Manifesto for the west

The UUP have launched a manifesto for the specific needs of the Constituencies in the west of Northern IrelandIt reads:

* Recognising the educational and social benefits of small schools – and opposing any hasty implementation of the Bain Report

* Extending NHS Direct to Northern Ireland, and rolling out midwife-led maternity units – securing accessible health care and advice for families throughout the West

* Encouraging local government, communities and businesses in the West to prepare to work in partnership with the Executive to strategically invest an economic package – improving the infrastructure and competitiveness of Northern Ireland plc

* A Northern Ireland Renewable Energy Plan – stimulating environmental businesses in the West and providing new economic opportunity for rural enterprises

* Ensuring that the West is fully integrated into Northern Ireland’s public transport network – offering choice and access to communities across the West

* Realising the tourism potential of the West – marketing the Fermanagh Lakelands, the Sperrins and the Walled City as premier tourism locations

* Supporting the EverybodyOnline initiative to increase internet usage and access in the West – overcoming the digital divide for the benefit of communities and businesses

* A balanced rural planning policy – protecting the countryside from random development while allowing for sustainable development of rural communities

* A Sustainable Rural Communities White Paper – developing an agenda for the Executive to support the rural way of life

* Implementation of the Report of the Interim Victim’s Commissioner – ensuring that the needs of victims are met and their voices heard

  • John Farrell

    Yes I saw that on Newsline with the delightful Donna Traynor.

    Couldnt help notice a guy called Stalford who is the great new hope of the DUP now that Paul Berry er……well Paul Berry isnt.
    Anyway his guy was going on about making politics “exciting”……and I couldnt help thinking Ive seen more exciting undertakers than this guy Stalford.
    I suppose its all about how you define “excitement”

  • Pacman

    The West has been poorly served in terms of infrastructure, transport links, and economic opportunity.

    Yes, strangely enough by successive unionist governemnts since the foundation of the state (because too many Fenians lived there).

    Co-operation with the Republic Ireland can also be a contentious issue for communities in the West.

    Not to the vast majority of the people of the west (or south) who desire to reunify with them.

    as long as this relationship…is accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive

    Yes. Can’t have those uppity fenians making decisions for themselves (like cessation).

    To secure this future for the West, we need a devolved Assembly and Executive.

    Sorry Michael, but if this is all you’ve got to offer (albeit more then the DUP), then thanks but no thanks. We’ll take our chances under RPA, where your veto will count for nought.

  • Observer

    John Farrell.

    I saw that interview with Stalford. He’s heading for a starring role in Folks on the Hill. He could be McGimpsey’s butler. I nearly choked on my jammy joe when I heard him talking about his party trying to make the election more exciting.

    Another issue I have noticed. All the parties are promising the moon and the stars, mostly with bells on. How are they going to actually pay for all the giveaways in their manofestos?

    Have you noticed the little mantra that the Alliance Party is trotting out about the billions wasted on paying for a divided society? They are almost as well schooled as the shinners at repeated a phrase to camera. They haven’t broken it down yet and when did they suddenly realise about the billions being lost? Some smart alec must have wakened up during the night and said “By thunder that sounds good, lets use it”.

    If Anna Lo doesn’t get elected, and good luck to her, does anyone think that she might be lost to politics? She’s had a quick rise to fame but will it be sustainable?

  • Briso

    Well done UUP.

    I’ve rather shocked myself saying that but at least one party has recognised the urgency of tackling the problems in the west.

  • Dec

    Ensuring that the West is fully integrated into Northern Ireland’s public transport network – offering choice and access to communities across the West

    Is the UUP in favour of better transport links between Derry and the West of Ireland?

  • IJP

    Observer

    How are they going to actually pay for all the giveaways in their manofestos?

    Well spotted. I wish the media would spot that.

    They [the Alliance Party] are almost as well schooled as the shinners at repeated a phrase to camera.

    One has done one’s best. And they still forget sometimes!

    They haven’t broken it down yet

    That’s because we’ll be embarrassed when we do.

    Turns out it’s actually nearer £2 billion.

    A shocking error.

  • John Farrell

    For those of us with long memories…..wasnt the “west” frozen out by Unionists in the 1960s…setting up Craigavon, Colerane University etc.
    Remarkable conversion that they are now interested.
    There was a time when they didnt care about policies for the west.
    I wonder if they need votes.

  • I thought I read somewhere that the decision to base the new university in Coleraine was taken at Westminster. Can’t find a source now though.

  • Aine

    It’s much better than the DUP’s comic-book style manifesto which doesn’t really mention the west at all.

    It’s good to see a mainstream party like the UUP take a specific interest in the economic challenges faced by us in the west – challenges totally different from those faced by Belfast and its suburbs!

    Its also very welcome to see a unionist party take on such a positive attitude and finally making a real effort to reach out and be inclusive to ethnic minorities and catholics and people living west of the Bann.

    It’s only a start but a really welcome one nonetheless and I’ll certainly be giving them a good transfer when i vote.

  • Aine

    Its also very welcome to see a unionist party…finally making a real effort to reach out and be inclusive to ethnic minorities and catholics and people living west of the Bann.

