.”
Cllr McAfee claimed she was disgusted that it appeared fellow councillors were using minor technicalities to prohibit the group.
“The Chamber is paid for by ratepayers and should be freely available to the Shadow Council,” she said.
“All it took was a simple change of policy which turned out to be a very straightforward process, not the major operation some people claimed it would be.”
Cllr McAfee added: “The Shadow Council is good for local democracy and thankfully they will now have the stage to prove it.”