Mark Durkan MP MLA
Second Floor 23 Bishop StreetDerry BT48 6DJText/phone: 028 7136 0700E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri, 07 May 2010 17:33:00 +0100
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Foyle for returning me as your MP. I am delighted to have received a new mandate as the MP for this city. I am proud to be elected as an SDLP MP. I also have every intention of continuing to serve all of the people of Derry as a cross-community MP. After this result, I have returned to work today with my office staff - working on the issues that affect and interest the people of this city.This successful result in Foyle is down to excellent teamwork by an excellent campaign team. We ran our campaign as a tight fight – that is how we will always respect the people of Derry – we take nothing or no-one for granted.I received very clear messages on the doorsteps that people were worried about jobs and the economy, disappointed at parties messing over education, angry at cuts already hitting our frontline services and anxious about more severe cuts to come. There is real work to be done.People are less than impressed about what the Assembly is doing to improve performance and productivity. That is a clear message that we can all take out of this election. As the newly-elected MP for Foyle I will be doing all that I can to address those issues.Finally, I would like to thank my wife and family. All of us in public life need to recognise the huge contribution that our families make. It is therefore important to remember not only their love, but also their support for our ideals and the causes we are fighting for. I would like to celebrate that today.
Bomb Planters Will Not Succeed
Fri, 07 May 2010 14:19:00 +0100
Everyone who values the will of the people were disgusted at the disruption caused to the election count in Templemore Sports Complex early this morning. They didn’t stand for election and the reason they didn’t stand is because they have no political case to make and no mandate.They caused great distress and fear for vulnerable elderly people who had to be evacuated from sheltered housing at Donal Casey Court after midnight. No-one, especially elderly citizens, should be subjected to that.Those responsible cynically exploited the media attention attached to this count to make their sinister presence felt. They disrupted the democratic process for a short time and succeeded in gathering some headlines but they will not succeed in anything else.
Tue, 04 May 2010 16:10:00 +0100
I have been canvassing on the ground in every one of the 28 wards in the constituency.The campaign team and I will sustain that effort today and tomorrow to maximise turnout on polling day.I have been getting the message that people are worried about jobs and the economy, disappointed at parties messing over education, angry at cuts already hitting our frontline services and anxious about more severe cuts to come.With such concerns and others, people appreciate the value of a committed and effective MP, working the seat, making their case and fighting their cause.
Planning Service Cuts Wrong
Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:41:00 +0100
I fully understand the shock of Planning Service staff – many of them professional planners – who find themselves threatened with transfer because of a lack of strategy in budget and civil service management.There is a need to make sure that this service is well-geared to take positive developments forward as we strive for recovery after the recession, particularly in the construction sector. In areas like Derry, the cuts proposed run contrary to expressed public policy from the Executive.Many of these staff resent the devaluation of their work and the dislocation they now face – as well as the worry that they could be affected by deeper cuts in the future. I have written to Environment Minister Edwin Poots objecting to these proposals.
Trade Union Conference
Tue, 27 Apr 2010 17:36:00 +0100
After some constituency work visits this morning, at lunchtime I participated in a Fringe Debate at the City Hotel on the future of Public Services. It took place as part of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions NI Committee Conference taking place in Derry's City Hotel. I outlined the SDLP's credible opposition to public services cuts here - matched by costed alternatives. With Northern Ireland now being targeted by the Tories for major cuts in our public services, the SDLP will be in Westminster to stand against cuts to frontline services and workers.
Cameron Cuts Worry
Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:06:00 +0100
David Cameron’s comments on Friday night’s Jeremy Paxman interview should worry everyone who depends on public services and the many who work hard to deliver them.The Conservative leader’s comments show that the North will be a target for his public expenditure cuts should he take office. Services in this region would be squeezed both directly and indirectly in the spending plans of a Tory government.One of the challenges in the next Parliament will be the fight to defend frontline services overall and the North’s budget share in particular. People here need MPs who will stand up for them in that Parliament to defend vital services and protect social security benefits and pensions. MPs can’t really stand up for people on these issues when it counts, where it matters, if they never take their seat.
SDLP Manifesto Launch
Wed, 21 Apr 2010 17:26:00 +0100
Here is my contribution to the SDLP Manifesto launch this morning in Belfast. I set out some home truths about what other parties are promising to the electorate on 6th May.
Skeoge Businesses Impress
Tue, 20 Apr 2010 17:44:00 +0100
This afternoon I went on a walkabout of Skeoge Business Park with John McGowan of North West Marketing. This enterprise hub was one of the results of the Integrated Development Fund which I championed after the collapse of Desmonds. I was really impressed by the spirit of entrepreneurs who are ready to take a risk and have a go – making opportunities not just for themselves but for their employees and the local economy.Their innovation, their invention and their endeavour are a credit to them, and hopeful assets for the North West economy.
A Clean Sweep!!
Tue, 20 Apr 2010 10:20:00 +0100
This morning I joined a clean-up of the tourist walk around Derry’s Walls with volunteers from the three McDonald’s branches in the city – for the Belfast Telegraph / TIDY Northern Ireland Big Spring Clean.
Culmore Bomb Attack
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:52:00 +0100
The attack on a home in Spruce Meadows in the early hours of this morning is totally unacceptable and must be condemned. People in the area were put out of their homes in the dead of night and that disruption is rejected by the people of this city. I urge anyone with information to provide it to the PSNI.
