Category Archives: Constituency

‘Open Night’ a huge success

Trevor Lunn MLA with Hazel Ervine, who has been active since the 1970s

Trevor Lunn MLA with Hazel Ervine, who has been active since the 1970s

The Lagan Valley Alliance Association recently held an ‘Open Night’ event in Pizzarellys, Lisburn. The event marked Trevor Lunn’s re-election and showcased the work of Alliance in the Greater Lisburn area, both past and present.

Trevor and the Alliance councillors were on hand to answer questions, with areas set aside to look at how we campaign, and a treasure trove of old minute books, posters, leaflets and press cuttings collected by the late Don Cheyne where on display. Trevor gave a short speech, and  Jason Ashford, spoke about his experience in the recent election campaign as a new member. It was fantastic to have such a mix of people present including long-standing members, recent recruits and brand new members. There were also people present who were considering joining and we had one new sign up at the event!

The Association presented Trevor Lunn with a photograph of himself with a very special visitor to Lagan Valley, Daisy, who wisely brought Naomi Long to our canvass day in Moira.

If you would like to help change Northern Ireland for good, why not sign up to become a member? Click here to be that change!

Lagan Valley Alliance Open Night

Lagan Valley Alliance Open Night

 

Lunn welcomes tougher penalties for animal cruelty

Alliance Assembly member Trevor Lunn has welcomed the decision of Justice Minister David Ford to increase the penalties on those convicted of animal cruelty.

Trevor Lunn said: “I welcome the swift action of Alliance Justice Minister David Ford in including these new penalties in the Justice Bill currently going through the Assembly. This sends a clear message that anyone convicted of cruelty to defenceless animals could face up to five years in prison.
“There had been a local suggestion to regard theft of pets as animal cruelty, but this is outside the current legislative proposals and would be dealt with as a separate offence.”

Those convicted of animal cruelty can now expect; increased maximum sentences for Crown Court cases raised from 2 years to 5 years, increased maximum sentences for Magistrates’ Court cases raised from 6 months to 12 months, maximum Magistrates’ Court fines increasing from £5000 to £20000.

alliance-animal-cruelty

Smoking ban will protect children says Gawith

Getty Images

Getty Images

Alliance Councillor Owen Gawith, who is a member of the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Health Working Group, has welcomed the ban on smoking in a car when a child is present.

Councillor Gawith was speaking after the Assembly voted to introduce the ban, which is unlikely to come in before next year. Councillor Gawith said: “This very welcome news goes some way to protect children from the dangers of passive smoking. As it also limits the opportunities for children to see adults smoking, I hope it can reduce the likelihood of children taking up smoking. A similar ban has recently been introduced in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland and I look forward to its implementation in Northern Ireland.

“Smoking not only has a human cost, in terms of the illnesses directly resulting from it, but also places a huge burden on the health service. I hope that both these bans on smoking will help change the attitudes and habits of smokers, who can access a range of free initiatives to help them quit.”

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.”

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.”

Councillor Grehan welcomes continuation of Boiler Replacement Scheme

Amanda Grehan Lisburn South Alliance representative

Amanda Grehan
Lisburn South councillor

The Department for Social Development has announced that £2 million has been made available for the continuation of the Boiler Replacement Scheme. The scheme helps people to replace their existing boilers and will now run until March 2016.

Lisburn South Alliance Councillor Amanda Grehan welcomed the department’s decision; “Replacing inefficient boilers will not only help individuals and families to reduce their energy costs but also improve their health and general well-being through living in a warmer home.

“Homeowners earning less than £40000 gross income with a boiler 15 years old or more are eligible to apply for the scheme. This scheme has been very successful to date with 18, 500 boiler replacements and I would encourage anyone who is eligible to contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive who administers the scheme.”

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Alliance welcomes proposed development at Maghaberry Airfield

(Photograph credit- Property News)

(Photograph credit- Property News)

The former Maghaberry Airfield site is set to be given a new lease of life with the unveiling of plans for a proposed solar farm. The proposed development is set to produce enough energy to power 6440 households saving nearly 11 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Local Alliance councillor Amanda Grehan said “This is a tremendous opportunity for a much needed positive development in the area. For too long Northern Ireland has been left behind in the development of green energy sources. However, we now have the chance to learn from what has happened elsewhere, to deliver renewable energy supplies without any disruption to residents or wildlife.

“I particularly welcome the commitment from the developer, through their biodiversity management plan, to protect and encourage wildlife through the use of native plants in hedgerows, seed-rich areas, log piles as well as bird and bat boxes. The underground cabling and absorption of daylight by the panels means the overall landscape would be largely unaffected.”

Councillor Aaron McIntyre added “The protection of mature trees and ‘strong points’ of the former airfield will help maintain the current landscape and protect the heritage of the site for future generations. The solar farm is specially designed for grazing by small livestock including sheep and chickens. This will enable the land to be productive in the produce of food stuff as well as local renewable energy.”

Councillor Grehan concluded “This is a significant opportunity for the local area and there are no doubt further potential sites throughout Northern Ireland. It is important we proceed carefully but quickly with such projects.”

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Tackling Segregation

I have continued to challenge segregation in Northern Ireland in all its forms, most obviously in my role on the Education Committee.

I believe in shared schooling. The integrated model offers an excellent example of this, though it is not the only one. More and more schools across Lagan Valley are recognising the potential for working together more effectively – sharing facilities, broadening choice, and reducing bureaucracy.

Although I am under no illusions about the challenges we face, I also believe the devolved institutions should show leadership in promoting sharing and community relations. It is easy to talk about these, but far harder to deliver in practice and to make delivery obviously beneficial to all of you. I recognise that documents such as the ‘CSI Strategy’ may initially appear remote from people going about their day-to-day lives, but a proper approach to them at the top of government would be a clear demonstration to those working hard on community relations on the ground that their work is being taken seriously.

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Regenerating Lagan Valley’s economy

Trevor Lunn

Trevor Lunn MLA is working for you as the Alliance Party’s Enterprise Spokesperson

Since the last election, I have had the opportunity to take a deeper interest in the full range of Enterprise and Trade issues.

I have written to the Finance Minister concerning rates paid by retailers in Lisburn City Centre, which I still regard as punitive in hard times such as these.

I have also tabled numerous questions on how we may generate our own business more effectively. In particular, I have advocated more and better support for those starting up in business, new services for those wishing to export and bring more money into the local economy, and targeting a wider range of people to get involved in business in the first place.

As a former businessman myself, I appreciate the range of issues facing people trying to make a living in retail, in manufacturing and in their own start-ups. I want greater priority placed on support for these people, and in this support being much wider than just the occasional grant.

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Working for You in the Assembly

On your behalf I have raised issues to do with:

  • Promoting new jobs
  • Enhancing our health services
  • Improving our social care
  • Breaking the education gridlock
  • Dealing with the past
  • Tackling the costs of division
  • Reducing High Street rates
  • Opposing the Glenavy incinerator
  • Delivering on the Maze project
  • Pushing for faster planning
  • Making our roads safer
  • Providing social housing

I am happy to raise questions and issues on these and other matters on your behalf. Just write or call in!

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