Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dismay as second town bank announces closure

The bank announced that its Main Street branch, which employs seven staff, will close on June 14 as part of “ongoing restructuring”. All business is to be relocated to the Carrickfergus branch. The news, which comes less than a month after Bank of Ireland announced it was also pulling the plug on its branch in Larne, has been met with shock and dismay by local customers, traders and civic leaders. And East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has even urged existing First Trust customers to consider switching their accounts to another bank in the wake of the announcement. The Ulster Unionist representative said: “Very recently, the Bank of Ireland announced it was closing its branches in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballyclare. I said then that the bank – which is headquartered in the Republic – was effectively withdrawing from East Antrim. Now First Trust, which are also closing in Ballyclare, are following … Continue reading

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Poots denies patients were ‘at risk’

The South Eastern Trust has confirmed they are operating 20% above capacity. It is understood some patients waited in AE for more than four hours on Monday night. They had been brought by ambulances on 999 calls, but with no beds in the hospital, those in need of medical attention were left on stretchers in a corridor. It is believed that at one stage, seven ambulance crews were waiting to pass their patients on to doctors. That meant crews could not go out to other emergency calls. Alliance health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy said he was very concerned at the delay. “Ambulances are not meant to be tied up at the front door of a hospital, they should be responding to emergency calls. Lives are going to be put at risk if this problem is not resolved,” the Strangford MLA said. “The Health and Social Care Board should urgently look into … Continue reading

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National Crime Agency Must Come to Northern Ireland: Beggs

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has accused Nationalist parties of playing politics with security and crime fighting in their attempts to local the extension of the National Crime Agency into Northern Ireland. The NCA is replacing the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), incorporating the work of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop). It will also house the national cyber crime unit and also cover border policing and economic crime throughout the UK. Sinn Fein and the SDLP combined to employ a procedural device to block an Ulster Unionist motion to establish the National Criminal Agency in Northern Ireland. Speaking during the debate at Stormont Roy Beggs MLA said: “Criminals are highly organised in their dealings, should it be drugs, prostitution, people trafficking, money laundering or fraud, and they deal with huge sums of money. We, as a community, must ensure that we fight effectively against that, whether … Continue reading

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Banks Showing No Loyalty to local customers: Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA has said existing customers should consider switching their accounts in wake of the announcement by First Trust that their Larne branch is to close on 14 June. The Ulster Unionist MLA said: “Very recently the Bank of Ireland announced it was closing its branches in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballyclare. I said then that the Bank- which is headquartered in the Republic- was effectively withdrawing from East Antrim. Now First Trust, which are also closing in Ballyclare, are following suit. The reasons given by the two banks are the same- fewer over the counter transactions, and increased use of online banking. Whilst it is not my position to advise people where to put their money, I would ask the question if these Banks are showing no loyalty to the residents of Larne, should the people of Larne continue to show loyalty to these Banks? A wider issue is … Continue reading

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Roy Raises East Antrim Jobs at Stormont

Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim Roy Beggs has again raised the issue of the local economy and job creation at the Assembly. He asked the Minister for Employment and Learning “what measures he has introduced to address unemployment in East Antrim following the significant local job losses.” In reply the range of schemes an services offered by Jobs and Benefits Offices in the area were listed including the Steps to Work and Pathways to Work programmes. Under the Collaboration and Innovation Fund, just under £4 million has been allocated to eight organisations, to help 1,500 unemployed young people from greater Belfast and East Antrim to get into further education, employment or training. The Minister also made mention of the recent Jobs Fair co-hosted by Larne Borough Council and Ledcom in the Town Hall and claimed “ in the period April to December 2012 the Employment Service helped 1,250 people … Continue reading

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