A Glider service for ALL of North Belfast

The Workers Party in North Belfast has called for the extension of the Glider service to cover the entire North Belfast community and for it to be funded from the money saved by ending segregated education and the removal of ‘peace walls’.

In its submission to the Department of Infrastructure the Party said, “Public transport services should target and address a range of social priorities. It must always be about much more than simply operating a bus route.

The consultation had proposed a choice between a Glider service along the Shore Road or a service on the Antrim Road. The Workers Party has added its own circular route option running clockwise and counter clockwise from the City Centre along the Shore Road to Glengormley, the Antrim Road back to the city centre with a further loop route along the North Circular, Ballysillan, Upper Crumlin, Woodvale, Shankill and onwards to the City Centre.

“The current consultation process must take the opportunity to look beyond the immediate, effectively addressing a transport strategy for North Belfast, ”it says.

The Workers Party has also criticised reactions to the consultation so far which they say have largely been based along tribal lines – each ‘side’ calling for the Glider on ‘their road’

“The proposal to extend Glider services to north Belfast is a once in a generation opportunity to transform public transport, not just in this area but for the whole city, open up access, develop social inclusion and deliver a safer, cleaner, greener city”, the Party submission says.

It has also called for the extension of the Glider service to the whole of North Belfast to be funded from the scrapping of segregated education which currently costs around £100 million per year and the removal of the so called ‘peace walls’ which each year cost a staggering £2 billion to maintain.

Read the Party’s full submission:

Alternative route plan:

Sectarianism: condemnation alone not enough

Sectarianism: condemnation alone is not enough

“Condemnation of sectarianism and sectarian hate crimes is, by itself, not enough to overcome the cancer that blights this society”, Workers Party spokesperson Lily Kerr has said.

Her comments come after  sectarian graffiti was daubed on a house and car in the Kilcoole area of north Belfast.

“Of course we must condemn these kinds of outrages”. Lily said, “but unless we address the underlying factors we are doomed to pass the sectarian gene onto another generation”. 

How can we ignore the fact that our children are the product of a segregated education system, that our system of government is based on the myth of “two communities” and that almost every public and political initiative in Northern Ireland has to be counterbalanced to accommodate  ‘nationalists’ and ‘unionists’ – and then assume that automated condemnation of the inevitable outcomes of that segregation will be sufficient to end it?”, asked Lily.

“Furthermore, these incidents highlight the political hypocrisy of those who condemn on one hand and casually stoke sectarian tensions with the other”. said Lily

“We must never forget that there is a deeply traumatised family at the centre of this latest attack. They need the swift support of all the relevant statutory bodies to meet their immediate needs but most of all they need the unequivocal support of the entire community and the reassurance of a public commitment to remove the frameworks which enable sectarianism as well as the  political parties which peddle in and profit from it”, she said

Anyone with any information about this or any other sectarian incident should report it to the PSNI” Lily concluded

Standing up to sectarian intimidation

Everyone has a right to a home

Everyone has a right to a home

Workers Party representative Gemma Weir has hit out strongly at attempts to intimidate residents of the Felden area in north Belfast and has called for a ‘united community response’ to recent threats.

‘There can be no excuse and no justification for the intimidating and sectarian graffiti that has been daubed on walls around the new Felden housing development, or for the flags on lamp posts at the entrance to the estate’, she said.

‘People have a right to live peacefully, free from threat wherever they choose to set up home. There can be no exceptions.  Along with Party colleagues I have been delivering that message in a leaflet drop in Felden, Graymount, Bawnmore and surrounding areas this weekend’, Gemma said

‘In recent months I have also held a number of meetings with local groups and agencies to discuss the best ways to counter these threats and to help re-assure residents and families.

The best way we can stand up to sectarianism and intimidation is to unite in support of all the families in Felden”, stated Gemma

 ‘There can be no room for those who seek to bully and pressurise people out of their homes and out of their neighbourhoods. That message must come from the entire local community’.

‘The Workers Party will work with anyone and everyone who opposes sectarianism, stands up to bully boys and believes that people have a right to a home in the area of their choice – regardless of their beliefs, their ethnic background or their political opinions, Gemma concluded .

Attacks must not deter progress

Attacks are the result of a culture of sectarianism, confrontation and provocation.

Attacks are the result of a culture of sectarianism, confrontation and provocation.

Workers Party representative Chris Bailie has condemned the recent attacks in the Ardoyne / Crumlin Road area of Belfast but has called for continued progress towards removing local  ‘peace’ walls.

‘The recent attacks on homes in the Crumlin Road area are sectarian hate crimes. They are horrific and they age wrong.’ he said

‘They are the result of a culture of sectarianism, confrontation and provocation which for some time now has been the sole agenda of a number of groups in north Belfast.

‘There are people throughout north Belfast who are opposed to progress and the removal of ‘peace’ walls because they need them to sustain difference and division in an attempt to justify their own existence’, Chris said.

‘The progress which has been made on the removal of barriers and gates must not be thwarted by random acts of terror by elitist paramilitaries’, Chris commented.

‘All agencies and groups in the area should meet to confirm progress towards the removal of the walls and present a united front against this type of terror and intimidation’ said Chris.

‘That is the only way forward’, he added

Assembly must act to safeguard jobs

Assembly must act to save jobs

TELETECH: Assembly must act to save jobs

Chris Bailie and Gemma Weir, Workers Party representatives in North Belfast have called on Invest NI and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to act quickly to secure alternative employment for the 197 employees of Teletech currently facing redundancy.

“We need the same kind of intervention that was made to support the employees of KPL the  Dungiven based firm which collapsed in February”, Chris argued.

“The redundancies at Teletech take effect in just under two month’s time”, Gemma said “Invest NI and the Enterprise Department must act decisively to secure these jobs, retain the skills in the North Belfast area and demonstrate that the Assembly is capable of making positive interventions in the local economy”, she added.

“This cannot be allowed to become just another economic statistic. Government provides support for the banks and tax incentives for start-up companies, the same level of commitment must be shown to secure the jobs of the Teletech workers”, concluded Chris and Gemma