A cross-party delegation of politicians from Londonderry is seeking a meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers in a bid to secure a commitment towards the expansion of Magee.
Members of the city’s parliamentary grouping met on Thursday (September 4) at the request of the Mayor Brenda Stevenson, to agree a joint position in response to the decision by the University Minister Dr Stephen Farry, to delay development plans for the University of Ulster at Magee.
Like Health Minister Edwin Poots, Dr Farry has explicitly linked the welfare impasse with funding shortfalls across Departmental budgets, as can be heard in the film running above.
The meeting was attended by the Town Clerk and Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor, and a cross-party group of local MLAs and representatives from local Constituency offices – including Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan, and local MLAs Raymond McCartney, Colum Eastwood, Pat Ramsey and William Hay.
The Mayor said: “I think today’s meeting was extremely important in identifying a clear cross-party strategy in driving forward the case for Magee expansion.
“Everyone at the table agrees that the expansion of Magee is a key priority for the city and one of the Strategy Board’s key objectives moving forward to deliver on the One Plan.
“The economy of this city depends on the education of our young people, and with the biggest youth population under the age of 25 in Europe we are failing to make provision for their needs in terms of skills and education.
“This will undoubtedly continue to have devastating impact on the economic success of the region as a whole.
“We intend to request a meeting now with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to secure a clear commitment to the expansion of the university as a whole,” she said.
She concluded that the meeting must be arranged as a matter of urgency.