    Aine

    Could you highlight the section of the report you’re referring to please?

  • Aine

    I meant more the UUP campaign in general and especially their TV ad – they seem to be really making an effort to be inclusive and move forward and break away from the dead-weight influence of the DUP.

    They’ve got their main manifesto points in something like eight minority languages on their website, and i wish the nationalist parties could say the same!

    Just wish they had them As Gaeilge too…

  • Nevin

    Beano, Coleraine was recommended as the site for the new university in the 1965 Lockwood report.

    As most of the decisions were taken in Belfast it was hardly surprising that that’s where most people lived and where manufacturers wished to locate (cf London and Dublin).

  • Sean

    I love the way you guyst talk about the west of Northern Ireland like its a thousand miles away!

    Sorry just my Canadian perspective coming through lol

    I have to drive 120 miles to the nearest international airport where as you would have to drive clear across the whole province to drive that far, well apart from the fact your roads are crap and wander across tha landscape like a childs puzzle game

  • Someone in Canada with the cheek to criticise our roads? Don’t make me laugh.

    And Canada has squillions of international airports, just most of them you’ve never heard of and are presumably international on the grounds that they have flights to the states, which shouldn’t count.

    It’s all well and good to focus on the west, but let’s not forget that Fermanagh and Tyrone together account for 10% of the population. Are their needs really that distinct from, say, Ballyclaste/Portrush or even Armagh, Downpatrick etc.?

    Sorry if it sounds confrontational, I recongise there are issues that need to be addressed but when you hear folk from the likes of Londonderry trying to justify the white elephant on the Maze on the grounds that “themuns in Belfast get everything” it does come across as a bit chip-on-the-shoulder-esque. That said, there’s nothing objectionable in the points raised by the UUP mentined above and anything that can be done to improve the country can only be good.

  • Isn’t the west really the centre?

  • Sean

    Someone in Canada with the cheek to criticise our roads? Don’t make me laugh.

    And Canada has squillions of international airports, just most of them you’ve never heard of and are presumably international on the grounds that they have flights to the states, which shouldn’t count.

    Lol our roads are a bit dodgy but we have to cover millions of square miles where as your whole country is smaller than the GTA lol

    as for the airports, we do have a squillion of them but they are 99.99% domestic airports. We only have 8 or 10 international airports. In the west most of our airports were built to train fighter and bomber crews for WWII in what was called the Commonwealth Aircraft Training Plan.
    Trained a lot of pilots that saved your asses during the battle of britain

  • realist

    Is the fact notthat Sinn Fein have over the last number of years engaged with the Irish Government and through that encouraged them to make cross boarder investment, i.e. the roads and infastructure upgrades to the tune of £1 Billion.

    And now that Sinn Fein and to a lesser extent the SDLP have been able to secure the Irish Governments investment in the West along with additional cross boarder Health Service provision we now the UUP telling people they will work for these things?

    Once the road work starts and the Health Service provision working are in place for the benefit of the people on both sides of the boarder in the North West you can bet the UUP will come out and tell us that they delivered on their manifesto.

    All in all a very good move in that they will in the future be able to pull the wool over peoples eyes with such a claim in the future when in fact we should already be thanking Sinn Fein, SDLP and the Irish Government for funding those actual commitments.

  • Reader

    Dec: Is the UUP in favour of better transport links between Derry and the West of Ireland?
    Can the Buncrana Road and Letterkenny Road not handle the traffic?

  • darth rumsfeld

    Christopher Stalford is presently auditioning for the remake of “Brideshead revisited”, but probably won’t land the gig cos he can’t find his teddy bear

  • as for the airports, we do have a squillion of them

    Yes, because most of you have to take a flight to the corner shop to buy a pint of milk, unless you want to drive for three days.

  • bruce201

    The DUP manifesto is the most impressive document so far. The UUP one looks as if a poorly paid researcher turned it out in an afternoon. Let’s see the SF version. Hope it is not as naff as their PEB.

  • Dec

    Reader

    I’ll provide a more detailed response when I’ve finished stitching my sides back together.

  • Sean

    as for the airports, we do have a squillion of them

    Yes, because most of you have to take a flight to the corner shop to buy a pint of milk, unless you want to drive for three days.

    Posted by Sammy Morse on Feb 24, 2007 @ 12:35 PM

    UMM no but i have been known to take a 400 mile round trip for a bottle of Coke. planes are entirely too expensive for such a short trip. in three days drive I could visit my parents in Arizona a mere 2,100 miles away. they appear to have a kinder gentler winter than Manitoba

  • Elvis Parker

    IJP and Observer have hit the nail on the head – these manifestos are an insult to our intelliegence as they have not been costed.
    Our media really are woeful

  • bruce201,

    have you actually read any of the manifestos or just looked at the pictures? if you go by the pictures of course the DUP one would be the most impressive, theres nothing but colourful pictures in it and no committments to anything. I recommend that you actually read the UUP manifesto and the UUP manifesto for the west.

  • Realist

    QUB YU
    Well you would recommend that!

  • John Junkin

    Didn’t Ken Maginnis aka Lord Drumglass etc. of the UUP tell us all that manifestos were only valid until the election date. Was he not a leading light of the UUP!?