15/10/2021

Other News In Brief

Finance Minister Urges Chief Secretary Fo 'Good Outcome' To Spending Review

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has met the Chief Secretary in London ahead of the upcoming Spending Review, which will set the Executive's budget envelope for the next three years.

Minister Murphy was joined by his fellow Finance Ministers from Scotland and Wales for the first in person meeting since the new Chief Secretary was appointed in September. With just under two weeks until the Spending Review, the expected outcome for devolved budgets was high on the agenda.

Speaking following the meeting, Minister Murphy: "Today's meeting with the Chief Secretary provided a timely opportunity to express the need for a good outcome to the Spending Review. Covid has had a profound impact right across society, no more so than on our health service which is under immense pressure with unprecedented waiting lists. Now is the time for significant investment to rebuild public services, spur economic recovery, and make the transition to net zero.

"The introduction of a multi-year budget is to be welcomed, however the benefits it can bring in terms of enabling better planning of resources will only be fully realised with sustainable financing for Devolved Administrations."

£105,000 Road Works Scheme Announced For Ballymacarrett Road

The Department for Infrastructure has announced a £105,000 road improvement scheme for the Ballymacarrett Road in Belfast, due to begin on Monday 18 October 2021.

The resurfacing works will extend from the Newtownards Road to the Titanic Railway Halt.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: "This significant investment will greatly improve the strength and surface quality of this road. I would like to thank the travelling public and local residents in advance for their cooperation while these much needed works are completed."
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To facilitate the work it will be necessary to implement daily road closures, Monday to Friday only, between the hours of 8.00 am and 6.00 pm, from Monday 18 October 2021 until Monday 25 October 2021. During these times a diversionary route will be clearly signed for traffic via Island Street, Dee Street and Newtownards Road. Access for residents will be maintained.

Completion of the work by 25 October is subject to favourable weather conditions, however, the Department will keep the public informed of any change. All work will be carried out in line with current public health and health and safety advice, with safe systems of working in place for staff and contractors.

Minsters Welcome Progress Of Narrow Water Bridge Project

Ministers have visited Narrow Water and met with local stakeholders to provide an update on their shared vision and determination to deliver the iconic Narrow Water Bridge.

Following the investment from the Taoiseach's Shared Island Unit, a working group has been set up tasked with driving forward delivery of the project and Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon has confirmed that her Department is working with partners on further proposals for complementary walking and cycling infrastructure to enhance connectivity to the new bridge and maximise the tourism potential in this area of outstanding beauty.

Minister Mallon said: "Minister O'Brien and I are committed to partnership working North and South and to the delivery of the iconic Narrow Water Bridge. Today we met with local partners and stakeholders in the area who have faithfully campaigned for this Bridge, to provide an update on the work now started by the taskforce set up to drive this forward. This is positive progress and my officials will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that all the steps necessary to turn this project from concept to reality are quickly put in place.

"I have also made it clear that my vision for this area of outstanding natural beauty includes the provision of new and enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure to complement the Narrow Water Bridge. I am delighted that my Department is now working with partners on plans to transform active travel in the area. This transformative project will not only open up connectivity in the area but it will benefit our island economy and tourism offering."


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