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Alliance Party launches council election manifesto

2023-06-01 17:06:24 source:CBS News author:Press center4 click:739order

A vote for the Alliance Party will send a message that people deserve a working government, according to its leader.

Launching her party's manifesto for the 18 May council elections, Naomi Long said: "No more drama, just delivery."

Last May a record 17 Alliance Party MLAs were elected in the Stormont poll but the assembly has yet to sit.

That is due to a Brexit-related boycott by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which Mrs Long called "the endless cycle of ransom politics".

"People on the doors are rightly angry and frustrated. They're also clear this cannot continue."

The last council elections in 2019 were also held while the Stormont institutions were suspended, then due to a boycott by Sinn Féin.

The Alliance Party won 53 seats in those polls but this time the party leader refused to set a target.

"I would hope that we will have at least more than the 53 we returned at the last election and significantly more would be an excellent day for people in Northern Ireland," said Mrs Long.

The party is running 110 candidates in all 11 council area and claims to be standing in more district electoral areas than any other party.

In its manifesto the Alliance Party calls for existing council facilities to be open to all sections of the community, for newly-built council facilities to be carbon neutral and for existing infrastructure such as car parks and older buildings to be used to generate renewable energy.

It also wants the promotion and expansion of park-and-ride facilities, the development of low-traffic neighbourhoods and the publication of councillor expense claims and attendance statistics on council websites.

Recent elections have put the Alliance Party in third place behind Sinn Féin and the DUP but ahead of the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP.

Naomi Long told party members and journalists at the manifesto launch: "I set no ceiling on our ambitions in terms of what size of party we will be after this election or any future election."

She was also critical of Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris over his claim that the problems with the budget for Northern Ireland were all down to Stormont politicians.

She said: "It's almost as though he didn't champion Brexit which has caused much of the disruption that we're facing at the moment."

"It's almost as though he didn't back Boris Johnson and Liz Truss who damaged our economy immeasurably.

"The idea that all of the challenges we face are simply down to local politicians and that his hands are clean is frankly laughable."

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