30/09/2010

Other NI News In Brief

Fireworks Alert

Justice Minister David Ford has reminded those who use fireworks that they need a fireworks licence. He said that as the Halloween season approaches many people will be planning parties and that the legal and safe use of fireworks must be paramount. Applications for a licence in time for the Halloween period must be submitted no later than 21 October. "Fireworks can be a very enjoyable part of Halloween. There is no doubt that many people will be planning displays over the coming months, whether it is in your own back yard or an organised public display you will need a licence from my Department. This is a legal requirement and by not obtaining one, you will be breaking the law," he said.

Executive Stress

An Executive Minister has been accused of 'feathering his own nest' with news this week that Housing Minister Alex Attwood in taking steps to purchase the site of the former Anderstown Social Security Office for social housing - in his own West Belfast constituency. He needs also to recognise the housing plight of those in the east of the city, said DUP MLA, Robin Newton. "Many will wonder how the Minister has secured funding within his budget to ensure social housing need in his constituency is catered for while others must wait; some up to 11 years," he fumed. "I'm calling on the Minister for Social Development to state his plans to purchase sites throughout east Belfast to alleviate the pressure on the NI Housing Executive in dealing with the social housing need."

Age Matters

An event to mark Age Awareness Week is being held with a special workshop session to help older people get the best from the 'Seniors Info' directory and website. They are each a mine of information relating to services for older people, covering everything from benefits, to transport, housing to health. Organised by Engage with Age, Belfast City Council and Belfast Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership, the workshop, on Friday, 1 October is aimed at group leaders working with older people. The workshop takes place at the Hanwood Centre, Tullycarnet. See: www.belfastcity.gov.uk/seniorsinfo or at www.engagewithage.org.uk

Larne Boy Knocked Down
News Image
A 17-year-old is today seriously ill in hospital after being knocked down by a car in Larne, Co Antrim. The accident happened on Pound Street at 3.45pm on Wednesday and the police are appealing for witnesses. They have asked anyone with information to call them on 0845 6008000

Spam Targeted

A new charter to protect journalists and bloggers against spamming was launched by the UK Public Relations profession this week. Members of the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations), PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association) and Investor Relations Society, will commit to taking more care to research the editorial needs and scope of journalists and bloggers before sending emails or press releases. The Media Spamming Charter, endorsed by the National Union of Journalists, is the PR profession's response to the 'Inconvenient PR Truth' campaign about how inappropriate and poorly targeted PR content can harm individuals, organisations and the PR profession as a whole. Joanne Sweeney, Chair of the Northern Ireland CIPR group said: "The Charter reminds us that confusing, misleading, inaccurate or non-targeted emails may damage the reputations of the practitioner, the employer and the client. As CIPR members, our responsibility is to ensure a first rate, reliable service to the media on behalf of our clients or organisations."

Heart Of The Matter

A pioneering research centre for cardiac research was launched at the University of Ulster this week with the focus on improving the healthcare of patients with cardiovascular disease. The Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Research (CACR) is a partnership between Ulster and the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) which aims to provide world-leading research in cardiovascular treatment and disease prevention. Professor Omar Escalona, from Ulster's Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Research Institute (NAMRI), is Director of the CACR alongside Dr Ganesh Manoharan as Co-Director from the RVH. The setting up of the CACR is of immense importance to patients seeking cardiovascular care not only in Northern Ireland but also throughout the world, Professor Escalona said. "The Centre will strive to be a world leader in the field of coronary care and bring the benefits of cutting-edge research to the people who need it," he said.

Litter Fines

Two women from west Belfast have been prosecuted for littering offences. Carol Fleming, from Rockview Street, was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £66 for dumping household waste in a back entry on January 14th. Anne Marie Hanna, from Beechmount Avenue, was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £66 for dropping a cigarette butt in the city centre on February 2nd. Both the prosecutions were brought by Belfast City Council.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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