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13/02/2018

Other News In Brief

Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

A man has been convicted for claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

Steven Grogan claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £1,719 while failing to declare employment. He was given five months imprisonment suspended for two years.

He is also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.

Wide Range Of Issues To Be Resolved Over Kilroot Power Station - Alliance

There are a wide range of issues to be resolved over the closure of Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus, according to the Alliance Party.

Over 200 jobs are at risk after the plant failed to win a major contract.

It now faces closure at the end of May this year.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson and his party colleague Stephen Farry MLA met with trade unions over the future for employees at Kilroot Power Station.

Mr Dickson said: "Over this past weekend, 51 per cent of Northern Ireland's electricity came from coal generation at Kilroot, while only 26 per cent came from wind generation. After Kilroot is closed, where are we going to get that same ratio of electricity from?

"There is a skilled workforce employed at Kilroot. Some will take the opportunity to retire, while some will move to Ballylumford. However, some people will have to find alternative employment and it's important we assist them in whatever way possible. I will be looking to the Employment Service to assist with skills audits and retraining.
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"Alliance will now be meeting with the utility regulator and the system operator to explore the future prospects for both Kilroot and Ballylumford stations."

UUP Calls On Ulster Bank To Rethink Closures Of Branches In NI

Ulster Unionist Party Councillor Diana Armstrong has said that the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to drop plans they had to close 10 branches in Scotland should have implications on the Ulster Bank decision to close outlets in Northern Ireland.

Cllr Armstrong said: "At a recent meeting with Ulster Bank at the Townhall in Enniskillen, which is almost 10 miles from Irvinestown, a strong case was put to Bank representatives by Erne North & other local Councillors, to retain the services in Irvinestown. It was argued that footfall in Irvinestown was diametric to footfalls being measured in other towns, such is the range of customer from rural and outlying areas. Ulster Bank have been asked to provide footfall statistics to examine ratio between on line banking and over the counter visits in Irvinestown.

"The owners of Ulster Bank is the RBS, which in turn is 70% State owned, therefore it has a significant responsibility to the wider community.

"I have now asked the Director of Community, Health & Leisure Robert Gibson, to write to Ulster Bank to highlight the reprieve from closure given to 10 RBS branches in Scotland. The mainly State owned Bank announced the reprieve after protests from the public and politicians and said that they decided the 10 should be spared because most do not have another RBS outlet within a nine mile radius."

(CD)

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