Joint Statement by TUV North Antrim candidates, Jim Allister & Audrey Patterson:
“Few places have suffered more in the recession than Ballymoney, with several factory closures over recent years and a doubling in unemployment. Yet under the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition we’ve seen serial neglect of Ballymoney. “DETI, under Arlene Foster, is the department charged with industrial development.
“Yet one of her last acts as Minister was to pour another £38m into Newry to acquire even more land for industrial development there. Under DUP/Sinn Fein rule economic growth of the Belfast/Dublin corridor has been a priority, both in terms of roads and investment – courtesy of Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy - while areas like Ballymoney are neglected, with road improvements postponed and nothing for new factories.
In announcing her latest endowment for Newry Arlene Foster said: “The provision of industrial land is an integral part of support for economic development in that it ensures that local and foreign investors have access to the high quality serviced sites that they need to support the set up and growth of sustainable businesses.
“The facilities offered by this new business park will help Newry continue to develop as an attractive and successful business hub.
“So, the DUP Minister knows such funding allows an area to develop as an economic hub, so why in the 4 years of DUP control of DETI has there been no such aid for Ballymoney?
“North Antrim, and in particular Ballymoney, equally deserves and needs high quality serviced sites if we are to attract inward investment and become a more successful business hub, but, sadly, Newry is the preferred ministerial choice.
“We’ve seen a succession of factory closures in Ballymoney, in particular, but no Invest NI or DETI response to match that proffered to Newry. Why?
“The present MLAs, afraid to challenge the DUP/Sinn Fein cabal - because they are part of it - have let Ballymoney down.
“With TUV representation in Stormont the days of North Antrim and Ballymoney’s case going by default will be over. We will be heard.”