Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Donaghadee - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Press Releases

I believe that it is important to highlight issues of constituent concern in the press and very often public opinion, if swayed, can be an important ally in getting Government to listen. Just click any of my press releases and they should open up if you have Adobe installed.

2017

 

Dog poo at unacceptable levels

27
January

In recent weeks I have been contacted by a number of constituents concerned about the amount of dog poo on our streets. Interestingly and every credit to them every single one was a dog owner themselves.

 

We need to unite to save Portavo Reservoir

27
January

A local property developer last week won a High Court battle with Northern Ireland Water in his wider bid to buy lands at a much beloved North Down beauty spot. Portavo Estates Ltd was held to have a ‘right of preemption’ to a major stretch of the Portavo Reservoir. This judgment of course is subject to Appeal. But this judgment could mean that if Portavo Estates Ltd acquired the land they could decide to completely ban public access from this local beauty spot.


2016

 

We must tackle Educational Underachievement

01
October

Did you realise that reading to your child for just ten minutes a night from two years old can put them a full academic year ahead by the time they actually reach Primary School? That a child’s experiences [positive or negative] from birth to three years old will have a lifelong effect on them?

 

Dog attacks in the Borough

01
September

I am very concerned about a report from a constituent whose Border Terrier [Herbie] was savaged by a large long haired black dog on The Commons in Donaghadee. The attack happened on Sunday [25th] shortly after 5pm. Herbie was on a lead and the other dog was seemingly uncontrolled.

 

Ballymacormick Rifle Range

01
August

Over the last number of weeks a large number of constituents have contacted me regarding the proposed rifle range on the Ballymacormick Road. A number have even called to my house to personally express their strong, but honestly held, feelings on the positioning of this proposed range.

 

Who ya gonna call? Weedbusters!

01
July

A couple of weeks ago I decided to dig up the weeds along the Ballymacormick Road but, as I feared at the time, they are beginning to re–grow already. I’m aware that there are a number of streets within our Borough where weeds are already growing fairly prolifically.

 

Martin tackles the issues of weeds – literally!

01
June

Last week two constituents from the Ballymacormick Road contacted me about the amount of weeds on the footpaths of our road. Ards and North Down Council are not actually responsible for clearing weeds from footpaths – that is actually a responsibly of Transport NI [TNI are a Government department].

 

Support our Local Library

01
June

It was announced last week that opening hours at the fourteen libraries in Northern Ireland are set to be cut under plans revealed by Libraries NI. These cuts will effect Bangor Carnegie library which is widely recognised as one of the busiest libraries in Northern Ireland.

 

Fairer Tax for all

01
May

We are all aware of the recent high profile cases of tax avoidance such as Google who are paying, according to Her Majesty’s Treasury, about 3% tax. In fact they only paid this amount when they were dragged, kicking and screaming, to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

 

Large scale underage drinking needs addressed.

01
March

Over the last couple of weeks we have seen a number of fairly large scale incidents of underage drinking and the associated behaviour that can come with it. Clearly it is important though not to tar all young people with the same brush.

 

Martin continues to push for play park in Ashbury / Kilmaine area

17
February

Last week in the Councils Community and Wellbeing Committee we agreed to develop an over arching strategy for our new Borough in terms of Play parks. Back in 2012 I raised this issue with the old legacy Council and put forward a proposal that we should have play provision in the Ballymagee / Ashbury and Kilmaine area.

 

Northern Irelands historic buildings need protection

17
February

Local residents have recently become aware of plans to alter forever the beautifully landscape of Ballyholme Bay. Two houses have added to the historic character of the bay for over 100 years [Red Hall and Brooklands] and now a developer is planning to build five houses on the grounds of Brooklands.

 

We need greater protection of our elderly

17
February

In September 2015 the Department of Justice published its findings after its consultation ‘The Law on Unduly Lenient Sentences’. One of the areas for review was whether ‘Crimes against Older Persons’ should be included in the range of offences which could be referred to the Court of Appeal if the previous courts sentence was considered ‘unduly lenient’.


2015

 

Solidarity with France

15
November

On Friday 13th November France witnessed the most barbaric terrorist attacks, with over a hundred people murdered by Islamic Militants in three separate attacks. Whilst we could do little about the situation here in Northern Ireland there was a mood that we should do something to stand with France in their most desperate hour.

