With most of the mainstream political parties already declaring their candidates for the forthcoming elections to the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council, one local man has announced his intention to run for a seat as an Independent.
Ambrose Laverty is a familiar figure to the majority of people in the Ballycastle area having worked for 34 years in the town – 20 at the Northern Bank and the remainder as Joint Manager at the local Post Office.
His decision to line-up against what will be formidable opposition has not been taken lightly. In fact, Mr Laverty has been deliberating the move for the past two years and is firmly convinced that his approach will remove much of the political sterility that currently exists.
It won’t come as any surprise to the public that Mr Laverty will focus his attention on the bread and butter issues such as jobs, tourism, education, environment and health.
What sets him apart, in his opinion, is that during his working life he has lent a caring ear to people’s problems throughout his time at the Bank and Post Office. When you chat to people as they conduct their business you get to know many of their problems and I had always thought that if I got into politics I would do my utmost to do help. I have no interest in engaging in party politics or the petty squabbling that you hear and read about. I want to engage with all sections of the community. Sometimes there’s clear evidence of a distinct lack of respect between public representatives. I do know that people’s health, housing and jobs are the main areas of concern and I would like to think I would approach these and other issues in a compassionate and ethical manner,” Mr Laverty said.
He stresses that he is fully aware that he will start on the bottom political rung and appreciates that getting elected against candidates with a big party machine behind them will be difficult. “I know it won’t be easy but I’m going to approach this in a measured way and not in any sense try to dupe the public into thinking I’m taking it lightly. There won’t be any flash campaign, but I’ll be knocking doors and going about my campaign in a way I think will have greater impact. I plan to devote all my time to constituency problems and that I won’t be a part time politician.”