Thanking Chris Hazzard MLA for his efforts Cllr Enright said “Chris Hazzards success is particularly important, as it establishes a precedent for Down being and area to where jobs can be decentralised to correct historic imbalances in the Labour Market in Northern Ireland. In the absence of any agreed formula for choosing what areas to decentralise jobs to in NI, it is important to be part of the very first wave.”
Despite being in operation for less than a year, the Down Public Sector Task Force is making good progress with over 100 jobs either preserved or gained for the District
The task force was proposed last year by Cllrs Cadogan Enright, Dermot Curran and Eamonn McConMidhe to address the of drain of public sector jobs from the District.
It is run as a cross-party committee involving local business people, educationalists, trade unions and persons with considerable experience in the public sector like ex-senator Maurice Hayes.
Both MP’s, and all 12 MLAs representing Down District have been consulted on the Task Forces Strategy and Council management resources have been given to ensure the success of the task force by making sure every delegation or elected representative has the key facts they need around any opportunity to advance the project.
Task Force Chairperson Cadogan Enright said, “The ability of local politicians to work across party lines in the key to our success so far in this project. We have had JIm Wells MLA helping us deal with the threat to Health Service roles in the District, Margaret Ritchie MP lead a delegation to preserve and increase the number of Social Security Agency Jobs based in the District, and now Chris Hazzard MLA has help deliver our long-standing campaign to have Fisheries decentralised to this district.”
Cllr Cadogan Enright
Chairperson Down Public Sector Jobs Task Force