UUP MLA for Mid-Ulster Sandra Overend has questioned Justice Minister David Ford following the latest delays to the long awaited Northern Ireland Community Safety College project, after land at the Desertcreat site was recently advertised for lease.
Mrs Overend said: “The people of Mid-Ulster continue to have questions about the Northern Ireland Community Safety College project, and these were added to recently when the land earmarked for construction was advertised for rent in the local papers. I was therefore keen to question the Justice Minister to ask for an update on progress, and took the opportunity to do so on the floor of the Assembly this week during topical questions.
She continued: “I was however disappointed by the Minister’s response, which was no more specific than to say that ‘work is ongoing’. The Desertcreat project has been dogged by delays from the outset, but what has been especially frustrating has been the lack of information regarding progress.
“Unfortunately the answer from the Minister did little to bring any clarity to the situation. Last month I wrote to the PSNI to seek a meeting with senior representatives from the Community Safety College Programme Board in order to put forward the concerns expressed to me by constituents on a regular basis.
“The benefits that the Desertcreat College will bring to the local construction sector, the Cookstown area and the wider Mid-Ulster economy have long been accepted, yet we have seen estimated start dates slip by time and time again. Work needs to get underway as soon as possible.”