Saturday, 7 March 2009

One step closer to the closure of Mountpottinger Barracks

Good news for those of us concerned with policing reform here in the North, or those of us concerned with the appropriate use of policing resources; the closure of Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks has come one step closer following a Private meeting of the East Belfast DPP on Thursday night.

The DPP, following a presentation from the PSNI at their last public meeting was tasked with recommending what should happen this particular facility. Most people will know I and Sinn Féin have been lobbying long and hard to remove this blight on our area. The costs involved in it's retention are astronomical, given the fact that it houses one small neighbourhood policing team and is only open on a part time basis.

Those facts have been blogged on by myself extensively in the past, you can read about them here and here

The good news however is that the DPP has voted to recommend that this base be closed, that will then go to the Policing Board as well as the PSNI Chief Constable (and we all know how he feels about the issue of Mountpottinger!)

The vote was 4 for and 4 against, Cllr O'Neill of Sinn Féin and Chair of the East Belfast DPP then has the casting vote, unsurprisingly he voted for it's closure.

This is good news, good news for the people of the Short Strand, good news for community safety and policing issues in the East of the City and good news for anyone who realises that in the midst of an economic crisis we cannot be wasting money on retaining militarised forts simply for the sake of retaining them and to keep the DUP content that the rowdy natives are having this fortress forced upon them.
Those days are over, buíochas le Dia and Mounpottinger going is good for society here in the North of Ireland!

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