Tuesday 30 May 2017 02:21:33 AM

NI21 Launches Council Election Candidates For Rowallene and Mournes
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Alistair Straney has been confirmed as the NI21 council candidate for the local government election on Thursday 22 May for Rowallane area of the new Newry, Mourne and Down Council.

Alistair who has lived and worked locally all his life, has committed to making the local council more effective for all sections of the community.

Having left school at Down Academy, Alistair attended Greenmount College before diversifying from farming into his current career as a specialist stone mason.

N121 candidate for Rowallane Alistair Straney, Mourne candidate Annette Holden and South Down MLA John McCallister.

N121 candidates Alistair Straney (Rowallene) and Annette Holden (Mournes) pictured with South Down MLA John McCallister (NI21 Deputy Leader) looking forward to the local government election on Thursday 22 May.

He said: “I have always been interested in politics and joined NI21 as I want to be part of a political party which is committed to fairness, equality and social justice for all.

“As a parent I want my children to grow up in a very different Northern Ireland to what I did, and I believe NI21 can offer us all a better future free from sectarianism. I want to move beyond tribal politics towards a truly shared future.

“Fresh politics needs to start at local council level and I am very aware of the issues that affect each and everyone one of us locally.

“I got involved in the Save the Downe Hospital campaign at the very outset and that is when I decided I needed to stand up and make my voice be heard – and take an active role in local politics.  I remain committed to doing everything in my power to fight to maintain a local hospital which meets the needs of a local community.

“If elected I will also work to address traffic management in Ballynahinch, an issue which has plagued the town for many years. Everyone has suffered – especially local businesses.

Economic regeneration is another of my main priorities – we need a more pragmatic approach by local government to create the environment necessary for growth. Crippling rates bills and vacant shop units must be addressed head on.

“I will also focus on updating facilities throughout the area – we need modern public amenities fit for a modern vibrant Northern Ireland. I will work to help develop a play park strategy to ensure our local community has access to appropriate, stimulating safe play parks for our children.

“Also I want to ensure the voice of older people is valued and heard in the community planning process.

“The new council will have enhanced powers transferred from central government and it is vital that we have new, competent voices in council making sensible decisions on planning, roads, urban regeneration, community development and housing.”