ALLIANCE Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP has visited Newcastle to meet with Down District Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke to discuss growing the local economy, promoting tourism and work in relation to building a shared future.
Naomi Long MP said, “I met with Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke to discuss the work he is doing in Down District Council and to discuss growing the local economy and promoting tourism . We talked about the importance of the tourism industry to local growth and the impact that the global economic situation is having on homes and business in the area.
“We also discussed the impact that reductions in library opening hours in the area could have on communities and also ways in which we can work to develop the potential if libraries as an education and community resource, but also as a driver for tourism and economic growth. I have been campaigning to prevent cuts in East Belfast and Patrick has been doing much work on the issue in the Down area too, so this was a useful opportunity to share experiences and ideas.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Patrick for the work which he has been doing to address the issue of flags in Dundrum. He has made a massive impact in the short time since he was elected in May and is helping lead change on shared future issues on Down District Council.”
Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke said, “This was a very productive meeting and I am pleased that we were able to discuss issues that are core to the community in the Newcastle and wider Down area.
“I also outlined to Naomi the urgent need for a new Leisure Centre complex for Newcastle, Newcastle beach achieving blue flag status in the future, as well as the promotion of Newcastle, Dundrum and Castlewellan in terms of further tourism potential.
“Naomi Long has been dealing with many issues which are central to building a shared future not just in her constituency, but right across Northern Ireland. Naomi also has a proven track record in protecting libraries from closure in East Belfast and it has been extremely useful to hear how this success has been delivered and we discussed how best to address cuts to opening hours for libraries in the Down area.”