 

Anti–social behaviour in Ashbury Area

10
October

On Thursday 1st October in Ballymagee Primary School a number of political representatives met with residents to discuss the ongoing ‘Anti–social behaviour’ in the greater Ashbury area. This has been a sustained problem for quite a while now and some residents have been specifically targeted. What we heard at the meeting was not just ASB but was actually serious criminal behaviour.

 

Council honours Battle of Britain heroes

10
September

In September the sleepy seaside village of Ballyhalbert on the Ards Peninsula traveled back in time to 1940, when the Battle of Britain raged in the burning blue skies over Kent. Cllr Peter Martin and Pete Bleakney [from the Polish RAF Group] had organised the event to remember our fallen but also to promote good relations in Northern Ireland.

 

Reading to your child makes all the difference

25
July

Libraries NI are inviting children aged 4 and above to take part in the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge during July and August. This has been organised by The Reading Agency, the theme of the challenge is Record Breakers and libraries across Northern Ireland are encouraging young readers to explore some of the astonishing real–life achievements and world records featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

Local DUP Councillors respond to family demands to tackle ‘Legal Highs’

25
July

Following the appalling and senseless death of Adam Owens (17) in Newtownards less than two weeks ago after allegedly taking ‘Legal Highs’ two local DUP Councillors are putting forward a Motion to the new Ards and North Down Borough Council to help address this problem.

 

Local DUP Councillors call for urgent action on the Ballycrochan Road

25
July

People who know the area realise that the Ballycrochan Road is very wide and people do sometimes speed down it. Safety is our paramount concern here and residents have expressed to us the dangers in currently crossing this road. Given its proximity to a local school this could end in a dreadful personal tragedy.


2014

 

Cllr Peter Martin [DUP] and Christians Against Poverty [North Down]

13
May

Many think that North Down, classed as one of the richest areas of Northern Ireland, makes it somehow resistant to people falling into serious debt problems. Quite frankly nothing could be further from the truth. A Housing Executive report last year cited that 782 homelessness applications were received by that agency in North Down. A report for the NI Assembly a 3 years ago cited that 14% of children in North Down were living in poverty.

 

Concern grows over environmental damage at Portavoe

23
April

Many constituents and residents are very concerned at the ongoing environmental disaster occurring as we speak at Portavoe Reservoir. Northern Ireland Water seem intent on completely draining the complete reservoir and NIEA appear content with the environmental impact of the action. Both Ministers involved Mark Durkan [DOE] and Danny Kennedy [DRD] have been made painfully aware of the fury that many residents in North Down and Ards feel about this current action.

 

Martin concerned about impact of new water quality standards at Groomsport and Ballyholme Beaches

14
April

Many people probably only became aware in the Spectator last week that our beaches will, next year, be ‘re–graded’ by the EU as new legislation is applied called the EU Bathing Waters Directive 2015. It seems to have gone largely unnoticed by most political representatives but it is about to have a big impact on how our local beaches are assessed in terms of water quality.

 

Martin disappointed by slow progress on Gransha & South Circular Roads pedestrian safety

14
April

We are all too aware of the need for some progress on the issue of pedestrian safety on the Gransha and South Circular Roads. This matter has sat with Roads Service for too long now and despite calls for a push on progress it would appear that little is forthcoming. There have been a number of ‘site meetings’ and general promises of progress but nothing has really transpired.

 

DUP Councillors call for a halt on the draining of Portavoe Reservoir

01
April

For a number of weeks now Northern Ireland Water (an executive agency of DRD) has been draining Portavoe Reservoir which straddles both North Down and Ards Borough Councils. The Reservoir is owned by NIW and maintained (as a trout lake) by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. We are very concerned by the draining of this lake at this time of year given the impact on fish, wildlife and fauna in the area.

 

Cathcart and Martin call for Animal Cruelty Review following Court Leniency

31
March

DUP Councillors Alistair Cathcart and Peter Martin have tabled a motion at North Down Borough Council calling on tougher action against those who commit animal cruelty. This follows recent court leniency in cases of extreme animal cruelty, most notably the ‘Kirkwood Case’. Cathcart and Martin’s motion calls on the Northern Ireland Executive to both review existing animal cruelty legislation and to consider further legislation to combat this awful crime. The motion is due to be debated on Tuesday night (1st April) at the Council’s Environment Committee.

