03/12/2019

Other News In Brief

PSNI Appeal Over Reports Of Goats On The Loose

Police have appealed for help after several reports of goats on the loose in Larne.

The 4-5 goats are believed to have been roaming free in the area of the A8, close to the BP garage, however each time officers attended they were no longer there.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "If you know who owns the goats please get in touch with them and ask them to ensure they are secured."

Alliance Disappointed After Brexit Amendment Blocked By Council

Alliance Belfast City Councillor Michael Long has expressed disappointment after the SDLP voted against an amendment stating Brexit is not an orange or green issue.

Councillor Long was speaking after Sinn Féin brought a motion towards council calling for clarity from the British and Irish Governments over what would trigger an Irish unity referendum in the wake of Brexit.

The Alliance Group Leader attempted to bring an amendment stating Brexit is not an orange or green issue and it is unhelpful to view it as such.

However, Sinn Féin, the SDLP and People Before Profit voted against hearing the amendment, causing it to be defeated.

Mr Long condemned the move, saying: "Alliance has been clear from the start – Brexit is not an orange or green issue. It will affect everyone in our society equally, whether unionist, nationalist or other.

"That's why Alliance attempted to bring this amendment. We recognise there is a fluid debate on the future of Northern Ireland and the desire for Irish unity is a perfectly legitimate position but we are clear whatever the constitutional position, the priorities must be to promote reconciliation, make this region work and fight against the devastation Brexit will bring.
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"Given the SDLP's talk of how important it is to promote Remain during this election, it was particularly disappointing they voted against this amendment, meaning when push came to shove, they prioritised Irish unity over a combined, non-political approach to tackling Brexit."

Public Show Keen Interest In Maghera Public Realm Scheme

Preliminary proposals for a £2.5 million public realm scheme in Maghera have struck a chord with locals.

Mid Ulster District Council described feedback and interest on the scheme as "significant".

The proposed public realm scheme extends the length of Main Street, taking in parts of Coleraine Road, Station Road, Meeting House Avenue, Tirkane Road, Church Street, Glen Road, Hall Street, Bank Square and St Lurach's Road.

Designs under the scheme include new paving, street lighting, planting and street furniture, as well as proposals to address substandard footpath widths, poor pedestrian access and traffic flow issues.

Locals particularly expressed a keen interest in the introduction of a one-way system on Upper Main Street to increase traffic flow and 'green light' time, as well as plans for widened roadways, a new mini-roundabout at the junction of Fairhill and Hall Street and an improved junction at St Lurach's Road and Hall Street, both to improve access and vehicle turning capacity.

Views on the proposals were gathered online, as well as through an information session on Wednesday 27 November.

Councillor Martin Kearney, Chair of the Council, said: "This scheme would be a substantial investment in Maghera and it's important that local people input into the designs at these early stages, so the significant interest which has been shown is very welcome.

"All the feedback will be considered as we move towards the next stages of the project."

The latest feedback will be reviewed and where necessary the proposals will be revised. The scheme is subject to an Economic Appraisal and the outcome of a funding application with the Department for Communities (DfC). If funding is confirmed, the project will move to planning application stage with further public consultations, followed by procurement. The anticipated start date of any scheme is early 2021.



(JG/CM)

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