Thursday, 5 December 2013
The First Minister said: "It is with deep sorrow that I heard of the death of Nelson Mandela and I offer my condolences to his entire family circle at this time. We have known for some time that he was ill, nonetheless, it still comes as a great shock to lose such an inspirational man and a massive figure in terms of world politics.
"I met Nelson Mandela on two occasions and was struck by his considerable humility and charisma. He did not see himself in terms of celebrity yet barely anyone throughout the world would not recognise his name and that is no small part because of his unique ability to connect personally with people.
"Nelson Mandela carried out his role with a real talent to draw people and whole communities together. South Africa and the rest of the world had a tremendous respect for him.
"When I asked how he dealt with opposition and the business of negotiation he commented that real negotiation is not with political opponents, rather with your own community and while they may feel you are stepping ahead of them, it is important to convince them to make the journey - a message so pertinent to our own peace process.”
The deputy First Minister said: "I offer my heartfelt sympathies to his family at this difficult time. I was honoured to meet Nelson Mandela the last time he was in Dublin and there is no doubt he was truly one of the greatest leaders of our lifetime.
"Through his humility, strong negotiation skills and desire for justice he earned respect as an ambassador for peace, human rights and democracy across the globe. It was appropriate in 1993 this was recognised when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with former South African President FW De Klerk.
"He will be remembered for demonstrating what is possible when people are committed to peace and reconciliation in areas of conflict. Nelson Mandela has left an indelible mark not only in South Africa but across the world. In 1997, at a critical stage of our peace process, I was honoured to lead, at the invitation of President Mandela, a delegation to South Africa for significant discussion with South African peace negotiators, which also included all parties from the North.
"President Mandela’s interest in the success of the peace process was epitomised by the valuable contributions made by amongst others Cyril Ramaphosa, his Chief negotiator and the now Deputy President of African National Congress, who was a constant source of support to us throughout. Nelson Mandela was a true friend to Ireland.”
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
The Minister was speaking during an Adjournment Debate in the Assembly this evening on public sector jobs in the North West.
Simon Hamilton said: “I am acutely aware that staff in Civil Service Pensions Branch in Waterside House, Londonderry are concerned about job security in light of the plan to replace the pension administration and payment systems. Not least because their fears have been whipped up by ill-informed public comment.
“The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme in Northern Ireland is the main pension scheme for all Northern Ireland civil servants and a number of other bodies. As of March 2013, there were 34,000 active members, 27,000 pensioner members and 8,500 deferred members of this scheme.”
Setting the context for the need of a replacement IT system the Minister continued:“The contracts in respect of the two current computer systems used to perform member administration and pensioner payroll functions are coming to an end and therefore must be replaced.
“The main options to be considered include both a system solution to be operated by civil servants or a managed service, i.e. an outsourced solution. No decision on the preferred option has yet been made. The Business Case is still being developed and has a number of Departmental approval stages to complete. My officials have consulted and will continue to consult with Trade Union Side and will keep staff up to date with developments as the project progresses.
“Civil Service Pensions Branch will continue to exist and be staffed by civil servants as there are a number of other key functions to delivery such as scheme management, policy and legislation and finance. However, whichever option is approved, there will be a reduction in staff required. Any surplus staff will be managed in line with documented NICS procedures, including natural wastage and redeployment. Let me reiterate no one will be made redundant contrary to the public statements to this effect attributed to NIPSA.”
Commenting on public service pension reform the Minister added: “Pension reform has an impact on the need for a new solution to be found. It is not the main driver for change, but in order to implement the new pension scheme for civil servants from 1 April 2015the new solution must be in place by that date.
“HM Treasury have made clear that we need to press ahead with the reforms of public service pensions. Failure to do this for the main schemes is estimated at over £300m for each year’s delay.”
