28/04/2017

Other News In Brief

Sewer In North Belfast To Be Upgraded

NI Water and AG Wilson are to start work to upgrade the existing sewer on the Old Antrim Road in north Belfast.

The work is expected to begin on 01 May and will take approximately six weeks.

The proposed construction work will involve laying a section of sewer and associated manholes, which will improve the sewerage infrastructure and reduce the risk of out of sewer flooding in the area.

Diversions will be put in place during the work.

Long And Bradshaw Chosen As Alliance General Election Candidates

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has been selected as the party's candidate for the East Belfast constituency in the upcoming General Election.

The party's MLA Paula Bradshaw was also chosen by members as Alliance candidate for the South Belfast constituency for the 08 June poll.

The pair are two of the 18 candidates Alliance will be standing across Northern Ireland, a fact Mrs Long said was testament to the commitment of the party to changing the direction of society.

Lack Of Political Leadership Is Leading To Confusion About Future Of Schools - UUP

Ulster Unionist Education Spokesperson Rosemary Barton MLA has said that a lack of political leadership at the head of the Department of Education is leading to confusion about the future of schools- particular smaller rural schools- right across Northern Ireland.
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She said: "The Strategic and Action Plans published by the Education Authority are lengthy documents which deserve careful consideration. However, I have been speaking to several School Principals in my area this morning and am very disappointed that the Education Authority did not send them the plans in advance, or even emailed the links to the Schools. It is also unacceptable that they have been published at a time when we have no Minister in charge of the Department of Education to be accountable and provide leadership at a political level.

"Perhaps this is deliberate. Under both Minister O’Dowd and Minister Weir the Area Planning process created the context and pretext for widespread school closures, but no schools were named under their watch. They cultivated a sense of anxiety, especially within smaller rural schools, yet never took decisions either way to provide reassurance or much needed certainty. Is it the case that schools are only being named now because there is no Minister in post at Stormont, and both Sinn Fein and DUP can try to avoid the blame for individual school closures? If so this is political cowardice of the highest order.

"It is natural that with schools being named and numbers being bandied about in terms of mergers and closures, people will be concerned at the future of their child’s local school. The plans are, however, written in language which is generic and ambiguous in many cases. Repeated phrases are 'located as required' and 'sustainability is an issue'."

(CD)




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