Ballymoney Borough Council’s Development Committee Chair Cllr John Finlay has expressed his deep disappointment at the news that yet more jobs are to be lost in the Ballymoney area.
Just as the North East is getting a series of events underway, which are designed to stimulate the economy, McAuley’s Kitchens has announced its closure and the redundancy of approximately 40 staff.
In response to the news, Cllr Finlay commented: “I was very sorry to hear the news that yet another well-established company in the Ballymoney area is closing and with it the loss of much needed jobs and business revenue for the area. “This is yet another blow for Ballymoney and its hardworking people and I offer my deepest sympathies to McAuley’s Kitchens, its employees and their families at this sad turn of events.
“The people of Ballymoney are hardworking and resilient but they do need jobs. How many blows are they expected to take on the jobs front? Over a 3 year period (2007-2009) Ballymoney has lost 3.5 times the number of employee jobs than the Northern Ireland average1. Only one other Council out of the 26 Council areas has lost more. I think that this illustrates that more needs to be done by government to stimulate business and employment growth in the Ballymoney area. “To date it appears that not much has been done. Recently it was reported in the NI Assembly that over the financial years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, Invest NI has hosted 124 Foreign Direct Investment visits across the 26 District Councils. How many visits were to Ballymoney? None.2
“I am hoping that in light of this most recent news, government will now make Ballymoney one of its priority areas for infrastructural development and for promotion to potential employers and will give the Ballymoney people the chance for jobs that they deserve.“