Newry city Councillor Gavin Malone is putting forward a motion at this month's full council meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down Council calling for the postponement of any further work on the proposed new civic centre in Newry which was to be located in the car park behind Newry Cathedral and feels that the Albert Basin Park needs to be the priority.

Cllr Malone feels that with the change in society in the past few months, new 'financial realities' are ahead and now is not the right time to proceed with the civic centre.

Cllr Malone commented "The motion was put in because I think the priority at this point in time needs to be the Albert Basin Park This is what we promised to deliver and I don't want to see it not going ahead. I think it's a priority and with Covid-19 there could be cuts coming down the road"

"It's a lot of money to spend and very challenging times. I'm not opposed to a new civic centre, I just don't think this term's the right time." said  Cllr Malone who added "I would be very concerned where people are going to get parked if civic centre goes ahead. Was there consultation, were people asked"

The Newry City Councillor also explained that a lot of people have contacted him with their concerns about parking and other things relating to the civic centre.

The motion states "The Council recognises that society has changed fundamentally within the last four months and there will most likely be austere times for many residents of our district for the foreseeable future, the Council also recognises the new financial realities in the time ahead for us as a local authority and therefore it is now time to postpone any further work on the proposed new civic centre project for the remainder of this term."

The Civic Centre project along with a Theatre/ Conference facility is part of a quoted £20M investment in the city centre and the project was announced back in 2017.

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