Concluding Simon Hamilton said: “I want to recognise the work that the staff in Civil Service Pensions Branch do. I regret that some have sought to prey on their fears for their own ends. Screaming publicly that 80 jobs will be lost when nothing could be further from the truth does those staff no service whatsoever.”
Friday, 18 October 2013
The Education Minister said: "I, along with the rest of the community, am disgusted by the actions of those who planted a bomb at Ceara Special School in Lurgan this morning. This attack was against the most vulnerable in our society and is a clear indication of the contempt that those responsible hold for the entire community.
“There is no more stark contrast when you look at the action of the bombers and the actions of those who work in Ceara School day after day caring and loving for their pupils. Ceara School, its staff, pupils and parents represent everything we can be proud of in our community. Those behind this attack are the direct opposite of everything Ceara school stands for.
“I urge anyone with any information about this attack to contact the PSNI.”
Sunday, 6 October 2013
The Scheme will be delivered jointly with a number of Northern Ireland’s banks. It will help local food producers, who form part of an integrated supply chain, to access the finance they would need to invest in the farm buildings necessary to increase supply of the primary produce for processing.
Arlene Foster said: “Over recent months, several major retailers have decided to sell only UK sourced meat products. This presents major opportunities for the local Agri-Food industry and that is why we have been working with the banks to explore the potential for an Agri-Food Loan Scheme which would enable businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.”
Simon Hamilton said: “The scheme we have announced today will see the Northern Ireland Executive, working proactively with a number of our banks, to provide significant finance in the form of loans to local food producers who form part of an integrated supply chain. Discussions with the banks have been very positive and highly constructive, and we are pleased to announce that we have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding, setting out our joint commitment to deliver the Scheme.”
The first phase of the Scheme will be open to broiler producers in Northern Ireland. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Department of Finance and Personnel and Invest Northern Ireland are also working with the banks to roll out subsequent phases of the scheme to other Agri-Food sectors over the coming months.
Commenting on the roll out Simon Hamilton continued: “The Agri-food Loan Scheme will roll out on a phased basis and the first phase of the Scheme will open for applications next month. This first phase will be open to broiler producers and we are already working to develop subsequent phases of the scheme in respect of, pig meat, egg production, red meat and dairy.”
Arlene Foster added: “Difficulty in accessing finance was one of the issues identified in ‘Going for Growth’, the Strategic Action Plan developed by the industry led Agri-Food Strategy Board.
“Our co-operation with the banks demonstrates that we are not only listening to, but acting on, the concerns of industry. It is also an example that the Executive is working together to provide support for local businesses.
“We have worked hard to ensure that this Scheme is as straightforward as possible for producers – essentially we have created a one-stop shop. Processes within the Banks and Invest NI will be coordinated to ensure that applicants will only be required to submit one application for finance using the normal channels within the Banks.”
Simon Hamilton concluded: “Initiatives such as this are crucial as we, in partnership with our local banks, work to create a better environment for business and as we strive to ensure that local companies can make the most of opportunities for growth that arise.
“£10 million has been allocated to Invest Northern Ireland to facilitate the first phase of the Scheme this year, and the Executive has agreed to commit further funds to the Scheme should there be significant demand.”
1. Discussions have been taking place with the banks in respect of an Agri-Food Loan Scheme aimed at the Agri-Food industry. The first phase of the Scheme will be open to broiler producers and discussions are ongoing with the banks to roll the scheme out to the pig meat, egg producers, red meat and dairy sectors.
2. The Scheme will operate for a limited time only.
3. The Scheme will be delivered jointly by the banks and Invest NI. Processes within the Banks and Invest NI will be coordinated to ensure that applicants will only be required to submit one application for finance using the normal channels within the Banks. Finance will be provided by the Northern Ireland Executive by means of loans, which will be provided on commercial terms and these loans will be subordinated to bank debt. The precise application of the scheme may be adapted as it is rolled out to other sectors and this will be determined following further negotiation with the banks and those sectors.
