Magherafelt community worker bids for cross-community votes in election

Mick Kelly plans to contest election on community and social issues.
Mick Kelly plans to contest election on community and social issues.
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Community activist Mick Kelly is a surpise runner in the forthcoming council elections for Magherafelt District Electoral Area.

Running as an independent Mr Kelly, who has been instrumental in the Killowen Community Group, is planning to champion “community and social issues only.”

He handed in his nomination papers on Monday and is hoping people will see beyond “the Catholic name.”

“I know my name does me no favours in the unionist community but if they listen to what I have to say they may look beyond the Catholic name,” he said.

As a member of the Killowen Community Group he was instrumental in getting the oil club established to help keep down heating costs for the most vulnerable.

He said: “My vision is to see communities take ownership of their areas; to give people a voice were previously they had none,” he explained.

“I intend to build on the relationships already formed with various statutory bodies along with the community, charitable, voluntary and business sectors to achieve these goals.”

He said the vast majority of the electorate are “blissfully unaware” of the new powers local council will have executive power over.

“At the very heart of these new powers are areas that govern community planning, urban regeneration, community development, economic development and local tourism,” he continued.

He said as community activist who “talks to people”, he was in a strong position to understand and come up with solutions to problems.