Showing posts from 2017

Press release in advance of rates process

Nicholl – Councils must provide value for money and avoid rates hikes
Ballymena Ulster Unionist Councillor Stephen Nicholl has warned against councils increasing rates bills for local people and businesses, and of the importance of using public funds wisely to provide value for money. 
Councillor Nicholl said:
“This week’s assessment of the budgetary crisis facing Northern Ireland should leave us in no doubt that an ever increasing financial burden could fall on local citizens. With inflation outstripping pay awards and some touting the return of prescription charges, rent increases and the implementation of welfare reform potentially driving more families into poverty, there is no doubt that local government faces considerable challenges in setting this year's local and business rates.
“While council costs will rise, passing on that burden to an already impoverished population is not an easy option. Indeed, councils should be carefully reflecting on their service delivery and plans fo…

Last years rates

In advance of this year's rates process I thought it would be useful to publish my statement from last year on the process. It will be interesting to see if council has recognized the fundamental responsibility it carries to diligently manage public finances in this years process.
Ulster Unionist Party Rates Statement The Ulster Unionist Party met with the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance in advance of the rates setting process on the 15th November 2016. At that meeting the Chief Executive indicated that it was her intention to bring forward a recommendation of a rate increase of 2.32% to the rates meeting in February. The rationale outlined for the increase related to the need to address the gap in organisational infrastructure in relation to Economic Development staffing and resources. The Ulster Unionist Party accepts that it is vital that our Economic Development and Tourism capacity is brought up to strength to help meet our priority of growing our local economy, this i…

The letter to Theresa

So this is the letter from the Executive Office to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on the issues affecting Northern Ireland arising from Brexit.
There are no surprises, the issues identified after the vote are the same as those identified before the vote, just not by the Leave campaign and certainly not by the DUP.
The same issues when raised before the 23rd June were called scaremongering, now the DUP are scared. The border was always going to be an issue, the U.K. Electorate demand a hard border with the EU, the DUP supported this even going so far as placing ads in UK publications. Now that Brexit means Brexit and the front door will be locked at Dover where will the back door be. With this letter and demands for the same immigration rules as the Republic of Ireland it won't be at Newry. The U.K cannot permit EU nationals to freely travel into the UK through Ireland North or South if the demands of the electorate to limit immigration from EU countries is to be met.