4. Participating banks include Bank of Ireland, Barclays Bank, Danske Bank, First Trust Bank, HSBC, Santander and Ulster Bank.
5. Going for Growth can be accessed on the Agrifood Strategy Board website.
Sunday, 8 September 2013
Education Minister John O’Dowd has condemned the news that a threat has been made in relation to a number of schools in North Belfast.
Mr O’Dowd said: “I am very disturbed to hear that a threat has been issued in relation to a number of schools in Belfast.
“Regardless of anyone’s politics or views, schools should and must be havens for the young people who attend them and the staff who work there. As Education Minister my priority is to ensure that children are educated in a safe and secure environment, free from threat or intimidation. I believe this is a priority all our society should share.
“Threats such as this should be condemned by everyone in society – not just political, religious and community leaders, but all of us. Communities must unite against such threats. Whatever difficulties arise in our society, we cannot let them disrupt our schools and threaten the lives of children, young people and the staff who work there”.
Saturday, 10 August 2013
The event brings to a close the competition, which saw 7,000 athletes from 67 countries take part in 56 sports at 41 venues across the north.
The Minister said: “The Closing Ceremony officially lowers the curtain on a remarkable 10 days in the north. It is appropriate to look back on an event the like of which we have never seen before. That we could host the World Police and Fire Games might have been unimaginable a few years ago.
“Yet we have confidently welcomed thousands of competitors from across the globe to join in a sporting spectacular. The Games have further opened the eyes of the world to the north, they have come and experienced the best of what we have to offer. In return, they brought a significant boost to business and tourism in Belfast and beyond.
“The event has also helped open our own eyes to what we can achieve when we work together. We promised the friendliest World Police and Fire Games. The result is Belfast buzzing with visitors and a Games played in the spirit of competition and camaraderie.”
The Minister added that the Games are a shining example of the power of culture, arts and leisure to bring people together.
She said: “What the last ten days have done is reflect a vibrant, confident and forward-looking society. We invited the world to visit the north, thousands of people came and saw our best side – now they are heading home with fond memories.
“This was a collective effort, but that should not take away from the tremendous individual endeavours which have made these Games a success. This has been evident in the build-up and throughout the Games: from the organisers to the volunteers to personnel representing the services; from the sporting officials to the backroom staff who helped deliver the competition.
“Spectators, who have numbered in the tens of thousands, have played their part in creating an atmosphere fitting for such a huge sporting occasion. The feedback from competitors has been overwhelmingly positive, both during the events and away from the venues. Looking ahead, my focus is now on ensuring a long lasting and sustainable legacy from the Games for the people of the North.
“Everyone can be proud of the World Police and Fire Games 2013. It is a powerful example of what we can achieve when we work in partnership. As Minister I am pleased to acknowledge this and say thank you to all those involved. All that remains to be said now is best of luck to Fairfax for World Police and Fire Games 2015.”
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Carál Ní Chuilín said: “There is no doubting Jason Smyth’s quality as a sprinter. Clinching his second gold medal this week in record time is another excellent achievement. I extend my warmest congratulations to you.
"Both Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop are inspirational athletes. A year on from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is tremendous to see our local elite athletes continuing to do so well on the world stage."
Speaking following the meeting the Minister said; “The recent deaths of eight people in Northern Ireland are tragic and my thoughts and sympathies are with the families but I must make it clear that this is by no means an isolated incident. Around 110 people died last year as a result of drugs misuse, whether that’s prescription drugs or illegal drugs - about nine people per month. This is far too many and totally unacceptable. No drugs are safe, the illegal drugs industry is not regulated and people have absolutely no idea what they are putting into their bodies so I urge people to think again before taking any illegal drugs.
“We must all work together to tackle this scourge on our communities, from the health service, the PSNI and into our community groups. We are all on the same team with the same dream in mind – that our streets are free from drugs and our children can grow up without the temptation drugs can bring. I want to reassure the public that all key agencies are working together to prevent and address the, potentially fatal, harm that substance misuse has on our communities.”
