Other News In Brief

Work To Begin On £230,000 Ballymena Road Upgrade

Work is to begin on a £230,000 road improvement project in Ballymena.

Drainage and surfacing upgrade works will be carried out to the Steeple Road in Kells.

Approximately 1.7km of the route will be worked on, starting at the Lislunnan Road junction and extending towards Kells Village. Overall, the project will deliver significant improvements to both the structural integrity and running surface, with associated improvements to road drainage.

Drainage works will commence on 14 May, while resurfacing will start on Monday, 04 June. All works are expected to be completed by 22 June.

UK Govt Launches Troubles Legacy Consultation

The UK Government has launched a public consultation on the legacy of the Troubles.

Running until 10 September, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP, said the consultation will "seek views on how to address the legacy of Northern Ireland's troubled past".

"This consultation provides the opportunity to begin a process that has the potential to provide better outcomes for victims, survivors and their families," she said.

"There is broad agreement that the current complex system does not work well for anyone and we are determined to put that right.

"In an area as sensitive as the troubled past in Northern Ireland, it is important that we recognise and listen to all views. Any way forward will only work if it can command confidence from across the community. Now is the time for everyone with an interest in addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland's troubled past to have their say."

As well as urging the public to respond to the consultation, Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann warned the proposed creation of a 'Historical Investigations Unit' "has the potential to make things much worse".

"It will be a parallel police force under the direction of an independent director, with the same powers as the PSNI in terms of arrest and investigation, but we believe it will target its activities against former soldiers and police officers," he said.
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"This is inevitable, because the State, the RUC and the Army all have historical operational archives and records that the HIU can freely access, whereas no equivalent files are held by the terrorist groups. As a result, the HIU focus will fall on the police and the army.

"I have warned the Secretary of State about the inherent dangers of the HIU, and if the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State are under the impression that current investigations are focused on members of the security forces, that will pale into insignificance if the HIU comes into operation."

NI Water Unveils £7m Solar Farm

NI Water has taken a further step towards cutting carbon emissions by launching a new £7 million solar panel farm on the eastern shore of Lough Neagh.

The 33-acre site now contains 24,000 solar panels will produce enough electricity to supply the power needs of one of Northern Ireland's largest treatment plants - Dunore Water Treatment Works (WTW) in South Antrim.

In addition, the project will also enable the company to contribute spare capacity to the grid.

The development was built by GRAHAM Construction

NI Water CEO, Sara Venning, said: "As the largest user of electricity in Northern Ireland, we are committed to finding innovative renewable energy projects to reduce our expenditure on power, which has already tumbled by £5 million over the last three years. The Dunore solar farm is a major step toward reaching our goal of increasing electricity consumption from renewable sources from the current 13% to 40% by 2021.

"As a company we operate nearly £3 billion worth of assets, all working to provide 570 million litres of clean drinking water and recycling 340 million litres of used water safely back to the environment. Our commitment is to ensure we operate as efficiently and cleanly as possible, safeguarding our environment for future generations.

"Dunore is one of many innovative renewable energy projects which NI Water is developing to ensure we become more energy efficient while also making cost savings to our business. This flagship project will also save around 2000 tonnes of carbon every year."

Leo Martin, GRAHAM, Civil Engineering Managing Director, added: "GRAHAM is delighted to have completed this major project for NI Water. It's an impressive achievement, with 24,000 solar panels now helping to provide a peak output of 4.99 megawatts, with spare capacity going to the grid."


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