The Castlewellan and Kilcoo Branch are delivering good practical results on the ground said South Down MLA Séan Rogers.
At a recent meeting, members of the Castlewellan and Kilcoo Branch of the SDLP have welcomed the completion of roads works at the Bann Road/Dublin Road junction. Following a number of meetings and representations from Branch member and former Councillor Eamonn O Neill, Cllr Laura Devlin and MLA Seán Rogers highlighting the serious flooding issues, the works should now address the problems.
Branch Chair John Duggan said: “We are delighted that this flooding problem has finally been resolved. It was a major problem for motorists and the works themselves caused significant inconvenience but, now that they are complete, the impact was worth it. Well done to our local representatives for staying with this issue and delivering good practical results for motorists and pedestrians in the town.”
At the meeting, local Councillor Laura Devlin outlined the success of the SDLP in challenging the Sinn Fein proposal to raise costs for one to one swimming lessons in Council premises. Cllr Devlin explained that “The additional costs would mean many parents would not be able to afford swimming lessons for their children. It would make absolutely no sense to deny local parents the option of affordable swimming lessons for their children, particularly given the fact we are a coastal area.
“The SDLP wanted to make sure that children who are disabled or afraid of the water or may simply need more focused lessons because of learning abilities are not penalised. Sinn Fein had agreed a proposal which would have resulted in 1:1 and 1:2 lessons only being an option for the rich, which was in no way acceptable.
“I took the concerns of parents and tutors back to the Council and negotiated an acceptable deal so that no parent or child is penalised in this way.”
Cllr Devlin also outlined her work to promote a running track in the area. She said: “There is a really good, healthy number of running clubs in this area but few facilities. It is important to offer local people decent facilities particularly if we want to encourage all ages groups to get involved in athletics. I will continue to push this issue.”
Branch Members where disappointed to learn of the number of community groups which have lost out as a result of the new Voluntary Assistance Fund from Newry Mourne and Down District Council. Cllr Devlin has raised this with Council officials.
Chair John Duggan said: “Many groups in our locality are dependent on this fund for things such as Christmas lights and events – the sort of things which people will miss when they are not there. These volunteers go to a lot of effort to spruce our towns up so that they are attractive for locals and visitors. It is small amounts of money for a big result and we really don’t want to see groups losing out on this kind of important funding.”]]>