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Fresh momentum needed to deliver change in South Down - Hazzard

27 March, 2015 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said fresh momentum and new partnerships are needed to deliver real and sustainable change in South Down. 

Speaking at the launch of his campaign for the South Down Westminster seat; Mr Hazzard said; 

"From Strangford to Skibereen and from Ballyholland to Ballymun the Irish people are desperate for change – for an alternative to the gombeen politics of golden circles, for the building of progressive alliances rather than the discord that has left deep divisions between our peoples. 

"South Down badly needs to tap into this new momentum – we need to set our local economy and our local community on a new direction. We need to build inclusive partnerships for change. 

"We have delivered the decentralisation of public jobs, lead the fight to protect frontline health services, defended farming and fishing communities and promoted investment in schools. 

"This is who we are; delivery is what we do. 

"The SDLP have held this seat for as long as I’ve been alive – and yet you genuinely wouldn't need every finger on one hand to count any accomplishments garnered from sitting on Westminster’s green benches. 

"While SDLP MPs busy themselves with East End matinees, Sinn Féin MPs work tirelessly in their community, they embrace the role as ambassadors for their constituents – and they effect real change where it matters most. 

"This is the platform I will build on as an MP for South Down. 

"For too long South Down has been a forgotten area when it comes to signature investment. I will build new partnerships to tackle this longstanding neglect. 

"I will convene and chair a specific investment taskforce which will invite all MLAs, community and business leaders, tourism promoters and local Council Officials to participate. Only when we work together can we truly deliver for the all the people of South Down. 

"Westminster and the British political elite simply does not get it when it comes to the needs of the people of South Down – that our community, from all sides and none, who have endured decades of conflict, must now be afforded the opportunity to benefit from the fruits of peace." 

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