 

DUP Councillors call for complete halt on School cuts

17
March

The Education Minister John O’Dowd last year signaled his intent to change part of the Common Funding Scheme for schools. This change was widely opposed by teachers, principals, parents and in fact more than three–quarters of 15,000 submissions to the Department of Education’s public consultation were against the changes. Specifically in North Down the majority of our schools were due to lose funding, some up to £35,000.

 

Martin welcomes speed limit review for Groomsport A2

27
January

For a number of years there have been concerns about the 60 miles per hour speed limit set on the A2 bypass round Groomsport. When the road was laid down in was not then imagined that would eventually be fairly extensive housing development along its route. Now with houses in Cove Bay and Groomsport House, some of whom have young families, there are growing concerns regarding these developments leading out onto a 60 mph speed limit. Many residents are now calling for a reduction in the speed limit to 40mph.

 

DUP representatives welcome forward progress in play provision

07
January

This month we are being presented with the report of the Councils independently commissioned study on play provision within the Borough. We initially raised the issue of play parks in May of 2013 because of representations from residents in North Down. We believe it is crucial to ensure that appropriate play provision is in place for all of our children in North Down. Initially we highlighted the need in the Ashbury/Kilmaine/Bexley area and identified the area in front of the Ashbury shops as a possible location.


2013

 

DUP representatives start campaign for Roads Service action in Bayview area

10
December

We were approached a number of months ago by constituents regarding the state of the pavements in the area bounded by Greenland Drive, Plantation Road and Heatherstone Road. Initially we met with our constituents and walked the area. We then had a site meeting with Stephen McMeekin [Roads Service] and showed him the state of some of the pavements. Last month we raised the matter before Council asking for its support to help lobby Roads Service into action

 

Public right of way

03
December

Over the last year I have been working with members of walking groups in the Groomsport and wider North Down area regarding the issues of both over development in Groomsport and Public Rights of Way. I promised them before the summer I would do all I could to further protect the rights of individuals to use our coastal path.

 

DUP representatives welcome DETI confirmation of super fast broadband commitment for Deanfield/Ballycrochan

11
November

For over a year we have both worked on this issue for our constituents in Deanfield and Ballycrochan. Over the period of 2012/13 we had correspondence and conversations with both senior management in BT and also with representatives from DETI. In total DETI have confirmed a total public sector subsidy of £19.3m is available and we are very happy that the area of Deanfield/Ballycrochan will be included as part of this capital spend

 

DUP representatives call for urgent action on the state of our Borough footpaths

28
October

Many people are frustrated by the state of our footpaths in North Down. We do not underestimate the task that Roads Service have in maintaining them all but now urgent action is required in some areas.

 

“Information booklet a useful resource for Dog owners

19
October

By this week all residents of North Down who are registered dog owners will have received a Council published guide to dog ownership, compiled with the help of local pet specialists. This booklet contains useful information and phone numbers on a range of dog related topics including licensing, micro–chipping and even canine care. It also contains a range of discounts and free offers from local pet stores and vets which I’m sure will be a welcome bonus for all dog owners.

 

Lifestyle Homes

09
September

Over the last number of years over 250 static homes have been built in two separate sites between Groomsport and Orlock and, in order to facilitate this, there has been significant infill in some of this area. This has meant that the path which walkers would have previously used to enjoy our coastline has been effectively pushed nearly into the sea.

 

Martin disappointed by anti–social behaviour on Ballyholme Beach

01
September

At the start of the summer, after our first hot weekend, I identified a distinct need at Ballyholme beach for extra litter disposal facilities to be provided by Council. As a result, just two weeks ago, Council Officers put in place a new system which would cope better with the extra demands when large numbers of people enjoy our local beach during periods of good weather. It has now come to my attention that only two weeks after Council placed two extra large bins at Ballyholme beach to cope with the summer crowds that they both have been subject to probable anti–social behaviour.

