Issues
Economy
It is vital we continue to focus on rebuilding and rebalancing our economy in Northern Ireland. We need to grow our private sector, and support businesses and make Northern Ireland the best place to do business in the UK. I am well aware of challenges faced locally and have organised many Ministerial visits to North Down to meet local business owners as well as working alongside Invest NI and other support agencies. More needs to be done to assist Businesses on keeping Energy costs down. I have also assisted with Business Development and Planning Applications within Towns and Industrial sites. The small business rates relief scheme is a recent example of devolution delivering; however more must be done to support our local economy going forward.
Tourism
North Down has benefitted a lot from Tourism in the past; however we have great potential to further grow our tourism sector further locally in the future. Tourism should be actively promoted and developed locally as it can only bring benefit to the area, with our Golf Courses, Museums, Parks, Beaches, Pickie Park and leisure facilities. I believe there is great potential for Golf tourism within the constituency particularly as a result of Rory McIlroy’s recent sporting success on the world golf arena. We have also proved that North Down can host top events whether that be music, sporting or cultural events.
Education
I have supported Schools across North Down in their expansion and development plans and lobbied Ministers for sufficient funding in the Classroom. We must continue to tackle Educational Underachievement through skills and apprenticeship programmes for our young people at SERC College. We need to see investment in local school buildings and facilities including Holywood Primary, Nursery, Priory College, Sullivan Upper along with Bangor Central Primary and St Columbanus. As a Governor of both Rathmore Primary School and Holywood Primary School I am well aware of the challenges faced by local Schools today. I am also continuing to work for ‘Safe Routes to School’ outside our Schools with Transport NI and PSNI. I believe that Academic Selection is the best way for our young people to learn and will continue to work with Schools in the future.
Social Housing
I have supported and been successful in seeing many people rehoused through the Housing Executive and Housing Associations. I have assisted Housing Associations to identify suitable sites and process Planning Applications, for much needed new homes, i.e. Bloomfield, Dunville, Kilcooley and Rathgill. I have also successfully assisted residents to avail of the Warm Home and Boiler Replacement Schemes, and inclusion in the Double Glazing and Kitchen Refurbishment Programmes and will continue to work with Community Associations and Agencies for continual improvements in local areas across North Down.
Health
It is important to continue to monitor the performance of our health and social care provision and our local Ulster Hospital. The extra funding allocation of £37.5 million to progress the Phase B redevelopment project at the Ulster is particularly welcome; this will include a much needed A+E Department which is presently overloaded along with extra ward provision. I have lobbied to protect our local Community Pharmacies who play such a valuable role in healthcare provision.

Continuing to lobby for investment towards a new Health and Wellbeing Centre in Bangor. Worked for the completion of the new Acute Services Unit and General Ward Block at the Ulster Hospital through a £243million investment. I have pressed for provision of a Cath Lab at the Ulster Hospital and will continue to engaging with GPs, Pharmacists, Dentists and Nurses to ensure fair pay. I also believe in supporting many Health related Charities through Fundraising and Health Promotion.
Infrastructure
Upgrading of Road Safety measures along the A2 Dual Carriageway as well as Resurfacing and maintenance of our Roads Network and Footpaths remain a priority. I will continue to press for Street Lighting repairs across North Down and ensuring adequate Weed Control and Grass Cutting on roads, carriageways and residential areas. Highlighted need for appropriate Winter Gritting arrangements to keep our roads safe. The introduction of ‘Resident Parking Schemes’ within town centres remain a priority, as well as protecting the Free-Travel Pass scheme for our older people.
Agriculture & Environment
Upgrading of Road Safety measures along the A2 Dual Carriageway as well as Resurfacing and maintenance of our Roads Network and Footpaths remain a priority. I will continue to press for Street Lighting repairs across North Down and ensuring adequate Weed Control and Grass Cutting on roads, carriageways and residential areas. Highlighted need for appropriate Winter Gritting arrangements to keep our roads safe. The introduction of ‘Resident Parking Schemes’ within town centres remain a priority, as well as protecting the Free-Travel Pass scheme for our older people.
Town & Village Regeneration
Regeneration of our Towns and Villages is vital in order to help kick-start our local economy. I have been extensively involved in regeneration schemes locally, and I am pleased to have been involved in ensuring Ards & North Down Borough Council have delivered Public Realm Schemes in Bangor, Holywood and Donaghadee. The redevelopment of Queens Parade must continue to be prioritised. I have raised these issues at every opportunity and have extensively lobbied several Ministers on bringing forward investment for these schemes. We need to continue to deliver investment in Crawfordsburn, Helen’s Bay, Conlig, Groomsport and Millisle through the development of Village Plans and work continues with Ards and North Down Rural Partnership and Council to ensure funding opportunities for Villages and the ongoing development of the North Down Coastal Path.
Crime and Policing
The DUP have made tougher sentencing for attacks against our elderly and most vulnerable a top priority. We need a greater Police presence on the ground to reassure law abiding public and to deter criminal activity. Crime continues to blight our communities and can have a devastating impact on its victims; we must ensure confidence in our justice system is restored to give reassurance to those most in need. I also believe in introducing measures to tackle animal cruelty.

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