Declaration of Interests form
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:35:00 +0100
Declaration of Interests formName of candidate: Mark DurkanConstituency: FoylePolitical party (if any): SDLPDate of publication of Declaration: 19/04/10 CATEGORY RELEVANT INTERESTS(a) Other paid jobs and whether I intendto continue to hold them, if elected(i) Paid as MP for Foyle until date of dissolution(ii) MLA for Foyle Paid 1/3 salary until commencement of the Northern Ireland Assembly Members Act 2010. No salary thereafter.(iii) I have publicly declared that I will be resigning from the Assembly if elected again to Parliament(b) positions of responsibility in some types of organisation, even if unpaid, and whether I intend to continue to hold them, if elected. NONE(c)(i)Directorships, and whether I intend to continue to hold them, if elected. NONE(c)(ii) Clients, and whether I intend to continue to advise them, if elected. NONE(c)(iii) Land and property, and whether I intend to continue to hold this, if elected. NONE(c)(iv) Shareholdings, and whether I intend to continue to hold these, if elected.NONE(d)Tax matters RESIDENT(e)Any other interests which I consider relevant. NONE
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:44:00 +0100
I handed in my nomination papers today to officially become the SDLP candidate for Foyle. I am honoured to have been proposed by John Hume and seconded by Berna McIvor. Tomorrow will tell the final line up of opponents - meanwhile I'm campaigning hard.
Fri, 16 Apr 2010 18:54:00 +0100
I was on the BBC Newsline debate this evening which was broadcast live from Portrush. Back in Derry now and hitting a few doors. I'll post the link to the broadcast once (or if) it goes on the iplayer.
Eglinton once again
Fri, 16 Apr 2010 10:44:00 +0100
After a really positive canvass in the city yesterday lunchtime I was out in Eglinton on constituency business and catching up with people later in the day. Like in many other areas the feedback was positive. It's great to hear people's views on current issues and how they feel the election is panning out. Hopefully the weather will be this good on May 6th!
SDLP Campaign Launch
Thu, 15 Apr 2010 19:27:00 +0100
This morning I was in Belfast for the SDLP Campaign launch where Margaret Ritchie presented the compelling case for voting SDLP on May 6th. You can read her remarks online setting out the importance of your vote for jobs, defending public services, protecting benefits and much more.
Out and About
Wed, 14 Apr 2010 20:41:00 +0100
Today I was carrying on the (always important) constituency service as well as getting out and about knocking doors. Out in areas including Abercorn Road, William Street and Rossville Street where we got a very good response. Then it was across to Immaculate Conception College for a public meeting on the future of post-primary schooling on the Waterside.
City Centre Traders today
Tue, 13 Apr 2010 20:10:00 +0100
I met a delegation of Derry traders at Stormont today to discuss trading pressures in the city centre and to underline the importance and needs of commerce at the city’s heart.In the context of the City of Culture bid and as we look forward to the new regeneration plan these traders want to see renewal in the retail and cultural life of the city centre.Local traders are not opposed to the multiples or the competition they offer, but they want to see them in or close to the city centre.Recognition must be given to local outlets in our historic city centre that provide the “Derryness” of the experience we offer visitors and regional shoppers.
SDLP Party Election Broadcast 2010
Tue, 13 Apr 2010 10:14:00 +0100
Party Election Broadcast - tonight!
Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:50:00 +0100
The SDLP Party Election Broadcast will be aired tonight on TV. You can catch a sneak preview now. In case you're wondering why I'm not filmed at Free Derry corner, candidates aren't allowed to be filmed in their own constituency. So instead you see me in Limavady!
NUS Welcomes Durkan Pledge on Student Fees
Mon, 12 Apr 2010 09:34:00 +0100
Mark Durkan today signed the NUS 'Vote for Students' funding pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament, and put pressure on government to introduce a fairer alternative.Mark said “I have consistently campaigned at Westminster against top-up fees. In January I co-sponsored a motion agreeing with the NUS that a graduate tax should be introduced for financing universities in place of top-up fees and against raising the £3,000 cap on fees.“Research shows the current system of tuition and top-up fees has discouraged many pupils from poorer backgrounds from applying to university due to fears of debt.NUS President Wes Streeting said:“I am delighted that Mark Durkan is standing up for students and their families in Foyle by signing up to this pledge. He has demonstrated his determination to give every young person in his constituency a fair chance to go to university.”ENDS12.04.10
Campaign Launch @ Guildhall Square
Mon, 12 Apr 2010 07:15:00 +0100
Don't forget to register!
Sun, 11 Apr 2010 19:53:00 +0100
Election Office Opened Today
Sat, 10 Apr 2010 18:52:00 +0100
Our Foyle campaign stepped up a gear this morning with the official opening of our Election Campaign office. It is right in the heart of the city at 9 Shipquay Street, halfway between the Richmond Centre entrance and the Diamond. You can call in there for any help or assistance you might need regarding the election - for example getting on the electoral register, obtaining a postal vote or securing a proxy. You can't miss it - it's the one with the SDLP posters in the window!
Welcome to my new campaign blog!
Thu, 08 Apr 2010 15:40:00 +0100
When I was selected by the SDLP to be our candidate for this Westminster election, I set out my track record of delivery and my positive ideas for the next 5 years. We now know that the election will take place on Thursday 6th May - and I intend to keep working hard on the ground to retain this seat. Along with our well established presence on twitter and facebook we will be using this blog to keep you up to date on the latest news and views from the election trail in Foyle. We hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your support on the 6th of May. I hope to see you on the campaign trail, Mark.