Welfare cuts hitting the working poor

18 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has said he is concerned by the number of local working families who have been reporting receiving notification of overpayments of Tax Credit with many being asked to repay money from last year.

Cllr Cunningham said: “A number of local families have received notifications saying that their Family Tax Credit is either being cut altogether, or have been informed that they have been overpaid and are now being asked to repay this money.

“This is deeply distressing – these people are the working poor – many of them working as hard as they can just to make ends meet; none of them are in any position to repay money received in good faith.

“These letters mark the start of the ruthless welfare reform cuts brought in by the British Government and being implemented by the Assembly.”

Support Moyle’s Olympic Torch events – it’s our moment to shine

17 05 2012

On Sunday 3rd June the Olympic Flame is coming to Moyle, this is our moment to shine and to support those members of the community, the Torchbearers, who have been chosen to run with the torch. See attached link for full list of events throughout Moyle.


Health Service must meet the needs of the Community

14 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has stressed the need for those involved in the implementation of the recently published Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (Transforming Your Care, December 2011) to shape a health service that meets the needs of the community.
Representatives form the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Local Commissioning Group are due to meet with Moyle District Council on Monday 21st May.
The Compton Report(Transforming Your Care, December 2011) sets out the future for health and social care services as it faces a number of significant challenges over the next four years and beyond. It examines the quality and accessibility of health services, how needs are currently being met, and brings forward recommendations for the future shape of services along with a supporting implementation plan. Moyle Council will fight hard to protect and improve all of our services, in particular the Causeway Hospital A&E.
Councillor Cunningham is anxious to hear the views and concerns of the community, so that all parts of the health and social care system meet the needs of the community and respond to the considerable challenges ahead.

Cunningham welcomes Moyle’s inclusion in the International Appalachian Trail

13 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed plans to include Ballycastle and Moyle to the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) – an extension of the world renowned and globally popular walking route, the Appalachian Trail.

The proposed link will see the Irish section of the international trail start at the spectacular coastal cliffs of Slieve League in County Donegal and working its way through to Moyle and Ballycastle and the stunning Antrim coast.
“Research by Fáilte Ireland shows walking is likely to be the number one activity to attract visitors to Ireland over the next five years.”
“I am delighted to support the extension of the IAT to Moyle. It will help position Moyle as a top walking destination and it is a fantastic marketing opportunity to position ourselves as the centre of a fantastic walking trail.”

Councillor Cunningham continued –

“It is important that Moyle Council proactively continue to invest in the infrastructure required to position and maintain Moyle as a world class destination for walkers, so that domestic holidaymakers and overseas visitors, are able to enjoy our wide range of walking paths, beaches and trails.”

Call for public support to stop vandals

13 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor has called for public support in the fight against vandalism.
Toilets at Ballycastle sea front were the latest public facilities to fall victim to vandalism.
Councillor Cunningham, explained:
“The gents door at the toilet block at Ballycastle sea front was kicked in and required replacement, the cost of these repairs alone was £300 and the all too frequent nature of these acts of vandalism causes unnecessary expense for the rate-payer and inconvenience for the public.
“Council works hard to maintain these public facilities for visitors and we would urge anyone with any information about these crimes to contact the police. Money spent on repairing toilet blocks is money that can’t be spent on more productive areas– we need the public’s help to stop these vandals.”

Support the Ballycastle SVP Furniture sale

11 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called for the local community to support this Saturdays (12/05/12) local St. Vincent dePaul Society second hand furniture sale.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul exists to fight poverty,it is the largest, voluntary, charitable organisation in Ireland. It gives practical support to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion, by providing a wide range of services to people in need.
The Furniture Sale will take place at Fr. Barney’s Garages on Saturday, 12th May, from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Calls for a permanent search and rescue helicopter

9 05 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has raised concerns about search and rescue provision and is calling for a search and rescue helicopter to be based permanently in the North.

“On two occasions recently, rescues in the Moyle area have had to rely on the assistance of an Irish Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo. I am full of praise for this cross border co-operation, but I have serious concerns on the level of search and rescue provision available which it exposes.”
“The North currently relies on a system which transfers the emergency calls from Belfast MRC to the HMS Gannet SAR Flight Unit in Prestwick, Scotland, (the busiest search and rescue unit in the UK), if a helicopter is not available there, the Irish Coastguard Helicopter Rescue teams are then engaged, normally this is Sligo but there have been occasions when the only units available have been Dublin or Limerick. The travel times from Prestwick are already a concern, never mind travel times from Sligo or Dublin”
“I will be pressing Moyle District Council to lead on this issue and to fight for a search and rescue helicopter to be permanently located in the North. In Moyle we have the most beautiful yet dangerous coastline, a permanently based search and rescue helicopter in the North could also provide support to the entire north of Ireland and to Scotland and the Western Isles,”