Causeway Coast and Glens pensioners make their voice heard

Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens, Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan with pensioners Naresh Jairath and Ross Bailie and Thelma Dillon from Age Sector Platform

Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens, Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan with pensioners Naresh Jairath and Ross Bailie and Thelma Dillon from Age Sector Platform

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The first ever Causeway Coast and Glens Pensioners Parliament took place on Friday, with around 50 older people from the council area taking part.

The parliament, organised by Age Sector Platform, was held in the Royal Court Hotel, Portrush and was officially opened by Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan.

The parliament was the final local parliament of 2016, with one having been held in each of the eleven council areas for the first time. The parliament featured interactive voting, discussion and question and answer sessions with panels of local Councillors and Assembly candidates.

Councillors answering questions on the day included Councillor David Harding (Conservatives), Councillor Joan Baird (UUP) and Councillor Ian Stevenson (DUP).

Those that took part in the Stormont panel included Robin Swann (UUP), Yvonne Boyle (Alliance), Gerry Mullan (SDLP), Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Féin), Claire Sugden (Independent), David Harding (Conservatives), Jordan Armstrong (TUV) and Ian Stevenson (DUP).

Thelma Dillon from Age Sector Platform, commented: “I’m delighted there was such a strong interest from older people in this council area to attend their parliament, as it gave us the chance to make sure our politicians heard our voice loud and clear.”

“This is a crucial year for older people to make their voice heard as we approach the Assembly election in May.

“The Pensioners Parliament has not waited for parties to develop their own manifesto; we have created our own! I would encourage anyone who couldn’t attend the parliament to add your support to the Pensioners Parliament manifesto.”

Download a copy of the Pensioners Parliament manifesto at www.agesectorplatform.org or phone 028 9031 2089 for a batch to distribute.