NI21, Northern Ireland’s newest political party, has announced a team of five candidates who will be standing in Antrim and Newtownabbey in the local government elections.
They are: Gary Grattan, candidate for Three Mile Water; Gary English, candidate for Ballyclare; Heather Fee, candidate for Airport; Mary Higgins, candidate for Glengormley Urban; and George Young, candidate for Antrim Town.
Gary Grattan, a former reporter with the Times group, says he is committed to making the new Antrim and Newtownabbey ‘Super Council’ more effective for the entire community.
“NI21 is standing on a platform of reforming politics in Northern Ireland. We want to normalise politics so that it is no longer focused on ‘them and us’ but on boosting economic development, service delivery and community cohesion,” Mr Grattan said.
He added: “I, along with every other member of NI21, want to act on behalf of all in our community. We want to move beyond tribal politics towards a truly shared future.”
Gary English emphasised that Local Government is the closest level of government to the community.
“It is in a position to identify community needs and to make sure those needs are met in the most appropriate way,” Mr English said.
He added: “It is vitally important that we have councillors focused on delivery not division.”
Mary Higgins said: “New councils will have enhanced powers 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.”
Heather Fee said there was a need for fresh, positive faces in Local Government.
“We need to have people focused on representing the entire community to deliver for the common good. It is why we need fresh politics, fresh local councils,” she said.
George Young said: “Public services need to deliver at a cost effective rate, while ensuring they enhance local communities and promote the wellbeing of the area and improve you the taxpayer’s quality of life.”