New faces at North Down Alliance

New North Down Alliance Committee
Holywood woman Kate Nicholl was elected as the new Chairperson of the Alliance Party in North Down last week, with Party Leader and Justice Minister David Ford MLA in attendance.

The local Alliance branch held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, February 20, welcoming many new members for the first time. After her election Kate expressed her delight at her new role, adding she was looking forward to building on the success of out-going Chair Neil Dickey and continuing to build on Alliance's vision for a society without division, free from sectarianism and prejudice.

Kate Nicholl said: "I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to fulfil a more active role within Alliance. The Party is firmly on the up and I am looking forward to building on this momentum in North Down in the year ahead.

"I love Northern Ireland and despite the immediate political challenges it remains a wonderful place to live. But I know long-term stability and peace can only be achieved through a genuine commitment to a shared future, with Alliance the only party which credibly offers this.

"In recent months Alliance has been targeted through a serious of intimidating attacks for standing up for a policy we believe in. In North Down these attacks have hit very close and I am privileged to work alongside Councillors Michael and Christine Bower and Dr Stephen Farry MLA as they continue to lead Alliance locally as the Party for everyone. 

Kate Nicholl

The growth of Alliance was evident at the AGM, with many new members elected to serve on the committee alongside Alliance Party's range of elected representatives in North Down. Strong support was shown for Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry MLA to Alderman Anne Wilson, Councillor Christine Bower, Councillor Larry Thompson, Councillor Michael Bower and Councillor Andrew Muir whilst they continue to champion Alliance Party's vision of a shared, safe, sustainable and prosperous society.

Outgoing Chairman Neil Dickey was thanked for his service with Jean Green re-elected as President to serve alongside veteran party member Donald Hayes as Vice President. Michael Watts briefed the meeting on 2012 as Secretary and agreed to serve for another year along with Chris Mackey as Treasurer who reported healthy finances and growing membership numbers. The late Alderman Tony Hill was praised with the great respect Tony commanded and support shown to Tony's widow Geraldine who was warmly welcomed to the meeting by all.

The Guest Speaker - Party Leader and Justice Minister David Ford MLA - addressed the AGM and told local members that 2013 was a year of opportunity for Alliance. He praised the courage and hard work of the party's elected representatives and stated the Alliance Party's commitment to creating a shared future for everyone would not falter. 

David Ford added that despite the challenges of the past months, the increase in party members offered great hope for the future and he had no doubt the association would continue to work to raise the party profile and deliver change.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the Alliance Party should contact North Down Constituency Office via 028 9185 9475 or email north.down@allianceparty.org