It was announced today that the new Executive is set to go on the road for the first time and meet outside of Belfast.
First up on the Executive’s road show is Fermanagh (home of the First Minister) and Derry (home of the Deputy First Minister).
These type of things happen in the UK, where the cabinet takes trips outside of London to see the other regions of the UK, yet I am not totally sure what is really achieved by doing this.
Regardless, the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said;
This initiative stems from a conversation Arlene and I had around the need to redress the concern that the Executive is perceived is too Belfast-centric.
Of course it is a symbolic move but we are also very focused on actions to redress regional disparities. That is why the monies for the A5 and A6 have been agreed in the budget. That is why Michelle O’Neill is moving her entire department from Belfast to Co. Derry.
There is obviously potential for much more to be done and I am very focused around Magee University for example. However, I am encouraged by the positive discussions I have had with Arlene and I think initiatives such as this demonstrate our shared view that the executive belongs to the people of Brookeborough and the Bogside as much as it does the people of Belfast.
The Northern Ireland Executive coming to town near you….
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs