A Dromore resident for more than 10 years now, sitting Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson has pledged the area will remain a personal priority if he is re-elected.
The same was true, he said, of rural areas such as Dromara, Kinallen and Waringsford.
Of Dromore, the DUP’s Mr Donaldson said there remained some way to go in terms of regeneration, but he remained upbeat.
“As Chairman of the Dromore Partnership,” he said, “I have taken the lead in co-ordinating the efforts of the local council, government departments and community organisations in taking forward plans for the regeneration of Dromore and other local rural communities.
“Whilst we still have some way to go, there is no doubt that improvements have been made in Dromore town centre and with a masterplan due to be launched in the next few weeks, we also now have an updated strategy to work to.
“The next stage will involve the establishment of an Urban Regeneration Company in Dromore and this will enable us to apply for grant funding in terms of further improvements in the town and attracting investment in business and housing to improve the local economy.”
Local education, said Mr Donaldson, was another priority.
“Together with my colleagues in the assembly and on the council,” he said, “we have been successful in securing both a new primary school and a new high school for Dromore.
“The new primary school building is now under construction and the fight to gain additional classrooms continues. Planning permission has been secured for the new high school at Quillyburn in Dromore and we are pressing the minister to release the capital funding to enable the building work to begin.
“I have also helped to secure improvements to other local schools,including the nursery unit that has been provided at Fairhill Primary School in Kinallen. The education of our children will continue to be a priority for me in the next term of parliament.”
On access to healthcare, Mr Donaldson said he was working hard to ensure restoration of 24-hour cover at Lisburn’s Lagan Valley hospital as soon as possible.
“Rural communities are also important to me,” he said, “and I will continue to work with local community representatives to ensure that villages like Dromara, Kinallen and Waringsford benefit from improvements to their infrastructure. This also means supporting rural dwellers and businesses, especially our local farmers.”
He added: “I appreciate the great support that I have been receiving in my home area from local people who recognise the work that I have done for the community and for many individuals who have sought our help. Serving the people will always be my priority as an elected representative.”