Pace of change needs to increase, says Ford

David Ford MLA
David Ford MLA

South Antrim MLA David Ford has said the pace of political and social change in Northern Ireland needs to increase.

Speaking at the Alliance Party’s 46th annual conference at the La Mon Hotel, Mr Ford claimed that the other Executive parties had been “guilty of holding back Northern Ireland for too long.”

Addressing party members and supporters, the Alliance leader said: “The leaders of the other main parties have failed time and again to deliver the significant, important changes this society needs. They have dithered and disagreed, protecting their own votes at the expense of progress. They have prevented us from dealing with the past in a way which would allow us to move into the future.”

He continued: “Unlike others, Alliance has a proven record of working to unite this community, of fiscal responsibility and of progressive social values. They are the values that have driven Alliance for 46 years. No other party is fully committed to building a united community and no other party can say it is as representative of every section of the community as Alliance.

“It is time we stopped the delay, the fudge and the waffle of other parties and moved ahead, further and faster, to build a united community. No other party puts that first, no other party has that commitment and no other party can be trusted to deliver on that essential change.

“It is time to move forward, end the stop-start and move forward, faster.”

Meanwhile, East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has said the Department for Social Development must prioritise the creation of shared housing developments.

While the DSD Minister has said his department is committed to playing its part in delivering more shared neighbourhoods, Mr Dickson said the department needs to be “more proactive in its approach.”