Cookstown UUP Councillor Robert Kelly has hit out at Education Minister John O’Dowd over ‘wasting money’ on consultations on proposed schools cuts.
He told the MAIL: “Having been one of the main opponents to John O’Dowd’s proposals to cut school budgets I have great heart in the fact that he has now been able to find funding out of a mysterious pot in order to be able to do a U-turn on his proposals and make a promise that there not now be any cuts to school budgets across Northern Ireland.
“It is amazing that all these pots of money and U-turns by Ministers have all come in the lead up to the elections in May. At this time I want to thank all those people who took time to reply to the consultation and to all the head teachers who expressed their concerns about the resources they would lose as a result of the proposed cuts, I would especially like to thank the head teachers of the schools I visited across the district who were all supportive in my attempt to help stop these cuts, It was great to see what people power was able to achieve.
“It is unfortunate that the situation ever arose in the first place and I feel sorry for the distress and anxiety that it caused. John O’Dowd now says he never intended cutting school budgets, if this is the case why did the proposals ever make it into the public domain and why was there any need for the consultation in the first place.
“It will be interesting to see how much money was wasted on this consultation and which pot of money will he be able to pull out of his back pocket to pay for it?
He continued: “It is time these people in high profile positions actually did what they were elected to do and serve the people of Northern Ireland instead of putting the citizens through so much stress with these so called consultations which most of the time are only waste of valuable resources and a drain on our already stretched economy.”