Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Belfast Telegraph roadshow gets to heart of issues in Portaferry

The Belfast Telegraph Tell Us About It Roadshow arrives in Portaferry tomorrow.

We will be crossing Strangford Lough to make our way to the Co Down town to seek out the issues that matter the most to you.

Throughout its history the Belfast Telegraph has prided itself on covering local news as well the national and international stories.

Our Tell Us About It roadshows, which take place as this newspaper celebrates its 140th anniversary, are firmly within that tradition.

Reporters Lesley-Anne Henry and Heather McGarrigle will be hitting the streets of Portaferry to get to the heart of your concerns.

Later in the evening we will host a Question Time-style debate in the wonderful surroundings of the Exploris Aquarium.

Hosting the event is one of Northern Ireland's most familiar faces and best known broadcasters, Lynda Bryans.

Throughout her illustrious career, Lynda has covered hundreds of stories.

She will be keeping a tight rein on our panel members while also facilitating audience questions.

Sitting on the panel tomorrow, raring to answer your questions, will be new Strangford DUP MP Jim Shannon, Alliance councillor and MLA Kieran McCarthy, SDLP councillor Joe Boyle, Ards Mayor David Smyth and the chairman of Portaferry Regeneration, Doug Edmondson.

Belfast Telegraph editor Mike Gilson will also be in attendance to hear your views on how best we can serve our readers.

Mr Shannon, who became MP for Strangford following the resignation of Iris Robinson, said he believed the event would provide both the community and local politicians with the chance to get to the heart of what needs to be addressed in the area.

“I think this event will be worthwhile,” he said. “I always look forward to interacting with the general public and always pride myself in hearing what the general public have to say.

“This is a perfect opportunity to hear that. We do a lot of constituency work down in that part of the world and I am well aware of the key issues.

“I see this as a chance to hear what people are thinking. I think it also gives people the chance convey their concerns.

“I want to hear what the community has got to say — this is a good opportunity for that. I want them to tell all the panellists.”

He added: “Whatever they say will help influence me and I how I promote their fears, their concerns, their wishes at Westminster.”

The issues raised and the opinions aired during the course of each roadshow day will then be reported in detail by the Belfast Telegraph.

The next Tell Us About It event will be held in Newcastle on October 14, Enniskillen on October 21 and Omagh on October 28.

The final roadshow is in Belfast in November and this will include a full Panel of leading Northern Ireland politicians.

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