Price of PEACE III victims’ project ‘extravagant’ claim

‘EXTRAVAGANT’ was how the price of a PEACE III programme in Pomeroy has been described by Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson.

The project, which aims to train up to ten people to work with victims of trauma, caused controversy at a recent meeting of Cookstown District Council.

The Council were seeking to appoint someone on behalf of the South West Cluster PEACE III Partnership to deliver a support and training programme for the workers.

At it’s recent Development Committee meeting it transpired that there was only one person who had tendered for the project - Margaret T O’Hagan Keenan .

The committee was told that the tender had ‘clearly demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the assignment’ and was ‘good value for money’.

The ‘Empowerment Programme’ is to be delivered before the end of April.

SDLP Councillor James McGarvey, seconded by party colleague Councillor Mary Baker, proposed that the tender be awarded to Ms O’Hagan Keenan to deliver the programme at a cost of almost £3,670.

However Ulster Unionist councillor Trevor Wilson described the cost of delivering the programme as ‘quite extravagant’.

And he sought assurances from the Community Services unit regarding the ‘high volume’ of tenders that were being put forward asking if the unit was able to cope with it all.

Development Director of Cookstown District Council, Mr Adrian McCreesh, confirmed there was an increased workload but with staff redeployment and using staff from other units, such as the Burnavon, they were able to cope.

DUP Councillor Ian McCrea also queried the cost of delivering the programme.

Mr McCreesh said that PEACE III had decided the number of participants and he would advise Councillor McCrea of the programme’s methodology.

The Development Committee agreed to the tender from Ms O’Hagan Keenan.