Monday, February 19, 2007



As a local Councillor and Assembly election candidate I have urged women to become more involved in politics. I put the following forward while speaking in my capacity as Vice Chair of the Local Government Staff Commission at the conclusion of a major conference “Women in Local Councils” at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

I suggested that North Down was an area which was leading the way in involving more women in politics. About one third of the Councillors in North Down are female and there is a similar ratio for the top post of Mayors in the past dozen years. The area also has a female MP in Lady Sylvia Hermon. I would suggested this was not too bad a return.

In my address I felt that a great deal had been achieved in the past year with the “Women into Politics - Making a Difference” initiative. There have been a number of events aimed at raising confidence in women and we have heard about the practical experience of a number of those already involved - including myself. We also had a very special project where a small group headed for Zonga and carried out very useful work there while building up their own expertise and self-confidence.

While we have achieved a lot there remains much more yet to be done before we get the sort of breakthrough which is needed. That is why we are re-launching the project to-day and indeed re-dedicating ourselves to it. There are increasing numbers of very bright young women making their way successfully in the world of business commerce and the public sector. As women we have not quite kept up with the pace of change on the political front and that means that we must try even harder.

I am sure we will get there and eventually see women fully represented not only on Councils but also in the Assembly if we can manage to get it up and running successfully - and I am not underestimating the difficulties in doing so. Events such as to-days are important in raising awareness and in building up confidence to tackle what can be a challenging but worthwhile experience.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Standing for Election as M.L.A.

I am standing for election on 7th March 2007 for the position of M.L.A. - my 'c.v.' follows, I feel my record of achievement and working for my community speaks for itself and why I hope to be elected.

A councillor for 12 years, and have gained a reputation for hard work, integrity and commitment and for always putting my constituents first. I have been Deputy Mayor and Mayor.
I led and continue to campaign against the unjust water rates organising the collection of 12000 signatures.
I have fought against the new higher rates which are being implemented disgracefully.
I spearheaded the campaign against the destruction of one of the best educational systems in the U.K. collecting almost 16000 signatures.
Involved with the education of our young people at all levels.
I am a member of the Omnibus Partnership, a voluntary organisation of disabled people, and for which I successfully campaigned for the retention of accessible and inclusive public bus and rail transport.
I have consistently fought against Planning Service decisions which so often ignore the wishes of local people.
Since being elected through my campaign to retain The Banks Residential Home I have supported and helped in many ways the more vulnerable members of our society.
Through the PSNI, I established a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which has led the way with other schemes.
The future is in the hands of you the voters. I promise I will give my full commitment to working with common sense and experience on the daily issues which are important to us all.
We need local people back into the Assembly who carry a bit of clout and who are not afraid to stand up and fight for what is right.
I give my promise that, as always, you - the community have my full commitment to do my best at all times and carry out my duties with honour.