The Minister received an update from the PSNI on what is being done to prevent illegal substances being brought into Northern Ireland and the work being undertaken to tackle drug dealing. Mr Poots was also joined at the meeting with representatives from FASA (Forum for Alcohol and Substance Abuse), ASCERT (Action on Substances through Community Education and Related Training).
The Minister continued; “I am particularly concerned about the ongoing availability of new psychoactive substances (often mislabelled legal highs). These substances are not safe and in many cases when tested they have been found to contain banned drugs. Therefore, by taking these substances you are risking your health, and also risking being prosecuted.
“I will be writing to the Home Office asking that we work together to strengthen legislation in this area and put in place mechanism to close down those selling these substances. I believe this would send a very clear message that taking any substance that hasn’t been prescribed for you comes with real risks.”
For more information and help, log onto nidirect
Monday, 22 July 2013
The First Minister said: "I congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son. I want to extend my very best wishes to them on behalf of everyone in Northern Ireland.
I was honoured to attend the celebration of their wedding in April 2011 and I wish them every health and happiness in the next chapter of their lives together."
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
The Minister said "This is terrific news for cricket in Ireland. Qualification for the Cricket World Cup gives Ireland the chance to compete on the global stage and is another step closer to full participation at test cricket level.
"All credit to the Irish team on their fine display today. We all look forward to many enjoyable cricketing encounters in the run up to and during 2015 Cricket World Cup."
"Last year, 12/13, 8,660 Housing Executive homes were double glazed, 9,000 are planned for this year leaving approximately 4,000 to be completed in 14/15 thereby completing the PFG target to have all Housing Executive homes double glazed by 2015. This must be viewed against the NIHE’s original plans to double glaze its stock by 2021. Had Minister McCausland not increased the installation programme to install double glazing in all NIHE homes there would still be thousands of homes left with drafty single glazed frames.”
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Saturday, 6 July 2013
- Safer communities, with lower levels of crime and anti-social behaviour;
- Shared communities, where each person’s rights are respected in a shared and cohesive community; and
- Confident communities, where people feel safe and have confidence in the agencies that serve them.
The DOJ Victim and Witnesses Strategy and Action Plan can be found on the Department’s website.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
That was the message from Education Minister, John O’Dowd, as he launched a report by Children’s Law Centre advisory group youth@clc into young people’s views on counselling in schools.
Speaking during a launch event in Parliament Buildings, the Minister said: “Professional counselling can be a massive support to a young person in distress. I have received many comments to this effect from pupils and staff during school visits and I know there is research available to back up this view too. This new report from youth@clc provides further evidence from those who are directly affected by school counselling – the young people themselves – and I welcome the opportunity to launch it.
“We as educationalists all face the challenge of encouraging young people to firstly recognise when they have a problem and, secondly, to seek help. There can be a stigma attached to seeking such help but I hope that the work of youth@clc, including this report, is helping to reduce any such concerns among young people. The key message to young people is that there is no shame in asking for help and that no one has to face their problems alone.
“I was struck, too, by the live performance of ‘Opening Doors’ that I attended recently at the MAC. This profound and affecting play staged by youth@clc is, I hope, helping change the attitudes of young people towards mental health.
“Over 900 counselling sessions are already provided every week by the Independent Counselling Service for Schools (ICSS). Although from one point of view this is indicative of a worrying level of distress among pupils here, I am encouraged at the uptake of the help that is available, which serves to further underline the importance of what the ICSS does.”
The Minister continued: “The youth@clc report makes six key recommendations and I plan to give them all consideration when shaping the future delivery of counselling in schools here. I commend everyone at youth@clc for the hard work and expertise they have put into compiling the report and thank them for this opportunity to launch the report’s findings.”
