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    Downpatrick is our County Town and Council must re-affirm that status
    Downpatrick is our County Town and Council must re-affirm that status
    1. Bring back the Downpatrick Masterplan, putting it under local Downpatrick DEA Councillors’ democratic control. Re-balancing development spending between Downpatrick and Newry link. Downpatrick is our County Town – here is a summary of the Downpatrick Masterplan
    2. Declare a Climate Change Emergency in Newry, Mourne and Down. Amend the Council’s Development plan to 2030 for real actions to prepare our Council area for the change we must all undergo – here is a summary of these changes
    3. Campaign for the Down Hospital in Downpatrick – the South Eastern Trust accept that there is a clinical need for a 24 hour A/E in Downpatrick – but claim they cannot find the staff. Our local doctors provide an out-of-hours service when the A/E closes at night. Our Council must push as hard for Down Hospital services as it does for Daisy Hill in Newry. Here is a link to my website showing me campaigning back to 2007 on this issue
    4. Supporting Community groups and community festivals with longer-term funding. We are finally moving to ‘SLA’s’ (service level agreements) for funding community centres over a 4 to 5 year period. We must do the same for community festivals like those in Ardglass, Killough, Strangford and Downpatrick to ensure communities can plan ahead and seek matching funding. The silly bureaucracy around grants needs to be cut back drastically – having to submit constitutions or other documentation repetitively several times a year or filling in 36 page applications every time – a mad waste of time for community volunteers. i am working on a detailed document here.
    5. Value for money for ratepayers.
      1. Roll back the the dreadful top-heavy management structure in Council. Some areas have more managers than staff. After 7 years planning the merger of the 2 Councils, some staff in Downpatrick are 2 grades below their equivalent in Newry – this is not acceptable. We have more management than we had in the 2 Councils. The merger was done back-to-front. Instead of starting with front-line services like bins, street sweeping etc and minimizing management- they started with layers of management and are only now getting around to front line services.
      2. Reduce domestic and especially commercial rates on our high streets. Our high streets have been affected by on-line shopping and big-box shopping centres yet rates are increased every year – soon most high streets will be mostly charity shops. We could easily get £10 million a year in additional rates from renewable energy by 2030 to make up the difference-  if we start now – Council voted down a wind-farm in the last Council period with rates in excess of £1.5 million pa.
  • Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platform on Scotland and SNP
    Here is the full article that I wrote for the Down Recorder as well at their own precis of it pasted in as a photo Local Councillor Cadogan Enright, representing the Lecale Coast and Downpatrick area, is just back from Scotland having taken couple of weeks off in the run-up to the Westminster election to go and campaign in Ayrshire for an SNP candidate who hails from Belfast. Cadogan has penned the following opinion piece; July Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platformI campaigned for Philippa Whitford (MP) who was born and raised in Belfast and went to study medicine in Glasgow. She has worked in the NHS for 30 years, with the last 18 years as a consultant breast surgeon in Crosshouse Hospital with periods as a volunteer in the 3rd world including volunteering in a UN hospital in Gaza. She is based in Troon where the ferry arrives in from Northern Ireland. It was an exhausting but exhilarating campaign resulting in a 26,000 vote swing to Philippa and the SNP in the face of a very hostile media. The reaction of the defeated Labour Party candidate Brian Donohue was quite astonishing, where he revealed that he was “glad he can now tell people to “f*** off” that he’s no longer an MP”. This says much about the way the Labour Part in Scotland had fallen into a rut of taking people for granted, and paid the price for their scorn of the electorate [ Editor see links  – ] The scale of Philippa’s victory reflects not just the rise of the SNP, but also her videos defending the NHS that went viral during the Independence referendum campaign and her extensive community work.  Philippa joins a huge contingent of 56 SNP MP’s, drawn from all parts of Scottish life  – with real life experiences – unlike most politicians in Westminster. Many other doctors and medical professionals, teachers, scientists, musicians and business people who are now determined to get the sort of deal for Scotland that we in NI could only dream about. We have much to learn in NI, and at many levels. The Mainstream Media (MSM) still don’t understand what has happened. They think this has something to do with Nationalism I.E. ‘who runs your country’, English or Scottish politicians. It was actually all about ‘for whom is your county run for’. The London Tory economics of Clegg, Milliband and Cameron stands in stark contrast to the Scottish notion of the ‘Common Weal’. Scotland’s Adam Smith is the patron saint of London Capitalism because of his work, ‘The Wealth of Nations’. But in Scotland, they still also remember Smith’s writings on morality and the decisions we make in pursuit of happiness, especially his ideas in the epic work ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’. It will be interesting to watch how this division over moral philosophy plays out in the myopic world of Westminster. The people v’s the City of London – who will win? The biggest losers in this election were the MSM including the BBC. Their influence is now reducing to just older voters in Scotland. There has been a massive drop in sales for the Tory and Labour supporting press. A huge inter-generational gap has opened up in Scotland where a majority of people now have their opinions distilled by the social media. It is astonishing how clearly the fault lines have been drawn: –          Those informed