13/01/2022

Other News In Brief

SDLP Raises Concerns Over Impact On Universities Of EU Funding Loss

Students must become "collateral damage of the Brexit shambles", SDLP Economy Spokesperson Matthew O'Toole has said after it emerged that the Department for the Economy (DfE) faces a loss of £100m in EU funding.

Department modelling to make up for this shortfall considers cutting university places, increasing tuition fees by nearly 60% and abolishing the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

South Belfast MLA Mr O'Toole said: "For years the SDLP has warned about the dire impact Brexit would have on people in the North. We are only now beginning to see the real impact of this act of self-harm from Brexiteers.

"The options put forward by DfE would have a huge impact on our young people and their education. Cutting university places will restrict opportunities for our young people, at a time when too many are already leaving this island for university and never returning. Abolishing EMA would also make it harder for working class young people to remain in education and pursue their goals.

"DUP Economy Minister Gordon Lyons and his party championed the hardest form of Brexit possible. Minister Lyons must not devastate our higher education sector to pay for the disaster his own party wrought."

Major Road Works In Armoy To Start On 17 January

The Department of Infrastructure have announced that a major road works scheme in Armoy is due to get underway on Monday 17 January.

The £308,000 resurfacing scheme on the A44 Drones Road will extend for a distance of approximately 1.55 kilometres between Ballyportery Road and Pharis Road.
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Announcing the works, Infrastructure Minister Minister Mallon said: "This significant investment will greatly improve the strength and surface quality of this section of the road network to the benefit of local residents and those who travel through the area. I would like to thank the public and local residents in advance for their cooperation and ask that they comply with all temporary traffic restrictions while these much needed works are completed."

To facilitate the works, it will be necessary to operate a road closure between the hours of 7.30 am and 6.00 pm from Monday 17 January until Sunday 30 January 2022. During these times a diversion will be in place via A44 Drones Road-A26 Frosses Road-B16 Kilraughts Road-Pharis Road and vice versa.

Local access for residents and emergency services will be maintained at all times.

Green Party Describe PSNI Abuse Figures As 'Startling And Saddening'

The Green Party NI have described the PSNI's domestic abuse figures for the Christmas period as "startling and saddening".

The PSNI received 100 reports of domestic abuse incidents on Christmas Day, 145 on Boxing Day, and 270 calls over the New Year period.

Rachel Woods MLA, who sits on the Justice Committee, said: "At a time when people strive for a peaceful and happy time with family and friends, it's startling and saddening that PSNI received this many calls related to domestic abuse. Despite these numbers representing a reduction from last year, each call is an incident of abuse and is one too many.

"The sad reality is that domestic abuse incidents take place across Northern Ireland on every day of the year.

"It's encouraging that people are reporting incidents to the police, but we know that many other victims are suffering in silence and abuse is going unreported. I would encourage anyone who is experiencing abuse, or is concerned about someone who is, to reach out and seek help and support.

"The Domestic Abuse Act that I amended last year is due to be commenced in February, finally criminalising coercive control in Northern Ireland. This year will also see the Assembly consider my Private Member's Bill on recognising domestic abuse as a workplace issue, introducing paid Safe Leave for victims and survivors of domestic abuse."

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