Local Council Elections May 2: Focus on Foyleside Ward

The Foyleside Ward takes in much of Derry’s west bank including Ballymagroarty, Hazelbank, Foyle Springs, Northland, Rosemount, Springtown and Steelstown/ Madam’s Bank.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 1:38 pm
Magee Ulster University campus

A total of nine candidates will vie for the five seats available on Derry City & Strabane District Council.

Key features, amenities and business zones across the area include Magee University, Brooke Park and Leisure Centre, Pennyburn Industrial Estate, Springtown Industrial Estate, Cregganburn Park and Ulster Science & Technology Park, with numerous schools and community organisations.

The population of Foyleside stands at around 18,905 making it the fourth most populous of the of the seven wards within the local area.

Election candidates clockwise from top left: Mary Durkan, Shaun Harkin, Sean Carr, John Doherty, Hayleigh Fleming, Mickey Cooper, Shauna Cusack, Lilian Seenoi-Barr and Eric McGinley.

In terms of the regional profile, 19 per cent of the population are aged 15 and under, below the average of 22 per cent for the whole council area, while 12 per cent are aged 65 and over, also below the average.

Around 40 per cent of adults in the area are registered as married, in a civil partnership or co-habiting, while 42 per cent are single, one in 20 is divorced and five per cent are widowed.

Of the 7,000 households, almost 60 per cent are one or two-person households, while 12 per cent of homes have five or more people living in them.

The majority of residents (66 per cent) have no dependant children living with them,while parents raising children on their own accounted for 13 per cent of homesteads.

The majority of homes across the region are either terraced housing or semi-detached and 56 per cent of people own their home, while 21 per cent are rented social housing, and a further 21 per cent private rented - the latter much higher than the average for both Derry and Northern Ireland, influenced by the high density of student accommodation in the ward.

Areas of interest for local residents vary from community infrastructure and the expansion of Magee, housing, social problems illegal dumping in laneways, the impact of Universal Credit and access to jobs and opportunities.

In terms of health, almost half of residents described their own health as very good with only seven per cent describing it as bad or very bad. 11 per cent have suffered from long-term pain.

Almost 30 per cent of adults have no formal qualifications below the local average, while around a quarter have achieved Level 4 or above.

Most adults were in work or seeking work according to the census (60 per cent) .

The most common types of employment sector for people in Foyleside are: wholesale and retail, education, health and social work, manufacturing and accommodation/ food industries.

The nine candidates standing for election are, in alphabetical order:

* Sean Car (Independent)

* Michael Cooper (Sinn Féin)

* Shauna Cusack (SDLP)

* John Doherty (Alliance)

* Mary Durkan (SDLP)

* Hayleigh Fleming (Sinn Féin)

* Shaun Harkin (People Before Profit)

* Eric McGinley (Sinn Féin)

* Lilian Seenoi-Barr (SDLP)