Following the DUP u-turn on the Maze TUV Leader, Jim Allister, raised with SEUPB how the £18m could be spent on other projects. In reply SEUPB Chief Executive, Mr Colgan, has decreed such would be premature because “SEUPB is in discussions with the Lead Partner about the continued viability of this project”.
Commenting, Jim Allister said:-
“If the plug has been pulled on this divisive project, then, what is there to discuss in terms of its “continued viability”? The answer should be “nothing”. Or, is someone somewhere trying to subvert the termination decision?
“The First Minister and the DUP need to keep a grip on this situation. Victims must not be double crossed by anyone.
“Valuable time is being wasted in terms of alternative spend for this £18m and thus its time SEUPB and the Lead Partner (presumably Maze Long Kesh Regeneration Board) fell into line with the political realities and moved on. The role of the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) and their agenda also needs to be carefully monitored. SIB has several highly paid staff devoted to this project. Wherever the machinations to resuscitate the Maze Shrine Project are coming from they must be frustrated.”
Below are Mr Allister’s letter and Mr Colgan’s reply:
Mr Pat Colgan Chief Executive Special EU Programmes Body
16th August 2013
Dear Mr Colgan,
RE: Maze Project
Now that the Maze Project is not proceeding, I write to obtain full clarity on the EU funding implications.
Will this EU money now be available for other projects/programmes and, if so, how will such be allocated? Indeed, if OFMDFM can’t agree to notify Brussels of the lapsed need for the money, will unilateral action be taken by Brussels to release this money, rather than see it unspent and lost by reason of not being drawn down in time or at all.
I look forward to receiving full clarification.
J H Allister QC MLA
29th August 2013
Re: Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre (PbCRc)
I refer to your letter of 16th August 2013.
SEUPB is in discussions with the Lead Partner about the continued viability of this project. Until these discussions have been concluded, it is premature to discuss any reallocation of funding within the Peace III programme.
Pat Colgan Chief Executive