Three on Somme visit prompts criticism

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Two Ballymoney councillors have again spoken out at the council’s decision to send more than two representatives to the Somme Pilgrimage next year.

The issue arose at a previous meeting when councillors other than the two nominated expressed an interest in attending the event in June.

Two places had been reserved for Councillors William Blair and John Finlay but Councillors Ian Stevenson and Evelyne Robinson also expressed an interest, making clear that the cost of the trip would be taken from their conference budgets.

However, at the December monthly meeting Cllr. Finlay announced he was withdrawing from the trip.

That didn’t stop Sinn Fein representative Philip McGuigan re-stating that two councills was sufficient for the trip and suggested that the cost for one person of £660 could be put to better use.

“Money from whatever budget is open to interpretation and two people costing £660 each is adqeuate to go to any event,” Cllr. McGuigan said.

Independent councillor Roma McAfee agreed with her colleague commenting: “Two would be plenty. I don’t think there needs to be anymore.”