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Speech Newtownards Branch: Monday 14 April 2008

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Today is a significant milestone in the development of the DUP as a political Party.  Our political enemies had thought that when Dr Paisley stepped down the Party would fall apart.  However, today's events with the election of a Leader and a Deputy Leader (designate) now in place the future of the Party is now assured.
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Assembly Speech 7/4/2008- Further Education Provision for Young People with Disabilities

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Mr Speaker

 I rise to support the motion. It should be the priority of all local politicians to support the personal development of the most vulnerable in our society regardless of background, physical or mental need, age or gender.
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Lower Newtownards Road Adjournment Debate 01/04/2008

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Mr Deputy Speaker I want to thank the Business Committee for recognising the importance of this matter and allowing this debate to take place. And I want to express my gratitude to the staff and members of the East Belfast Partnership Board who have done so much to help raise the need for this project to be delivered and especially those who are the volunteer members of the Board. I will come to this aspect a little later.
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Political Tourism Speech 19/02/2008

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Assembly Speech 19th February 2008

Mr Speaker 

The Programme for Government rightly has confirmed  growing the economy is the top priority for the Executive and this has been accepted by the Assembly.

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Assembly Debate on Enler Project

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Assembly Speech January 2008

I would like to pay tribute to Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA for raising this issue within this adjournment debate.

The importance of this project to the area cannot be overestimated.

The deprivation need in the area has been acknowledged and the area has been designated as an area of need.

I want to declare an interest in the matter as I am a director of Landmark East, a charity organisation and an arms length company of the East Belfast Partnership.

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Attacks on Orange Halls

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Assembly Speech - 11th September 2007

Mr Speaker/Deputy Speaker

I was greatly suprised to hear some of Mr O'Dowds comments this morning.  He said that he had learnt more about the Orange Order from a five-minute radio interview than he had at any other time in his life.  He must think that Members on this side of the House are naive.  That statement makes me wonder what sources he uses for his speeches.

The motion reflects an important issue for the Protestant community.  The Orange Order represents that community's cultural identity and embodies Christian principles such as charity and tolerance.  Sinn Fein puts about a myth that the Orange Order comprises bowler-hatted bigots who just want to march down the road.  However, over generations, the Orange order has played a significant role in society, and its members have made important contributions.  Such members include: Dr Thomas Barnardo; William Massey, a former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Harry Ferguson, the inventor of the tractor; and Earl Alexander of Tunis, a First World War general.  Those people represent the calibre of person who underpins the character and ethos of the Orange Order and maintains its principles.

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Economic Task Force for Fermanagh, Omagh, Strabane, Dungannon and Cookstown District Councils

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Assembly Speech - 10th September 2007

Mr Speaker/Deputy Speaker

It is the priority of all responsible elected reprsentatives to see economic prosperity and the financial and other benefits that flow from a successful econmy being enjoyed by their constituents.  I empathise with Mr Gallagher in this regard.  And it is to be welcomed that this subject of economic prosperity is on the agenda today.

While I identify with the problems and have sympathy and well understand the issues he raises and have the same level of concern as him, I differ in how to address the issues and I support the amendment.

 

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Titanic Quarter Must Deliver Benefits to All, Says Newton

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The Titanic Quarter development has the potential to be one of the most exciting and innovative things to happen in Belfast, more accurately in Northern Ireland, in many generations. Out of the ashes of our once thriving heavy industry sector should emerge a vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan living space with large-scale business and innovative technological development, to rival anything which has been achieved by similar projects elsewhere in the world. The venture is Europe's largest waterfront development.

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Demanding Days for NI Small Business

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It should be a priority for all politicians to support the development of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). They are the lifeblood of our economy.

Businesses, large or small, face similar problems but the major difference is the limited resources available to the small business owner.  SME owners struggle to manage existing red tape and cumbersome employment laws while trying to make a profit.  Inevitably, crucial areas such as research & development (R&D) and innovation are seen as a further cost or burden, rather than an opportunity.

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Persistent Offenders

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Council Speech

It is the expectation of the public that when those who are strongly perceived to be a threat to the public either by their track record or on the recommendation of the police that the judiciary will acknowledge that threat and place the person in custody.

There was a public outcry when local magistrate released onto the streets a young east Belfast man with 109 convictions, 92 of them for burglary, in opposition to the compelling recommendation of the police and against a common sense approach. Especially when the person is arrested by the police leaving premises, a senior citizens care home, that he had no business being in.

It can only be said that when persistent offenders are brought before ˍˍˍˍˍˍˍˍ they and their lawyers must think it is their lucky day.

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