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18 November 2009
Northern Ireland Assembly Roadshow visits East Belfast
The Northern Ireland Assembly is coming back to the Park Avenue Hotel in East Belfast with the latest in its series of regional roadshows. In advance of the event, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr. William Hay MLA spoke about how the roadshows have been received.
He said: “East Belfast is an important venue for us and we were obviously disappointed that urgent Assembly Business prevented a number of MLAs from attending the roadshow that we planned for. That event drew a big and enthusiastic crowd and I made a commitment that we would return to this venue at a later date. I am delighted that we are now able to honour that commitment.
“As Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, I am very aware of the need for local politicians to participate and communicate with local communities at a grass roots level. We need to understand and appreciate the issues that matter to people in their communities as well as the issues that affect the electorate as a whole.
“The Assembly is always looking at new and innovative ways to spread the message about the Assembly and devolution. We are finding that more and more people are visiting the Assembly at Parliament Buildings to watch Plenary and Committee Sessions. That participation is encouraging, but we realise it is not practical for everyone. The Roadshows are our way of bringing the Assembly to the people.
“The roadshows have given MLAs the opportunity to get out and about to talk about the day-to-day work of the Assembly and, importantly, to help people to understand how the Assembly works. The public have certainly put the politicians through their paces, with questions on the 11+, the local economy, health, help for small businesses and funding for community initiatives being just a few of the topics tabled for discussion. We have been delighted with the very positive response from the public.
“Local issues are important to people. As we prepare to visit East Belfast, I am particularly mindful of issues such as the economic hardship faced by many in this community as a result of the recession. I want to assure those who attend the road shows that the Assembly is coming to listen and to learn.”
The Assembly Roadshow will be at the Park Avenue Hotel, East Belfast from 7.30pm on 19 November 2009. For more information and an opportunity to post your questions and/or comments in advance; please visit http://www.yourassembly.com/ . You can also receive regular updates via twitter or by visiting our Northern Ireland Assembly page on Facebook.
For media enquiries please contact:
Debra Savage , Communications Officer