McGinley condemns graffiti around the Loughshore

McGinley condemns graffiti around the Loughshore

Sectarian graffiti has appeared along the Battery road, damaging public property and causing upset among local people.

Sectarian slogans have appeared along the arterial route to Cookstown on bus stops and the road itself, and residents have contacted a local councillor to highlight their concern and anger.
Sinn Féin’s Ronan McGinley has hit out at those who carried out the vandalism,
“Community relations around the Loughshore are generally good. To see this recent graffiti is extremely disappointing. It’s not acceptable at any level and I would ask those involved to catch themselves on. We are entering into a time of year where tensions can be high, it’s imperative that silly acts like this are stopped’.
The Sinn Féin councillor had asked council officials to step in and remove the graffiti, commenting on this Cllr McGinley said,
“Council resources, like everything else, are stretched. I’m disappointed that I have to ask our council officials to do this, but offensive and sectarian vandalism should not be tolerated. People should not be forced to look at this as they go about their business. I’m sure council will react quickly, but those responsible should know that their foolish behaviour is not only offensive, but wasting rate payers money and council officials time. They should grow up and engage in something positive.

McGinley confident council will continue to positively perform in the new term

McGinley confident council will continue to positively perform in the new term

 

Sinn Féin’s Group Leader Ronan McGinley has said he is hopeful that the Mid Ulster District Council will continue to perform at a high standard in the new term.

 

The council is due to hold its AGM in early June which will see the chair position vacated by Sinn Féin, the first time since the council was established in shadow format in 2014.

 

Speaking after an internal Party meeting, Cllr McGinley said :

 

“Sinn Féin have been the driving force behind the successful introduction and implementation of our new council in Mid Ulster. The leadership from Cathal Mallaghan and Linda Dillon throughout the first two years has ensured Mid Ulster has moved positively forward. I have every confidence this will continue in the next term if the new chair replicates their fair and transparent approach”.

 

It is expected that Sinn Féin will be taking the chair positions for most of the committees, but names of those taking the positions of responsibility have yet to be confirmed. Commenting on this, Ronan McGinley said:

 

“We have had discussions within the Party, with such a strong council team we will have no problem in identifying capable and competent people. The only confirmation I can give at this point is that I have been selected to continue on as Group Leader, a position I am extremely proud to hold. I will continue to fulfil it to the best of my ability. Sinn Féin will continue to deliver for the people of Mid Ulster”.

 

Cllr McGinley welcomes potential investment to the Loughshore

Cllr McGinley welcomes potential investment to the Loughshore

The Mid Ulster District Council ratified a decision of the Development Committee ring fencing a much needed investment to the loughshore area. 

Potentially up to 200k is to be invested into the Ardboe area and up to 50k into Moortown. As part of Rural Development Programme, Ardboe along with 5 other villages have been identified for the investment for Major Infrastructure Support. Moortown, along with 36 other areas have been identified for the investment for Minor infrastructure support.
Councillor for the area, Sinn Féin’s Ronan McGinley, welcomed the decision:
“This will be a great boost for the Loughshore area. This will hopefully be the start of investment for this area. There is great community spirit in this area and there has been massive investment by local businesses therefore this investment in the infrastructure is very welcome but must be strategic”.
Cllr McGinley continued:
“I’m looking forward to working with stakeholders to drive this forward and ensuring everything is completed in order for this investment to be maximised for local people.”

Cllr McGinley calls for an immediate stop to illegal dumping around the Loughshore 

Cllr McGinley calls for an immediate stop to illegal dumping around the Loughshore 

Local residents have expressed anger at illegal dumping and fly-tipping around the shores of lough Neagh. A hot spot which has been plagued by this unwanted activity is the aerodrome situated in Ardboe and Moortown.

Local Councillor for the area, Ronan McGinley, has been working with the Mid Ulster District Council to put measures in place to stop this activity in the future.
Speaking on the issue, Cllr McGinley said,
“The aerodrome is a unique site with a lot of history. Unfortunately, parts of it have gone into disrepair over recent years, and it has been a site for unwanted dumping and fly-tipping. Local people obviously do not want this behaviour on their doorstep, therefore I have been working with staff from the council to put measures in place to raise people’s awareness that this activity has to stop”.
“This site has received negative attention for the illegal dumping of both domestic and commercial waste. A recent high profile case included the dumping of a dead horse which was left to rot”.
Cllr McGinley cont’d, 
“As a quick first step, the next few weeks will see the council erecting signage around the area to remind people this behaviour is not allowed. Although this is not a full solution I think it’s a good first step, and I will continue to work with council officials to develop the potential of this historic site”.

Sinn Féin protects front line services and jobs as district rates are agreed

Sinn Féin protects front line services and jobs as district rates are agreed

 
 A meeting of Mid-Ulster District Council on Thursday night culminated in the striking of the local rates for the 2016/17 financial year. Councillors were given detailed financial reports from the Chief Executive and Finance Officers which highlighted increasing financial pressures facing the council. Amongst some of the additional pressures Mid-Ulster Council is required to budget for are additional costs such as its blue bin contracts, increasing landfill taxes and regional employees 1% pay awards.  

Speaking following the meeting Sinn Féin Group leader Ronan Mc Ginley said:

“Sinn Féin as always enters budget setting discussions seeking to strike as low a rate as possible for the ratepayers within our area. Our party promotes the advancement of economic development, culture and regeneration works while supporting rural communities, our towns and villages and best promoting our local tourism product. In doing so this inevitably comes with some costs. At all times we seek to protect the front line services which Council delivers.

