At last nights full council meeting councillors voted to delay the reopening of Arts and Museum Services until January 2021.
Alderman Yvonne Boyle has expressed shock and dismay at last nights decision.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this morning Alderman Boyle, a published poet, said:
“We are just coming out of lockdown and planning the re-opening of our services.
“Last night the DUP, UUP and SDLP Councillors voted to delay opening Arts and Museums services until next year!
“After considerable discussion on the timing of opening leisure facilities, the debate on the DUP motion to delay these services only took a few minutes.
“Creativity has been a very important part of ‘getting through’ the lockdown and will be crucial in assisting in the psychological recovery for many different individuals and families as restrictions are eased. We have been and are going through a collective trauma including loss of contact, confidence, jobs and, for some, family members. The support the arts can give for the promotion of mental health and well-being has never been more important.
“Flowerfield Arts Centre, which has provided such an essential hub for the support of vulnerable and isolated via local community groups during the pandemic, will now be prevented from providing its range of uplifting and festive activities coming up to this Christmas.
“Alliance is looking at ways to reverse this shortsighted decision.
“In the meantime, all those who are interested and have participated in arts and heritage activities in the past and currently online, please contact your Councillor to make your voices heard.