Statement by TUV MLA Jim Allister:-
“Having become aware of unease about some recruitment outcomes for senior posts in Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, I set about obtaining data on the number of applicants and appointees from the respective Protestant and Roman Catholic community backgrounds.
“The results in respect of the most senior appointments made over the last three years show a disturbing imbalance in favour of Catholic applicants.
“The 2011 census indicates 73% of the Borough population are of Protestant community background and 19% of Catholic background (as referenced page 18 of Council’s January 2017 draft community plan). Thus, there should be a reasonable expectation that Council recruitment would bear some relationship to the area it serves. Sadly, under the new council this is not so at senior level.
“The Council’s own figures show that in the three years 2015, 2016 and 2017, when it came to appointment of Managers and Senior Officials, 15 of new appointees were from a Protestant background, 13 from a Catholic background and 2 from a non determined background.
“Where the issue comes into sharpest focus is when a comparison is made with the success ratio of Protestant and Catholic applicants. Only 1 in every 8 Protestant applicants were successful in contrast to 1 in every 5.6 Catholic applicants. Why does a Catholic applicant have a 40% better chance of appointment than a Protestant? This is a serious level of disadvantage.
“Indeed, the imbalance is getting worse. This year, 2017, 8 Catholic managers and senior officials were appointed, but only 7 Protestants. And that in a Council with a 73% Protestant population.
“The trend under this council over its three years of existence is disturbing and suggests to me a systemic problem which needs to be urgently addressed.”