Other News In Brief

Two Women Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

Two women have been convicted for claiming benefits they were not entitled to at Ballymena Magistrates' Court.

Geraldine McFaul claimed Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance totalling £12,181 while failing to declare non dependents. She was given a five month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

Matilda Greer claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £4,932 while failing to declare employment. She was given a three month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay court costs of £28.

Both are also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.

Work Continues On New Storm Sewer In Co Tyrone

Significant progress is being made on the development of a new storm sewer in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

NI Water has confirmed all of the pipelaying has been completed on Barrack Street and Sloan Street.

The road crossing from Barrack Street to George Street has also been completed by an underground trenchless tunnelling technique.

Work commenced on George Street on Monday 13 February, and a road closure is currently in place for two weeks.
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Robert McLean NI Water Project Manager said: "NI Water is pleased to announce the completion of this new storm sewer ahead of schedule, which will increase capacity by facilitating the construction of 26 new property units. The increased number of local residents is expected to bring economic benefits to local businesses in the area and the new sewer will serve the local community for many years to come. The removal of storm water from the existing combined sewer will increase the capacity of the existing sewers as well as reducing the likelihood for out-of-sewer flooding and environmental pollution.

"Collaborative working, careful planning and traffic management discussions with TransportNI and local stakeholders, as well as a proactive approach to communications with the local community ensured that the project ran smoothly with minimal disruption in the local area. NI Water and our contractor Quinn Automatic Ltd would like thank the public for their ongoing patience and co-operation while these essential works were completed."

Alliance Disappointed Over Bank Closures

Alliance East Belfast Assembly candidate Chris Lyttle has expressed disappointment at the closure of a number of local First Trust banks.

It follows the announcement 15 branches are to close this summer, half the total amount in Northern Ireland.

He said: "The closure of these branches will affect a lot of people, and moving facilities to the post office or expecting customers to switch to online banking is not an adequate alternative to in-branch services.

"While I am happy to hear there will be no forced redundancies for staff, 130 jobs are at risk and it's a blow for the economy.

"Alliance will seek to meet with First Trust to see what other measures can be put in place to mitigate the effects of closing these branches."


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