COUNCIL WILL TELL ASSEMBLY: ‘WE STILL EXIST’

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COOKSTOWN Council is to tell government Mid Ulster does exist as the latest £580m roads and hospital building programme bypassed the constituency.

With just about every other area in Northern Ireland benefiting from this massive capital expenditure, Cookstown Councillors are to press the Assembly about the Cookstown Bypass.

Ulster Unionist Trevor Wilson said that while the announcement was a ‘welcome boost’ both Cookstown and Magherafelt had been bypassed .

He asked that the Chief Executive write to the authorities to say ‘we still exist’.

Chief Executive Adrian McCreesh said he would write to the relevant authorities particularly in relation to the Cookstown Bypass.

Cookstown has been waiting for a bypass for more than 20 years and, particularly since the latest recession, has suffered considerably with the crash in the construction industry and property market with a high percentage of residents on the dole.

First Minister Peter Robinson told MLAs that £330m will be spent upgrading two sections of the A5 between Londonderry and Strabane, as well as Omagh and Ballygawley.

More than £28m of the investment will be spent on the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry and about £60m will go to the new Omagh Hospital and the Ulster Hospital.

That money will accelerate the building of the new Omagh hospital and phase B of the development of the Ulster.

Another £57m will be spent on improving the A2 Carrickfergus to Belfast road and £105m will go towards the A8 Belfast to Larne dual carriageway.

And he said he is committed to major investment in the north west.

Peter Robinson said the announcement on Tuesday of a £330m investment for the A5, Altnagelvin hospital and a new hospital in Omagh was proof of Stormont’s intent.

“I’ve heard often enough that people in the north west feel everything goes towards Belfast and the north east of the province, and I think what you’re starting to see is an Executive that’s willing to pour investment into the north west and create a better life for everyone that’s here.”

However, despite the MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness being Deputy First Minister, the constituency received no good news from the Executive in this announcement.