A Ballyclare man has called on the local community to come out and support a protest he is organising later this month.
John Barrons has organised a protest to coincide with a meeting in Ballyclare Town Hall on June 22, which will be hosted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Ballyclare and District Policing and Community Forum.
John will be staging the protest outside the Town Hall before the meeting commences at 7pm, as he wants to highlight what he sees as “an ever growing amount of people who are feeling disconnected with their representation at council level.”
Speaking to the Times, he said: “Hard working people and concerned parents are seeing a community that they grew up in crumble away.
“The frequency of people coming to me to raise concerns has been increasing daily. I hope to raise these concerns on behalf of those people with any of the five councillors who care to attend the community partnership meeting.”
John claims he does not currently have political ambitions or affiliations to any parties, but said he can draw on experience he has gained through working with a number of groups in the area. He explained: “I have worked for the NEELB with Ballyclare Youth Club, Newtownabbey Youth Forum, Bryson House and Newtownabbey Age Concern. I have drawn from this experience of dealing with people, young and old, taking in their current fears for their community.
“I have a genuine concern for what I personally see is a misrepresentation, at a number of levels, of the people of Ballyclare, and the ever growing amount of issues that they are now facing.”
John says he plans to highlight a number of issues during his protest, including the future of the bus station and the health centre, the closure of Ballyclare Youth Club, the need for a relief road, as well as changes made to this year’s May Fair.
He continued: “I hope these issues can be overcome by community action, rather than the voice of one or two vocal people, hence the public protest at the Town Hall, where the ordinary person on the street can voice their concerns.”