Willie Clarke lives in Newcastle with his wife Paula and daughter Tara and was first elected to serve on Down District Council in 2001. Over a 13 year period he has held a number of key positions including that of Council Chairperson, the first time a Sinn Féin representative was elected to this role.
He is currently the chair of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership and Vice-Chair of the councils Recreation Committee where he has continually pushed for new leisure facilities for the Newcastle area.
A former MLA, Willie has worked tirelessly representing the people of Down District. He has worked closely with community groups and has lobbied hard to secure infrastructure improvements including work on the local roads, water and sewerage network.
He has campaigned for the regeneration of the Newcastle Harbour area; the need for more social housing in the Newcastle area, the redevelopment of Newcastle’s promenade and streetscape and through his position on the board of the Mourne Heritage Trust has campaigned for the preservation of heritage sites in places such as the Bloody Bridge.
A councillor of three terms, Willie is a well known and hard working community activist. During his time in council he has been involved in the establishment of a number of community initiatives in the wider Newcastle area, working closely with community groups and sporting organisations to provide facilities and social provision for the young and marginalised of the area.
Willie is keen to enhance and upgrade the districts tourism potential and has worked hard in assisting the development of our local forest parks as first class tourism projects, including the restoration of the Arboretum glasshouses and establishment of mountain bike, hiking and walking trails in Castlewellan and Tollymore Forest Parks. Willie believes that the continued development and promotion of the vast cultural and built heritage that exists in Down can be a stimulus for investment and job creation.
Willie has consistently campaigned for improvements to local infrastructure working on road safety issues such as pedestrian crossings, the redesigning of the Newcastle roundabout and continued efforts to ease traffic congestion on Newcastle’s main street. Willie has campaigned for further investment and improvement to infrastructure in the harbour area, while also seeking to solve issues such as flooding and sewage problems in both Newcastle and Kilcoo.
A former member of the assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development committee, Willie is acutely aware of the difficulties facing local farmers and rural dwellers, and will continue to be a voice for the rural population.
Willie is currently chair of the Down District Policing and Community Safety Partnership. Through this role Willie has worked to tackle anti-social behaviour and youth disengagement, setting up and working with numerous community organisations, implementing action plans such as the Midnight Gaels programme with local GAA clubs and delivering playgrounds for the youth of district.
Willie Clarke’s Contact Details:
Office Address: 2 Circular Road, Castlewellan, BT 31 9ED
Office Tel: 02843770185