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2001 Local Government Election Manifesto - Sinn Féin

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2001 Local Government Election Manifesto - Sinn Féin
Changing the face of local government


Sinn Féin 6 County Local Election Manifesto

Changing the face of local government

1. Introduction 5. Democracy 9. Environment
2. Delivering Peace 6. Equality 10. Community Development
3. Real Representation 7. Partnership 11. Leisure
4. Accountability 8. Rural Planning  


Introduction from Gerry Adams MP

A Chara,

Sinn Féin is the only all-Ireland party in this election. We are the only party providing effective leadership and representation on local councils throughout the island of Ireland.

Sinn Féin councillors have been at the forefront of confronting injustice, inequality and discrimination in local government. We have an unparalleled record in representing our constituents and delivering on our commitments.

In the 18 years since Sinn Féin first took seats on local councils in the North, politics on this island have been transformed. The engine for this transformation has been the Sinn Féin peace strategy. It has delivered the Irish peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

We have learned a lot in this time. So too have nationalists throughout the island.

Republicans view negotiations as part of struggle. After this election there will be crucial negotiations on the key issues of policing, demilitarisation and equality and human rights. If these negotiations are to advance the process then Sinn Féin has to go back to the negotiating table with an increased mandate.

Every vote will count.

On June 7th, I am asking you to Vote Sinn Féin No.1

Make your vote count.

Is Mise,

Gerry Adams MP


Delivering Peace

Sinn Féinis a republican party. We are the only all-Ireland party. Our goal is to see a united Ireland which delivers real social and economic change. We have been the driving force behind the Irish Peace Process.

The Peace Process grew out of Sinn Féin's peace strategy.

It has delivered the Good Friday Agreement and offered us a route map out of conflict and into a new Ireland based on equality and justice. The Good Friday Agreement is an all-Ireland agreement. It transcends partition and it offers a new opportunity for people across the island.

This potential, this opportunity, has still to be delivered. Yet despite all of the obstacles, Sinn Féin is committed and is determined to see the potential of the Good Friday Agreement realised.

Throughout this entire process, Sinn Féinhas been the engine for change. We have given real leadership.

We have been both flexible and imaginative but all the time wedded to our belief that the changes which are clearly necessary and indeed promised under the Agreement must be delivered.

Sinn Féin has been consistent in demanding that the Agreement is implemented in full. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement we have been involved in a number of public and private negotiations with the two governments, with the other political parties and with the White House.

On the policing issue we have consistently demanded amend-ments to Peter Mandelson's Police Act. We have been in the frontline not just in demanding a decent police service, but on issues of demilitarisation, an acceptable system of criminal justice, equality and human rights for all.

We have honoured every commitment made under the Good Friday Agreement and we now demand that others do likewise.

Republicans have taken many risks for peace over the past ten years. The IRA has maintained cessations for almost six years. It has taken a number of unilateral initiatives which have advanced the Peace Process.

Sinn Féinhas demonstrated leadership and determination. We have been dynamic and have met all of the challenges placed in front of us. We will continue to do this. We will not be diverted from demanding equality and justice. We will continue to be a source of confidence and strength, replacing conflict and division with peace and opportunity.

Our peace strategy and the Peace Process which it delivered can create change.

With increased political strength this process and the changes it will deliver will become irreversible.


Sinn Féin in local government - delivering real representation

Sinn Féin burst onto the local government scene in 1983 when Alex Maskey was elected to Belfast City Council, a council notorious as a hotbed of unionist bigotry and discrimination.

Eighteen years on, Sinn Féin is changing the face of local government. It is now the biggest party in Belfast and will soon hold the position of Mayor of Ireland's second city.

Sinn Fein is standing 153 local government candidates across the North.

In the last four years, Sinn Fein councillors led the way on many local authorities across Ireland: Cathal Crumley - Mayor of Derry; Marie Moore and Lynn Fleming - Deputy Mayor of Belfast and Derry; Geraldine Cassidy - Chairperson of Fermanagh District Council; Charlie McHugh - Chairperson of Strabane District Council; Brendan Curran - Chairperson of Newry and Mourne District Council; Sean Begley and Pearse McAleer - both Chaired Cookstown District Council; and Robin Martin who was Deputy Chairperson of Fermanagh District Council.

In Sligo, Sean MacManus is Mayor; Brian McKenna is Chairperson of Monaghan County Council; Michael McColreavy is Chair of Leitrim County Council; and Charlie Boylan Deputy Chair of Cavan County Council.

Sinn Féin is the only political party in this election with an all-Ireland vision. Sinn Féin is the only party committed to building strategic partnerships across Ireland so as to end the economic, social and cultural peripheralism of Border communities.

It has been an arduous journey. More than 20 Sinn Féin councillors and party workers have been killed over the years, but after the local government elections on June 7th, Sinn Féin will have an even stronger mandate for change.

