Londonderry’s MP has waded into the ongoing debacle regarding what he described as the ‘turf-squaring’ between those involved in running the UK City of Culture.
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has called for an end to the ‘turf-squaring’ of different authorities and agencies in Derry in discharging the remainder of the City of Culture mandate and ensuring its optimum legacy.
Mr Durkan said: “Given all the successes and highlights of this year, it is obvious that not only has somebody somewhere done something right but a lot of people have done a lot of things right.
“We also need to marshal that same talent, work and will for the remainder of this special year.
“Culture company staff, Council staff and the many delivery partners in our cultural sector deserve acknowledgement and encouragement.
“In executing an ambitious and extensive calendar of events there would inevitably be tensions, apprehensions, doubts and differences.
“A great year for the city thanks to all concerned should not be defined or undermined by the portrayal of working disagreements or executive exchanges.
“The Council, Culture Company and all the other essential deliverers of an eventful, enjoyable year should know and show that they have the confidence of the city and of each other in discharging the remainder of the City of Culture mandate and ensuring the optimum legacy.
“The success of the year means that there will be new issues, ideas, options and ambitions to be discussed and determined. Positive public debate on these should be embraced, not evaded.
“The important thing is to conduct it as positive, purposeful discussion recruiting the insights and talents of culture activists and other civic interests and not portrayed as turf-squaring between different authorities and agencies.”