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Councillor News

  • David Armitage
    10 March

    Alliance Councillor David Armitage has called for illegal bonfire materials left on the Connswater Greenway to be removed immediately.

    Dozens of tyres have been left on the Flora Street walkway section of the multi-million-pound greenway.

    "Alliance recognises everyone has the right to celebrate their culture and traditions but it must be done in a safe, legal and respectful manner. Leaving dozens of tyres to be burnt such as this is neither of those and needs addressed by Belfast City Council immediately," said Councillor Armitage.

    "The greenway is a positive celebration of all that is best about East Belfast. We must recognise the area is a shared space which has been a boon to the area. There is clearly a wider issue around bonfires, their safe and legal construction, and communication with the local community on the matter.

    "We have worked hard over the past few months with others to provide a new scheme in the area to prevent situations such as this occurring. I would call on those involved to remove these tyres voluntarily to ensure everyone has free enjoyment of the greenway."
  • Patrick Brown profile pic 1
    27 February
    Alliance will seek to "confine barbaric animal cruelty to the history bin" in any new Assembly, South Down candidate Patrick Brown has said.

    Councillor Brown said Alliance would bring a private member's bill to the new mandate which would include a ban on hunting with dogs, the use of snares and wild animals in circuses, a move East Belfast candidate Chris Lyttle had attempted in the previous Assembly before its collapse.

    "Animal welfare is a priority for Alliance and for many other people, yet the last Executive failed to respond to widespread public support for such moves. This is compared to David Ford, who while Justice Minister, increased the maximum available custodial sentence and fines available to those found guilty of the most serious animal cruelty crimes.

    "Alliance remains committed to this issue and it is one we will continue to work on until such horrifying cruelty is completely eliminated. We will prioritise bringing a private member's bill to the next Assembly to achieve a ban on such barbaric pastimes.

    "Northern Ireland should confine them to the history bin. It is the only humane option and one which Alliance will continue to pursue."

  • Nuala McAllister
    24 February
    Alliance North Belfast Assembly candidate Nuala McAllister has said she feels vindicated after the DUP was forced to reveal a major donor which contributed to its Brexit campaign.

    Councillor McAllister said the DUP - along with the SDLP and UUP - last year voted against steps Alliance had taken to try and increase openness and transparency at Belfast City Council. However, she said the overwhelming public mood for revealing political donors to local parties, a practice Alliance already does voluntarily, meant she had made the right decision in highlighting the lack of transparency from those parties on the Council.

    "The DUP, UUP and SDLP all tried and failed to bully me for the 'crime' of standing up for openness for the citizens of Belfast. Today's revelation the DUP's Brexit donor was a shadowy group of which there appears to be not much information underlines the fact I did the right thing in doing so.

    "The public want to have their politicians and parties fully accountable. It is not simply enough to say you are - you need to follow through. That includes voluntarily publishing all major donors in line with UK legislation, a move Alliance already does. There is nothing stopping the other parties doing exactly the same right this instant.

    "If people want true openness and transparency in their politics, it is clear Alliance is the only party who can deliver that and the only party with enough influence to potentially do so around the Executive table."

  • Nuala McAllister
    20 February
    Potential voters should question parties on their stance on revealing political donors, Alliance's Nuala McAllister has said.

    The North Belfast candidate said several parties had unclear positions on the matter, leaving to confusion among the electorate on their various stances. Alliance already publishes donors voluntarily in line with UK legislation, including outside of election time.

    Thanks to legislation Alliance Leader Naomi Long secured in Westminster, anyone donating £7,500 or over in a single payment to a local party since January 2014 will be revealed publicly when the Secretary of State lifts the exemption and brings Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

    A recent petition launched by Mrs Long calling for that to happen attracted over 1,500 signatures in a day after being launched.

    "Alliance has led the way on donor transparency, voluntarily publishing our donors in line with UK law. We have had several other parties talk before about supporting donor transparency but their actions have not matched their pledges. The UUP has recently talked about revealing its donors but only last month, its Councillors on Belfast City Council voted against doing just that. Prior to last May's election, the DUP also made a commitment to do similar but we are still waiting.

