Other News In Brief

Investigation Underway On Cause Of Major Fire In Saintfield

An investigation has been launched into the cause of a major fire at a commercial property in Oughley Road, Saintfield, Co. Down.

The incident began shortly after 1pm on Friday, 27 October.

At its height over 60 Firefighters and 9 Officers were involved in the operation. Ten appliances and a number of specialist applicances from Carryduff, Ballynahinch, Lisburn, Central, Knock, Downpatrick, Banbridge, Rathfriland, Larne, Cookstown and Kilkeel attended the incident.

Firefighters wearing Breathing Apparatus, used water jets and water tankers to extinguish the fire.

A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) representative said: "Our Firefighters worked tirelessly throughout the duration of the incident to ensure that the fire was brought under control.

"We would like to thank the public for their patience whilst we dealt with the incident.

"The incident was dealt with by 11.53pm."

Alliance Calls For Review Of Carers Allowance

The Alliance Party has called for a review of Carers Allowance in Northern Ireland.

Making the call, Patrick Brown MLA, Alliance spokesperson on Poverty, said: "Alliance fully supports the Carers NI recommendations contained in their report Policy measures to tackle poverty among unpaid Carers in Northern Ireland.

"Alliance supports an increase in the Carer's allowance earning threshold and the introduction of a taper, introduction of a working carer's element to carers allowance, reforming overlapping benefit rules to allow more older people to receive Carers Allowance, for consideration of ways to recognise the higher cost of caring for more than one person and allow full time students to be eligible for Carer's Allowance."

Kellie Armstrong MLA, herself a carer, added: "Carer's allowance helps carers to meet the additional cost to provide caring responsibilities. These costs include losing salary while taking unpaid leave to carry out caring duties, the cost to provide specialist diet needs, higher energy costs, higher transport costs for multiple health and social care appointments, and much more.

"With 28.3 percent of carers in NI living in poverty, and 46 percent of people in receipt of Carers Allowance in poverty, we need Westminster to review Carer's Allowance and to uplift this benefit by the rate calculated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This would lift 3,500 out of poverty and 2500 out of deep poverty."

Weather Warning For Rain Upgraded To Amber

A weather warning for rain across NI on Monday night has been upgraded to Amber – the second-highest level of warning available, indicating an increased risk of flooding and disruption.

The weather warning has been issued for counties Antrim, Down, and Armagh. The amber warning is in place from 21:00 GMT on Monday until 09:00 on Tuesday.

The Met Office has warned of between 25mm and 50mm of rain in places, with up to 100mm possible over higher ground.

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