1. The Children’s Law Centre (CLC) works to promote the rights of children. It is the only local children’s legal charity. CLC provides free legal information, advice and representation including a free phone legal advice line for children, CHALKY. CLC also offers training and research on children’s rights, and makes submissions on law, policy and practice affecting children and young people. youth@clc is CLC’s youth advisory group.
2. Between June and November 2012, youth@clc carried out a survey of the views of Year 11 pupils on the counselling service offered by their school. The survey was conducted in 13 schools (955 pupils), across the Belfast Education and Library Board and South Eastern Education and Library Board areas. The survey was funded by the Big Lottery – Awards for All project.
3. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’.The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visithttp://www.nidirect.gov.uk/education-worksfor more information.
Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel:http://www.youtube.com/thedeptofeducation
4. See photos from the Department of Education in our collection athttp://www.flickr.com/niexecutive
5. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel:028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number07699715440 and your call will be returned.
Thursday, 20 June 2013
O’Dowd outlines current position on Dickson plan
Education Minister, John O’Dowd has clarified the current position on the Dickson plan in light of media reports today.
The Minister said: “There has been much debate over the past few months on the future of the Dickson plan within the Craigavon area. This debate has intensified in recent days following an Assembly debate and in particular, media reports today.
“Firstly, I want to point out that any proposals in relation to the Dickson Plan are not my proposals. It is a matter for the relevant managing authorities in the first instance to determine the appropriate structure of future provision for children living in the Dickson Plan area.
“Following the public consultation on the draft Post-primary Area Plan, the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) issued an options paper to the Boards of Governors of all of the controlled post-primary schools in the Dickson Plan.
“The paper summarised the main options arising from the area plan consultation and asked for Boards’ of Governors views. This consultation with the Boards of Governors is not a ballot with results deciding the outcome of the process. Rather, the returns will be taken into account, by the SELB, alongside all other evidence and data, including departmental policy, when deciding the way forward.
“Any significant change to the existing provision requires the publication of a statutory Development Proposal (DP) to support that intent. Following publication of a DP a two month objection period begins to allow all interested and affected parties an opportunity to submit their comments/views on the proposal. At the end of the 2-month period, I will make a decision taking account of all the relevant and pertinent information and the comments received both for and against the proposal.”
The Minister continued: “There seems to be a misconception that the Dickson plan is an example of excellence and I have even heard the term ‘world class’ used to describe it. The reality is that while some schools and pupils are performing well there is room for improvement and the system is certainly not world class. That does not mean that we don’t have world class teachers and staff working within that system. Indeed, I have visited schools and met many staff within the Dickson plan area and I have always been impressed by their dedication and professionalism. However, I do believe that they are being failed by the system they are working in.
“With regard to educational attainment, the school leavers data for 2011/12 shows that the Dickson Plan schools underperformed compared with the overall and the SELB averages for pupils achieving 5+ GCSEs at A* to C including GCSE English and GCSE Maths and for 3+A Levels at A*-C.
“I’ve been told more than once this week, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but the fact is that much of the Dickson plan is broken and I believe the system does need to be fixed.”
The Minister concluded by saying: “Area Planning is about providing strong, vibrant schools delivering high quality education by using the limited resources available efficiently and effectively. In that context, it is my firm view that the Dickson plan is no longer fit for purpose.
“The Catholic education sector in Craigavon propose moving away from the Dickson Plan and academic selection. I believe that the best course of action for the controlled sector is to do likewise for the educational benefit of all children and young people in that sector.”
Notes to editors:
Media enquiries, contact the Department of Education Press Office on 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440.
Follow the Executive online:
http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/ http://twitter.com/niexecutive http://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/ http://www.facebook.com/niexecutive
This is an automated distribution service - please do not reply to this email address.
Saturday, 8 June 2013
8 June 2013
8 June 2013
Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, has congratulated Michael Dunlop on four wins at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
The Minister said: “This is a tremendous achievement for Michael. I am sure many in his hometown of Ballymoney have been cheering on his every success. To win four races and set new record lap times is an outstanding performance. I want to congratulate him on this incredible personal achievement.
