UUP MLA Roy Beggs calls for CCTV at Marine Gardens Play Park

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs MLA has called for the installation of CCTV at the Marine Gardens play park in Carrickfergus following repeated vandalism at the site.

Roy Beggs MLA said “Unfortunately the Marine Gardens play park was vandalised again over the weekend. I do not understand why anyone would set out to damage a children’s play area and I would urge anyone with any information on this crime to contact the PSNI. A direct consequence of these irresponsible actions is that the play park will be inaccessible for young people to enjoy while repairs are carried out. It is time for CCTV to be installed in the local area to monitor & record out of hours activity and try to lessen the likelihood of subsequent destruction. Such a move would help to protect the significant Council investment in the play park and the surrounding area. I have contacted Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and the Policing & Community Safety Partnership to ask that CCTV be implemented in the area.”

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Beggs raises concerns direct with Translink about timetable changes on the Larne Line

East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs has written to Translink to outline his concern at the new timetable for the Larne Line which means the frequency of trains travelling to Larne Harbour has been reduced during peak periods.

Roy Beggs MLA said “I have been contacted by a number of local residents in relation to the new timetable. A number of my constituents use the train to get to school in Larne. I am advised that previously there was a half hourly service from Lanyon Place to Larne Harbour which facilitated school children getting to school before 9am. With the usual school train now stopping at Whitehead and then returning to Belfast, school children face either being in Larne too early for school (8:20am) or too late (9:20am) via the Larne Line train service. This change to the timetable also affects youths travelling along the Larne Line between Belfast and Larne Harbour who attend the Northern Regional College, local East Antrim schools in addition to students at Ulster University, Jordanstown.

Furthermore, residents who live past Whitehead in areas such as Islandmagee have contacted me to outline their concern at potentially having to now get a taxi to travel to work in Larne, due to the reduction in frequency at peak times into the town and on weekends.”

Roy Beggs MLA, who is a member of the Assembly Infrastructure Committee added “I have asked Translink to reconsider this move in order to allow my constituents to get to their education on time and for local residents to get to work via the train in a prompt manner.”

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Lisburn and Castlereagh lead way in pothole claims in Northern Ireland

Drivers in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area are the most likely in Northern Ireland to claim for damage caused to their vehicles due to potholes, new figures suggest.

Between January 1 and August 31 this year, a total of 1,916 vehicle damage claims due to potholes were reported to Stormont’s Department for Infrastructure (DfI). Its Lisburn and Castlereagh roads office received the most claims at 274.

One MLA said the figures should serve as a “wake-up call” for DfI to take action on transforming the dire state of Northern Ireland’s road network.

Lisburn and Castlereagh was followed by the Newry and Down West roads office, which received 218 claims, and Antrim and Newtownabbey, with 178 claims.

The area with the lowest amount of claims was Belfast South with 25, followed by Fermanagh and Omagh West (30 claims) and Belfast North (33 claims).

Alliance infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir said the news that nearly 2,000 claims have been brought as a result of the dire state of our roads must act as a “wake-up call” for the Department for Infrastructure to “sort out it’s act and get more Tarmac laid over the months and years ahead”.

“The latest debacle – preventing engagement of contractors to get the work done in many areas due to procurement problems – attributable to the department just adds to the dire situation, increasing the massive roads maintenance backlog that will take many years to fix if the required monies can ever be found within expected tight budget settlements over years ahead,” he said.

Back in July, it emerged that road resurfacing works in parts of Northern Ireland had to be suspended due to a legal row over tendering contracts. DfI officials warned at the time that four council areas here are facing delays in repairs that could stretch into January of next year.

Ulster Unionist infrastructure spokesperson Roy Beggs said the claims figures represent a “failure of public services and policies”.

“There have been years of under-investment on maintaining our roads. Regular resurfacing or road maintenance would be a much better use of public funds rather than having to continually pay compensation for maintenance negligence in addition to expensive repeated patching and pothole repairs,” he said.

“Our roads resurfacing budget needs to be increased. We need to refocus our road capital investment into maintaining our existing network rather than continuing to build new roads which we then cannot afford to maintain.”

DfI said it continues to inspect roads routinely on a cyclical basis. It said: “Any defects identified during these inspections, which meet current intervention criteria levels will be scheduled for repair on a prioritised basis in accordance with the Department’s current road maintenance standards.

“Earlier this year the Minister announced her high level budget commitments for the new financial year which included a capital investment of £223.1m in our road network. This included £17m funding for the Roads Recovery Fund which will be used to address areas of greatest need across the road network, of which £15m is specifically directed towards rural roads.

“There has been historical under-investment in the maintenance of our road network for a significant number of years and many rural roads in particular are in need of repairs. Minister has therefore increased the Rural Roads allocation for the current year to £15m from £10n in 2020/21 representing a 50% budget increase, reflecting her commitment to continue this important work to benefit rural communities.”


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/lisburn-and-castlereagh-lead-way-in-pothole-claims-40898941.html

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DUP and Alliance offices targeted with graffiti

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone labelled the incidents as despicable, while UUP MLA Roy Beggs said he believed discontent in the unionist community could grow “as more and more people recognise that they have difficulty buying seeds, plants, small parcels, not being to get goods to delivered to them”.


Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55901809

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‘Boris Bridge study placed welcomed focus on NI’s links with GB’

“I’m disappointed but not surprised,” he told the News Letter today. “Leaked reports in the media a month or so ago confirmed that this would happen. I’m disappointed because I know it can be done, creating a link, bridging the UK with Northern Ireland would be a project fit for the 21st Century, but politics seems to have scuppered the whole idea. It’s a pity, for the UK government talks a lot about Building Back Better and levelling up but there is no obvious strategy for infrastructure, architecture or the built environment.


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/boris-bridge-study-may-not-come-to-pass-but-it-placed-renewed-focus-on-nis-links-with-gb-says-dup-3467131

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