North Down Alliance Insight

In a new departure I now intend to provide a monthly insight into The Alliance Party in North Down.

October 2008: North Down Alliance reflect on successful Party Conference

A few weeks after The Alliance Party held it’s Annual Conference in Bangor the party’s North Down Association Executive Committee met on Monday 13 October 2008 with all in agreement that the Conference had been a resounding success.

Many members of the Committee expressed their delight that former Party Leader and MEP John Cushnahan had attended and delivered such an interesting speech.

It was generally felt that the mood had been extremely positive and that the Leader David Ford MLA had delivered a strong and clear speech especially when he remarked “We will play a constructive part in any way we can. But we will not be used to apply a sticking plaster over a serious fault line within the Executive. There must be fundamental reforms. I care too deeply about the future of this society to prop up a failing sectarian and sectional Executive.”

During the meeting the Executive Committee also made preparations for a number of future fundraising events including the opportunity to hear a speech in late November 2008.

Members were delighted to learn from Association Chairperson Neil Dickey that party membership had increased with Committee Treasurer reporting that finances are in an extremely healthy state.

The meeting received a briefing from local Alliance MLA Dr Stephen Farry who informed those present that the party was continuing to work in a constructive manner to break the ongoing deadlock at Stormont.

Concerns were expressed at the possible loss of 700 nurses which were seen as a direct consequence of Peter Robinson’s budget.

Members also received an update from Alliance Alderman Marsden Fitzsimmons who briefed the meeting on successful efforts by North Down Borough Council to promote Christian Heritage within the Borough and ongoing work by the Council to foster good relations amongst people of different race, religion and political opinion.

A brief discussion took place with regards to the proposed Boundary Changes to enable merger between North Down and Ards Borough Councils with agreement that the party should recommend that a number of proposed boundaries be amended.

The recently arrived circus in Bangor prompted discussion on the use of animals in circuses and the meeting concluded with agreement that the Association was opposed such abuse of wild animals.

22 October 2008