Monthly Archives: February 2016

Lunn supports Special Olympics

imageAlliance Assembly member Trevor Lunn has highlighted the important role the Special Olympics plays in the lives of hundreds of young people across Northern Ireland.

The MLA for Lagan Valley was speaking after attending a Special Olympics bowling event at Lisburn Leisure Park, where he presented medals to participants.

He said: “For many young people, the Special Olympics gives the opportunity to develop skills and participate in sports. Bowling is a lifetime fitness sport which contributes to balance, coordination and motor skills.

“It is a particularly beneficial sport to people with intellectual disabilities, irrespective of their age or sports abilities, since it ensures physical exercise and at the same time participation and social integration.”

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Cllr Tim Morrow

Cllr Tim Morrow

Cllr Tim Morrow

Tim Morrow is the Alliance Party councillor for Castlereagh East.

Tim attended Campbell College in East Belfast, before heading to Newcastle University to study General Agriculture.  After a year in Newcastle he came home to work on the family farm which the Morrow family have been farming from 1730.

Tim has previously been chair of the County Down Young Farmers Club and more recently Tim has received an award to recognise his contribution to agriculture in Northern Ireland.

Tim got involved with the Alliance Party through his father during his teens, joining the party on his return from university. He served as the chair of the Dundonald branch of the party for 10 years. Tim was first elected to Castlereagh Borough Council 6 years ago.

Tim currently sites on the Environmental Services Committee and the Leisure & Community Development Committee.

 

A free vote on abortion is essential

Trevor Lunn MLASome time ago, my colleagues and I met Sarah Ewart and her mother, Jane Christie. In 2013, Sarah made public her heartbreaking experience of having to travel to England to access a termination after her unborn baby was diagnosed with a brain and skull malformation that gave no possibility of survival outside of the womb and led to the risk of her being poisoned if the foetus died in utero.

It was a tragic story that brought to prominence the plight of women who suffer a Fatal Foetal Abnormality (FFA) and I and others promised Sarah and Jane we would do all we could to help prevent other women going through the same harrowing experience.

The amendment to the Justice Bill brought by Stewart Dickson and I will be debated in the Assembly on Wednesday. It is a strictly worded amendment relating specifically to FFA and, while it may not go far enough for some, as we know, politics is about what is possible.

I believe this is the only way forward which a majority of the Assembly will potentially support.

Abortion law is a matter of conscience for Alliance, with the party’s representatives and members having opinions that range across the spectrum.

After an extensive consultation, the Justice Minister brought a proposal to the Executive in June 2015 that would have seen legislation agreed in cases of FFA. Unfortunately, that has been blocked by others in the Executive, leading to a stalemate. I would make a personal appeal to those parties who blocked it and who have not yet made public their intentions around this amendment to allow a free vote among their MLAs on this issue. I believe in such a case, the amendment would pass.

Further to that, I plead with the larger parties – in particular, the DUP – not to use the petition of concern mechanism to block it.

Not only would that be an immense disappointment to me, other sympathetic MLAs and supporters of such legislation, but it would deny a relatively small group of women in tragic circumstances the right to make their own choice, a right they surely deserve.

(Originally published in the Belfast Telegraph 08/02/2016)

Lunn welcomes potential Hillsborough HGV weight limit

 

Trevor Lunn

Trevor Lunn MLA

Lagan Valley MLA Trevor Lunn has welcomed the potential introduction of an HGV weight limit in Hillsborough.

Alliance representative Mr Lunn was speaking following Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen’s announcement she is to consult on the introduction of a 7.5 tonne weight limit within the conservation area of Hillsborough. The first phase will apply to the stretch of Lisburn Street from the Culcavy Road to the Ballynahinch Road/Main Street junction.

“This would be a good move for Hillsborough,” said Mr Lunn.

“The heavy traffic travelling through the area on a daily basis is a big problem for people there. By introducing a limit, it will not only improve the health and safety for locals but still allow shops and businesses to trade normally.

“In the long-term, I would like to see the entirety of Main Street designated in a similar way to help remove the weight problem entirely.”

Cllr Amanda Grehan

Amanda Grehan is the Alliance Party councillor for Lisburn South.

Amanda Grehan

Amanda Grehan

Grehan welcomes ban on ‘legal highs’

Alliance Councillor Amanda Grehan has welcomed a ban on so-called ‘legal highs’, after the Psychoactive Substances Act received royal assent in recent days.

The Act – due to be implemented from spring this year – will prohibit the production, supply and importation of these potentially dangerous drugs, often incorrectly called ‘legal highs’, with offenders facing up to seven years in prison.

Councillor Amanda Grehan said: “Banning these substances is a very welcome move to protect our young people. They are often produced and packaged in back street garages with no controls on hygiene or what actually goes into the packages.

Examples of 'legal' highs (Getty Images)

Examples of ‘legal’ highs (Getty Images)

“Tests on packages found in Northern Ireland have shown the same brand name to regularly contain different ingredients. This can lead users to take more when they do not get the same effect as previously, and overdosing can result.

“We have seen too many of our young people become ill, or tragically die following use of these products. The people producing or selling these substances are only interested in making money and have no concern for the users.

“I have previously highlighted this issue in the Council Chamber and I applaud the efforts of the Alliance Justice Minister David Ford MLA, who has worked closely with the Home Office to have this new law enacted. As a mother, I am pleased that another potential danger will be removed from our streets.”