Late Mayor’s son takes on Mary Hamilton role

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UUP Waterside candidate Darren Guy is honoured to have been selected to follow in the footsteps of both his late father Jim and outgoing Alderman Mary Hamilton who is retiring after 18 years.

The 45-years-old is the sole UUP candidate in the DEA and well-placed to be returned in the constituency represented by his father - a two-time Mayor - in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I know through my father how time-consuming it is but you know what? If you can help someone out it’ll be worth the effort. I’ve always had a keen interest in politics because I’d been brought up in the environment,” said the self-employed taxi-driver.

Mr. Guy grew up on Spencer Road but now lives in Kilfennan with his wife of 21 years Julie and his daughters Cameron, aged 19, and Georgia, aged 13. He knows the DEA from one end to the other and wants to see it prosper.

As someone who makes a living from driving he has said he will lobby for better roads infrastructure and maintenance where possible.

“Driving a taxi you see the state of the roads, the grass verges. Look at Caw roundabout. It should have a set of traffic lights. It’s something I’ll be pressing for with the new development, to make sure traffic lights happen before that goes ahead rather than afterwards,” he said.

Elsewhere he has an imaginative proposal for a former leisure hub of the Waterside.

“Is there a potential for someone to take on the old Lisnagelvin swimming pool as a private investment? The Waterside’s big enough for two pools. I would hate to see Lisnagelvin just lying derelict.”

And businesses should be better supported and the rates burden lessened to encourage regeneration, he argues.

“Spencer Road badly needs small businesses. We should make it easier for them to open in the area. It’s been lying too long. We would need to look at the rates.”

Like many he is concerned by what some consider to be a mental health crisis in Derry.

“We need a 24 hour service. I’ve come to the help of people on the bridge. I’ve helped other taxi drivers that are there at the time helping someone.

“We lift people from casualty afterwards.

“The staff at the A&E department have done what they can for them.

“Their hands are tied and then they have to see their doctor the next day and then get referred. It’s sad to see,” said the UUP’s new face in the Waterside.