Dickson Receives Response from Health Minister on Glenarm GP Service

Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill, responds to East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson’s question about the Glenarm GP service. Mr Dickson said: “The Minister’s answer is a practical example of the shortage in GP provision across Northern Ireland. “The Minister has admitted that after an unsuccessful advertisement process for the position, the Department is seeking to merge neighbouring practices to cover the shortfall. “It is worrying to see the lack of GP services emerging in East Antrim. Without proposed health reforms, supply will continue to fall." Mr Dickson’s question followed on from previous Health questions. It was made clear that no applications had been submitted for the Antrim Coast Me

Don't Wait. Insulate.

East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, is urging East Antrim, ‘Don’t Wait Insulate’. The NI water campaign, ‘Don’t Wait Insulate’, is now well underway. The campaign has the express aim of encouraging property owners to protect their water pipes and fittings, ahead of any potential severe winter weather. Mr Dickson said: "Taking the opportunity this winter, before Christmas, to insulate exposed water pipes, can save money and hassle in the future. "A burst, frozen water pipe can be disruptive, it can be damaging, and it can be destructive."

BT in Greenisland an “unmitigated disaster”

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has condemned BT’s failure to provide Greenisland residents with Broadband as an “unmitigated disaster”. Mr Dickson said: “Despite repeated promises from BT that additional broadband services will be provided for Greenisland by December 2016, they have still failed to deliver. “My office has been inundated with complaints from furious customers in Greenisland who have been told that they cannot get Broadband. This is despite BT promising for nearly a year that the service would be provided by December 2016. Mr Dickson has lodged a formal complaint with OFCOM where he describes BT Wholesale NI as an unmitigated disaster. He points out that businesses

Dickson Urges Fire Safety Awareness at Christmas

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has emphasised the importance of fire safety over the Christmas period. Mr Dickson said: “I encourage everyone who is putting up decorations to read the fire safety guidelines. It is important that we are all aware of the causes of fires in the workplace and at Christmas time, and how a fire can be prevented. “It could be as simple as ensuring that the last person to leave the building turns off all decorative lights. Simple checks can save lives. “Unfortunately Christmas decorations have caused a number of fires in Northern Ireland in recent years.” The guidelines highlight many fire risks that we often overlook at this time of the year. Candles, i

Is SIF another blank cheque? - Dickson

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has asked if the Social Investment Fund is turning into another scheme where taxpayers money seems endless. Mr Dickson was speaking after it was revealed that the SIF programme needs another £13.1 million on top of the £80 million already allocated. Stewart Dickson said: "Across Northern Ireland there are many worthwhile projects funded through SIF that are making a difference to people's lives. "Unfortunately, those taking decisions about the scheme are not so effective. We have seen cases where organisations, such as a Charter NI, are hand selected by the First and deputy First Ministers, without due process, to administer £1.7million of public money. There

Dickson meets Family Fund in Carrickfergus

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, met today with Family Fund in his constituency office in Carrickfergus. Mr Dickson said: “It was good to meet with Family Fund and hear about the work they are doing in East Antrim. I also met a local family who had benefited from Family Fund grants. Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. “With the support of Family Fund, families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children are given the opportunity with grants, for family breaks and days out, to kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, computers and tablets. “I want to encourage families who ar

Dickson Thanks Local Postmen and Women as they Deliver a First Class Christmas

Stewart Dickson MLA for East Antrim, has visited Carrickfergus Delivery Office to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on season’s greetings to its hardworking staff. This year Royal Mail has been celebrating its 500th anniversary, with this festive period marking half a millennium of delivering Christmas cards and parcels Mr Dickson was shown around the office by Delivery Office Manager, Ivan Johnston, and was introduced to the postmen and women, who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in the Carrickfergus area over the Christmas period. The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts and send

Foodbank Christmas Closing Dates

Carrickfergus Foodbank has announced the dates it will close for Christmas 2016. The foodbank will be closing on Friday 23rd December at 12:00 noon and re-opening on Wednesday 4th of January 2017 at 10:00am. If clients need any food parcels for the period of closure they are encouraged to contact the foodbank before Friday 23rd December. If clients are calling with a red voucher the opening times are Wednesday & Fridays 10:00am - 12:00 noon. Opening Times before Christmas: Wednesday 14th December 10:00am - 12:00 noon Friday 16th December 10:00am - 12:00 noon Wednesday 21st December 10:00am - 12:00 noon Friday 23rd December 10:00am - 12:00 noon Christmas Closing Times: Friday 23rd December 12

