THE Leader’s popular editorial surgeries continue this week with Upper Bann MP David Simpson confirmed as our special guest today from 3pm-5pm.
Members of the public are invited to come along and meet Mr Simpson and the Leader’s editorial team and take this opportunity to raise issues they may need help with.
“The surgeries are growing in popularity as the word spreads,” said Leader Editor John Hooks. “Our new strategy, which involves seeing reporters get out from behind their desks and back into the community, helps us to better engage with our readers and provide the content they want to see in the Leader.
“The surgeries will take place every Tuesday (10am-12pm) and Thursday (3-5pm) in French Presse on Bridge Street and we are delighted the area’s MP has agreed to attend this week.
“We intend on having a special guest each week and have already pencilled in MLAs Jo-Anne Dobson and Dolores Kelly for later in the month.
“This will be a unique opportunity for local people to call in and meet with Mr Simpson and press him publicly on any issues they would like to see him deal with. But if you can’t make it on Thursday don’t worry as you can contact us with your questions via telephone, email, Facebook and Twitter (see right for details) and we will put them to your MP.”
Meanwhile Mr Simpson has said he is looking forward to joining the Leader at French Presse and meeting members of the public, describing the event as “an excellent initiative on the newspaper’s part to engage with, partner and harness the energy and ideas of the Banbridge community.
“I was delighted to be approached by the Banbridge Leader to participate in this event. I am more than happy to be the guinea pig in what is an excellent initiative on the Leader’s part.
“Some politicians try to hide themselves away from the public or else only appear in highly controlled settings. But there is no substitute for real engagement on real issues. Politicians shouldn’t be cloistered away.
“If you are going to seek election and are going to ask the people to vote for you and entrust you to represent them, then part of that covenant of representation means being present on the ground.
“I would encourage people to come along. It may be that I won’t be able to solve all of the constituency matters , but I will certainly do everything I can.”