 

Beechfield Respite Care Unit

10
July

The fund raising fair is on Saturday 31st August from 10:30am–2:30pm. The venue is George Green Commu– nity Centre. Events include face painting, bouncy castle, dinky donuts, craft stalls, jewellery stalls, police, fire brigade, ice–cream van etc.

 

DUP representatives call for the end of The Co–operatives Israeli boycott

10
July

Today DUP public representatives presented a petition to the Co–op asking them to lift their year long boycott of four Israeli companies. The petition is not calling for a boycott of the Co–op but rather simply asks that this business considers lifting its targeted ban and engaging in greater trade with Israeli companies. We believe that sanctions on these companies not only damages trade in Northern Ireland but also the livelihoods of the workers in the boycotted country.

 

Martin calls for personal responsibility when enjoying our beaches”

06
July

Over the weekend the warm weather brought many people out to enjoy our parks and beaches in North Down – unfortunately a very small minority of these folk have demonstrated no respect for our environment or for other people – this was especially apparent at Ballyholme Beach.

 

DUP Councillors deliver new bins for Groomsport and Ballycrochan

20
June

We were approached by some constituents in Cove Bay and in Kenbrooke Crescent concerning dog bags full of waste being tossed into local gardens. The affected residents were asking for new dog bins to alleviate this problem. At our request Council Officers assessed the need for this new provision. A couple of weeks ago one of the new bins was installed on Groomsport beach at the bottom of the Cove Bay development.

 

DUP Councillors call for North Down Play Park Strategy

07
May

This month we have asked Officers to bring forward a ‘play park’ strategy to identify those areas of North Down which are in most need of new play provision for children. This issue is crucial to many parents in North Down as are the benefits of exercise and social development for small children through outdoor play. We have made significant progress in this area over the last couple of years with new facilities going into a number of areas.

 

DUP Councillors call for Dog Owners to help in the Dog Fouling Fight

12
February

One of many aspects that we learnt from the consultations over the Dog Orders was that decent, responsible dog owners are just as annoyed as everyone else about Dog Fouling, some more so. Many actually raised the issue about dog owners being more vigilant when out walking their pets to notice when irresponsible ones allowing their dog to foul and then just walking on regardless. This behaviour reinforces the incorrect public perception that all dog owners are the same.

 

Human Trafficking highlighted at Council

18
January

Many people may not realise that are more people trafficked per capita in Northern Ireland than in any other region in the UK. It is believed that at any one time, there are 170–180 victims of sex trafficking available to be bought for sexual services across Northern Ireland, some possibly in North Down.

 

Martin deeply concerned by reckless driving in the Ballyholme and Groomsport area

18
January

We are more than aware of the dangers on our roads, last year there were 48 deaths on Northern Irelands roads. Fatal accidents are heart breaking when they occur but there is never any excuse when those accidents are due to a complete disregard for the law. Recently it was brought to my attention that ‘boy racers’ are using the Groomsport Road roundabout for ‘drifting’ – this is when a car is driving round a bend with the back of the car at 45 degrees to the roundabout itself, effectively with the back end trailing the car.

 

Martin welcomes investment and security of the Post Office in Ballyholme

18
January

We indeed live in testing economic times where just last week we witnessed another long standing retail giant, HMV, go into administration. For many years we have had to worry about many of our local services being rationalis


2012

 

“Great news on Queens’ Parade eyesore

04
December

The news that the Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, has instructed his Department to purchase the land on Queens Parade is most certainly to be welcomed.

 

Martin calls for event to support town centre businesses

13
November

This week I brought a motion to Council asking that consideration be given to my suggestion of bringing either a ‘Classic Car’ or ‘Modified Car’ Exhibition to our town centre in 2013. This would give a boost in consumer spend to town centre businesses many of whom are struggling in this very difficult economic climate. It will also encourage visitors to Bangor from further afield many of whom may then consider staying overnight.

 

Martin & Weir call for employers to back the poppy

30
October

At this time of the year the thoughts of many of us naturally turn to remembrance and commemorating the sacrifice of the brave men and women of our armed services who fought and in many cases paid the supreme cost to maintain the freedom that we all enjoy today. I believe all of us have a role to play in honouring that sacrifice. This applies not just to individuals but also is a role that companies and employers should embrace.

