Mark H Durkan is the SDLP MLA for Foyle.
He was first elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011, following six years on Derry City Council where he represented the Northland DEA with distinction.
Mark served as Minister for the Environment from 2013-2016 during which time he oversaw the Single-use Carrier Bag legislation which has led to a dramatic reduction in the use of plastic, cleaner streets and funded hundreds of local environmental initiatives. He ensured that every school in the North secured Eco-school status, recognising the vital role that education must play in the preservation of our planet.
As Minister, Mark drove Local Government Reform - reducing the number of Councils from 28 to 11, improving efficiency of services and increasing value for ratepayers. He also legislated for improved Road Safety measures and was the first Minister to establish an office in the North-West, bringing jobs to Derry. In 2015 Mark published his flagship strategic planning policy statement (SPPS) which introduced a ban on fracking in Northern Ireland. The SPPS provided a new planning blueprint, one which focuses on unlocking development potential, supporting job creation and aiding economic recovery but not at the expense of our planet, environment and people.
Formerly SDLP Health Spokesperson, Mark has always been a strong advocate for increased investment in and improved access to mental health services and is still Chairperson of the All Party Group on Mental Health.
Mark is currently the SDLP's Spokesperson on Communities and Culture and served on the Assembly's Communities Committee. Mark is a fierce defender of the vulnerable, has opposed draconian welfare cuts and continues to fight for an overhaul of the social housing scheme to ensure no family or individual is left without a warm, safe home.
He is dedicated in addressing historic underinvestment in the North West through University expansion, job creation and creating improved rail infrastructure to allow Derry to fulfil its potential. Mark states that Derry is already a great place to visit but the focus must now be on making it a great place to stay. He has emphasised the critical need to stem the ‘brain-drain’ in the city, by ensuring Derry does not lose so many of its young people, choosing to leave in pursuit of education and employment opportunities.
A native of the Glen area, Mark now lives in Strathfoyle with his wife Anne and children Luke, Lily and Ferdia. He is a keen runner and an avid supporter of local sports, particularly soccer and GAA.
Contact: [email protected]
Telephone: 02871 365516
Office Address: 141H Strand Road, Rock Mills, Edenballymore, Derry, BT48 7PB