Is an agreed “shared future” strategy a precondition for Alliance Justice Minister?

On BBC NI’s Hearts and Minds tonight Alliance Party leader David Ford declined to explicitly state that an agreed Cohesion, Sharing and Integration strategy was his party’s precondition for the devolution of policing and justice powers, but the party seems keen to give someone that impression. With one part of OFMDFM threatening to sulk, again, the Alliance Party’s Anna Lo, MLA, is quoted in an iol report.

The party, which is not a member of the four-party power-sharing executive, has now made clear that its co-operation will not come without progress on segregation – which it claims costs the North £1bn a year. “It would be nearly impossible for progress to be made on issues such as policing and justice if we don’t have a shared future strategy agreed urgently,” said Ms Lo. “Think of the whirlwind of bad publicity worldwide over the intimidation that forced Romanian families out of their Belfast homes (in June). “The Executive cannot afford to duck these issues any longer. We are in the teeth of a financial crisis and addressing the cash wasted on maintaining division is the best way to safeguard vital frontline health services in the future.”