Sinn Féin is a radical voice for change. We are an advocate for ordinary people who have had services denied. The party has made sure that republicans are at the heart of local government.

The sectarian hatred that greeted Alex Maskey and the first wave of Sinn Féin councillors is still evident in many areas. In Ballymena, through South Antrim and in Larne and Castlereagh, Sinn Féin will challenge unionist bigotry and discrimination head on. In Dungannon, as in other council areas, the party is denied key positions through the SDLP forming pacts with unionists to disenfranchise Sinn Féin voters.

But things are changing.

Sinn Fein has forced unionists to accept that we are a vital part of local government. In Belfast, Dungannon, Cookstown, Strabane, Enniskillen, Newry and Mourne, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Derry and Omagh, Sinn Féinwill take extra seats. In these district councils we will be the key players in formulating policies that meet people's needs, regenerate local communities, and continue to build a vibrant society.

In the space of 18 years Sinn Fein has brought a new energy to the councils. Local government will never be the same. Alex Maskey took the first stride in making history. In these local government elections he is continuing to make history, along with 152 other Sinn Fein local government candidates.

Sinn Féin is a rising, vibrant force in Irish politics. Sinn Féin is the fastest-growing, most dynamic party fighting these elections.

Help us to change the face of local government in Ireland.


Changing the Face of Local Government


Sinn Féin members have since 1983 sat on a variety of Councils across the Six Counties. Sinn Féin has consistently called for the reorganisation of local government. Such a review must include an examination of the role of unelected "quangos". Sinn Fein want to bring democracy to these bodies. We want council meetings to be open to the public.

Sinn Féin is working for democracy and equality in local government. It must serve the needs of the entire community. Discrimination in local government must be ended.



THE D'HONDT principles must become the mechanism for allocating the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of both the Council itself and Committees.

This is the only way to ensure that positions within Councils are allocated on an equitable and fair basis.

As well as more empowered local government structures throughout the Six Counties Sinn Féinwill campaign to achieve real progress in harmonising the work of local authorities on a cross-border basis. This would involve regional co-operation in such areas as South Ulster - Fermanagh, South Tyrone, Cavan and Monaghan and the North West - Derry, Donegal, West Tyrone.

We will promote at central government, regional and local authority level the need to develop cross-border co-operation between local authorities and statutory agencies, reflecting the All-Ireland dimension of the Good Friday Agreement.



For many years local government in the Six Counties was a by-word for discrimination. Belfast City Council was to the fore in this. Sinn Féin Councillors have in recent years transformed this situation. Increased Sinn Féin representation will push the equality agenda further, especially in Council areas still practicing discrimination.

Sinn Féinwill campaign for:

* a fully resourced Department of Equality which can monitor local councils

* council chambers to have similtaneous translation facilities

* councils to provide creche facilities

* equality in terms of symbols in council buildings

* an end to anti-nationalist discrimination in local government



Local Councils are there to serve local communities. Local people pay for local government through their rates. Local government has a duty to work in partnership with the community.

* Sinn Féin has been instrumental in ensuring effective partnership between the Councils, Community Groups and Area Partnership Boards

* Sinn Féin will continue to demand that essential community facilities and services are supported by funding from local councils


Rural Planning

Planning is crucial for the future sustainability of rural communities. There has been a legacy of planning discrimination particularly in councils West of the Bann.

Sinn Féin is calling for:

* planning to remain under the control of a planning authority until the Equality Agenda has been adopted by all local councils

* proper consultation between local councils, rural communities, farmers and environmental campaigners on any new legisation pertaining to rural development

* members of exsisting farm families to get priority planning permission



Councils must begin to take a leading role in developing partnerships with community and statutory agencies in order make envionmental protection a priority.

Pollution does not recognise borders and it is therefore important that councils develop All-Ireland strategies to deal with waste management.

Sinn Féinwill campaign for:

* councils to adopt green purchasing and supply strategies

* schemes to improve the quality of peoples lives such as traffic calming, cycle paths and increased play areas

* councils to co-operate in an integrated waste management policy


Community Development

Anti-social behaviour and petty crime are social problems which exist in every society. Decades of state neglect and discrimination have created a subculture in which a tiny percentage of young people are involved in such behaviour.

Sinn Féin is tackling these problems by:-

* promoting community-led multi-agency strategies to develop long term solutions

* promoting youth forums to ensure young voices are heard

* campaigning for more funding for jobs, education and leisure services

* actively promoting the development of Community Restorative Justice projects

* campaigning against joyriding; access to alcohol by minors and the sale of drugs

* organising community clean up campaigns

* actively promoting community empowerment



Sinn Féin will work for:

* comprehensive leisure policies in all 26 local councils

* promotion of familty participation through affordable pricing policies

* funding for educational programmes for schools, youth clubs and senior citizens

* the establishment of modern, sustainable leisure facilities in areas where none exist

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