February 2009: North Down Alliance meet to discuss ongoing political developments
The Executive Committee for the North Down Association of the Alliance Party met on Monday 16 February 2009 in Bangor and discussed a wide range of issues.
A future programme of fundraising events was agreed with outline arrangements made for the next event which will be a joint quiz with the Alliance Party’s Strangford Association. It was also agreed to again run popular events such as the coffee morning, barbeque and Summer Fair.
A number of issues of political concern were discussed including the recent comments by Environment Minister Sammy Wilson concerning Climate Change, the Eames Bradley report on the past, the 11 plus, Belfast City Airport’s application to extend their runway and the forthcoming European Parliamentary Elections.
The Association was unanimous in its condemnation of Sammy Wilson’s recent comments concerning Climate Change and actions concerning the television advertisement which encourages people to make their contribution to tackling Climate Change by turning off appliances rather than leaving them in standby mode.
It was generally felt that the Eames Bradley Consultative Group on the Past had a lot of merit except for the recommendation concerning £12,000 payment to all victims which was considered to be ill judged.
Local Alliance MLA Dr Stephen Farry briefed members on the Alliance Party’s stance concerning the ongoing saga with regards to the 11 plus and academic selection. Following an extensive debate it was agreed that the Alliance Party stance supporting a selection test formally organised by government was preferable as an interim option for the next two years compared to the unregulated situation which may develop later in 2009.
The Association backed requests for an Public Inquiry into Belfast City Airport’s application to extend their runway and expressed their continuing support for the Alliance Party’s Councillors on North Down Borough Council in their efforts to deliver quality services whilst keeping costs down and promoting North Down as a good place to work, live and visit.
Association Executive Committee Chairperson Neil Dickey closed the meeting thanking everyone for their attendance and reminding those present that the Alliance Party AGM would take place on Saturday 28 February 2009.