SDLP Derry Councillor Brian Tierney has welcomed a commitment from the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive that temporary wash and toilet facilities will be installed at the Ballyarnett travellers site in the city.

Speaking after a conversation with the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive, Cllr Tierney said: “The commitment given to me by the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive that temporary wash and toilet facilities will be installed at the Ballyarnett traveller site is very welcome. It’s my hope that a more permanent solution can also be found.

“The site must be upgraded from a transit site to a services site to compel the Housing Executive to act and I’m pleased that the Chief Executive has now issued a works order to install wash and toilet facilities.

“I have raised this issue in the Council chamber and directly with statutory agencies. The SDLP will continue to work on this issue."

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Karen Mullan also welcomed the decision,

She said that it comes after she made representations to the housing organisation following concerns that the time frame for planned work there was going to slip until after a consultation in 2018.

Mrs Mullan said: "There were concerns raised with me that a commitment made by the Housing Executive to install washing and toilet facilities at the Ballyarnett Travellers site by Christmas of 2017 may not have been met in time.

"So I contacted the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive after becoming aware that this decision was to be halted pending the outcome of a wider consultation beginning in March 2018.

"In the interests of the health and safety of the people living at the Ballyarnett site I voiced opposition to this decision and urged that these facilities were installed with immediate effect.

"Sinn Féin recognise that Irish Travellers still face discrimination in the North in respect of accommodation, like every other citizen on this island, they deserve equality, and this includes unhindered access to facilities for washing and toilet needs.

"I am pleased to have received written confirmation from the Housing Executive that they now intend to install temporary facilities at Ballyarnett ahead of the planned consultation.

"Whilst they may not be the ideal situation it is a step in the right direction."

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