EXCLUSIVE: Cookstown council to meet Justice Minister over Desertcreat college

Pacemaker Press 12/3/2014 'The Site of the new Police college  at Desertcreat near  Cookstown Co Tyrone.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 12/3/2014 'The Site of the new Police college at Desertcreat near Cookstown Co Tyrone.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

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A delegation from Cookstown District Council, alongside the Chief Executive and Chair of the new Mid-Ulster council are to meet with the Justice Minister next week to discuss the progression of the Northern Ireland Community Safety College at Desertcreat.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the council on Tuesday night, Acting Chief Executive Adrian McCreesh described the news last week that the college plans were halted as ‘a hammer blow’ to the local area.

Councillors were united in their shock and condemnation at how the entire project has been handled by ‘the powers that be’.

SDLP Councillor James McGarvey, expressed his concern at how long the process has taken and stated that he believed the hold-ups are caused by ‘a few men in grey suits who don’t want the project built in this area.’

UUP Councillor Trevor Wilson spoke of his shock and disappointment at despite the council ‘moving heaven and earth’ to facilitate the project that no-one involved in the decision making process ‘had the decency to inform the council of the current situation’, rather than the council having to hear through the media.

Sinn Fein Councillor, Ciaran McElhone described the ‘immense sense of growing frustration’ from local businesses and ordinary local people at the continual failure to get the project off the ground.

Councillors resolved to challenge the Justice Minister when they meet next Wednesday and to fight for the people of Mid-Ulster to ensure the project is delivered.