13/06/2018

Other News In Brief

Dawson MAM Continues Work On £5m Belfast Sewer Project

Dawson MAM is continuing work on NI Water's £5 million sewerage improvement project in the Ormeau Avenue, Bruce Street and Sandy Row areas of Belfast.

Tunnelling is currently underway in the city centre as part of the project.

Work is also progressing at the new Wastewater Pumping Station site on Hardcastle Street.

Phase 1 of the pipe laying is complete on Adelaide Street, with work now underway on Linenhall Street. It is anticipated that all work on Linenhall Street will be completed by the end of August 2018.

Other sections of work are also ongoing on Maryville Street, Ormeau Road and Bankmore Square with localised traffic management in place.

Further pipe laying works are programmed to take place on the Dublin Road from mid-July until the end of August.

The scheme will reduce environmental pollution and significantly improve the water quality in the River Lagan.

UUP Meets With EU Chief Negotiator

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has called on the UK Government to maintain its commitments that the final Brexit deal will not compromise the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, and urged the European Commission to respect the principle of consent, which is at the heart of the Belfast Agreement.

The comments come after Mr Nicholson met with EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier in Strasbourg.

Mr Nicholson MEP said: "We are approaching yet another crunch time in Brexit negotiations with the next European Council summit due to take place later this month.
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"We have been clear from the start that Brexit must not create a situation whereby Northern Ireland is cut off from the rest of the United Kingdom, which is the logical conclusion of the so-called “backstop” as published by the European Commission in March.

"It is absolutely vital that the UK Government stands firm on its commitment that Brexit will not be used to jeopardise the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.

"Much has been made of the need for the UK Government to commit to pragmatic solutions to the border issue, but this is also true of the European Commission which needs to understand the fact that the principle of consent is at the heart of the Belfast Agreement, and that the UK single market is absolutely vital to Northern Ireland's economy."

Universal Credit To Begin In Areas Of Belfast

Universal Credit will begin in the first areas of Belfast from Wednesday 13 June.

It is now available for new claimants in the Falls and Shankill areas. Andersonstown will go live from 27 June.

Universal Credit replaces six existing benefits with one and is for people of working age (18 - state pension age). People already claiming these existing benefits will not be affected until July 2019 at the earliest, unless their circumstances change.

David Sales, Universal Credit Programme Director, Department for Communities, said: "Universal Credit is being gradually introduced across Northern Ireland. The phased rollout began in September 2017 and is already operational in 17 areas across Northern Ireland. This means we have been able to closely manage and learn from the rollout to date.

"So far in the areas that Universal Credit has been introduced there has been over 9,000 claims made. Advance payments are offered to all claimants, and to date 50% have accepted one. Our work coaches are actively working to support each of these claimants to enter employment, earn more or prepare for work in the future."

(CD)

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