North Antrim Village Forum open meeting

Dervock & District Community Association and Ballymoney Community Resource Centre recently hosted an Open Meeting of North Antrim Village Forum in the Resource Centre.

Speakers at the meeting, which was chaired by Frankie Cunningham, included Lyn Moffett of BCRC, Ian Paisley Jnr MP, Mervyn Storey MLA and Liz Johnston of Ballymoney Borough Council and Louise Scullion of Moyle District Council.

Frankie Cunningham, Chair of NAVF outlined the main objectives of the North Antrim Village Forum which focus on the benefits of sharing information and resources and coming together to have a stronger voice to lobby for services and activities in the North Antrim area.

MP Ian Paisley Jnr said: “OFMDFM are launching their new Shared Future strategy “Together:Building a United Community” and it is an opportunity to think about three things. Firstly read this document seriously and consider the implications it will have on your local area. Secondly ask yourself what is in this document for your local area, for your community, challenge it and get ideas. Thirdly what is next, how do we make it real and make it relevant. “This is an opportunity where the villages within the North Antrim Village Forum become active, and help to drive ideas forward. Especially as villages existing in North Antrim region will be affected by proposed ward boundary changes and could find themselves ‘on the periphery of the periphery‘. Villages cannot be allowed to be simply remote, if they are remote they must be included, use your voice to ensure that you are heard.”

Mervyn Storey, MLA referred to all the great work that is being done on the ground and praised those community groups and organisations who work tirelessly for their communities, but added that there is a lot more that can be achieved if we work collaboratively and in partnership and this is where the North Antrim Village Forum can play a vital role.