Maureen Litter is throwing her hat into the political arena in the hope of helping small businesses and the farming community.
So said the SDLP candidate this week as she introduced herself to local voters.
Standing for the SDLP in the new Lagan River District Electoral Area (taking in Donacloney and Dromore, among other places) Mrs Litter is herself a Waringstown businesswoman.
Hailing small to medium sized businesses as the backbone of the Northern Ireland economy, she said that, if elected, she would strive to make life better and easier for local businesses.
“I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by local business, having run two businesses through the recession,” she said.
“I want to work on the council to provide practical support to small and medium size enterprises that provide essential employment and help to stimulate the local economy.”
Born in Aghagallon and educated at St Aidan’s High School in Glenavy, Maureen’s farming background leds her an understanding, she says, of the recent difficulties the farming community has faced. Married to Edward, a farmer (the couple has one son), Maureen said that, as part of farming family, she hoped to support farming families.
“I want to work to help other farming families who are feeling that they have been left behind and that the struggles faced by farm families have not been prioritised or acknowledged,” she said.
“If elected to council I wants to work to support farming families to ensure that farming is a viable option for future generations.”
Though always interested in politics, she said, it was the challenges faces by farmers and SMEs that finally motivated her to stand for election.
An SDLP spokesperson said: “It is the first time that Maureen has run for election and she is really enjoying canvassing and meeting local people.
“Maureen believes that local politics have stagnated and that a change for the better is necessary if small business and farm families are to get the practical support necessary to grow and thrive, create local employment and sustain the local economy.”