Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has set out a number of key priorities for the constituency during the course of the next parliament.
The DUP man swept aside the opposition in last week’s general election as the voters of Lagan Valley returned him to Westminster with a massively increased majority of more than 19,000.
“It is a great honour to be returned again as MP for Lagan Valley, and returned with my largest ever vote and largest ever majority,” he said.
Mr Donaldson, who has been the area’s representative in the House of Commons for the past 20 years, stressed that he is committed to working on behalf of everyone in the constituency.
Asked about his vision for Lagan Valley over the next five years, he commented: “My focus is going to be on our health service. We want to see the new health centre up and running on the Lagan Valley site, providing a more joined up approach to healthcare locally and safeguarding the future of Lagan Valley Hospital. But I’m also concerned about funding for our local schools, and that again will be a key priority for me.
“Other priorities will be to realise the potential of the Maze site and to seek further development at Sprucefield.”
Mr Donaldson believes the increased turnout figure in Lagan Valley (62 per cent - up six per cent from 2015) was a direct reaction to the loss of a unionist seat to the SDLP in March’s Assembly election.
“On the doorsteps it was clear to me that the result of the Assembly election was weighing heavily on the minds of many voters in Lagan Valley - the impact of Sinn Fein coming so close to being the largest party, but also the loss of that unionist seat in Lagan Valley - and I think there was a quiet determination on the part of unionist voters to come out this time in greater numbers,” he said.