Check your entitlement to free insulation

24 06 2013



Ballycastle  SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has urged members of the local community especially the elderly to check out their possible entitlement to free insulation up to a maximum value of £800 under a scheme funded by the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP).The Insulation package includes; loft insulation up to the recommended 300mm, cavity wall insulation, hot water tank jacket and 4 energy light saving bulbs.

“61.5% of older people are living in fuel poverty that figure rises to 83% for older people, so it is particularly important that older people check out their possible entitlement”

Power NI are offering cavity wall and loft insulation for free, potentially helping to homeowners and private tenants save up to £150 a year off your energy bills.

The scheme is available on a first come first served bases to single person with an income or pension less than £18,000 per year gross, couples with an income of less than £25,000 gross per year, single parent families with an income of £25,000 or less and single person or couple households aged over 70 with a pension of less than £30,000 gross.

Applications can be made via the Age NI website and Councillor Cunningham is more than happy to assist applicants with the process.

Tribute to outgoing Council chair

23 06 2013

Sandra Hunter

Moyle SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge have paid tribute to outgoing Council chair Councillor Sandra Hunter.

“The position of Council Chair is the most visible sign of local democratic leadership. In an extremely busy year Councillor Sandra Hunter put people first, she has been an excellent ambassador for Moyle furthering the interests of the area whenever and wherever the occasion arose.”

“Sandra made every effort to be available to all sections of the community; her warm and friendly personality was appreciated and warmly welcomed in every section of the Moyle Community. She will be a hard act to follow.”


Stop unsolicited Marketing Calls

23 06 2013


Stop unsolicited marketing calls

I’ve started the petition “NI Assembly: Stop Unsolicited Marketing Calls” and need your help to get it off the ground.

 Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

 Here’s why it’s important:

People shouldn’t have to put up with the constant daily barrage of unsolicited marketing calls and texts.
We call on the Assembly to take action to protect people’s privacy from unwanted calls, texts, faxes and emails.
Many vulnerable and elderly people feel that their privacy has been invaded and that they are vulnerable to scam businesses.
Despite many people asking their phone companies to stop these calls – some continue to receive calls for weeks after.
Please support this campaign.

 You can sign my petition by clicking here.

20mph limit for residential areas moves one step closer

16 06 2013


SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt is introducing a Bill to the Assembly which proposes to reduce the speed limit on residential unclassified streets from 30mph to 20 mph. The Bill comes after extensive public consultation as well as engagement with stakeholders, and aims to improve road safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

 Recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends the introduction of 20mph speed limits as an important way of improving safety and creating environments to encourage and enable active lifestyles.  

Mr McDevitt said;

 “According to research from the Department for Transport in England, if a person is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, they face a one in five chance of being killed – reduce the speed to 20mph, and their chances of being killed are significantly reduced to one in forty.  

“This year we have seen twice as many deaths on our roads if we compare the figure with this time last year, many of whom were pedestrians. I believe that a reduced speed limit would go some way towards reducing the number of fatalities and accidents, and begin to really address this issue.

 “The proposed legislation allows for the Department of Regional Development to issue exemptions for roads which may be unclassified, but that are major thoroughfares, which would allow roads such as Boucher Road in South Belfast to retain 30mph status.”

 The proposed legislation has been welcomed by Sustrans Deputy Director Steven Patterson;

 “Introducing 20mph limits is a positive move for Northern Ireland. Slower speeds will save lives, improve neighbourhoods and boost walking and cycling levels.

 “Slower speeds will make our streets and communities safer for all road users, significantly reducing the number and severity of accidents and encouraging people to spend more time in the places they live, work and socialise.

 “Shifting to 20mph is also a cost-effective solution to achieving a more active, healthy population and reducing the burden on our health system.”

Support Ballycastle St.Vincent de Paul Furniture Sale

14 06 2013


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called for the local community to support this Saturdays (15/06/13) 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 2nd March, from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Great Quote from new Limavady Mayor

13 06 2013

Gerry Mullan

I thought this was a great quote from Limavady’s new SDLP Mayor Gerry Mullan

Cunningham welcomes extended criteria for free school meals and school uniform grants

13 06 2013

Free School Meals Matter


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the recently announced extension of free school meals and school uniform allowance.

Councillor Cunningham said “The extension of the eligibility criteria for free school meals and clothing allowance will prove to be vital for the many hard pressed families for whom every penny counts.”

“The criteria effective from September 2014 means that post-primary pupils will be supported with access to free school meals in the same way as primary pupils. Given the hikes in food prices and cost of living generally, there is considerable extra pressure on families trying to make ends meet. Access to Free School Meals will ensure that children have access to at least one hot, healthy meal per day”


Cunningham welcomes news of Revitalise funding

11 06 2013

Castle St 1959

Ballycastle Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed news that Moyle Council has been successful in their application for £250k regeneration funding from the Department of Social Development in order to Revitalise Ballycastle Town Centre.

Councillor Donal Cunningham Chair of the ‘Revitalise Ballycastle’ steering group said

“The scheme will focus on the historic streetscape of Castle Street and Clare Street, and will give us the opportunity to reverse the decline of recent years, and give the town and its community much needed social and economic benefits.”

“It is hoped that the improved streetscape will contribute to an improvement in the local economy as well as promoting Ballycastle as an attractive place to visit. Our objective is to help increase retail trade and improve the physical townscape


£1 a Litre Heating Oil is a Scandal

4 06 2013

20 litre oil drum

Families who run out of heating oil and cannot afford to refill in bulk will fork out £19.99 for a 20 litre drum which works out at £1 a litre.  If they can get their hands on a drum and fill it onsite and carry it home the price falls to 80p a litre which is still 40% more than the cost of having it delivered to your home in larger quantities.

 East Derry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has described the practice of hiking the price of heating oil to the most vulnerable people in society in small quantities as distasteful and scandalous.

 He said:

 “Fuel poverty is now one of the most serious issues facing the most vulnerable people in society.  In the main these are families with young children and the elderly.  42% of children with families are now experiencing severe fuel poverty while half of those over 60 are in a similar situation.

 “There is no justification for hiking the price of heating oil to such levels when it is clear that there are no added expenses incurred by the retailer.  Can you imagine the outrage there would be if motorists were told the cost of petrol or diesel would be jacked up because it is filled at the pump?

 “The appearance of oil drums in forecourts priced at *£19.99 for 20 litres cannot be justified and is best described as a rip-off.  With 68% of people totally dependent on oil the issue of price control is ever greater.

 “I have tabled a written question to the Minister for Social Development highlighting this rip-off and asking what plans he has to bring some kind of supervision and control to the oil industry which will protect the most vulnerable people in society who find themselves depending on oil drums as the only means of affording this kind of fuel.”

North Antrim Community Network – Outreach Clinic

3 06 2013

NACN Outreach

North Antrim Community Network are ataging an outreach clinic on Wednesday 5th June in the Mayor’s Parlour, Moyle Council  from 4pm – 8 pm, this ia an opportunity to meet the Network and seek assistance in fundraising, group start ups, project development. action planning, community surveys, meeting facilitation. small grants. networking and training –  for an appointment please call 028 2177 2100 or email