Councillor McGimpsey’s time would be better spent helping Alliance combat secrecy in local government

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

It seems Councillor Chris McGimpsey is still content to twist actual facts to fit his own agenda (‘Republicans have lost sight of founding values — they care only about victory’, October 18).

His latest platform in last week’s News Letter seems to be an excuse to yet again peddle the mistruths the UUP seems determined to spread about Alliance.

Yet he fails to mention it was false claims that saw Councillor McGimpsey forced to apologise to the Alliance Party last month.

Let’s think about what is actually happening here.

The UUP is obviously struggling to come to terms with the fact it is the DUP and not Alliance who ‘backs’ Sinn Féin in City Hall. And while it might sound good as a soundbite, this claim does not stand up to scrutiny, with the figures revealing it is the DUP and Sinn Féin who have backed each other 60% of the time.

Yet while Councillor McGimpsey continues to be caught up with who votes what way and when, his attention is not on the process of government.

At this point – and especially for the UUPs’ benefit – again I must be clear Alliance takes decisions based on what is the right way for everyone. I understand why that might be a foreign concept to the UUP, as often their Belfast Council team will fail to vote together on the same issue.

When it comes to issues like internal memorabilia or the language strategy, it was through Alliance’s efforts lasting solutions where found.

If he thinks he’s the only one to have recognised how bad the Wolfe Tones concert was, I would remind him it was Alliance who not only called it out, but again highlighted the closed doors decisions which led to the event being funded had to be reviewed.

Belfast is a changing city.

While people like Councillor McGimpsey cling to the old divisions in an attempt to make themselves relevant, they are missing the point entirely.

Yes division is there, but in 2018 it’s about combating the kind of backroom politics that allows the DUP and Sinn Féin to carve up ratepayers’s money, refusing to allow any form of scrutiny.

So while the UUP’s 2019 electoral strategy is clearly to consistently attack Alliance, Councillor McGimpsey’s time would be better spent helping us combat secrecy in local government.

Yes, at times the UUP have backed Alliance. For example, when we began to investigate how funding was being allocated at City Hall, yet their failure to follow it through by attending a meeting with the Audit Office shows unfortunately they might not have what it takes to stand up against the DUP and Sinn Féin.

Nuala McAllister, Councillor, Alliance, Belfast