South Belfast Green Party members have continued their election preparations by meeting voters in the Ravenhill ward.
David Newman, council candidate for the Pottinger constituency, and fellow activists discussed air traffic, water supply, road maintenance and the importance of urban green spaces with residents.
David Newman said: “Hearing the views of the electorate first hand is always a worthwhile exercise. It was encouraging to learn that many Ravenhill voters share some of the Green Party’s key concerns going into this year’s council and Assembly elections.
“One issue that struck party members was the number of people who had recently moved to the area and had not yet registered to vote. I would strongly encourage anyone living in Belfast – even if they do not consider themselves to be ‘from Belfast’ – to get on the electoral register and ensure their voice is heard.”
Clare Bailey, Assembly candidate for Belfast South, added: “Disillusionment with politics is understandable given recent events in Northern Ireland and in the UK as a whole, but change will only come about if people vote for it.”
Green Party members will continue to meet voters across South and East Belfast between now and 5 May.
Issues raised by Ravenhill residents and what the Greens are doing:
Issue: Aircraft noise
What the Greens are doing: Green Party leader Steven Agnew has been a long standing supporter of North Down, East Belfast and South Belfast residents affected by noise from Belfast City Airport. The Green Party is opposed to extension of the runway, supports the reinstatement of the cap on passenger numbers and is against any change to the airport’s operating conditions without meaningful consultation with residents.
Issue: Importance of Ormeau Park to residents
What the Greens are doing: The Green Party understands the importance of urban parks for recreation, air quality and reduced flooding risks. The party campaigned against the construction of a sports stadium in Ormeau Park and will insist on the preservation and promotion of all of Belfast’s green spaces.
Issue: Energy costs
What the Greens are doing: The Green Party continues to support the concept of a Green New Deal for Northern Ireland, having put the issue on the political agenda. The Green New Deal would see the Executive support widespread investment in energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy generation in homes across Northern Ireland, creating thousands of jobs and cutting residents’ energy bills.
Issue: Potholes on Ravenhill Road
What the Greens are doing: Green Party candidates David Newman and Clare Bailey will write to Roads Service raising residents’ concerns. The party supports investment in public transport to reduce traffic volume and damage to roads.
Issue: Water supply over Christmas and New Year period, poor communication of cut-offs.
What the Greens are doing: The Green Party continues to call for investment in the water network to ensure reduced vulnerability to cold weather, improved efficiency and early detection of leaks. The party is concerned about poor communication during the recent cold spell and about the lack of engineering expertise on the current NI Water board.
Issue: Rates bills based on property valuations that are now out of date.
What the Greens are doing: The Green Party advocates a comprehensive review of local taxation with a view to making rates to make, more transparent and supportive of energy efficiency and pro-environment measures in the home.
Issue: Higher education funding
What the Greens are doing: The Green Party is opposed to any further increase in university tuition fees. Members have taken part in recent demonstrations in Belfast and at Stormont against the implementation of the Browne Review’s recommendations in Northern Ireland.