 

Human Trafficking must be stamped out now

18
October

On Thursday 18th October, Anti Slavery Day, North Down ACT [Active Communities against Trafficking, a local expression of Stop the Traffik] hosted a film premiere in the Strand Cinema of ‘Taken 2’. The first movie in the series dealt with the very real issue of Human Trafficking and how many girls were trafficked for sex around the world.

 

Groomsport Beach Sewage

09
October

Last week I was alerted by a constituent to possible effluent flowing out of an overflow drain on one of our beaches at Groomsport and I feel it is important that residents are made aware of this situation. My first reaction was to visit the beach and see for myself and indeed I found white, opaque fluid oozing out from under the concrete walkway. I contacted our own Environmental Health Officers within the Council and they in turn immediately telephoned the Northern Ireland Environment Agency [NIEA] to get some officials on site to assess the extent of problem.

 

Seacliff Road and Jamaica Inn open for business

25
September

Starting Monday 1st October Roads Service will be working on part of Seacliff Road for a period of eight weeks for general traffic. While officially classified as a road closure it will remain open for access and business/commercial traffic. This may cause problems for those residents who also use the parking bays. We were alerted to this by Mr Harding, the Manager of the Jamaica Inn who was naturally very concerned about the negative impact this closure could have on his business.

 

Big Beach Watch Weekend

04
September

During the Big Beach Watch Weekend beaches all over the UK will be analysed and tidied and we believe that is it important to do our part in North Down. Our Beach Watch will take place on Saturday 15th September and all volunteers will be meeting at 1.30pm at the Cockle Row cottages in Groomsport.

 

Britain in Bloom

31
August

Last week the Mayor and I escorted some members of the Royal Horticultural Society around the Walled Garden in Castle Park. They were on a tour of Bangor [assessing the town for Britain in Bloom]. The newly refurbished Walled Garden is a wonderful asset to our Borough with beautiful flowers, seamless landscaping, a working vegetable garden and also now a coffee shop.

 

BT does not deliver

31
August

If you believe all the adverts you see you would assume that ‘high speed’ broadband is now available everywhere in the UK. However, whilst large population sectors of Northern Ireland can enjoy the much advertised ‘BT Infinity’ broadband, if you’re not the right area – you’re out of luck.

 

Beach water quality

07
August

For the first time in years our beaches in North Down are finally reaching an acceptable standard of water quality1. For years, especially at Ballyholme, some of our beaches have been rated the lowest according to the Department of the Environments Northern Ireland Bathing Water Directive Compliance – nearly consistently receiving a poor outcome and in some cases dangerous. The main reason for this was Combined Sewage overflows [CSOs] – basically whenever it rained heavily the system could not cope and would discharge raw sewerage into the streams. Only in the last year has this begun to improve.

 

North Down Borough Councillors attend Commemoration at The Somme

03
July

During my time in the Somme region I was especially struck by the incredible bravery of our troops during the attack on the 1st July.

 

Martin urges parents to be aware of dangers of drugs

19
June

FASA is an excellent first point of contact in North Down and it does a mar– vellous job, educating and intervening in otherwise seemingly hopeless cases.

 

DUP calls for rethink on Co–op policy on boycott

19
June

On Friday [15th June] we met with senior representatives of the Co–operatives Board in NI and Scotland regarding its decision to boycott four Israeli firms who trade with businesses in the settlements. Clearly whilst we embrace and encourage the ethical and responsible sourcing of goods we feel that this particular Coop policy of targeting one country and its people is wrong.

 

DUP calls for rethink on Co–op policy on boycott

19
June

On Friday [15th June] we met with senior representatives of the Co–operatives Board in NI and Scotland regarding its decision to boycott four Israeli firms who trade with businesses in the settlements. Clearly whilst we embrace and encourage the ethical and responsible sourcing of goods we feel that this particular Coop policy of targeting one country and its people is wrong.

 

AGENDA deserves our support

19
June

To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen my family and I decided to host our own garden party. Our friends and family very kindly made donations on the night to our chosen charity, Age North Down and Ards [AGENDA], and in specific terms ‘Good Morning Call’.

