DUP MLA William Hay says senior council officers are under no illusions as to the disaffection felt in Lincoln Court and Irish Street over the prospect of the amalgamation of two local community centres.
Mr Hay said members of the local community associations met with officers in his Ebrington Terrace office recently for a full and frank discussion of the controversial proposal.
The DUP facilitated the meeting after the Sentinel revealed a merger was one option being proposed under a strategic review of the Council’s community centres.
Mr Hay said: “They made it very clear that they were opposed to the way the whole process had been carried out.
“And Council officers have agreed that the people of both areas need to be at the heart of the process, the consultation process. The meeting lasted for two hours and, I can assure you, the Council officers left under no illusions as to where they stood.
“It was a very frank meeting and the local community workers were up front and the council officers were up front, and we welcome that.”
The two community centres are just half-a-mile from one another as the crow flies, but as has been pointed out in this paper before the areas are distinct demographically.
Mr Hay recently warned that Irish Street, for example, is a settled community with an older population whereas Lincoln Court is much younger in profile.
Equally, Irish Street is situated at an interface with the predominantly nationalist Top of the Hill area.
A spokesperson for Derry City Council said it was not aware of the specific meeting in the DUP office but confirmed senior officers met some weeks ago to look at a number of options in relation to the Council’s ongoing review of community services.