EAST Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has joined forces with Monkstown Community Association in a bid to encourage more people in the local area to register to vote at the next election.
Following the controversial decision by Belfast City Council to only fly the Union flag at City Hall on designated days, the DUP man has urged those intent on defending their British culture to do so through democratic means.
After weeks of street demonstrations and public disorder linked to flag protests, Mr Wilson has appealed to people to make their voices heard through the political process.
As part of a wider campaign to improve voter turnout in traditionally unionist areas, the MP is planning to hold registration events in Monkstown, encouraging local people to come along and register to vote.
“I have spoken to many people throughout East Antrim in relation to the decision by Belfast City Council to remove the flag on all but a few days of the year. Obviously there is a great deal of anger at what has happened and people want to express that.
“In Newtownabbey the message that I have for those who are angry about this decision is to make sure that they, along with their friends and family, are registered to vote and at election time use that vote to support parties that wish to defend British culture in Northern Ireland, not see it eroded.
“I will be organising registration events in Monkstown Community Centre over the coming weeks and I will be alerting people about this in due course. I hope that people will use these opportunities to ensure that more people are on the register so that they can have their say at the next election,” he commented.
Welcoming the initiative, David McCrea, Chairman of Monkstown Community Association, added: “Many people in Monkstown are very disappointed by the decision that the City Council made. I welcome this initiative by Sammy Wilson to ensure that more people will be able to exercise their right to vote, which is the only way that decisions like this can be reversed.”