by the social media versus old media, –          Economically active people verses pensioners and those dependant on the State –          Grassroots democratic campaigns versus the elitism of the Westminster/Fleet Street bubble –          Believing in local ability and ideas versus following London establishment authority –          Politics influenced by the needs of citizens verses vested interests like the City of London –          Those supporting mixed economy verses a privatised economy –          Hope verses Fear –          And way down the list – Scottish versus British identity In my opinion, this level of political change has not been seen since the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party (IIP) won 80-odd seats in 1885. The Torys of that day supported a rapacious English landlord class extracting penal rents from their overwhelmingly Irish Catholic and Scots Presbyterian tenants. The Torys of today support unreformed banksterism and the interests of the top 1%. Different issues, same Torys. It is to be hoped that the Westminster elite learned something from their 40 year campaign to stop the IIP getting Land Reform and Irish Home Rule under the Crown. The initial reactions from the incoming Tory Government are not hopeful. Here in County Down we are in the middle of a series of centenaries that demonstrate the Torys mishandling of the ‘other’ Home Rule campaign. It was 103 years ago that Tory leader Bonar Law encouraged the Ulster Unionist Council and the UVF to arm themselves against Irish Home Rule. Many of their 37,000 German guns were landed in County Down at Donaghadee and elsewhere. It was Bonar Law MP and the Torys that encouraged the Army in Ireland to mutiny against the elected Westminster Government and pushed for the suspension of the 3rd Irish Home Rule Bill. As a reaction to this, just 2 years later, Sir Rodger Casement stayed in the Ardglass Arms and conspired with Francis Bigger at Shanes Castle in Ardglass to bring in the 1,500 guns which were to be used in the rising in 1916. If only the Torys had respected democracy 100 years ago, we could be living either in a Federal Britain and Ireland under the Crown now, or maybe an independent Ireland within the Commonwealth like Canada. It is to be hoped that something has been learned from the Irish debacle. Let’s hope that Scotland’s desire for Home Rule and its wish to have a more Scandinavian style of politics is respected. Clearly a Britain run for the benefit of the Financial Sector in London is not attractive to Scotland, and the worm has finally turned. Scottish ideas about better economic governance resound around the UK. Especially in areas where the influence of the London-controlled media is waning and social media is gaining. Increasingly people are pointing to Northern Europe and Scandinavia for a different view of societal economics. Late last week tens of thousands of English people signed a petition for the North of England to join Scotland and declare independence. Many here sympathise with this sentiment. The last straw for Scotland was the Smith Commission proposals on partly devolving some powers to Scotland, rather than the Home Rule promised by the No Campaign last September. The elections results were a clear rebuff for the Smith Commission. Cameron will have to give, or Scotland will be gone.  
  • Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
    ASDFG Enright Slams Trust For Cutting Downe A&E Hours Councillor Enright got versions of the letter below into the Irish news, Newsletter, Mourne Observer, Down Recorder and Down News. (click here) Sir, re: Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust 2014 has opened with widespread anger around Downpatrick and District at the sudden announcement by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust that they are experiencing a critical shortage of medical staff in both the Downe and Lagan Valley Emergency Departments and were thus forced to cut back on weekend working. This leaves local doctors operating an ‘Out of Hours’ at weekends and night-time at the Downe on their own. The Monday before Christmas I attended a 3 1/2 hour emergency meeting between the Trust and local elected representatives at the Down Civic Centre  in the Downshire Estate on the Ardglass Road to demand answers on why Accident and Emergency services were being cut at weekends with suggestions that we travel to the Ulster hospital instead. We were able to extract a promise from Trust management that when sufficient staff had been recruited, normal service would resume. The Trust also promised to brief us on progress towards this goal. 11826409746_8df13dab71 Suspicions exist that Lisburn and Downpatrick are being sacrificed to enable the Ulster to build up its numbers to resist being culled when the realization hits that we don’t need four major hospitals in Belfast. 45% of admissions to the Ulster are already from Belfast. Real people live beyond Carryduff. The inability to recruit and retain middle-grade doctors to work in A&E points to poor planning and raises issues about the competency of Health Service management over a 15 year period since this problem has become widely acknowledged.  Solutions should have been found long ago. At a time of huge graduate unemployment and emigration only 250 doctors are being trained every year in the North. Of these 100 are overseas students who will return home, and an average of 50 are emigrating annually on graduation. You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out that we should have been training at least 100 more per annum for many years, and that Trusts ought to be allowed to sponsor students who agree to work in scarce specialities for a number of years after graduating. Roads infrastructure in South Down is very different compared to Lisburn or the Ulster which are minutes away from a selection of A&E hospitals in Belfast, Craigavon and Antrim. Some parts of Down District would require travelling 40 miles to the Ulster Hospital A&E or Daisy Hill in Newry. This is just unacceptable. Several local people described to me how that they would have died had they not been treated at Downe A&E over the last few years. A solution must be found soon. Yours, Cllr Cadogan Enright Downpatrick


    Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department's return.
    Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department’s return.
    In addition to the 2600 signatures he collected in Saul, Raholp, Strangford, Kilcleif, Ballyhornan, Chapeltown and Killough, Cadogan Enright collects more signatures at Ballynahinch Rugby Club to prevent the closure of the A&E department in the Downe Hospital. Many sporting clubs agreed that the Accident and Emergency service was essential. Cllr Enright collected signatures at Dunleath park, Ballynahinch Rugby club and sent petitions to over 50 GAA clubs in the surrounding area.
  • Extremely constructive talks on modern energy storage project
    Leading energy storage project discussed between Cllr Enright, Environmental minister Durkan and leaders of the Ulster Farmers union and DDFFRE.
    Leading energy storage project discussed between Cllr Enright, Environmental minister Durkan and leaders of the Ulster Farmers union and DDFFRE.
      Ground-breaking energy storage project discussed in extremely productive talks with Environmental minister Durkan. Councillor Enright led a delegation of leaders of the Ulster Farmers union and local Down farmers organisation DDFFRE. The scheme would be the first of its type in the UK and Ireland and is slated to be based at the old airdrome in Ballyhornan and serving Ardglass and other Lecale villages with renewable energy. Minister promised to make an on-site tour in July
  • Grant given to local Energy storage scheme
    DDFFRE and David Surplus from B9 meet with Cllr Cadogan Enright over a new energy storage project fund worth up to a possible £450,000 for the Lecale area.
    DDFFRE and David Surplus from B9 meet with Cllr Cadogan Enright over a new energy storage project fund worth up to a possible £450,000 for the Lecale area.
    Councillor Enright organised a joint funding application between energy company B9 representative David Surplus and the local farmers co-operative Down District Farmers for renewable energy. The grant is aimed at creating a ‘micro-grid’ in the Lecale area which will enable farmers to connect to the national grid without the massive charges they currently face of up to £450,000 for a connection. This will make the Lecale area the first project of its kind in Britain and Ireland.
  • Coney Island affected by Porky pies
    Local residents were outraged when they read this article suggesting they had not been abandoned without sandbags by the road service.
    Local residents were outraged when they read this article suggesting they had not been abandoned without sandbags by the road service.
    Local residents were outraged when they read this article suggesting they had not been abandoned without sandbags by the road service. Councillor Enright has organised a meeting between council and road service to ensure that one of the two will take responsibility for Coney Island in future flooding situations.
    There are a series of documents linked to the page below that you will find useful in getting your beach nominated as an ‘EU Bathing Water’. I have created this information-resource base to help local community associations in villages around Lecale get their local beaches recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. These villages include
    1. Strangford (Strangford Community Association) Kilclief Beach
    2. Kilclief (Kilclief Residents Association and residents along Killard) Kilclief Beach and Killard Beach
    3. Ballyhornan (Ballyhornan Community Development Association) Ballyhornan Beach
    4. Ardglass (Ardglass Development Association and residents from nearby Chapeltown) Ardglass Spa, Ardglass Beach and Our Ladys  Well
    5. Coney Island (Coney Island Residents Association) Coney Island Beach
    6. The Lecale Conservation Society (amongst its wide variety of actions – maintains and protects Minerstown Beach)
    7. Killough Residents Associations (inc. Fishermans Row, Seaview/Westpoint and Church View)  Killough Beach and St. Helena’s Beach
    We are all very grateful to the Ardglass Development Association who have fundraised several hundred pounds to get this project up and running.

