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Councillor News

  • Kate Nicholl
    8 PM Tuesday
    Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl has said today is "the first day of the future of Zimbabwe" after President Robert Mugabe resigned.

    The South Belfast Councillor, who spent the first 13 years of her life in the African country, said she was delighted to see the resignation of Mr Mugabe.

    "Under Robert Mugabe's 37-year presidency, he went from respected freedom fighter to brutal dictator where Zimbabwe saw corruption, economic failure, abuse of power and violence," she said.

    "The future holds many problems - you cannot fix an economy overnight and the man expected to replace Mugabe, former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, lacks democratic credentials.

    "The questions about what happens next rightly need to be asked, but that's for tomorrow. Today is the first day of the future of Zimbabwe and is all about celebrating the hope of a new and peaceful country."

  • Stephen Donnelly
    last Sunday
    Alliance West Tyrone representative Stephen Donnelly has hit out at those behind a security alert in Omagh.

    Police are continuing to work at the scene at Drumragh Avenue following the discovery of a suspicious object. It is believed the object is designed to disrupt the Remembrance Sunday parade in the town.

    "This is a disgusting move by people who represent nobody, intended to cause as much disruption as possible for those attending the parade," said Mr Donnelly.

    "Those behind this have no regard for the lives of others in the community - people are sick of this sort of behaviour and have voiced their opposition to it in the past. There can be absolutely no justification for it and I would appeal for it to stop.

    "My thanks go to the police and security services for their work in keeping local residents safe. If anyone has any information on this incident, I urge them to contact police immediately."

  • last Saturday
    Alliance Councillor Andrew Muir has expressed his sympathies and called for authorities to explore further safety measures, after a woman died and a child was left in critical condition following a crash.

    The crash on the A2 Bangor to Belfast road near Ballygilbert happened yesterday (Friday) around 3.50pm. The child was taken to hospital, as was a man, believed to have been in a separate car. He is in a stable condition.

    "My thoughts and sympathies are with the loved ones of the woman who died. I am praying the child involved in this incident makes a full and speedy recovery," said Councillor Muir.

    "This unfortunately is not the first incident that has led to a death on this road, which is an incredibly busy stretch built in 1968 and now facilitating over 40,000 vehicles per day.

    "Whilst the average speed camera system has significantly reduced the number of people killed and seriously injured on the road, this tragic incident must surely act as prompt to explore what more safety measures could be installed to prevent any further deaths or injuries occurring."

  • Andrew Muir
    9 November

    Ards and North Down Council is to get tougher when it comes to removing chewing gum from pavements in popular areas across the borough, thanks to the efforts of Alliance Councillor Andrew Muir.

    At the latest Environment Committee meeting, steps to tackle the growing problem were outlined, after Councillor Muir previously requested various options be explored to get the problem 'unstuck'.

  • 28 October
    Alliance Councillor Sian O'Neill has said an arson attack in West Belfast is "an attack on our whole community".

    Councillor O'Neill, who sits on Belfast City Council's Strategic Cemeteries and Crematoriums Working Group, was speaking after the gates of Milltown Cemetery were set alight last night (Friday). Damage was done to the gates, as well as the ground.

    "This was a disgusting attack on our whole community," said Councillor O'Neill.

    "It is deeply sad to see the disrespect some people have for our dead, in what is supposed to be an area of respect. My thoughts are with the loved ones of those buried there, who may have been affected by this incident, and my thanks go to the fire brigade, who ensured the fire did not spread any further.

    "Milltown is not a Council-owned cemetery but I hope the Council will be able to work with the relevant agencies to help prevent a repeat of this disgraceful behaviour. I would also urge anyone with information on this attack to contact the police with it immediately."

  • Andrew Muir
    13 October

    Alliance North Down Councillor Andrew Muir has reported to police allegations the UDA held a meeting at a community centre in North Down.

    The claims, which were brought to light earlier this week on BBC's Spotlight programme, alleged a meeting at which self-confessed UDA commander Dee Stitt was present was also attended by DUP Councillor Wesley Irvine, who allegedly handed out DUP leaflets and voter registration forms in the run-up to the General Election in June.

    Councillor Muir has also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards, as the allegations would be against the Code of Conduct for Councillors if proven. Councillor Muir has also made an independent complaint over the alleged use of the Council premises.

    "I have reported to PSNI my concerns after this week's Spotlight programme, particularly around the allegation the UDA held a meeting in Bangor earlier this year at which Dee Stitt, who has publicly stated he is a commander in the UDA, attended. Further to this, allegations were made on the programme Alderman Irvine attended, seeking political and electoral support.

    "I have therefore also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner to ask them to investigate his alleged presence at the meeting, which has been claimed to be a meeting of the UDA's 'North Down battalion.' It is vital this situation is probed immediately and Alderman Irvine answers the questions raised by it."

    "Alderman Irvine and any of his colleagues, or indeed anyone else who attended that meeting, have a moral and legal imperative to tell the authorities who else was there, and have them make a determination whether any further action should be taken," added Alliance North Down MLA Stephen Farry.

    "Alliance is opposed to all forms of paramilitarism and the cancer it represents in our society. This includes giving active paramilitary organisations legitimacy by meeting them and canvassing for votes. Questions have been raised and now it is up to the proper authorities to seek answers."
  • Patricia OLynn3
    4 October

    Alliance North Antrim spokesperson Patricia O'Lynn has offered her condolences after the death of a pregnant woman in a house fire in Ballycastle.

    The woman, named locally as 27-year-old Sinead Stewart, died at the property on the Whitepark Road around 5.35pm yesterday.

    Ms O'Lynn said her deepest sympathies were with those affected by the tragedy.

    "My thoughts and deepest condolences are with the loved ones of this poor woman, who has perished in the most tragic of circumstances.

    "The local community will be shocked and saddened at this news. My thanks go to the emergency services, who attempted to save the life of this woman, despite their efforts ultimately being in vain.

    "I would encourage anyone with information on this fire to contact the authorities so the cause can be determined."
  • David Armitage
    3 October

    Alliance Councillor David Armitage has criticised those behind sectarian graffiti close to homes in East Belfast.

    He said: "It is extremely disappointing to see these words appearing in our community - a community where everyone should be welcomed and made to feel at home.

    "What's more worrying is that this latest graffiti attack comes not long after a number of Catholic families where forced to leave their homes in Cantrell Close due to intimidation. Enough is enough - in 2017 this cannot be the vision for our city.

    2 October

    The Alliance Party has changed the way Belfast City Council's top posts will be distributed, thanks to a motion from Councillor Michael Long.

    The changes will see the position of High Sheriff join the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor positions in being allocated proportionately and fairly for the first time.

    2 October

    Councillor Michael Long has said the Alliance Party continues to work at the highest levels to protect jobs at Bombardier, during a debate at Belfast City Council on Monday night.

    The first meeting since the preliminary ruling by the US Department of Commerce, Councillor Long said all voices must be united as we work to secure our economy for generations to come.

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