Pensioners make their voice heard at Portrush parliament

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The first ever Causeway Coast and Glens Pensioners Parliament took place with around 50 older people from the council area taking part.

The parliament, organised by Age Sector Platform, was held in the Royal Court Hotel, Portrush and was officially opened by Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan.

The parliament was the final local parliament of 2016, with one having been held in each of the eleven council areas for the first time.

The event featured interactive voting, discussion and Q&A with panels of local councillors and Assembly candidates.

Councillors answering questions on the day included Cllr David Harding (Conservatives), Cllr Joan Baird (UUP) and Cllr Ian Stevenson (DUP).

Those that took part in the Stormont panel included Robin Swann (UUP), Yvonne Boyle (Alliance), Gerry Mullan (SDLP), Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Féin), Claire Sugden (Independent), David Harding (Conservatives), Jordan Armstrong (TUV) and Ian Stevenson (DUP).

Thelma Dillon from Age Sector Platform, commented: “I’m delighted there was such a strong interest from older people in this council area to attend their parliament, as it gave us the chance to make sure our politicians heard our voice loud and clear.”

“This is a crucial year for older people to make their voice heard as we approach the Assembly election in May.

“The Pensioners Parliament has not waited for parties to develop their own manifesto; we have created our own!

“I would encourage anyone who couldn’t attend the parliament to add your support to the Pensioners Parliament manifesto.”

Age Sector Platform (ASP) was established in 2008 to be a strong unified voice for older people in Northern Ireland.

It has a membership base of older people’s organisations and networks which represent approximately 200,000 older people across Northern Ireland. It is the charity responsible for the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament. The annual NPC Pensioners’ Parliament is widely regarded as one of the most important activities in the pensioner movement’s calendar.

The Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament was launched in 2011 and allows older people from across Northern Ireland to have their say on the issues that matter to them.

Since its establishment, the parliament has engaged with thousands of older people across Northern Ireland through a variety of ways:

Download a copy of the Pensioners Parliament manifesto at www.agesectorplatform.org