    "Thanks to the RHI scandal and various other allegations of corruption and cronyism, the public desire for openness and transparency in politics has never been higher. People deserve better government - that's why they need to question candidates on their doorstep asking for their vote whether they support full donor transparency and if so, why their party hasn't done anything practical about it yet.

    "We have a real opportunity to make a change for good and end political donor secrecy in Northern Ireland once and for all. By following Alliance's lead, we can ensure all parties are open and accountable to the public, the way they should be."

  • Neil Kelly (Antrim Town)
    16 February

    Alliance Councillor Neil Kelly has warned people to be vigilant when using ATMs, after he was made aware of a skimming device in Antrim.

    Councillor Kelly was informed by the PSNI the device was found on a cash machine in Castle Mall in the town.

    "It is reprehensible to think these criminals would try to con people out of money with no regard whatsoever to those affected," he said.

  • Nuala McAllister20171
    6 February
    Alliance North Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister has said a shooting incident in Newtownabbey could have resulted in a death.

    Two shots were fired at a house in Bawnmore Drive around 8.45pm yesterday (Sunday). A man in his 30s was inside but was unhurt.

    Cllr Nuala McAllister said: "I utterly condemn the actions of those behind this shooting. Guns have no place on our streets. The man inside the house was lucky to have escaped injury in what I'm sure was a very traumatic incident.
  • Nuala McAllister20171
    4 February
    Alliance North Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister has condemned those behind a bomb found in the area.

    The device was discovered in the garden of a house in Kinnaird Street off the Antrim Road around 9.30pm yesterday (Friday). Residents were evacuated while army technicians made the bomb safe.

    "This was a viable device no doubt designed to cause disruption and chaos, and which could have resulted in injury and perhaps death," said Councillor McAllister.

    "It is particularly worrying, given the recent shooting of a police officer nearby. But those behind these incidents must not be allowed to damage the stability we have now in Northern Ireland.

    "I would encourage anyone with information to contact police with it immediately."

  • Patrick Brown profile pic 2
    2 February
    Alliance South Down candidate Councllor Patrick Brown has said the proposed closure of nearly a dozen social support organisations risks removing "life-saving" facilities from across Northern Ireland.

    The Department for Communities announced the 11 social enterprise hubs will be closing via an email sent to the hubs on Tuesday (January 31). The tenants, many of whom rely on the premises to provide services to disadvantaged individuals as well as selling products, were given the date of March 21 to vacate premises, with no traditional or support funding offered to the tenants beyond that.

    The hubs facilitate the removal of vacant premises in town centres by encouraging small business start-ups within local communities. In many cases they have become vibrant centres of community activity, and directly contribute to the regeneration of deprived areas.

    Councillor Brown said many of the hubs provide life-saving services for hundreds of vulnerable people in each area.

    "It is an absolute disgrace the Department for Communities has allowed this to happen. For the last year they have been kicking the can down the street regarding their commitment to funding them, and now it appears they have completely shirked that responsibility.

    "There is clearly no plan to assist these fledgling organisations after they move out, many of whom provide life-saving services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. This is evidenced by the fact the tenants have been given just over a month to coordinate their exit strategies and leave the premises, which they found out about via a very blunt and sudden email on Monday.

    "These Hubs are not just about developing social enterprises, but developing their own communities where people from all backgrounds can come together and create a positive change in their lives."

  • 1 February

    Alliance Councillor Patrick Brown has expressed his sympathy after a woman died following a collision with a vehicle.

    The woman was walking on the Newcastle Road in Kilkeel when she was struck by a car just after 6.30pm on Tuesday

    The Newry, Mourne and Down Councillor said: "It is always tragic to hear of a life being lost on our roads.

  • 26 January

    A spokesperson said: "On Tuesday evening, a democratic decision was taken by the Alliance Council group on Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council as to who would be the next Mayor.

    "Following the failure of Alderman Rice to secure the support of her colleagues, she and Councillor Kamble proceeded to vote against the Alliance whip in the Council meeting on an important matter, voting with the DUP in relation to control of the panel which will determine capital investment across the council area. Alliance had agreed to support an alternative proposal to ensure no single party had overall control of capital funds, to ensure maximum transparency and accountability.

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