Other News In Brief

Views Sought On Portadown Flood Alleviation Scheme

Infrastructure Minister John O'Dowd has annouced a public consultation of a proposed Flood Alleviation Scheme in Portadown, urging local communities to 'have their say' on the scheme.

An Environmental Statement for the scheme has already been produced and was consulted on in Spring 2023. Since then, an additional site has been identified at Baltylum Meadows and designs have been further developed to address comments received during the initial consultation.

The Department would now like the public's views on this addendum to the original Environmental Statement.

Minister O'Dowd said: "Portadown has faced flooding episodes over the last 30-40 years. This includes during Autumn 2023 when there was widespread flooding across the region after the wettest October in over 153 years of records which resulted in many watercourses in the South and East of the country rising to record levels.

"This is a vitally important Scheme with proposals being developed to reduce the risk of river flooding to over 380 homes and businesses at 21 different sites across the Portadown Area. Design of the project is nearing completion but we would like local community input. I urge local residents and the business community to take part in this public engagement exercise and share feedback on this addendum to the Environmental Statement for the proposed scheme."

The consultation is available at www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/portadown-flood-alleviation-scheme until it closes on 27 May.

Alliance Name Andrew McMurray As New South Down MLA

Alliance has announced that Andrew McMurray has been selected to become new South Down MLA, replacing outgoing MLA Patrick Brown.

Andrew is an outdoor instructor and youth worker, and lives in Castlewellan with his wife and two children. It was a love for outdoor pursuits which led Andrew and his family to settle in the Slieve Croob area.

He has a degree in Politics and a postgraduate in Community and Youth Work. He believes these experiences have made him all the more passionate about his role as a public representative, who is committed to engaging, working with and representing all in our society.
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Andrew has served as a Councillor since 2016.

Mr McMurray has said: "Alliance has gone from strength to strength in South Down as people across the constituency have responded to our positive and progressive message.

"The party has grown and will continue to do so in future as we tackle issues in South Down such as development of the local economy, regeneration, and tourism, anti-poverty, SEN provision and education, the environment and active travel, and the development of rural infrastructure, just to name a few.

"I also want to send my thanks to Patrick Brown. As an MLA, he played a major role in Alliance's historic breakthrough in South Down in May 2022, which has been followed by Council successes and the growth of our team there. I know that thanks is echoed across the entire local association.

"It is an honour and a privilege to become the MLA for South Down and I fully intend on approaching the role with 100% of my ability and enthusiasm, to continue providing local people with the representation they need and deserve."

Man Arrested Following Spate Of Attempted Burglaries And Thefts Across Lisburn

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a series of reported attempted burglaries and thefts from vehicles late on Sunday, 28th April and into the early hours of Monday, 29th April.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Rocks said: "We received multiple reports that two men were trying vehicle doors and trying to enter homes in several residential developments in the Knockmore Road area.

"Significant police resources, including colleagues from Air Support Unit, were deployed to the area and a short time later a man, aged 23 years, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and tampering with a motor vehicle. He remains in custody at this time.

"Our enquiries are ongoing, and we would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Ayrshire, Brokerstown, The Brambles and Woodland areas to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1 of 29/04/24.

"We would also ask that anyone who has CCTV or a doorbell camera check their footage, particularly between 10.45pm and midnight.

"Lisburn & Castlereagh district officers would like to thank the local community for their vigilance. If you have any concerns around home or vehicle security, please contact police on 101."

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