Over the last few days the ‘Journal’ has introduced readers to four of the seven candidates looking for your vote on May 7.
The fith candidate is DUP MLA Gary Middleton.
Name: Gary Middleton.
Q1 - Why should the people of Foyle vote for you on May 7?
Gary Middleton: “Myself and the DUP are committed to building on our record in Londonderry and helping to create a better city for all.
The North West is the most deprived in regards to job creation in the United Kingdom with unemployment is at an all-time high, I would strive to get Londonderry’s voice heard so we get our share of future investment within Northern Ireland.
“Our fight will include the expansion of Magee Universality, which will give our young people a tailored education to meet the demands of our local and hopefully expanding economy.
“Young Protestants boys are highly disadvantaged in getting an education and this is an area that could be tackled through more and better courses being provided through the university.
“Infrastructure is also a challenge that I will be championing, we need to push for the A6 development which has been on the pipeline for several years.
“We also need to upgrade the railway station, which most people in the city support. We have been working closely with communities and can be seen on the ground meeting with groups of individuals, seeing at first hand many of the on-going problems that is within their community. Foyle has a big issue with drugs and suicide, this needs to be tackled firstly through our education system but in conjunction with that I have already begun the fight for a detox centre in Londonderry, I currently have a motion going through the Assembly in May to discuss this debate further.”
Q2 - What are the greatest challenges facing the Foyle constituency at present?
Gary Middleton: “As mentioned above job creation in the North West is a major concern, I will be a voice for Londonderry and hopefully with inward Investment the expansion of Magee University, development of transport and infrastructure we can improve our position within Northern Ireland as a city of progress and one that is moving forward.”
Q3 - Foyle has been an SDLP stronghold for over 30 years, if voted in what would you and your party do differently?
Gary Middleton: “I will continue to build on the DUP record in the Foyle constituency and I would be seen to be on the ground as there is clear evidence that the current MP is not on the ground within the constituency as often as people would like. Historically, the SDLP has campaigned for the Unionists to lend them their vote.
“We have recently witnessed SDLP supporting Sinn Fein in naming a play park after a convicted terrorist as well as the controversy of the wearing of the poppy. This sends a clear message to the Unionist that our heritage and culture is being eroded and SDLP like other parties fail to understand the ethos of the protestant culture. The Protestants are a minority within the city and naming play parks after terrorists are very hurtful to the many innocent victims.”
Q4 - How would you and your party help the people in Foyle realise a better quality of life?
Gary Middleton: “I will continue to champion lower household bills including the freeze of water rates.
“I will stand up for communities and help them build community space, ensuring community safety and helping people back to work. I will support people of faith, ensuring they are allowed to exercise their conscience.
“I will strive to retain free travel for older people, as well as making representation for all communities in regards to housing, roads, water service, planning and many other government agencies.
“If elected I will help secure a better deal for Northern Ireland, I will help strengthen the union as well as strengthen the voice of Londonderry.”
Meet the candidates
Hamish Badenoch Conservatives
Mark Durkan SDLP
David Hawthorne Alliance
Julia Kee UUP