Sinn Féin’s group leader Ronan McGinley has welcomed Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill’s announcement of £200,000 investment into rural communities. The funding is to be made available through phase two of the Rural Micro Grant Programme.
Cllr Ronan McGinley said,
“After the success of the first phase of the Rural Micro Grant Programme, Minister O’Neill’s announcement is great news for rural communities. Community groups who receive this cash injection are able to use it to provide much needed services in often isolated areas, and allows them to modernise facilities and update essential equipment”
“I would like to echo Minister O’Neill’s call to rural community groups to avail of these funds and enjoy the positive impact it will have. If people need more information on the programme or details on how to apply they can contact their local Rural Support Network or visit the DARD website”.
The Rural Micro Capital Grant Programme is one element of DARD’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework. Grants of between £200 and £1,500 are available to rural community-led, voluntary organisations towards the cost of capital equipment, improvement of a capital asset or extending the useable life of a capital asset.
Mid Ulster’s Environment Committee has agreed a proposal to support three ideas put forward by Lough Neagh Rescue in order to increase and enhance the valuable service.
Lough Neagh Rescue identified the opportunities to Mid Ulster Council which included improvements to be made to the Ardboe Station, the introduction of a helipad at the Battery Harbour and the securing of a site which will be able to provide a Flood and Swift Water response station.
Councillor Ronan McGinley, who proposed that the council support Lough Neagh Rescue in their efforts, commented after the meeting,
“I was happy to propose that the committee support Lough Neagh Rescue in their efforts to enhance the services. What they provide is critical for all those who use the lough, and anything the Council can do to support them in their efforts should be welcomed”.
Cllr McGinley continued,
“Lough Neagh Rescue have been pioneering in their efforts while building the emergency response up over the years. The addition of a helipad at the Battery Harbour and renovations to the Ardboe Station will add to their success in saving lives and making the lough safer”.
“Again it’s welcome news that the council has secured a suitable potential site which is vital for the future development of a Flood and Swift Water Response station. This will add to the number of services provided by Lough Neagh Rescue helping them to keep up their high standards of providing the rescue service”.
Cllr McGinley has welcomed the announcement from Transport NI that preparatory work will begin next week in Moortown for the resurfacing of the Ardboe Road.
Transport NI have stated they minimise disturbance by using the school holidays to carry out the much needed work.
Cllr McGinley commented,
“I’m delighted to hear this announcement from Road Service. This main road in Moortown is in a very poor state so I have been lobbying Transport NI and asking for it to be treated with priority.
Transport NI are working within a tight budget but it’s great news for the loughshore”.
“Road Service have stated they intend to resurface the Ardboe Road from the Battery Road junction to the outskirts of the village. Alongside local residents, I have raised this stretch of road on numerous occasion and glad to hear work is soon to start. It is a good start to improving one of many roads that need attention”.
“I would encourage all those who will be affected by the much needed road works to attend a public meeting occurring next Wednesday in St Peter’s Primary School at 2pm where Transport NI will outline what they plan to do and what local residents can expect”.
Sinn Féin has met with Translink to discuss the recent reductions in bus service provision in Dungannon and surrounding areas. MLA Bronwyn McGahan and Cllr Ronan McGinley met with Ulster Bus to highlight residents concern about the newly introduced changes.
Ms. McGahan said,
“I have been informed that Translink intend to change the type of bus used in the urban service around Dungannon which will result in buses being unable to drive into the heart of estates.
“The intention to limit buses to the entrance of housing estates due to the size of the bus will result in many people especially the elderly and infirm being unable to avail of the service as they will be unable to walk the distance to the new proposed bus stops.
“Not only will it limit access to buses but with more people congregated at one place there will be less shelter especially in times of inclement weather.
Councillor Ronan McGinley added,
“I am happy that Translink have agreed to look at the recent consultation in relation to the services around the Loughshore area.
“Translink outlined the changes were about reduction rather than removal of services but I am still concerned this will leave a void for local residents.
“My understanding is that at present there are only two services for the Loughshore area, one in the morning and one in the evening and I raised this with the officials from Translink.
“I welcome the fact they are reviewing the timetable and are open to reinstating a lunchtime service in the near future.
“I will continue to work with Translink to ensure the best service possible for the local community.”