 

Capital Works Programme to refurbish Queen’s Parade

30
May

I am delighted that Town Centre Management are putting in place a capital works programme to refurbish the Queens Parade area whilst the Masterplan moves through its early phases. Firstly, let’s be in no doubt, I published a timescale for the Masterplan in November of last year on my website and outlined that it would be at least late 2017 by the time the work was finally completed. That of course is contingent on the developers acquiring the massive capital investment they need to move the project forward. It is marvellous therefore that TCM have grabbed the initiative and decided [with the cooperation of the owners of the site] to redevelop ‘the gap’ in a very innovative way.

 

Lack of respect for environment or people

28
May

Over the weekend the warm weather brought many people out to enjoy our parks and beaches in North Down – unfortunately a small minority of these folk have demonstrated no respect for our environment or other people.

 

Martin welcomes improvement in local beaches

15
May

Recently the Marine Conservation Society published its yearly report on our beaches in the United Kingdom. Thankfully our beaches in Ballyholme and Groomsport passed the mandatory test which is an improvement on recent years when our beaches have struggled to meet the minimum criteria. This is of course good news but is it enough?

 

North Down leads the way on WIFI

14
May

North Down Borough Council (NDBC) is leading the way in becoming the first Council in Northern Ireland to establish free, filtered Wi–Fi throughout all of its town centre main streets and shopping precincts. I brought this innovative proposal to Council in June 2011, a month after being elected for the first time.

 

Their sacrifice will not be forgotten

17
April

This week, 30 years ago the largest British Naval fleet since World War II was steaming south, across the Atlantic and towards the Falkland Islands. These islands had been British since 1833 and in fact they were not even colonised as there were no indigenous people ever living on them!

 

“Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

02
April

Now the maximum penalty for committing an offence contained in a dog control order [for example allowing your dog to foul and not pick it up] is a £1,000. Of course many people will opt to take the fixed penalty of £80.

 

Freedom of Borough

02
April

I am writing to thank the people of North Down who came out to witness the Freedom of the Borough being awarded to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) last Saturday. It was a wonderful occasion, made even more special as the inspection and parade were bathed in glorious March sunshine.

 

Martin opposes possible closure of Holywood Police Station

28
February

This week at a special meeting of North Down District Policing Partnership the people of Holywood and public representatives made an extremely strong case to keep their local police station open. Arguments were made regarding the security issues, response times and the effect of the possible loss of the police station would have.

 

Martin welcomes excellent work of AGENDA

21
February

This week at Council, Age North Down and Ards presented one of their services to members and made them aware of the crucial work that they do in reassuring and supporting the elderly residents of North Down.

 

Taxi relocation has positive effect

07
February

“Constituents may be aware that following extensive consultation with all stakeholders the taxi rank in Bangor town centre for Friday and Saturday night has moved. Previously, the rank snaked around from the lights at the bottom of High Street along Quay street past the Marine Court Hotel.

 

“Groomsport is not up for sale

06
February

Today we learnt that after a long battle the proposed development on the Bangor Road, leading in to Groomsport has been refused [again]. The developer wanted to build eight apartments on the sea road into this picturesque town and residents had vowed to fight it every step of the way.

 

Cooking your way to Uganda

02
February

A young woman is fundraising to support her trip to Uganda this year to build houses for Ugandan teachers. Joanne Christy will be heading out to Africa with our own local charity Abaana which has already done so much good work for those much less fortunate than ourselves.

 

Martin opposes development in Groomsport

22
January

There will be a Planning Application heard at Council on Tuesday night which I feel will seriously damage the ‘villagescape’ of Groomsport. It proposes the demolition of two houses and the redevelopment of eight two bedroom apartments. Groomsport is one of the most beautiful areas of North Down and I feel a distinct attachment to it from my childhood.

 

Martin disappointed at bank closures

14
January

It came both as a shock and a surprise to discover that the Northern Banks in both Ballyholme and Donaghadee were closing on the 23rd March.

 

Update on education cuts

14
January

On the 28th of November 2011 school principals were informed their financial allocation would be reduced by 5% this year, around 2% more than they expected. I immediately wrote to the Education Minister, John O’Dowd, expressing my concern at the reduction and pointing out the impact this would have on schools in North Down.

 

Your town centre needs you

14
January

We are all more than aware of the difficult situation in the town centre. The retail trad– ing figures from all over the UK mirror the painful picture that we are facing. Especially for the small independent trader the situation is especially dire.

