Other News In Brief

Alliance 'Disappointed' By Lack Of Support For Anti-Fracking Bill

Alliance have expressed their disappointment after members of the DUP, UUP and SDLP rejected a proposal to oppose fracking.

The Alliance proposal, brought by Councillor Peter Lavery and seconded by Councillor Eóin Tennyson, would have seen the Council write to Environment Minster Edwin Poots to call for a ban on the practice.

Councillor Lavery, said: "It was frustrating the DUP, UUP and SDLP decided to team up to vote down the Alliance proposal that Council take a stance against fracking.

"Fracking has a devastating impact on the local environment, so it is important we take every opportunity to oppose this outdated practice.

"There is also clear precedent for Council taking such stances and lobbying the Executive on planning matters. Earlier this year, we wrote to Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to raise concerns with a Planning Advice Notice relating to development in the countryside. There’s absolutely no reason why we could not lobby in a similar manner on this important issue, especially as multiple Councils have already taken similar stances."

SF Welcomes Rapid Testing Kit Announcement

Sinn Féin has welcomed an announcement that Rapid Testing kits will be available at local pharmacies.

Chair of the health committee, MLA Colm Gildernew, said: "Rapid testing is an important tool in preventing the transmission of the COVID - 19 virus.

"This coming winter we are faced with significant pressures across the entire health and social care system.

"Our community pharmacies have played a significant role during the COVID-19 pandemic and especially in the vaccination roll-out and now in the Rapid Test scheme.
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"I urge everyone to avail of the Rapid Testing kits that are available from your local pharmacy and to test regularly for the virus through the winter months.

"If we are to suppress this virus we all have a role to play by continuing to observe public health guidance.

"Testing yourself and your family members regularly has been made easier through this scheme."

NI Water Named 'Team Of The Year' At Belfast Business Awards

NI Water has been named 'Team of the Year 2021' at the Belfast Business Awards 2021.

The gala awards ceremony run by Belfast Chamber of Commerce took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast, hosted by Cool FM’s Pete Snodden.

The highly coveted Team of the Year award recognised NI Water for demonstrating how brilliant teamwork right across the organisation led to consistently outstanding levels of customer service and care during the past year. This award captures the true spirit of NI Water.

NI Water was recognised for the vital role played by its essential workers at the frontline of the pandemic in ensuring public health protection across Northern Ireland, delivering over and above with an "all hands on deck" approach and the office based employees who seamlessly switched to working from home.

CEO Sara Venning said: "This is much welcomed external recognition for our collective efforts over the last 19 months, during a time of extreme personal and professional challenge.

"It shines a light on the importance of the work we do at NI Water sustainably delivering clean water and sanitation to enable a healthy and thriving population, a growing economy and a flourishing natural environment.

"It is also highly deserved recognition of the excellence and dedication of the phenomenal team of NI Water employees across the business who work together to deliver what really matters to the people of Northern Ireland."

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