Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

BangorDonaghadeeGroomsport

Welcome

Peter MartinI'm very privileged to have been elected by the good people of Bangor East & Donaghadee to serve them for the next few years in our new Borough. We live in a wonderful and very beautiful part of Northern Ireland.

Thanks for visiting my website and if I can help you in any way please get in touch – that is what I was elected to do!

Peter J. Martin Signature

Recent Updates

 

Residents and local politician determined to get their hands dirty

April
2018

For a while now ‘The Plantation’ has been a secret oasis in the middle of Ballymacormick but it is now sadly in need of some tender loving care. I’m delighted that a group of local residents have come forward with the passion and drive to see this area transformed.

 

Residents and local politician determined to get their hands dirty

I’m currently working with this group who intend to apply for a ‘Live Here, Love Here’ grant which, if successful, could really enhance the area as a local beauty spot and environmental oasis for local wildlife. For me personally it’s great to be part of an initiative in my own local area and I’m looking forward to getting practically involved with some of the hard graft that will hopefully start to transform the area in the summer months. We are already making great progress and I have secured a commitment from Council to upgrade and repair the tarmac path which leads through the glade. 

Local resident John Rodgers

“A local fellow has been walking his dog in the Plantation for a few years now and he saw the potential that a rejuvenated Plantation held for the community. He decided to do something about it and, after canvassing opinion in the neighbourhood, he formed a Facebook group to generate interest and motivate people to come together and get some action.  A small group met recently with Councillor Peter Martin to identify opportunities for improvement and identified an initial wish list that included repairing the path, tidying up the trees, creation of leafy glade areas, keeping an area for wild flowers and greenery and some sort of information about the history of the plantation and the area” 

 

 

Cleaning up Donaghadee

February
2018

Following our Council meeting in February 2018 we made significant forward progress in getting a deep clean for Donaghadee Public Realm but this was despite a clear attempt by the Alliance and Green Party to frustrate this process.

 

Cleaning up Donaghadee

I am wholeheartedly convinced that Donaghadee needs urgent and specific treatment and the current cleaning regime is simply not fit for purpose. The need for this deep clean is there for all to see and our Council Officers, who have inspected the area, agree with our own assessment. We have therefore requested a costed report to see what needs done to bring the necessary improvements and then maintain the ongoing cleanliness. It is unfortunate that some parties wish to play politics with an important issue such as this. But I will continue to work closely with DUP colleagues and other Unionists like Councillor Mark Brooks to ensure that Donaghadee is not ignored, as some would have it, but rather clearly prioritised based on the clear need that is there.

 

 

Holding Virgin Media to account

January
2018

Recently constituents reported to me the serious problems with the pavements after Virgin Media had finished laying high speed internet cabling. I fully understand this is essential work for the increased provision of high speed digital fibre and that the majority of this work was carried out to a satisfactory standard. However there are areas throughout the Borough where the pavements were left in a very poor state.

 

Holding Virgin Media to account

In Towerview I visited constituents where I witnessed a puddle that was 5 feet by 2 feet right in the middle of the pavement. If this froze overnight anyone walking down that particular pavement would effectively be walking onto an ice rink. In the last two months I have taken on more than 25 pieces of case work for constituents in our area. I’m working closely with Virgin Media Senior Managers and many of the issues are not getting resolved. 

I also (along with my colleagues Cllr Cathcart) have got Council to agree to request that Directors from Virgin appear before our relevant committee to explain any outstanding issues and how they will be resolved. 

 

 

Combating Anti–Semitism

October
2017

Recent reports from a number of sources have shown that anti–Semitism is rising in the UK. Over the last year a number of high profile Labour politicians have been accused of anti–Semitism including one MP.

 

Combating Anti–Semitism

One politician praised Hitler as the “greatest man in history” and said she hoped Iran would use a “nuclear weapon” to “wipe Israel off the map” another backed calls for Israel to “relocate” to America. In Northern Ireland graffiti has been daubed on Belfast’s Jewish Synagogue and thirteen Jewish graves were attacked in West Belfast in August 2016. In March 2017 the Belfast War Memorial to Colonel John Henry Patterson, the British soldier who led the Jewish Legion in WW1, was defaced with graffiti including “scum” and “Nazis”. In December 2016 Her Majesty’s Government became one of the first countries to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti–Semitism. 

I am deeply concerned about the threat that anti–Semitism poses to our society as a whole and it is for that reason that I brought a resolution before our Council asking it to adopt the new and more effective IHRA definition of anti–Semitism. I’m glad that Council accepted my proposal and we are now the first Council in NI to state categorically that we will not accept any form of anti–Semitism in our Borough through the adoption of the IHRA definition.

Statement from Stephen Jaffe (Representative of the Jewish Community in NI)

“The Jewish community in Northern Ireland welcomes the proactive leadership stance taken by Ards & North Down Borough Council in recognising the international definition of antisemitism which has now been adopted by the government and by many local authorities across the UK.  We are delighted that this Council has become the first local authority in Northern Ireland to recognise the definition and to pledge its support in the fight against anti–Jewish prejudice.”

The definition is available here.

 

 

Celebrating New Life

September
2017

As a father of three small children, I recently brought a proposal to Ards & North Down Borough Council to celebrate the thousands of new lives born into this borough and the healthcare staff who served women, unborn children and their families.

 

Celebrating New Life

It read,

“That in 2015–16 over 4,000 babies were delivered in our local maternity unit at the Ulster Hospital (the 2nd highest in Northern Ireland) literally bringing new life to our Borough. Council wishes to underscore that healthcare exists to support and nurture life and not to end it deliberately. In this context, Council warmly welcomes the excellent work which our Doctors and Midwives carry out for the health, life and wellbeing of women, unborn children, families and our wider community. It writes to the Chief Executive of the South Eastern Regional Trust to emphasise these sentiments”

At Council it was then amended by the Green Party who were deeply unhappy with the phrase “and not to end it deliberately” and requested that this be removed. A vote was eventually taken and I was very disappointed that the Green Party, TUV, Alliance and majority of the Ulster Unionists all aligned to support the Green Party amendment. I read out a definition of ‘Healthcare’ at the Committee meeting and then reiterated this definition during the debate that,

“Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings”

I believe that the job of Healthcare should be to sustain and nurture life. While I am still glad that the motion passed celebrating the new lives born and the healthcare given to women and their families, I am clearly very disappointed that so many Councillors believe that Healthcare also exists to end life very deliberately. 

Human life, in all its forms is a beautiful and amazing gift; my youngest son Zachary is just one of the 4,000 births that the great staff in the Ulster Hospital delivered that year. Life is something we should both value and treasure as very precious.