19/12/2013

Other News In Brief

Crumlin Irish School Development Approved

Planning approval has been granted for an Irish speaking school in Crumlin.

Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach has operated in Crumlin for over ten years in prefabricated mobile classrooms on the Glenavy Road in Crumlin, with an additional two classrooms housed in Crumlin Integrated College.

The grant of planning permission will mean the school can relocate to a new purpose-built facility on the edge of Crumlin.

DOE Planning consulted Antrim Borough Council on 17 December 2013 who raised no objections to the proposal.

Bodybuilder Falsely Claimed £58k In Benefits

An award-winning and well-known female bodybuilder has been given a year to pay back over £47,000 in benefits that were falsely claimed.

39-year-old Kerry Boomer of Lorne Cottages, Holywood, had claimed Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit.

During her claims to benefit, Ms Boomer failed to declare that she was working. Due to her failure to report her true circumstances she received £58,702 in benefits she was not entitled to over a five year period.

She pleaded guilty on 18 April 2013 and 17 June 2013 to a total of eight charges of failing to declare her true circumstances.

At the confiscation hearing, the Court granted a Confiscation Order in amount of £47,913 with a prison sentence of 18 months in default of non-payment.

She has until 18 December 2014 to satisfy the order.

Seven Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

Seven people have been convicted at Belfast Magistrates' Court for claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

Maria Morris (33) of Dunmore Street, Belfast claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £14,099 while failing to declare employment. She was given 120 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £46.

David Hodder (42) of Carnvue Road, Newtownabbey claimed Income Support, Carers Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £5,626 while failing to declare employment. He was given 120 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £43.

Steven Grogan (27) of Whitewell Drive, Newtownabbey claimed Jobseekers Allowance totalling £2,487 while failing to declare employment. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay court costs of £46.

Stephen Duffy (49) of Gortfin Street, Belfast claimed Income Support, Housing Benefit and Carers Allowance totalling £11,743 while failing to declare employment. He was given 150 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £52.

Sharon Harding (32) of Govan Drive, Belfast claimed Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £3,234 while failing to declare employment. She was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £58.

Paula McCracken (30) of Jordanstown Road, Newtownabbey claimed Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and Income Support totalling £1,112 while failing to declare she was living with her partner and they were both employed. She was given a one year conditional discharge.

Martyn Cree (27) of Manor Park, Lisburn was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £44 for wrongful encashment of Employment and Support Allowance totalling £135.

£52m Paid In Winter Fuel Payments

Over £52m in Winter Fuel Payments has been paid to 301,000 people across Northern Ireland as of the end of November 2013, according to the Department for Social Development.

Winter Fuel Payments are issued annually to older people to help with heating bills.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has encouraged those who have not yet received payment but who think they are eligible to call the helpline.

"Some older people may be experiencing difficulty in meeting household bills and this payment will make a considerable difference in times when fuel costs are high," he said.

"I would encourage all those who think that they may qualify for the payment and have not yet done so, to contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0845 9151 515 to check if they can make a claim."

(IT)

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