    OBJECTIVES – Main objectives to this campaign

    1. To improve the tourist potential of our villages and all of Lecale
    2. To bring legal pressure on NIWater to end the discharge of sewerage on or near our beaches.
    3. To have a Sewerage Systems similar to that in North Down as was originally proposed for Ardtole in Ardglass back in 2007. This project was downgraded in 2013 partly because none of our local beaches were recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. We aim to return to the original plan of having all sewerage from local villages pumped to Ardtole for the same top-class treatment as in North Down
    4. To create a safe bathing environment for ourselves and our children.

    Shared Information Base

    (if you find other relevant info email to include it below)
    I have inserted key pieces of information below to support the separate campaigns running on each of our local beaches;
    1. Why were our beaches not successful in the 2011 NIEA consultation? 

      1. Firstly because both Down Council and the NIEA failed to nominate Kilclief, Killard, Chapeltown, and beaches around Ardglass and Killough
      2. Secondly the NIEA did nominate Rossglass, Minerstown and Ballyhornan but claimed that there was insufficient evidence of use to support the designation.   (see 2011  list of nominated beaches and clearly incorrect stats for these 3 nominated beaches HERE)
    2. What are the rules for nominating a beach?

      1. We don’t need the NIEA or Council to do this for us, we can do it ourselves. The most important aspect is proving traditional and ongoing use – hence our use of Facebook to collect evidence in each local village for every beach
      2. I have captured the rules for nominating your beach as a ‘candidate beach’ HERE  and HERE
      3. The next opportunity to have our beaches nominated is now approaching – we need to apply.
    3. Why does Down Council have to help us?

      1. Because I got cross-party support for my motion to provide council help in having our beaches nominated as ‘EU Bathing Waters’
      2. The details of the motion and debate are HERE. As of July 2014 Council Management have done nothing – so local communities will have to ‘hold Council’s hand’ and help them make the right moves, as pro-active environmental campaigning is not a strong point in Down Council.
    4. Who do we approach, and how does it work?

      1. See HERE for a short summary document about how the process works
    5. What is the latest information we have from the Department?

      1. see HERE for the most useful of the ‘Freedom of Information’ replies I received.
    6. What sort of questions did you ask the Department?

      1. It took a while to discover from NI Water that their down-grade of the Ardglass Sewerage Project was partly triggered by the NIEA’s failure to identify any ‘Bathing Waters’ in Lecale – despite our villages and beaches being one of the North’s best Tourist attractions. See HERE for email chain trying to ask all the relevant questions to the NIEA;
    7. HERE is the full 2011 NIEA consultation document that identified ALL beaches on the ‘Gold Coast’ as ‘bathing waters’ but failed to to identify any of our beaches except Tyrella

    8. Compare the GOLD COAST with the LECALE COAST for sewerage treatment HERE

  • Election Launch by Community Leaders and Farmers for Councillor Cadogan Enright

    Community Leaders and Farmers Support Councillor Cadogan Enright’s re-election bid in Downpatrick

     Community leaders from villages across Lecale turned up to support Independent Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright’s re-election bid on Tuesday, signing and handing in his nomination  nomination papers at Down Council’s Ardglass Road HQ.

    Strangford Community Association Chair Diarmuid Riordan said “Councillor Cadogan Enright has earned a place in the new Council through his tireless work and genuine effort to help and work with our communities. We need at least one of our councillors to be independent, winning his seat by hard work, not just by belonging to one of the larger parties.” Kilclief Residents Association Chair Maurice Denvir said “I nominated Cllr. Cadogan Enright for the new Council election, on account of his excellent work in Kilclief and other areas locally. Councillor Enright has worked year in and year out for this area, and is the only Councillor we see around here on a regular basis working on the ground”. Ardglass Development Association Chair Mary McCargo agreed and said “Cllr. Cadogan Enright represents a radical alternative to the ‘business as usual’ approach of other politicians in our area and is never afraid to tackle the difficult campaigns that Councillors in larger parties shy away from”. Local farmers leader Alan Montgomery said “Councillor Cadogan Enright has made a significant contribution to the economic well-being of farmers in the Lecale area though his work on renewable energy projects and economic development. The farming  community needs this work to continue.” Retired Councillor and local Green Party Leader Bill Corry praised Councillor Enright’s work with wildlife and environmental projects since the last local elections and called on local environmentalists to support the re-election campaign saying “for many years past, Downpatrick town and the Lecale coastal villages have elected a cross-community, Independent or green candidate. Councillor Cadogan Enright has been a catalyst for change in Down Council, putting the needs of Downpatrick and District ahead of party politics. I call on voters to ensure we keep an alternative voice to the domination of big parties alive in Downpatrick and along the Lecale Coast”. Attached is a photograph of, from the left, Strangford Community Association Chair Diarmuid Riordan, Kilclief Residents Association Chair Maurice Denvir Ballyhornan Realm vice-chair Barry Mervyn Ardglass Development Association Chair Mary McCargo
    Councillor Cadogan Enright, wife Brenda and son CadÓg
    Ardglass Festival Committee Gerry Casey
    Raholp community activist Tom Reynolds and wife Mary
    Padráig MacThiranán, Knocnashinna, Downpatrick Bill Corry, Downpatrick, ex Green Party Councillor and election agent Chair of local Farmers collective DDFFRE Alan Montgomery, Rossglass Secretary of local Farmers collective DDFFRE, David Chambers Tullynaskeagh
    Here is the front page of my Downpatrick election leaflet Downpatrick front page Here is a linl to some of the issues I am highlighting in Downpatrick  Downpatrick Canvass Leaflet – why Downpatrick needs to vote Independent