Dickson Joins Calls for Support of Lost for Words Campaign

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has joined the call of the Stroke Association’s Lost for Words Campaign. Mr Dickson said: “The Stroke Association provides crucial and expert help for people throughout their recovery after a stroke. A stroke is a brain attack and can lead to aphasia, a condition that affects the language centres of the brain. “The run up to Christmas, a happy period for most, can prove frustrating for people struggling to speak and understand. One in three stroke survivors have difficulty speaking and understanding. This can be terrifying, isolating, and particularly lonely.” Mr Dickson encouraged people this Christmas time to find out how people can help support t

Dickson says Glenarm Residents need a GP Service

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has called on the Health Minister to ensure the residents of Glenarm have access to a GP service when the current GP retires. Stewart Dickson said: "It is regrettable that there were no applications for the Glenarm GP post, which becomes vacant at the end of March. It is essential that the residents of the area, many of whom are elderly, are not left without full medical cover. I would urge the Health Minister to ensure there are adequate arrangements in place if a permanent GP cannot be found before March."

Agriculture Minister has betrayed farmers

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has accused the Agriculture Minister of betraying farmers who need certainty about income streams. Mr Dickson was speaking after receiving a response from Minister McIlveen regarding the Basic Payment Scheme. Stewart Dickson said: "In the run up to the EU referendum the Minister and her Party campaigned to leave on the basis that a Brexit presented great opportunities. Now, more than five months after the vote there seems to be more potential threats than opportunities. "I asked the Minister to what extent her Department will guarantee replacement finance for the Basic Payment Scheme following a potential United Kingdom exit from the European Union. I was shocked

Dickson disappointed but not surprised Alliance's SIF motion blocked

The implementation and operation of the controversial Social Investment Fund (SIF) has been characterised by secrecy and cronyism, the Assembly has heard. The claim came as an Alliance motion calling for an independent review into the scheme was defeated in the Assembly chamber 53-38. Alliance Executive spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA said it was disappointing "but no surprise" the motion didn't pass, but it didn't change the vast public concern around SIF. "This motion was about SIF placing the control and power in communities in the hands of certain local, favoured groups of the DUP and Sinn Fein. Even some of the so-called independent members of the steering groups have clear links to

Dickson asks for clarity around potential Assembly recall

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has called on the Executive to clarify whether the Assembly will be recalled to deal with the forthcoming Executive Budget. Mr Dickson said recent speculation the Assembly would be recalled in the next fortnight over the Budget had led to uncertainty among parties and the public. He added while the Budget should be scrutinised, it should happen within the regularly scheduled Assembly timetable. "This is the last week of business before the Assembly goes into recess for the Christmas period," said East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson. "It would therefore make much more sense for any outstanding business, such as the forthcoming Budget from the Executive. However, there

Scandalous waste of £1.6m of public money policing Castlemara

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has criticised the cost of policing in the Castlemara estate, Carrickfergus. Stewart Dickson said: "The revelation that the PSNI has spent £1.6 million over the last five months keeping two criminal gangs apart is a public scandal. This is an absolute waste of police time and public money. Money that should be spent on normal day to day community policing. "The police have confirmed that nine people have been charged with a range of offences, including drugs, intimidation, and possession of weapons. The police have also recovered guns and cocaine during searches. Clearly the gangs involved in this dispute care nothing about the people living in this

Dickson Supports Carrickfergus Foodbank Fund Raising Day at TESCO

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, joined Carrick Foodbank volunteers and TESCO staff to support their Fund Raising Day at the Carrick store. Stewart Dickson said: “I am delighted to support the ninth Neighbourhood Food Collection. The partnership between Tesco, The Carrickfergus Foodbank, the Trussell Trust and Fareshare has helped provide more than 2.8 million meals to people in need. “The work of the volunteers, Tesco staff, and the incredible generosity of customers, is an example for us all. “I am a great supporter of this charity and the Trussell Trust, which provides support and three days’ emergency food to more than one million people, including 400,000 children. “It is even

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