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.

Robert Wright claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,871 while failing to declare employment. He was given 60 hours community service.

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

NI Water Spends Approximately £2.5m Unblocking Sewers

NI Water has revealed it spends around £2.5 million every year to unblock sewers.

The firm made the announcement after flagstones, chairs, wood, children's toys and bricks, were recovered from a blocked sewer in the Poleglass area in Belfast.

Gary Little, NI Water's Wastewater Field Manager for the Belfast area, said: "It seems some people have mistaken the public sewerage system for a skip, such was the quantity of rubbish and unwanted items we found in this case.

"In all, NI Water staff spent three days removing items from this sewer that quite simply should not have been there. Unfortunately, we find inappropriate items like flagstones and toys in the sewers all too often. These, alongside what we call the 'Dirty Dozen' can cause severe damage to the sewerage system and result in serious blockages.
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"The 'Dirty Dozen' are the most common items the public flush and dump down our sewers. The ring leader is the innocent looking baby wipe, closely followed by the sanitary towel. These ordinary household items head a gang of everyday products that cause mayhem with the sewer system when flushed down the toilet or dumped in the sewers."

Mr Little also called on the public and community representatives to support and work with NI Water to help resolve the issue.

New Training Programme Launched To Improve Rented Sector

A new training programme which aims to help improve and professionalise the private rented sector has been launched.

'Learning 2 Let' is a training programme developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) which offers all registered private landlords and letting agents in Northern Ireland the opportunity to get the accredited CIH Level 2 Award in Letting & Managing Residential Property at a subsidised rate, as a result of bursary support received from the Department for Communities (DfC).

Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA said: "In Northern Ireland there are over 48,500 registered landlords with over 102,000 properties. Private rented accommodation is an important and growing sector in Northern Ireland and whilst much of the accommodation is very good, this programme aims to assist in making the private rented sector a better place to live more generally by providing private landlords and letting agents the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to ensure excellent standards of accommodation and practice and importantly ensure full compliance with their legal obligations.

"Learning 2 Let offers all registered private landlords and letting agents in NI the chance to get this fully accredited CIH qualification at a cost of just £100, so getting qualified has never been easier."


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