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Did Prime Minister sign off on 300 job losses asks MLA

John Dallat MLA, addresses workers at the DVA office in Coleraine, after the news that it is to close.

John Dallat MLA, addresses workers at the DVA office in Coleraine, after the news that it is to close.

The Prime Minister David Cameron will be challenged as to his involvement to order the closure of the DVA Centre in Coleraine.

The issue was raised by the former Minister Alex Atwood for the Environment when he visited the workers on Friday to express solidarity with those who are now facing a very uncertain future.

Mr Attwood told The Times: “When the future of the DVA Centre in Coleraine became a major political issue the Prime Minister David Cameron gave an undertaking to the First and Deputy Minister that the issue would be considered by the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street.

‘It must now be established if that undertaking was adhered to and if so did the Prime Minister give the nod to his Minister Stephen Hammond before the axe was dropped on the jobs while local ministers were out of the country.”

East Derry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat who accompanied Mr Atwood also addressed the workers for a second day.

Speaking afterwards he said: ‘There remains an unprecedented level of anger and let-down experienced and these workers haven’t slacked in their resolve to fight for their livelihood and their right to work in the public sector in Coleraine.

‘They made it clear that they are happy to accept different work and have no hang-ups about retraining but are determined to maintain the solidarity which has been a major feature of their campaign which brought them to Stormont and Westminster in their fight for their jobs.

‘My belief is that people are now at breaking point across the North and the Coleraine workers may well be the vanguard of opposition against the systematic centralisation of public sector jobs in Britain by a heartless Tory regime which has clearly forgotten the promises to assist in rebuilding our economy which was abandoned during the Troubles.

‘The British Prime Minister David Camerson and his Minister Stephen Hammond together with the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers have forfeited any right to talk about their contribution to building a process when they have failed either by inaction, deafening silence or downright compliance with the uprooting of public sector jobs which are essential if the private sector is to recover.

‘Obviously there will be an opportunity to test the commitment of all the political parties when this issue finds its way onto the floor of the Assembly [this] week.”

 
 
 

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