Members of the Castlewellan and Kilcoo Branch of the SDLP have had their July meeting and discussed a number of issues.
The hot topic at the time was the rioting associated with the Ardoyne Parades. Members agreed that it was “scandalous” that considerable sums of public funds have been spent on policing these parades when public services were being cut across the board.
Branch Chairman John Duggan said: “Surely this funding would be better spent on front line services such as hospitals. We are being inundated with draconian slashes to all our budgets including the impending welfare reform which will see the most vulnerable in society do without. Then in a 24-hr period we see millions spent on policing situations such as these parades – it is crazy and needs to stop”.
Members discussed the loss of banking facilities in Castlewellan and considered that the Ulster Bank is the only facility that now remains for local people. Laura Devlin, local member, said: “Whilst the younger generations have apps for Mobile Banking and can do the majority of their transactions online, Castlewellan has a large population that are not, and have no interest in being, computer savvy.
“So it is imperative that the one remaining bank in Castlewellan provides a commitment and an assurance to its local customers that it will be there for the foreseeable future.”