“I understand, however, that, following an incident at racing yesterday, a number of spectators were injured and taken to hospital. It is for this reason that I have been encouraging the governing body of the sport in the north of Ireland to take whatever steps necessary to address public concerns about safety within the sport. This includes the development and publication of a safety code of practice which sets out clear safety standards for competitors, spectators and officials.”
Notes to Editors:
1. For media enquiries please contact DCAL Communications Office 028 9051 5047. Out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
Monday, 27 May 2013
The First and deputy First Ministers met Madam Li Xiaolin, President of Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship and Foreign Countries, in Beijing.
Speaking on the first day of the visit the First Minister said: “Just over a year ago we had the pleasure of hosting Vice President Madam Liu and her colleagues to Belfast. During the visit we opened the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster and signed a number of partnership agreements with Queen’s University Belfast.
“Following the visit of Madam Liu our relationship with China has grown stronger. This week we will talk to key Chinese government departments to explore how we can further develop existing links.
“This year we are hosting the World Police and Fire Games and 200 competitors from China are already registered to participate, we hope many more will visit and bring their families for what will be a very enjoyable experience.”
The deputy First Minister said: “We are encouraged with the growing relationship we have with China and we hope through our series of meetings in Beijing we will be able to identify more mutually beneficial areas of work. I hope we will see more exchanges between our young people and partnerships between our universities in the future.
“This is a significant year for the north of Ireland with my home city of Derry~Londonderry hosting the year-long City of Culture Programme. There will be a feast of cultural events, ranging from traditional Irish and Scots-Irish music and dance to theatre and the Turner Art Exhibition. We hope to see many of our friends from China visiting us over the coming months and years, to study, do business and to enjoy the experience.”
The China market is worth in excess of £110 million in terms of exports by Northern Ireland companies.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Announcing the opening of the scheme, the Minister said: “I am conscious that many farmers face a crisis today. I am therefore keen to make this support aid available as early as possible. It will apply to all fodder shipped into the north of Ireland from Britain or other EU member states from midnight on Saturday, subject to certain conditions.”
The scheme will be operated by Countryside Services on behalf of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It will provide a subsidy, based on a standard tonnage rate (or an equivalent rate per bale according to size) in respect of forage imported through Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint where the Department’s Portal staff will certify the imports. The importer will require a completed receipt form from individual farmers who will acknowledge that they intend to use it to remedy a shortage in the immediate future.
The Minister concluded: “My objective is to increase the supply of feed in the north as quickly as possible. I want assistance to farmers to apply from Saturday midnight so that there is no risk of an interruption in supply of fodder. By taking immediate action, I hope to sustain local farmers who are suffering due to an unprecedented shortage of fodder. The scheme will initially operate until midnight on 31 May 2013, and I will be monitoring conditions closely in the hope that they improve.”
Any farmers who have any immediate queries about the scheme should refer to the Countryside Services website www.countrysiderural.co.uk from the morning of Saturday 18th May 2013. Further information will be available from Countryside Services on Monday 20th May on 028 87 789770.
List of Hauliers currently participating in the 2013 Fodder Transport Scheme who can be contacted directly are:
Harold Bothwell 07889 809193
Adrian Cathers 07899 967849
Richard Hawkes 07802 617172
Philip McCorry 07712 644885
Colin Newell 07779 600238
Sam Sloan 07802 698383
Other information relating to the scheme can be found on the Countryside Services website at www.countrysiderural.co.uk and from Monday 20 May 2013 on 028 877 89770.
List of Participating hauliers is correct at the time of going to Press.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Are you financially capable?
Financially capable consumers have the information, skills, and competence to reduce money-related stress by, for example, improving their personal finances and dealing more effectively with problem debt.
