Author Archives: Andrew

Beggs welcomes Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service roll out for the Northern Trust

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has welcomed assurances provided to him by the Health & Social Care Board that the regional roll out of the Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service (NIPEARS) to address one of the longest specialist waiting lists, is to extend to both the Northern and South Eastern Trusts by the end of the current financial year. Roy Beggs MLA said “I am aware of the excessively long waiting lists for eye treatment and the positive effects of specialist eye treatment provided locally by the new Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service (NIPEARS). NI PEARS also provides secondary care Ophthalmology services where necessary. 23,506 Ophthalmology patients in Northern Ireland as of the 31st March 2018 were awaiting their 1st consultant led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland. 18,784 of which have waited over 9 weeks, with approximately 40% (9,537) of the … Continue reading

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Beggs meets with Danske Bank officials to express concern at Larne branch closure

Roy Beggs MLA has met with the Danske Bank Officials expressing his concern following their decision to close the Larne Branch and sought reassurance on the future of the Carrickfergus Branch. Roy Beggs said, “Danske Bank officials that I met were forthright in advising that the Larne branch was closing as the level of footfall and business had resulted in the Branch not being sustainable. They indicated that branches were under pressure as a result of the increasing use of online banking, and infrequent visits by customers. Danske Bank was instead investing in online and mobile banking to meet the needs of customers of the future. They also indicated the high cost of an under utilized large town centre sites and the high level of competition from other banks/building societies locally” Danske Bank officials asked that any customers who had concerns about the new arrangements should contact the bank to … Continue reading

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Beggs shocked at the announcement of the closure of Larne Danske Bank

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA, Roy Beggs, has expressed his shock at the news that the Larne branch of the Danske Bank is to close. Roy Beggs MLA said: “The Danske Bank (formally Northern Bank) has been a core part of Larne’s financial institutions for many decades. I am shocked to learn that it has now been earmarked for closure. With recent reports of increased profits at Danske Bank, I fail to understand this decision which will adversely affect customers and I have already arranged an urgent meeting with the Bank questioning this decision and asking them to reconsider. “With the increased use of online banking, services have changed over the years but front line customer facing services remain important to domestic and business customers. It is concerning that one of the biggest banks in Northern Ireland is proposing to withdraw from Larne and further reduce access for customers.”

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Permanent and compassionate decision needed on use of medicinal cannabis oil – Beggs

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has said that following the travesty of Billy Caldwell having essential medication withdrawn and later seized, followed then by the Home Secretary being forced into using an exceptional power to return it, the time is now long overdue for the UK to make a permanent and compassionate decision on the use of medicinal cannabis oil. Roy Beggs said: “It is frankly outrageous that the Caldwell’s were forced to fly to Canada for a six-month supply of the prescribed medication, only for it to be later cruelly seized at the airport. “Charlotte Caldwell has not only been an enduring hero to her son Billy, but also to the thousands of other people across the UK campaigning for an evidence-based approach to the use of medicinal cannabis oil. “In 2018 it is simply not good enough that increasingly archaic legal restrictions were put … Continue reading

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Beggs receives update from Department re: North Road railway bridge

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA Roy Beggs has received an update from the Department of Infrastructure in relation to his request “for a significant upgrade in warning signage so that visitors driving high sided vehicles are less likely to get caught out” at the North Road railway bridge. The Department of Infrastructure have advised the MLA as follows: “I can confirm that the Department and Translink carried out an audit of the signage on the approaches to North Road bridge in September 2016 and found it to be in accordance with current advice and best practice. There are warning signs on the two approaches to the bridge which clearly indicate the presence of a low bridge stating the maximum height of vehicle which can safely pass under the bridge. There is a responsibility for all drivers to be in control of their vehicles at all times and to pay … Continue reading

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