‘Warrenpoint must keep its identity’ – McKevitt

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Thursday, June 14th, 2012
SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt said she intends to continue to fight to ensure that Warrenpoint can remain united and keep its urban identity in the current local government boundary reform. Speaking in the Assembly debate on the draft Local Government Boundaries Order, she said: “The new configuration within this Order means that nearly 40% of Warrenpoint’s current urban electorate will be resident in the new rural wards of Rostrevor and Burren.” Speaking after the debate she said: “This is a very simple problem with a very simple solution: the Boundaries Commissioner should allow for an extra ward in Warrenpoint so that the town is not split and we don’t end up with a ridiculous situation where areas that are clearly and obviously urban are classed as rural.” “We have been making this case for years. When Deputy Mayor of Newry and Mourne I went along with my colleague Michael Carr and a cross-party delegation to meet then Environment Minister Edwin Poots, and he was quite sympathetic. The Boundary Commissioner has himself admitted that the Warrenpoint case has merit. The current minister, Alex Attwood, was also convinced by the argument, but has been unable to persuade his Executive colleagues to adopt the modification.” McKevitt added, “I intend to make the case for Warrenpoint loud and clear in the Assembly and I hope to count on the backing of all those who want Warrenpoint to retain its clear and united urban identity.”
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