Highlighting the importance of good money management, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Financial capability is about equipping consumers with the skills, knowledge and information they need to manage, plan, and take responsibility for their financial affairs.
“Essentially, financial capability is a key life skill that is needed by everyone in our society, irrespective of their age, gender, marital status, or their level of income.
"I would encourage everyone with an interest to attend the consultation events and contribute to the development of this important strategy. These are challenging times and we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to improve the financial capability of Northern Ireland consumers.”
Have your say
With this in mind, The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has launched a consultation on a draft Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland Consumers.
As part of the consultation process, DETI is hosting a consultation event between 2pm and 5pm on Thursday 30 May at Belfast Central Mission to offer stakeholders an opportunity to help formulate the Strategy.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment consultation event will take place between 2pm and 5pm on Thursday 30 May at Belfast Central Mission, Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast BT12 5AD and forms part of the 12 week consultation which runs from 1 May to 31 July 2013.
Consultation events are also being held at the following venues:
- Tuesday 21 May (2pm - 5pm) - CAFRE Loughry Campus, 76 Dungannon Road, Cookstown BT80 9AA
- Wednesday 22 May (2pm - 5pm) - The Playhouse Theatre, 5-7 Artillery St, Londonderry, BT48 6RG
- Thursday 6 June (2pm - 5pm) - Craigavon Leisure Centre, Brownlow Road, Craigavon BT65 6DL
Financial Capability Strategy Consultation - DETI website
You can request a hard copy using the contact information below:
Financial Capability Branch
Room 53, Netherleigh
Belfast BT4 2JP
Tel: (028) 90 529462 or (028) 90 529634
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/thedeptofeducation
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Mr O’Dowd said: “It was with deep sadness and regret that I heard about the death of a pupil from Whiteabbey Primary School while on a school trip. My thoughts are with the child’s family and indeed the pupils, teachers and wider school community at what is a profoundly distressing time.
“The North Eastern Education and Library Board stands ready to provide support, including access to counselling, to the pupils and teachers in the days and weeks ahead.”
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Friday, 29 March 2013
Response from Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland on Mark Durkan’s comments today in relation to under occupancy
“Mr Durkan’s comments are completely inaccurate and to suggest I am burying my head in the sand is simply ridiculous.
“I have reiterated time and time again in both in the Assembly and in media interviews my concerns with this element of welfare reform. Some time ago I asked social landlords to ensure that they had considered all options to prevent tenants being evicted from their homes or being made homeless as a result of these changes. I asked both the Housing Executive and the Housing Association movement to bring forward detailed action plans to provide a range of support measures for those households affected. No guidelines were issued by my department.
“I will be continuing to work with my Executive colleagues to ensure the most vulnerable people here are protected as welfare changes are implemented across the UK.
“In addition, over the last few weeks, I published a series of in depth research reports on the Northern Ireland impacts of welfare reform proposals. This research was shared extensively among my Assembly colleagues, the Social Development Committee of which Mr Durkan is a part, the media and stakeholder organisations.
“While a number of elements of the Welfare Reform Act (GB) 2012 are due to be implemented in Great Britain in the coming weeks, these will not begin in Northern Ireland until the Welfare Reform Bill (NI) 2012 has become law and the necessary regulations have been put in place. This Bill is currently making its way through the legislative process at the Northern Ireland Assembly and the next step in the legislative process is Consideration Stage, which will begin on 16 April 2013.”
Monday, 25 March 2013
- The salted network in Western Division is 100% clear of snow and the unsalted network is 99% clear;
- The salted network in Northern Division is 100% clear of snow and the unsalted network is 89% clear. Northern Division has experienced the worst of the severe weather and can confirm that today 97% of its totals network is now enabling the movement of traffic;
- The salted network in Southern Division is almost 100% clear with the exception of Spelga pass which is in the Mournes. On the unsalted network 96% is clear;
- The salted network in Eastern Division is over 95% clear whilst the unsalted network is over 90% clear.