Other News In Brief

DUP Criticise Community Minister's 'Ongoing Silence'

The DUP have criticised the "ongoing silence" of the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey on the Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme.

North Down MLA and member of the Communities Committee, Stephen Dunne, said: "Families across Northern Ireland have been forced into the indignity of queuing up each morning for a small number to successfully apply to Deirdre Hargey's scheme. Instead of taking direct control she chose to outsource responsibility for its operation to a charity, in the clear hope she could also outsource criticism to them also.

"The Minister needs to get a grip, step forward and tell the public how she intends to fix her mess. She needs to explain what assessment she made of the demand for this scheme and what preparations were made for the launch and application process of this scheme. She had plenty of time to plan given the lengthy delays in bringing it forward after its initial approval. The only plan she seemed to have however was to blame Bryson for any 'operational issues' when problems arose.

"Given the Minister's shambolic handling of the JobStart scheme and her continued inability to deliver the Sub-Regional Stadia programme it is clear the Communities Minister needs to either let someone else step forward who can actually take decisions or for the Executive as a whole to take control of the situation and offer reassurance to hard-pressed families across Northern Ireland."

SF Welcomes Frsh Inquest Into Death Of Raychel Ferguson

The announcement of a new inquest into the death of Raychel Ferguson, a victim of the Hyponatraemia scandal, has been welcomed by Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín.
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The north Belfast MLA said: "I acknowledge the determination and courage of the Ferguson family and indeed all the families affected by the Hyponatraemia scandal in their quest for justice for their loved ones.

"Five children, including Raychel, died from what Justice O' Hara termed 'negligent care'.

"No family should have to endure what these families have gone through when they were let down so horrifically by those entrusted to provide optimal care.

"There have to be lessons learned from these scandals which are all too common across our health and social care sector, and most importantly, there must be transparency and accountability when things go wrong.

"Patients and their families are entitled to at least that."

Green Party Calls For Ban On Single-Use Plastics In NI

With projections suggesting that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, the Green Party NI has called for a ban on single-use plastics in NI.

The Green Party NI Leader Clare Bailey said: “There is projected to be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050 – plastic pollution is a crisis which requires an urgent response. The government has already announced plans to ban single-use plastics in England, but yet again, Stormont is dragging its feet.

“Rather than extended consultations on reducing plastic waste, we need immediate action with the target of eradicating it. We use plastic as a permanent solution for a temporary issue, this needs to end. We have sustainable solutions to solve these issues.

“The five-party Executive has a disastrous environmental record, their failure to act resulting in all of Northern Ireland’s waterbodies failing to meet basic quality standards, and making NI the 12th worst place in the world for biodiversity loss. Now is the time to be setting ambitious environmental targets, including setting the aim of eliminating single-use plastics."

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18 October 2010
Politicians Help 'Kick Hate Into Touch'
An innovative campaign, the 'Unite Against Hate' sporting weekend has been launched. Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his Junior Minister Gerry Kelly (pictured) joined forces to support the campaign which highlights all forms of hate crime and challenges people here to unite to stop it.
09 July 2009
Derry's 'Good Relations' Gets Cash Boost
A package of new funding is to be used to promote better relations in the 'Maiden City'. Derry/Londonderry is to benefit after the Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and native Derry-man and the NI Executive's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, confirmed plans to make funds of some £85,000 available.
05 August 2013
Environment Minister Must Consider National Park - Lo
Alliance Environment spokesperson Anna Lo has called for newly-appointed Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to consider the option of establishing a national park in Northern Ireland. "I was very disappointed by the efforts of the former Environment Minister Alex Attwood to the establishment of a national park in Northern Ireland," Ms Lo said.
20 June 2013
Conference Announced To Promote Jobs In NI
First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced a major Investment Conference on 10 and 11 October 2013 to promote jobs and growth in Northern Ireland.
15 August 2012
ICT Apprenticeship Launched
Computer buffs have been handed a new way to train and work towards employment. Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry and Finance and Personnel Minister, Sammy Wilson, today launched an ICT Apprenticeship Scheme to recruit individuals into this growing and exciting sector.