DUP announces poll candidates

DUP MP Sammy Wilson with Coast Road candidates Gordon Lyons and Drew Niblock. INLT 11-606-CON
DUP MP Sammy Wilson with Coast Road candidates Gordon Lyons and Drew Niblock. INLT 11-606-CON
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The Democratic Unionist Party have announced their candidates for the Coast Road and Larne Lough electoral areas for election to the new Mid and East Antrim District Council on May 22.

In the Coast Road area, Gordon Lyons and Cllr Drew Niblock have been selected and in Larne Lough, Cllr Gregg McKeen, Rev Paul Reid and Matthew Scott will be going before the electorate.

Speaking following their selection, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: “The new DUP team brings together new faces and experienced political representatives, all of whom know the issues that concern people and how to address them. I fully endorse these candidates and I hope that the people in the Coast Road and Larne Lough areas give them their support.”

The candidates said: “We are delighted to have been selected by the DUP to put our names before the electorate in the upcoming elections. The new councils will have more powers than the councils they replaced and with that comes great opportunity.

“Our areas face significant challenges. Work needs to be done to attract more investment, boost our local economy and ease the burden on families and business.

“We believe that we have the policies that will help to address these issues and we look forward to meeting with voters and explaining our vision for the area.”

Gordon Lyons is currently employed by the DUP in the party’s Policy Unit. Previously he worked for Sammy Wilson MP in his Larne constituency office and is well aware of the issues facing local people. He believes the main issue needing addressed in the area is economic regeneration.

Drew Niblock was elected to Larne Borough Council in 2011 and is currently Deputy Mayor of the Borough. He is a member of a number of committees and currently serves on the Community Policing and Safety Partnership.

Gregg McKeen is a well-known face in local politics having been a councillor for 13 years and Deputy Mayor twice. He is currently employed by Caterpillar Logistics (UK) working as a Project Manager within the Logistics Division based in the Larne Facility.

Paul Reid is a first time candidate and has been the minister of the Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter for the past 11 years. He is concerned about economic deprivation and unemployment and has a passion to support and advocate on behalf of those who are in need.

Matthew Scott is 26 and is standing for election for the first time. He was born and raised in the area and educated at Olderfleet Primary School, Larne Grammar School and has a Business degree from the University of Ulster. He is an estate agent with Independent Homes and Mortgages Plus and has first-hand experience of the issues facing people in the local area.