“Unfortunately what we initially heard being proposed by the SDLP and unionist parties were proposals at cost cutting that would have meant severe cuts to these front line services – the out-workings off which would have meant closures of some of our main leisure centres etc.

“We witnessed many attempts at point-scoring and political grandstanding of the highest degree involving unionists and the SDLP members within the chamber on Thursday night. After a number of recent rates workshops and party leaders briefings and meetings at which details on the increased pressures were outlined by senior council staff, unionist and SDLP councillors persisted in trying to bid-down each other in an attempt at political point scoring over Sinn Féin.

“The proposals which were brought to the table by Unionists and SDLP were absolutely reckless and at best neither thought through nor costed. When Sinn Féin asked these parties as to where they would make the swingeing cuts, no answers were forthcoming.

“The unionist and SDLP proposals of a marginal 0.8% and 0.5% rates increase would have meant council could not have operated in its present form without possible closure of leisure centres. Council would have been acting illegally as it would have been in breach of maintaining its statutory levels of reserves.

“Council then received a report from Council’s chief-executive who stated that in order to maintain existing services Council needed an absolute minimum increase of 1.7% to the annual rates. This was to effectively stand still and prior to any additional or new services being considered to be receiving funding. The chief-executive went on to say that for some time now all Council departments had went through radical cost-cutting initiatives to make savings but due to the additional statutory pressures which were outside of Council`s control the 1.7% increase was the minimum required.

 

Commenting on additional money’s being made available for Arts, Sport and Minority Languages, Cllr Sean McPeake said

 

“During previous rates striking workshops Sinn Féin had identified that there was a requirement for some additional Council funding for sports and arts provisions as well as duties and responsibilities in respect of minority languages. Mid Ulster District Council should be committed to delivering for the rate payers. Equality of services is absolutely necessary. Therefore, it was important to ensure there is enough resource across the entire district for the Arts, for our sports clubs and for all our minority languages. Sinn Féin was upfront and put forward a proposal that would finance these important council obligations. The Sinn Féin proposal on the night was to adopt the Chief Finance Officer’s recommendation of a 1.7% increase plus some additional finances for sports provision, the arts and minority languages which meant an overall rate increase of 1.95%.  

The Sinn Féin position which has been consistent in our approach to striking the rates was entirely vindicated. Those parties who played political grandstanding for the duration of the lengthy debate acted recklessly and without regard for all ratepayers and service users within our district, offering no proposals as to where additional savings would be made.

The DUP, UUP alongside independent councillor, Barry Monteith voted against the 1.9% rate increase which if rejected would have meant no funding for this year`s capital sports grant and no much needed additional monies for the arts and minority language`s.

At the end of the day I was glad to see that common sense eventually prevailed with some with the SDLP having a change of mind and eventually supported our stand to protect frontline services for all the people of our district. It was just a pity that they adopted the same position as the unionists for most of the debate until they had the good fortune to realise during a lengthy adjournment that they were presenting a real threat to the roll out of first class service provision throughout our district.”

 

ENDS 

 

 

 

Mid Ulster District Council avoids a reckless 2016/17 rate

Mid Ulster District Council avoids a reckless 2016/17 rate

The Mid Ulster District Council met tonight in order to strike the 2016/17 rate. After lengthy discussion and debate, the council agreed on an increase of 1.95%, ensuring the effective management of services on behalf of Mid Ulster rate payers.

Sinn Féin’s group leader Ronan McGinley said after the meeting “I feel the decision taken tonight is a fair one. The information from the councils senior management team was clear, and therefore Sinn Féin are satisfied this rate will ensure the effective running of the council, and build upon the diverse services offered for our rate payers”.

Cllr McGinley continued “The conversation in the chamber was worrying at a point. It looked like the SDLP, UUP and DUP were going to make a reckless decision against the advice of Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer. Arbitrary figures were flaunted in the chamber with no consideration of the negative impact on the running of the council. After the short adjournment, I was relieved to see some councillors recognise that cheap political point scoring was not the best option for the citizens of Mid Ulster. It was good to see that they listened to our rationale and supported our proposal.”

Commenting on additional money’s being made available for Arts, Sport and Minority Languages, Cllr Sean McPeake said “Mid Ulster District Council is committed to delivering for the rate payers. Equality of services is absolutely necessary. Therefore, it was important to ensure there is enough resource across the entire district for the Arts, for our sports clubs and for all our minority languages. 

Cllr McPeake continued “If tonight’s council had of went against the recommendations of the senior management, SDLP, UUP and DUP would have stripped vital services in the Mid Ulster area. Sinn Féin have ensured services for the future and ensured the council staff have the resource needed to effectively manage the council as a whole”.

Ends

Report to Road Service – January 2016

Report to Road Service – January 2016

Below is a link to the report provided to Road Service (Jan 16). Presenting the report was myself, Michelle O’Neill MLA and Francie Molloy MP.

The report gives a summary outline of discussion. Each point was discussed in full detail, and now the report is with Road Service to respond accordingly.

A large amount of the conversation surrounded the classification of our roads, currently B status. It is not realistic to expect this classification to change. However due to the nature of the network, ie, main routes to both motorways and high use of commercial vehicles, Road Service were asked to take this into consideration when planning future works across Mid Ulster.

Individual potholes, failing verges, uneven surfaces etc were not discussed specifically. However Road Service were informed that local residents felt the general state of our roads is unacceptable.

This report does not cover all the issues around the loughshore, and if there are any ongoing issues not included I am happy to continue raising these. Please just let me know.

 

Report to Road Service