One of north Down’s most senior politicians, Green MLA Brian Wilson has announced he will step down from the Assembly at the May election.
“I feel it is time to step down and concentrate on other interests such as writing and the future development of North Down,” he said. “My first election was 45 years ago in 1965 when I recall canvassing for my friend David Bleakley the NILP MP for Victoria (later Minister for Community Relations) against Roy Bradford.
“Since then I have been involved in dozens of elections from local council to European but I feel it is now time to wind down, bin my canvas leaflets and pursue some more creative interests.”
He said his two 2007 election manifesto aims were to help create a stable Executive based on powersharing and promoting a “Greener Cleaner Healthier Future” for Northern Ireland. “I believe that the necessary structures have now been set up to achieve these two aims however progress will be slow and the next four years are likely to be frustrating in overcoming gridlock to become a truly democratic society.”
He said he would run for North Down Borough Council again, having topped the poll in Bangor West in the last five elections.
Elsewhere, DUP councillor Michelle McIlveen is standing down from Ards Borough Council to focus on her MLA duties.
Miss McIlveen said she was proud to have raised the profile of women within the borough.