Press Release

Rural concerns take centre stage at Ballymena show

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Thursday, 28 May 2009

Reference: AGR 08/08/09

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee is giving people the chance to have their say. For the first time, the Committee will be at The Ballymena Show and Countryside Festival on 30 May to hear the concerns of the rural community first hand.

Chairperson of the Committee, Dr William McCrea MP MLA, said ahead of the event: “It is vital that the Assembly gets out and listens to people from across Northern Ireland. Hearing directly from the people concerned gives the rural community a voice. It also helps us to ensure that the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development is dealing effectively with the issues that really matter to people.”

In the first meeting of its kind, Committee members will be on hand to listen to concerns over issues like rural development and other issues affecting rural development. Visitors can also learn more about the work of the Committee and the Assembly.

The Committee has already identified key topics for discussion at the Assembly in the coming months, including producer price, animal health, better regulation and the Rural White Paper. However, the Committee is also urging visitors to the Ballymena Show to help set the agenda for the future.

Dr. McCrea continued: “This is a real opportunity for the farming and rural community to input directly into the democratic process and make a difference to their life and work. I urge as many people as possible to take this opportunity to make the Assembly really work for them.”


Notes to Editors:

The Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will be available throughout the day’s events at the Ballymena and Countryside Festival.

Opportunities to speak to Committee Members is available on a first come, first served basis but it is hoped that everyone will have an opportunity to speak to a Committee representative.

Membership of the Committee for Agriculture & Rural Development is as follows:

Dr. William McCrea (Chairperson)
Mr. Tom Elliott (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr. P.J. Bradley
Mr. Allan Bresland
Mr. Thomas Burns
Mr. Trevor Clarke
Mr. Willie Clarke
Mr. William Irwin
Mr. Pat Doherty
Mr. Francie Molloy
Mr. George Savage

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