‘Loyalist working class community overlooked on new policing body’

PROGRESSIVE Unionist Party representative Phil Hamilton has written to the Chair of the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), councillor Robert Hill, calling on him to “ensure that the needs of all communities across Newtownabbey are being met.”

The Rathcoole man, who also sent a copy of his letter to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, believes that the current membership of the PCSP isn’t representative of all communities in the borough.

While acknowledging that members were appointed to the body through an independent process, Mr Hamilton’s letter claims that there has been “an oversight” in relation to representation, with “the loyalist working class community continuing to be marginalised and overlooked.”

“If the PCSP is to be representative of communities across Newtownabbey, it is essential that loyalist, working class communities have an effective voice on the Partnership. While representatives from different community backgrounds have been appointed, there is a very noticeable, and crucial omission in relation to loyalist communities across the borough. I would ask that serious consideration be given to how this can be addressed.

“I ask that the PCSP engage with and discuss this issue as a matter of urgency at their next meeting to ensure that the needs of all communities across Newtownabbey are being met,” the letter states.