 

Martin opposes betting shop in Kilcooley

09
January

One of the most ridiculous planning developments in Bangor has been proposed in the middle of social housing in Kilcooley and I would urge everyone who has an interest in this to oppose it.


2011

 

Well done North Down

20
December

I am writing to thank the people of North Down and beyond who supported the 48 hour ‘Sleep Out’ over the weekend in the Sunken Gardens.

 

Bangor young people sleep on streets for charity

05
December

A Northern Ireland charity is appealing for the support of the local community this weekend as they sleep out on the streets of Bangor in a bid to raise money for street children in Africa.

 

Our elderly and vulnerable must be better protected

28
November

It is high time we did something to deter violent attacks against the elderly. This is of particular concern to me as in North Down, especially in my own area of Ballyholme and Groomsport, there are many elderly and vulnerable people, some of whom live alone or in sheltered accommodation.

 

Small Business need our help.

24
November

Last week the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson, published the report and summary of responses on the plans to rebalance the business rates system.

 

Whitemountain sponsor Crumlin FC

14
November

When I first presented to Council the concept of making Bangor the first WiFi zone in any town in Northern Ireland it was warmly welcomed. Unfortunately in the intervening two months NDBC’s financial circumstances have changed and there is now a freeze on all new spending.

 

Young life — exactly what your young people need.

31
October

I was delighted to get an invitation from the Director of ‘Young Life’ to an information and fundraising event on Friday night.

 

They gave their today

24
October

This year my wife and I were blessed with a daughter, and now being a parent Remem– brance Sunday has an even greater personal significance for me.

 

The real victims need a voice.

02
October

Listening to Martin McGuiness over the past few weeks you would think that Sinn Fein never really played a part in the Troubles. It was the other folk, the IRA.

 

Martin welcomes Proms in the Park.

10
September

Saturday nights ‘Proms in the Park’ was a great success in highlighting the very best of British and Irish talent.

 

Martin stops the sale of illegal replica firearms.

02
September

I was made aware by a constituent that a shop on Bridge Street was selling Realistic Imitation Firearms or RIFs. In fact the guns in question, which are replica Berettas were in the store window at the end of last week.

 

Online virus scammers hit record levels

23
August

There has recently been a massive upsurge in the number of companies telephoning people [unsolicited] and claiming to be from any number of companies

 

They defend us, we should now defend them

08
August

I am appalled at Translinks decision to ban their staff from wearing wristbands supporting our own regiment — the Royal Irish.

 

Scoop your poop

25
July

This is National ‘Scoop the poop’ week organised by the National Dogs Trust. We know plenty about ‘poop’ in North Down!

 

Three in a row for Northern Ireland golf!

18
July

This week, we witnessed a third golfer from Northern Ireland win a Masters event when Darren Clarke eased to victory in the British Open and made everyone from Ulster proud.

 

Official launch of Bangor Masterplan

05
July

This week marked the official launch of the Bangor Masterplan by The Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland. This project, when seen through to its comple– tion, will eventually fill the hole in Queens Parades and reinvigourate the seafront.

 

Forward movement on local beach issue

27
June

Many people who live in North Down will be interested to know of the progress that is being made with regard to improving the dreadful state of our beaches at Ballyholme, Ballymacormick point and Groomsport.

 

Call for action on North Down Beaches

30
May

As a resident of North Down I am only too aware of the state of our local beaches. For many years now we have tolerated fairly average water quality but for the past 5 years the results have been so bad that they are now on the borderline of being seriously dan– gerous to health.

 

Martin looks for a new kind of politics

25
April

As a new candidate in North Down as I reflect on the race to the election I find myself disillusioned by some of the politics I have come across.

 

Martin determined that seafront development be driven forward

12
April

Bangor is a seaside town steeped in history and architectural heritage but sadly we have seen the ‘heart’ disappear out of Bangor and many shoppers moving out of town or indeed to Belfast. This has impacted many areas of Bangor but nowhere more so than the Seafront and Queen’s Parade.

 

Ruane causes ruin in North Down Schools

14
March

I would like to make the people aware that some of the decisions that Catriona Ruane, the Education Minister, is making are having an effect in our education provision within North Down..