Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Have your say at Belfast’s big debate

Lynda Bryans

The Belfast Telegraph Tell Us About It roadshows are drawing to a close with the final event in Belfast City Hall on Monday.

Over the last eight weeks our interactive community initiative has visited every county in Northern Ireland, listening to the views of our readers and finding out what people love and loathe about life in the province.

As the Belfast Telegraph is celebrating its 140th anniversary, this was the perfect time to engage readers and follow our proud tradition of covering local news, as well as national and international stories.

The feedback from the public gathered during our time on the road will inform our paper’s coverage over the coming months.

The inaugural event in our travelling roadshow kicked off in Ballymoney during September, before stopping in Lurgan, Londonderry, Portaferry, Newcastle, Enniskillen, Omagh and then Belfast last Thursday, when Maureen Coleman and Victoria O’Hara spent the day on Belfast’s streets listening to the city’s residents.

As expected, the people of Belfast were not short of an opinion and aired their views about what they liked and disliked.

We have heard issues big and small, ranging from dog fouling and litter problems to concerns about student fees and threatened medical services throughout the province.

Getting out on to the streets and hearing about the issues that matter to people has again revealed the great community spirit present here and has revealed issues our policy-makers and public representatives need to address.

At 7pm on Monday, Maureen and Victoria will join Lynda Bryans as she chairs a public meeting at Belfast City Hall with a panel of local politicians who are gearing themselves up for the Question Time-style debate.

The main political parties in Northern Ireland will be represented on the panel, with Nelson McCausland (DUP), Stephen Farry (Alliance), Alban Maginness (SDLP), Basil McCrea (UUP) and Alex Maskey (Sinn Fein) all looking forward to a lively debate.

The views aired during Monday night’s meeting will be reported in detail by the Belfast Telegraph in the days after the event.

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