East Londonderry DUP MLA George Robinson says closing the Londonderry electoral office at Queen Street would result in a ‘false economy’ and see more jobs being unacceptably removed from the North West.
Supporting a motion at Stormont in support of local electoral offices, Mr Robinson stated: ”I can testify to the importance and value of the regional offices, especially during election time.
“A local office has local knowledge and relationships with parties that can prove invaluable.
“To remove that service would be a false economy and would limit the value of the Electoral Office in Northern Ireland.
“I appreciate the service, advice and support that the Londonderry office gives to me and my staff, and I am sure that many other MLAs and elected representatives will provide testimony to the value of the regional offices.”
The East Londonderry MLA commended the staff who work in the local Queen Street office saying “they all provide a very good service” for the electorate and politicians alike.
“Democracy has to begin at a local level. Therefore, regional offices that understand the regions they cover are essential. I wholeheartedly support the motion as proposed by my colleagues,” he said.
People Before Profit Eamonn McCann, speaking during the same debate, which took place immediately prior to the EU referendum, called on electoral office workers to stage a strike during the poll.
“Does the Member agree that a one-off opportunity for the Electoral Office workers to press home their point with the British authorities will arise this Thursday and Friday, when they will be expected to work late into the night to deliver the verdict on the European referendum? Were they to decide - I urge them from this place so to decide - to take industrial action on that day, would that not do more to bring attention to the validity of their case than anything that might be said or done in the House? A nil-all result in the European referendum would be a big win for the Electoral Office workers and for all of us,” he said.