Monday 11 December 2017 12:06:34 AM

DUP Team Hand In Nomination Papers For Shadow Council Election
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The South Down council election DUP team handed in their nomination papers yesterday (Wednesday 16 April) for the new Newry, Mourne and Down Council elections.  They will be fielding seven candidates over the Rowallene, Slieve Croob, Downpatrick, the Mournes, Crotlieve and Newry City district electoral areas.

left to right. Lavelle McIlrath, party supporter, Jackie Fairburn, election agent, Raymond Hanna, candidate (Newry City), outgoing Councillor William Dick, Yvonne Moore, candidate (Downpatrick), Councillor Garth Craig, candidate (Slieve Croob), Wilma McCullough,  candidate (Crotlieve). Glyn Hanna, candidate (Mournes), Harry Harvey, candidate (Rowallane), Jim Wells,  South Down MLA, Councillor Billy Walker, candidate (Rowallane), Jim Shannon MP, and Jim Donaldson, party supporter.

The DUP election team for the Newry, Mourne and Down shadow council election: (left to right) Lavelle McIlrath, party supporter, Jackie Fairburn, election agent, Raymond Hanna, candidate (Newry City), outgoing Councillor William Dick, Yvonne Moore, candidate (Downpatrick), Councillor Garth Craig, candidate (Slieve Croob), Wilma McCullough, candidate (Crotlieve), Glyn Hanna, candidate (Mournes), Harry Harvey, candidate (Rowallane), Jim Wells, South Down MLA, Councillor Billy Walker, candidate (Rowallane), Jim Shannon MP, and Jim Donaldson, party supporter.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon said: “We are seeing a lot of change among the parties, in Review of Public Administration with the new super councils, in the new councillors coming forward themselves, and also at the NI Assembly level. We as a party embrace change. We wish to deliver a better way of life for all.

“The South Down team have a great blend of coming from different professional backgrounds, from rural and urban areas, they have new blood and experienced councillors aboard, and a good gender balance. We are a party for all.”

Rowallene Councillor Billy Walker speaking on behalf of his colleagues said: “I believe we have an excellent team lined up for this council election. We have demonstrated that we can work across the religious and political divide and we are looking forward to playing our part in the new Newry, Mourne and Down Council when it finally emerges in a year’s time.

“We are a committed party and my own personal record at attending inter-agemncy meetings in my Rowallene constituency is 100% since I was elected last time. The electorate expect their public representatives to show this level of commitment. Some councillors have a very bad attendance particularly at these important meetings. We wil deliver 365 days a year, not just at election time.

“We would encourage those voting to vote for pro-unionsist candidates right down the ballot paper as it is essential that we as unionists gather a percentage of the vote. This figure will ensure that unionists in South Down will have 8-9 representatives in the new council, and this will allow a specific  mechanism to kick in which allows us to challenge what is being proposed under the guidelines in the chamber. That way we can block controversial issues such as the naming of the McCreesh playpark and matters around the politicisation of the Irish language.

“It is vital that unionists come out and vote as the Protestant community will only be around one quarter of the total population of the South Down electoral area so we must ensure we use our votes wisely.”