In response to the decision by Newry 2020 to host a large public meeting on Wednesday 14th April to discuss the Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme, local Alliance Councillor, Patrick Brown, is urging the public (from the Newry community and beyond) to join and contribute to the discussion.
Cllr Brown said: “There will be an important public meeting at 7:30pm on Wednesday 14th April, that will be chaired by local broadcaster Kevin McAllister. It is an opportunity for local voices to be heard and for decisions around how public funds are invested to be influenced. The Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme is currently under public consultation, however, Council quietly announced this on its social media without informing councillors or press, thus limiting the public’s ability to have a say. This is now a chance for the community to hear elected representatives debate, in an open forum, the merits of the proposed plans to invest over £35m in the city, including £15m+ on totally unnecessary office space.”
“I feel strongly that it is completely irresponsible to spend such a large sum of public money on offices, when there are already perfectly sufficient facilities in Downpatrick. Instead, investment must be made into projects that will actually benefit those who live and work in the area, such as allocating funds to the Albert Basin Park Project, which would be a much-welcomed green space.” “Although parts of the proposed plans are pleasing to see – such as the new theatre and conference facility – there is a need for Council to scale back its plans for a civic centre and acknowledge that the needs of the community are around high street regeneration and modern shared spaces for work and leisure. As such, this meeting is a key opportunity for the public to have their views heard and questions answered directly, so I would encourage as many people as possible to join. You can register at this link: https://bit.ly/2PB1lBe.”