Derry & Strabane Council elections May 2 : Focus on Waterside Ward

The Waterside electoral area takes in Gobnascale/ Top of the Hill, Drumahoe, Victoria, the Triangle, Caw, Ebrington, Kilfennan, Lisnagelvin and Clondermot.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:58 pm
St Columb's park in the Waterside.

There are seven seats available to represent the Waterside on Derry City & Strabane District Council and 10 candidates are seeking election in the vote on May 2.

The electoral area includes a number of important facilities and landmarks, among them Altnagelvin and Gransha Hospitals, the Fire Brigade regional headquarters, the publicly-owned St Columb’s Park, Ebrington site and Kilfennan Valley Park, Ballyoan Cemetery, with retail hubs at Spencer Road and Crescent Link Retail Complex, as well as various churches/places of worship and a number of primary and secondary level schools.

Key community resources include Hillcrest House, Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group, Lincoln Court Youth & Community Association, St. Columb’s Park House, Waterside Area Partnership, Irish Street Youth and Community Centre, Ebrington Centre and Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, while there are also several play parks, sports clubs and playing pitches across the region.

Candidates for the Waterside, clockwise from top left: Philip McKinney, Christohper Jackson, Sinead McLaughlin, Hilary McClintock, Martin Reilly, Darren Guy, Drew Thompson, Maeve ONeill, David Ramsey and Sharon McLaughlin.

In terms of profile, while geographically one of the smallest of the seven Derry City & Strabane District wards, it is the most populous, with around 27,000 people (18 percent of the total council area population) living there.

One in eight residents is aged 65 or older, while one in five are aged 15 or younger - roughly the same as the overall profiles for Derry & Strabane.

Among the 11,000 households, almost half of adult residents are either married, in civil partnerships or cohabiting, while one in three people are single, and six per cent widowed. Over two thirds of homes have no dependent children, while 12 per cent had a parent/guardian raising a family on their own.

Given the significant health facilities located within this area, it is not surprising that 20 per cent of local people are employed in the human health/ social work sector.

Most residents said they were also in good or very good health, with just five per cent describing their health as bad or very bad. However, over one fifth of residents are recorded as having a long-term health problem or disability.

In terms of qualifications, one in three adults had none according to the latest census figures, while 22 per cent had achieved Level 4. Over 63 per cent of the population, meanwhile, were deemed economically active - slightly above the local average.

The Waterside candidates, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Darren Guy (UUP)

Christopher Jackson (Sinn Féin)

Hilary McClintock (DUP)

Philip McKinney (Alliance)

Sharon McLaughlin (Sinn Féin)

Sinead McLaughlin (SDLP)

Maeve O’Neill (People Before Profit)

David Ramsey (DUP)

Martin Reilly (SDLP)

Drew Thompson (DUP)