Other News In Brief

Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

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

Gordon Boyd claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,679 while failing to declare employment. He was given a three month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay court costs of £34.

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

Work On £80,000 Resurfacing Scheme In L'Derry To Begin

Resurfacing work on a £80,000 scheme in L'Derry is to begin on Monday, 03 October.

The project on the Foreglen Road near Dungiven is expected to be complete on Saturday, 29 October.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: "This investment will greatly improve the surface quality of the carriageway on this strategic route between the North West and Belfast which carries 11,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

"The growth of our economy depends on having good infrastructure in place to meet the needs of our people. The benefits of the upgrade to the Foreglen Road will go towards helping meet these needs and improving transport connections for people, goods and services."

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said: "The scheme will be of great benefit to the local community and will help improve transport connections for people, goods and services.

"Motorists should be aware that delays may occur and that additional time should be allowed when planning any journeys."

Ecclesiastical Exemption Remains In Place

Communities Minister Paul Givan, MLA, has announced that the exemption from Listed Building Consent for places of worship will remain in place.

Under the Planning Act (NI) 2011, churches are subject to planning permission but do not need to apply for Listed Building Consent when carrying out changes that might affect their architectural and historic interest. In March 2016, the former Department of the Environment issued a public consultation on proposals to remove ecclesiastical exemption.

The responses to the consultation, of which there were 122, indicated strong opposition from churches to the removal of the exemption for reasons including religious liberty, the systems already in place in churches to approve alterations, and the need for churches to be able to fulfil their mission – using their buildings to do this.

Minister Givan said: "My decision to leave the ecclesiastical exemption in place has been taken after full consideration of the consultation responses.

"I believe that close engagement by my officials and district council officials with church authorities can support effective decision making as regards changes to places of worship."


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