North Down Council speaks out about The Holocaust

North Down Borough Council's Corporate Committee recently passed my motion concerning the Holocaust and agreed to consider compiling a series of events as part of Holocaust Memorial Day 2013. The decision now requires ratification by full Council this week. Motion below;
"That this Council recognises that the Holocaust was unprecedented in its character and horror, will always hold universal meaning, must never be forgotten and
In order to ensure current and future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences, request that officers bring back a report on the possibility of arranging a small series of events in North Down surrounding Holocaust Memorial Day 2013.
Costs for such events to be covered via current budgetary estimates for 2012/13."
Copy of my speech in support of my motion below;

Holocaust Memorial Day took place this year on 27 January, the same day 67 years later when Auschwitz was liberated in 1945.

Muir outraged Holywood Police Station marked for closure after £400k investment

Holywood Police Station
After discovering that over £400,000 has been spent in recent years upgrading Holywood Police station I believe that plans to close Holywood Police Station are an outrageous scandal.
I recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to ascertain amount spent on Repairs and Maintenance and Capital Works at Holywood Police Station since formation of the PSNI.
In response I was appalled to discover that £408,528 has been spent on capital works between 2003-2011 including, I suspect, a new building erected a few years ago on the site. 
After investing such vast sums I consider any plans to close the station to be abysmal, ill thought out and an outrageous scandal.
With Holywood Police Station covering such a large area and home to a well respect local Neighbourhood Policing Team any move to close the station could leave Holywood area dangerously exposed, increase the fear of crime and demonstrate poor management of public funds after pouring thousands into the station only a few years ago.

Standing out from the crowd

Last Thursday 16 February 2012 I was kindly invited to attend Alliance Youth AGM as their Guest Speaker.

The meeting was well attended and following the election of new Officers and an Executive Committee for the forthcoming year I delivered my talk which was entitled ‘Standing out from the crowd’.

During my talk I sought to re-iterate why Alliance is different from other political parties touching upon a range of issues such as our track record of real action to build Shared Society, our Internationalist outward looking pro European stance, record for fiscal responsibility and credible approach to the Environment as key issues which allow the Alliance Party to Stand out from the Crowd.

I encouraged members to express their views and to come forward with ideas concerning how Alliance can Stand out from the Crowd and positively engage with the electorate to build upon recent successes.

In closing I urged members to consider the words of Martin Luther King who once remarked “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".

Some great ideas were expressed at the AGM concerning how to grow the party and deliver our vision of a Shared Future. I look forward to working with everyone involved over the next year to deliver these initiatives focused upon the values below;

Dream, Lead, Change, Challenge

For more information and to join Alliance Youth see http://alliance-youth.net/

Muir urges Holywood to speak out about Redburn Primary closure

I am urging local people to respond to the consultation being undertaken by Department of Education concerning proposed closure of Redburn Primary School, Holywood.

With the consultation closing on 20 February 2012 it's vital that people respond and make their views known before this valuable school is lost. Redburn Primary School enjoys strong links with Palace Barracks whilst also an key part of the local community and shouldn't be facing the axe.

Holywood Councillor Larry Thompson welcomes bag tax

Cllr Larry Thompson
North Down Alliance Councillor Larry Thompson has welcomed the Environment Minister’s announcement that the carrier bag tax will be introduced from April 2013.

Commenting on the Environment Minister’s announcement that the plastic bag levy will be introduced from April next year, Cllr Thompson stated: “With the environmental consequences of carrier bags now well known I am glad that action is being taken in Northern Ireland to encourage people to move away from single use carrier bags. This is a positive move to clean up Northern Ireland in light of the fact that plastic bags can pose a real litter problem and a threat to wildlife, especially when digested by animals.”

Continuing, Cllr Thompson remarked: “A similar plastic bag tax was introduced in the Republic of Ireland years ago and has been extremely effective with most people now bringing their own carriers when shopping and avoiding bags which were previously offered as a matter of course even when buying small items such as a newspaper.”