Monthly Archives: January 2013

Red Letter Day as Contractor is appointed for A2 Roadworks

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA Roy Beggs Jnr, who for many years had been lobbying for the A2 Greenisland up-grade, has welcomed the award of the contract for the A2 Road improvement scheme. Mr Beggs said, “This is a red letter day for the residents, businesses and commuters from Carrickfergus and surrounding area who have suffered significant traffic congestion and delays for decades. With the appointment of a main contractor, the much needed and long awaited work to uncork the Greenisland A2 traffic bottleneck is ready to go. It can be expected that with all the statutory processes completed, work will begin in a few months after the contractor sets up his site yard. At this point it is worth reflecting that the appointment of an Ulster Unionist Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy with a mandate to progress the A2 road dualling in June 2011 was a crucial factor … Continue reading

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Bank branch closures are a ‘double blow’ for East Antrim

The local facility is one of nine earmarked for closure in Northern Ireland during May and June, alongside others including Carrickfergus and Ballyclare. The bank has confirmed that staff affected by the closures will either be redeployed to other branches or could potentially be eligible for existing redundancy programmes. It is understood that a total of 50 employees (out of 750) will be impacted across the province, and their options will be discussed on an individual basis. And while the move will reduce Bank of Ireland’s branch network in Northern Ireland from 44 to 35, the remaining branches will be “upgraded and modernised” as part of a £10m investment scheme. The bank’s network in the Republic of Ireland will not be affected. The branches scheduled for closure are said to account for seven per cent of the business conducted by the branch network in the province, and have been described … Continue reading

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New port work ‘shows P&O’s commitment to Larne route

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Roy Raises Meat Traceability issue at Health Committee

Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim Roy Beggs has said that the best way to ensure food safety is to buy from a trusted local butcher.  During an evidence gathering session by the Stormont Health Committee, Roy questioned Maria Jennings of the  Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the proposed food hygiene rating scheme legislation: Mr Beggs: It was touched on earlier that Northern Ireland has a very high level of traceability, perhaps the highest in the world.  However, rogue traders and processors, whether in Europe or elsewhere, have put a bit of doubt in some minds at a cost to legitimate businesses.  Do you agree that one of the ways of reducing risk factors is to keep the food chain as short as possible and that, to a degree, that means buying from a trusted local butcher? Ms Jennings: Mr Beggs, we have to look at the whole global food … Continue reading

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A&E Waiting Times Not Acceptable: Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA has slammed the Health Minister Edwin Poots after it emerged that in the last three months the proportion of people being treated in A&E within the four hour target has fallen by a further 5%, from an already low base. Roy said: “It is damning that the proportion of people being treated, discharged or admitted in Northern Ireland’s A&E units within four hours of their arrival has dropped by 5% from 76.8% to 71.7 between October and December 2012.  When you compare this to NHS hospitals in Scotland, where the figures for September 2012 show that 95% of patients in A&E were seen within 4 hours, it is even more staggering.  Given that ensuring treatment times are within four hours is a priority for our health service, the Minister must answer as to why this has taken a further dip from levels that … Continue reading

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