Brian Higginson is to be the UKIP candidate in next May’s Assembly elections.
Brian is 46 and married with three children. Born and educated in Lisburn, he worked for many years in manufacturing where he was a shop steward and convenor for the GMB union and then the TGWU union. Brian has also been a sales representative for a large multinational soft drinks manufacturer. Brian has worked locally in the taxi business for the past 8 years. He has been involved in politics and community work for over 25 years and is active in the marching bands scene, has served in the Ulster Defence Regiment and is a member of its local Regimental Association.
Commenting on his candidature Mr. Higginson said :
“I want to bring a fresh approach to politics in Lagan Valley which is totally different to the career politicians we have at present. I intend to give the people of Lagan Valley a new kind of politics, and a new kind of political representation which I believe they lack with the current crop of MLAs. UKIP is party which puts people first and I will put constituents at the heart of my work. I am a hard worker and will keep the promises I make to the electorate. My ethos is one of hard work, of standing by my principles and of being pro-active in my approach to serving the people of Lagan Valley.
“UKIP’s approach will be to involve the people far more in decision making. We would hold local referendums, for example, on issues such as John Lewis which, in my view, would be a critical job builder in the local area and which has dragged on disgracefully for years. With only 8% of Sprucefield shoppers transferring to Lisburn City Centre, UKIP will demand the provision of a first class shuttle service between Sprucefield and the City Centre. UKIP also questions the common sense behind traffic management which reduces the centre of the City of Lisburn to just one lane.
“UKIP also questions why the accident and emergency department of the Lagan Valley Hospital has to be closed after 8pm – all the others are open 24 hours. This is true of only two A and E’s in Northern Ireland, both in the South East heath area. Lisburn is a city with a population of 120,000, population growth of 1.5% a year, 30,000 businesses and 50 schools. Its A and E has 35,000 users per year – that is nearly 700 a week. Its partial closure is indefensible.”
Mr. Higginson added:
“UKIP also believes that it would have been wiser giving a rates reduction to city centre shops rather than spending millions on a super-expensive public realm scheme. We put people’s jobs and livelihoods before the expensive ego trip our local Councillors seem to be on. The truth that is staring us all in the face is a simple one. The old parties, and the old political class, have let us all down. Every election time they con the electorate with talk of the union in danger – vote for us or Sinn Fein will get in. This is nonsense. The union is not in danger. In a recent poll 83% said they wished to remain in the UK. A united Ireland is further away than ever. So don’t believe the old parties. You can safely vote for other unionist parties like UKIP knowing that you will get an MLA who actually stands up for Lagan Valley and Lisburn and is not part of the old party set-ups dominated by Belfast and looking after Belfast’s interests.”
“If I am the UKIP MLA for Lagan Valley, I will speak up for Lisburn and put Lisburn first. What is more UKIP is a nationwide party. Isn’t it time Lisburn was plugged into real national politics instead of being consigned like the rest of Northern Ireland to being a political and economic backwater?”