Cuts on the agenda at Green Party NI conference

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Image: VIEW editor Brian Pelan, left, taking part in a panel discussion at the Green Party NI conference in Belfast – Photographs: Neal Dorman

VIEW editor Brian Pelan took part in a panel discussion at the Green Party NI conference in Belfast at the weekend on the effects of cuts on the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland

Alongside him on the panel were Jan Melia, CEO, Women’s Aid Federation of Northern Ireland; Danny McQuillan, Director of Services, Extern; Ben Collins, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and Nora Smith, Chief Executive, C03.

In front of a packed audience at the Clayton Hotel on Ormeau Avenue, Brian outlined the devastating consequence of austerity on working class communities.

He pointed out that in recent years there had been an increase in the use of food banks and that the introduction of the Universal Credit system into Northern Ireland would lead to further hardship for those already struggling.

The other panel members highlighted how the cuts had further impacted on those they represented..

Brian also said that VIEWdigital was currently working on an issue of VIEW which would look at homelessness.

“The situation is worse now for those affected by homelessness than it was three years ago when VIEW previously covered the issue,” he added.

This issue of the magazine has the support of Simon Community NI and Choice Housing.

Meanwhile  Tanya Jones has been elected as deputy leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland following a membership vote.

The election of a new deputy leader followed Clare Bailey MLA’s decision to step aside from a role that she held for three years.

Tanya Jones is a writer, former solicitor and well known anti-fracking activist. Tanya is chair of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Green Party and lives with her family in Enniskillen.

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Nora Smith, chief executive, CO3

Green Party NI leader Steven Agnew addressing the conference

Steven Agnew with outgoing deputy party leader Clare Bailey

Panel members from the community/voluntary sector

Conference delegates

Steven Agnew with new deputy party leader Tanya Jones

 

 

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