Monthly Archives: May 2014

Legal highs are seized during Larne shop raid

A number of so called legal highs have been seized by Larne Borough Council during a raid on a business in the town centre. Staff from the local authority, accompanied by a number of police officers, carried out an inspection of Northern Lights hydroponics shop on Dunluce Street last Thursday. The Larne Times understands that over 300 sachets of legal high substances were removed from sale at the premises. A spokesman for the local authority said it is aware of people using what it termed “new psychoactive substances” – commonly known as legal highs – in the Larne area. And he warned of “serious health and safety concerns” associated with using these dangerous substances. “Psychoactive substances come in many different forms and were being sold from an outlet in the Larne area,” the spokesman said. “The council wrote to the business advising that under consumer protection law they have a … Continue reading

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Calls to link castle with show’s success

More needs to be done to capitalise on Carrickfergus Castle’s tourism potential, it has been suggested. The call comes in the wake of an increased number of visitors to the East Antrim areas used as filming locations in the hit fantasy series Game of Thrones. The castle is currently the subject of a joint innovation pilot between Northern Ireland Environment Ageny and the local authority which seeks to make better use of its facilities. Speaking in the Assembly, East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs asked Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster how the locations used in the filming of Game of Thrones are being promoted to encourage additional tourism. Mr Beggs said: “The spectacular rugged scenery in my constituency of East Antrim and on the Causeway Coast has been widely promoted by the series. Can the Minister advise how she is cooperating with the NIEA to develop the medieval Carrick Castle and other … Continue reading

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Beggs highlights belated Admission of Health Funding Gap

Ulster Unionist health spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has highlighted the recent admission by the DUP Health Minister that there is a £160m black hole in Health funding for 2014/15. Roy Beggs MLA said, “As a result of the mis-management of the Budget which was originally set by the then DUP Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, we are now facing a £160m funding crisis within our NHS in Northern Ireland. It must also be pointed out that this is before any of the factors associated with the potential Treasury welfare reform claw backs are factored in, and so the situation could be even worse”. “Michael McGimpsey had been hounded by the DUP when he highlighted the inadequate budget settlement for the health service in 2011. DUP Ministers and MLAs poured scorn on him and the First Minister had even described his position as “obscene”. The latest letter from Minister Poots to the … Continue reading

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Carrick candidates unveil manifesto for local election

The Ulster Unionist Party has launched its local government manifesto for the new Mid and East Antrim Council. In a joint statement, the party’s three Carrickfergus candidates, Councillor John Stewart (Castle DEA) and Lindsay Millar and Councillor Andrew Wilson (both Knockagh), highlighted their priorities ahead of next week’s election. “The new council will have a raft of additional powers ranging from planning to supporting business start-up schemes. It is essential that this opportunity is grasped in order to get the best deal for local people across Carrickfergus,” they stated “In our local manifesto – one of 11 separate set of priorities our party produced for each of the new councils across Northern Ireland – the Ulster Unionist Party has once again reiterated that the huge cost of the local government reform should not be passed down to local people through an increase in their rates. These changes were a decision … Continue reading

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Beggs Calls for Cancer Drug Funding from Executive

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has spoken at the Northern Ireland Assembly during a recent debate on cancer drugs and has called for additional funding for drugs, staff training and facilities. East Antrim representative Roy Beggs MLA said “Northern Ireland has developed its new cancer centre, and it has been responsible for significant improvements in outcomes locally.  In conjunction with the centre, cutting edge research and trials have been happening in Northern Ireland.  However, the limitation of specialist drugs limits the ability to carry out some of those trials.  We risk being left behind by other regions.” “England has its cancer fund, of about £200 million a year, and Scotland has recently developed its own new system.  However, we are left with the individual funding request (IFR); a very limited process, the conditions of which significantly reduce the likelihood of clinicians enabling their patients to access some of … Continue reading

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