Tuesday, October 25, 2011

East Belfast Speaks Out - back on Wednesday 30 November 2011

Update - Click through to read coverage of the actual event.

Update - postponed until early 2012 due to industrial action on 30 September.

East Belfast Speaks Out 2011

If you live in East Belfast, then here's a date for your diary. East Belfast Speaks Out is back for its third year on Wednesday 30 November. Local residents' chance to pose their questions to a panel of local representatives.

The general theme of the evening is

“How responsive is the Assembly to the real concerns of the electorate?”

The organisers are planning to vary the format from this year onwards. While continuing to welcome questions on all subjects of concern to the people of East Belfast, an Executive Minister will be invited to join the local panel to allow some topics to be addressed in detail by the politician responsible.

Minister of Education and Minister exercising the functions of the deputy First Minister John O'Dowd MLA (Sinn Féin) will be joined by Judith Cochrane MLA (Alliance), Sammy Douglas MLA (DUP), Jackie Gallagher (UPRG) and Jim Wilson (Loyalist Community Worker) John Kyle (PUP councillor). Mark Devenport will be back again to chair the evening.

Last year, organisers pulled together a panel that included the First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as well as the Secretary of State Owen Paterson Minister of State Hugo Swire as well as Dawn Purvis and journalist Liam Clarke. Topics covered included the size of local political institutions, Historical Enquiries Team, CSI, the future of NI, corporation tax and the Azores ruling, why Owen Paterson was missing for the second year in a row, university fees, capital cuts and public sector job cuts.

I wonder will having Jim Wilson on the panel this year rather than in the audience actually prevent him from asking the same question he's popped in the last two years, “Do the panel think the Historical Enquiries Team is the best way to move our society forward?”

Ashfield Boys School on the Holywood Road will once again be the venue. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

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