28/02/2018

Other News In Brief

Work To Start On Road Resurfacing Project In Annahilt

Work on a road resurfacing project in Annahilt, Co Down, is to begin on Monday, 05 March.

The £185,000 scheme will take place on the Glebe Road, from Windmill Road to the Glebe Manor junction.

The Glebe Road will be closed between 8am and 6pm from 05 March to 29 March, however diversions will be put in place.

Alliance Launches Neonatal Report

The Alliance Party has launched a major joint report looking at neonatal services in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Baby Report 2018, by the Bliss and TinyLife organisations, was launched at a Stormont event sponsored by MLA Kellie Armstrong.

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA, who also attended the event, said the report was cause for alarm.

"More than half of neonatal units in Northern Ireland do not have enough staff to meet minimum standards and they are so short-staffed that time away for vital training is impossible," she said.

"No-one should have to work under the conditions neonatal staff are working under and the impact on 1800 babies born premature or sick is hugely concerning. This is yet another example of where those with the biggest mandates are not taking on the responsibility that comes with those mandates. Vulnerable children are at risk as a result."
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Mrs Armstrong said: "My motion calls for the extension of statutory maternity and paternity leave and maternity benefit for parents of premature babies. It will need the restoration of the Assembly to proceed but in the meantime and in the absence of functioning institutions, reports like this shine a light on vital issues, while providing a scrutiny role for the public."

Work Suspended At Strule Shared Education Campus

West Tyrone MLA Tom Buchanan has described the decision to pause on-going work to the Strule Shared Education Campus in Omagh as "disappointing".

It emerged that a company has pulled out of the procurement process, resulting in a suspension of the project.

Mr Buchanan said: "The Strule Shared Education Campus has been in the pipeline now for many years, and the news that the procurement process has been suspended will be disappointing for the community as a whole. Some school buildings are not fit for purpose in Omagh, as they await the completion of their respective buildings on the campus. This pause on the Strule Campus will result in frustration by the entire school community.

"While it was good to see the opening of Arvalee Special School on the site in 2016, it is important that progress is now made on the relocation of the other five schools in the project. Children and young people should be a priority and their educational needs are paramount. While there is a delay this should not deter the Department of Education and the Department of Finance from solving this issue as a matter of urgency."

(CD)

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