Other News In Brief

Concerns Raised Over Provision Of Classroom Assistants

SDLP Cllr Tim Attwood has met with Mr Gavin Boyd, CEO of the Education Authority, and raised concerns of parents and principals in west Belfast about the provision of classroom assistants for children with special needs.

Cllr Attwood said: "Schools and parents want to ensure that their children with special needs get the appropriate level of support. It had been normal practice that when a second child in a class required a classroom assistant, the school was informed in writing that they could recruit an additional classroom assistant. It is now clear that the policy has changed and class-room assistants are being shared between two pupils.

"The Education Authority say there has been no change in policy but it does appear that children who would normally have received one to one support are been asked to share a class-room assistant with another child. This is causing distress for the child and the parents. I will be writing to the Education Authority detailing further examples and asking for this matter to be urgently reviewed."

£80,000 Improvement Project To Start In Ballykeel

An £80,000 improvement project is to start on the B2 Ballynahinch Road in Ballykeel.
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The scheme is scheduled to begin on Monday 05 October and is expected to be complete in two weeks.

The works are designed to improve the alignment of the bend and provide enhanced signing.

Diversions will be put in place.

UUP Condemns Fish Kill Incident

Ulster Unionist MLA Adrian Cochrane-Watson has condemned a pollution incident and fish kill in the Three Mile Water River near Mossley Mill, in Newtownabbey.

He said: "This is only the latest in a whole series of pollution incidents in the South Antrim Area. Unfortunately history regularly repeats itself as rivers locally rarely ever go 12 months without a major pollution incident.

"In fact, there was a fish kill only last month in a major tributary. There is clearly a serious issue with regards to waterway pollution in South Antrim. Aside from the major ecological problems pollution incidents cause, local fishermen are at the end of their tether as their efforts at building up sustainable fish stocks are repeatedly destroyed. Every single time a river begins to recover it is knocked back by another pollution incident.

"The only way the authorities will be able to get to grips with the problem in the area is if they come in and enforce significant punishments with successful convictions and penalties."


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