Delay over parking bay decision ‘absurd’ says Stewart

Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart has described the delay in getting a parking bay for a disabled constituent as ‘absurd.’

In a statement, Mr. Stewart said: “For the second time over the past year, I have come across delays in getting disabled parking bays provided for disabled constituents.

“While I understand that there is a process to go through and that there has to be an opportunity for local objections to be considered, the excuses I have received for the delays are incredibly frustrating.

“Last year, I was told that a delay in providing an elderly constituent of mine in Carrickfergus with a parking bay was due to there being no minister in place at Stormont.

“A similar excuse has been used to explain a delay in extending double yellow lines near a school.

“How can a simple decision on whether to extend some double yellow lines depend upon a minister being in post in the NI Executive? It is absurd.

“These are not major decisions of public policy which was the issue highlighted in the High Court last year.

“There seems to be a blockage in the system where locally important, but regionally insignificant, measures are not being progressed because of red tape.

“The latest example I am aware of is in central Larne where an application for a disabled parking bay in a residential street near the town centre has taken over a year and is waiting for sign off from the Permanent Secretary – that’s the top civil servant- in the Department for Infrastructure.

“Whilst there are good reasons for arguing that we need ministers back at Stormont to make important decisions, painting double yellow lines and parking bays are surely not amongst them.”


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BEM Birthday Honour for Greenisland teacher

Congratulations have been offered to Greenisland woman Heather Gracey for services to the Lisburn community.

Heather is one of a number of East Antrim residents to be awarded a gong.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said: “Congratulations to friend, Greenisland resident and Lisburn school teacher Heather Gracey on her well-deserved honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.”

Heather who was awarded a BEM is a senior teacher at Wallace High School in Lisburn.

In 2013, she was credited as being “instrumental” in the school raising £100,000 for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. The school has been praised for having “worked tirelessly to help other children and their families”.

The following year, the school presented a cheque for £13,550 to the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity.

The sum was raised in memory Bill Wilson, the school’s Head of Mathematics and a senior teacher.

Speaking at the time, Heather said: “Wallace is well-known in Northern Ireland for its pupils’ passion for charity and its success in raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK has exceeded all expectations.”

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has also extended his congratulations to Her Majesty’s Birthday Honour recipients in East Antrim.

The gongs recognise the outstanding achievements and service of citizens in a wide range of roles across the United Kingdom.


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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.carrickfergustimes.co.uk/education/bem-birthday-honour-for-greenisland-teacher-1-8961221

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Beggs condemns Larne sledgehammer attack

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has condemned those responsible for an attack on a home at Moyle Parade, in Larne, during the early hours of this morning.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight.

In a statement, Mr. Beggs said: “It appears that four masked men attacked a property with sledgehammers but thankfully no-one was inside the house at the time.

“Damage was caused to windows, doors and also inside the home.

“I would urge anyone who saw the attack to liaise with the PSNI to help them with their investigations by calling 101.”


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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.larnetimes.co.uk/news/crime/beggs-condemns-larne-sledgehammer-attack-1-8949154

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Single parent on low income asks, can I get help to pay for my son’s school uniform?

Jaclyn Glover answers our readers’ financial queries. This week, she tackles the issue of getting help to pay for school uniforms.

Q. I am a single parent on a low income, can I get help with school uniforms for my son?

A. You may be eligible to get a school clothing allowance if your son attends primary or secondary school. There is no assistance available for nursery schools.

If you are in receipt of one of the following benefits you will be entitled to help towards the cost of school uniform:

Income support;

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;

Guarantee element of Pension Credit;

Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit provided you have an annual gross income of less than £16,190;

Support under the Immigration and Asylum Act;

You may also be entitled to help with school meals.

The eligibility criteria for school meals is similar to those used for a school clothing allowance with the addition of the following criteria:

Their child has a statement of special educational needs and is designated to require a special diet, or he, or she, is a boarder at a special school.

The Department for Education have recently announced that the level of support available for the 2017/18 year will remain at 2016 levels.

These are as follows:

Primary school – £35.75;

Post-primary/special school under 15 – £51;

Post-primary/special school over 15 – £56;

Post-primary/special school PE – £22.

If your son is a student attending Colleges of Further and Higher Education you cannot be provided with an allowance for school uniform but if their course includes Physical Education they are entitled to apply for an allowance for Physical Education clothing if not a paid training course.

An application for a school uniform grant can be made at any time during the school term.

You can get an application form from the Education Authority or the school.

Only one grant will be awarded for each pupil claimed for during the school year. The grant is paid directly into a bank account or by cheque.

Applications for grants for a pupil who will be 16 by August 31 will not be processed until after the school or college confirms that the pupil is back at school in September.

One form has to be filled in for a household and will include details for each eligible pupil and has to be signed by either the principal or secretary of the school the pupil is attending during the current school year.

If a household has more than three eligible children then an additional form must be used.

If you are in receipt of income support of income based Jobseeker’s Allowance the form will need to be stamped by the Jobs and Benefits Office.

In some cases if you have previously applied for, or a pupil is getting, free school meals the school uniform application will not need to be stamped by the Jobs and Benefits Office as the Education Authority will have a record that income support or income based jobseeker’s allowance is being paid.

If this may apply to you, check with the Education Authority.

The application form requires a parent to sign a section stating that a grant will be used solely to buy items of school uniform listed on the guidance notes. This section also states that the Education Authority could seek to confirm that this was done.

Get free, confidential and independent advice from your nearest Citizens Advice at citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland.


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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/education/single-parent-on-low-income-asks-can-i-get-help-to-pay-for-my-son-s-school-uniform-1-8085895

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Beggs supports diabetes week 2019

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson has added his support to diabetes week which runs from 10th – 16th June and aims to raise awareness of the work of Diabetes UK.

Roy Beggs MLA said “This public awareness week will hopefully increase the public’s understanding of diabetes and help to tackle stigma. Diabetes UK are keen to get some facts across about diabetes. At the moment in the UK 4.7m people are living with diabetes, including 1 million who don’t even know they have diabetes. In total around one in 15 of us are living with diabetes so the chances are high that we have a family member or friend with diabetes.”

A Diabetes UK representative said “Type 1 and Type 2 are the two main types of diabetes. There are rarer types too. What the all have in common is they raise sugar levels in the blood and that can seriously damage the body.”

Roy Beggs MLA continued “Diabetes is a something that anyone can get. Somethings increase your risk of developing it, from genetics and ethnic background to gender, age and lifestyle factors. It can be controlled through what you eat, tablets and injections. People with diabetes have become professional athletes, topped the charts and ruled the country. It might make life harder but it doesn’t have to change your ambitions or adventures.”

Ends

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