SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said that Justice Minister David Ford’s dogged determination to close Strabane Court House flies in the face of the needs of local people and the local legal profession.
Mr McCrossan said: “David Ford stood in the Assembly today armed with clever remarks but utterly lacking in an ounce of understanding about the effect of his pronouncement that a number of court houses across the North will close. Key amongst those that now face the Justice Minister’s axe is Strabane Court House, the closure of which has been the subject of his dogged determination for a number of years.
“I have stood with the people of Strabane and the legal profession based here through previous attempts to strip our town of a court house. We will continue to oppose these moves which will not only disenfranchise those seeking justice here but will also manufacture an additional burden as the overflow transfers to Omagh.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that Strabane is being starved of public service investment and those services which we do have are being gradually dismantled. That is not acceptable to me or to the people I represent. We will continue to oppose the Justice Minister’s plans and I would call on him to urgently reconsider.”

SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has slammed a decision by the Minister Jonathan Bell to axe the Renewable Heat Incentive. The loss of the scheme which funds renewable heating projects to produce renewable energy is predicted to cost 2,000 jobs with a business owner in Omagh expressing concern for his 70 staff.
Mr McCrossan said: “Minister Bell’s sudden announcement makes devastating reading for the many businesses who have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds into equipment on the basis of the scheme.
“One company based in Omagh have £650,000 worth of orders taken on this scheme and have £400,000 worth of boilers already paid for and non-refundable. They are expecting this move to cost them around £1million and are seriously concerned about the future of their 70 staff. They said that if the Minister had given warning or employed a staggered reduction then the damage would not be as severe.
“DETI has specialised in low-skill job creation and massive job losses particularly in manufacturing. Throughout the North this move has been forecast to cost 2,000 jobs in an industry that employs graduates and skilled workers.  Minister Bell seems intent on creating a call-centre economy.
“The Minister intends to bring his plan to the Assembly on Monday. The SDLP will strong in our opposition to a decision that will only put people on the dole queue and businesses into administration.”

February 2016
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