Committee Sets Record Straight on its Transport Structure Proposals

Synopsis: The Chairman of the Committee for Regional Development, Mr Jimmy Spratt MLA, has today set the record straight following the publication and debate on the Committee report on its Inquiry into Comprehensive Transport Delivery Structures.

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 04 November 2013

Reference: CRD 02/13/14

The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development, Mr Jimmy Spratt MLA, has today set the record straight following the publication and debate on the Committee report on its Inquiry into Comprehensive Transport Delivery Structures.

Speaking during the debate, the Chairperson said: "I condemn whoever is responsible for the leaking of this or any other Assembly report as they are discourteous to this House, to the Members of this Assembly, to the Committee and to the witnesses who gave of their time to contribute to the Inquiry. And, importantly, they have shown total disregard and contempt towards the employees of Translink who have had to endure the rumour and innuendo arising from the inaccurate reporting of the leaked document and who have been told that their jobs are on the line because the Committee wants to privatise the services that they provide.

"I want to nail this spurious accusation right at the outset. At no time, either during the course of the Inquiry or in the reporting of the Committee findings and recommendations, have I, the Deputy Chair or the Committee called for Translink to be privatised. The words 'privatise' or 'privatisation' do not appear in the body of the Committee report, for the simple reason that we did not use them."

Mr Spratt went on to clarify that the Committee did want to see more competition within the transport sector and highlighted the integral role that community transport organisations could have in a competitive sector. He further outlined concerns that had been raised by the Committee in the report, including the lack of transparency with regards to Translink accounts and the disproportionate allocation of departmental budgets between roads and public transport.

ENDS

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