Other news in brief | Northern Ireland News, 11/01/2021
Alliance said they were “not surprised” that a motion proposed by the party became the first in Belfast City Council history to be postponed by a controversial new committee.
The Business and Standards Committee allows DUP and Sinn Féin to ‘check’ any questions they want before going to the full Council, giving both parties more power to decide what should be on the board. main agenda of the Council. Its first meeting last week saw a motion, on adding tourist signs to mark historic events around Belfast city center, discussed. It had been brought to the Council by Councilor Michael Long, who said it was evidence of the fears that other parties had discussed before the committee was formed.
Councilor Long said, “Alliance, along with the SDLP, PBP and the Green Party, opposed the formation of this committee because we felt it would limit debate and the ability to raise issues in plenary meetings of the Council. advice.
“Obviously, it didn’t take long for the underlying idea to be implemented, because at its first meeting, a motion on historic signage being installed in the city center was the first and only motion presented to the Committee. I think this means for the first time in the history of Belfast City Council, a motion submitted by a city councilor and deemed competent will not have the opportunity to be debated in the council chamber.
“Ironically, some of these signs would have featured important events in the history of our local democracy, yet the two biggest parties have once again combined to adopt their own form of democracy in Belfast City Council.”
Announcement of a new CAFRE scholarship as part of the centenary of NI
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots has announced a new scholarship to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary.
Students taking continuing education and higher education courses at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Business (CAFRE) are now invited to apply for the one-time funding.
During the announcement, Mr Poots said he also wanted to mark the College’s vital work.
He said: “I am delighted to announce four Centennial Scholarships, each worth £ 1,000, for students from CAFRE’s four disciplines – Agriculture, Food, Horticulture and Equine.
“For over 100 years, CAFRE has played an important role in educating people who have become leaders and decision-makers in the food and land industries. To celebrate this and mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year , I wanted to reward these special scholarships which I hope the successful students will use to support their studies at CAFRE.
“In recognition of the relationship between health, wellness, food, agriculture, nature and our environment, I ask students to submit a short 1,000 word essay explaining how innovation in the discipline of their choice has made a difference to the health of the people here. “
SF rejection of “huge blow” Uplight universal credit retention
Sinn Féin’s failure to reverse the weekly £ 20 reduction in universal credit has been described as a “blow” to the people of Northern Ireland.
SDLP Communities spokesperson Mark H Durkan was speaking after Mr Murphy rejected an offer from party colleague and Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey for £ 55million to continue the increase for the rest some exercice.
MP for Foyle said: “The decision by Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy not to reverse the £ 1,040 per year reduction in universal credit will be devastating news for the estimated 134,000 people currently benefiting from this universal credit. welfare in the North SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon backed the bid for the money, but Sinn Féin and DUP overtook the rest of the executive and rejected it.
“This move will leave a wide range of people, from families to single parents to workers, in a much worse position at a time when we see electricity and gas bills soar, essential goods become more. expensive and national insurance premiums are fixed These people are now going to face tough decisions about how they are going to put food on the table and heat their homes this winter.
“The UK government was fortunate enough to reverse this cut when it unveiled its budget earlier this week – it chose not to accept it and now Conor Murphy has done the same, he has failed to protect the local population from this cruel cut despite the power What is even worse is that expectations were raised when news emerged that an offer had been made by the Minister of Sinn Féin for this money, the people believed that reprieve came only to see their hopes dashed.
“I understand the financial constraints that the executive is under and it is fitting that our first priority is health, but the mental and physical health of thousands of people will be affected by this reduction as they struggle to cope. To keep this funding for the rest of the year would only have required £ 55million, less than 0.5% of the executive’s budget and I don’t think that’s an insurmountable sum to find for the Minister finances.”