Monday 7 June 2010

Lagan Valley Greens walk in support of Belfast Hills

Local Greens supported The Belfast Hills Partnership by “voting with their feet”, taking part in the Save the Belfast Hills 10 mile challenge walk on Saturday 5th June.
The Belfast Hills Partnership is facing serious funding cuts and £30,000 is needed to ensure that the work of the Partnership continues. Members of the local Green Party groups helped the Save The Belfast Hills campaign by hiking from Divis and the Black Mountain to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park and raised sponsorship to ensure that the hills are looked after for future generations to enjoy.
The Divis to Dixon Link is a new hilltop pass that connects the heathland summits of Divis and Black Mountain in west Belfast with Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in the south of the city.
Click here for more information.

Thursday 3 June 2010


Conor Quinn, spokesperson for Lagan Valley Greens

Conor Quinn said: “While canvassing during the past Westminster election I found there was total confusion as to the future of local government. It was clear that the vast majority of people are unaware that Lisburn and Castlereagh were to be partners in a shotgun marriage, in order to create an oddly shaped council stretching from Moira to Dundonald. This council would be 33 percent larger than the Lagan Valley constituency.”
The Lagan Valley spokesperson said: “The Green Party believes in strong local representation with decisions being taken at the lowest effective level and have opposed the so called super councils from the outset. There is also considerable concern amongst existing staff as to the future of their jobs, and where they may be based in the new council area. I believe that these issues must be clarified immediately and call on Minister Poots to stop dithering and make a decision.”

Tuesday 1 June 2010

John Lewis Enquiry to Begin

John Lewis finds decisions in Northern Ireland never knowingly rushed

The public enquiry into the John Lewis development at Sprucefield is due to begin on Monday (7th June 2010).
It means a decision on the controversial £150m Sprucefield Park expansion could be made within 6-8 weeks, once the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) makes its recommendations following the long-awaited enquiry.
Although the scheme and the associated jobs would provide a boost to the local economy, the Green Party argue that any new store should be located within Lisburn City Centre, rather than on the out-of-town Sprucefield Park site.
Conor Quinn of Lagan Valley Greens said “We are not objecting to John Lewis, who are a very responsible employer, but to the Westfield development as a whole. Nineteen extra retail units at Sprucefield can only have a seriously detrimental effect on the shops and businesses located within Lisburn itself.”
The public enquiry was due to go ahead in November, but was called off at the last minute after it emerged that a key document was submitted after the deadline.
If the enquiry finds in favour of the new store, it would make a recommendation to the Department of the Environment, which would make the final decision.
The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) is also opposed to the Sprucefield plan. Spokesperson Glyn Roberts said “We’re happy to abide by whatever comes out of the public enquiry.”
He added “The impact of the John Lewis development is different from an out-of-town Tesco store and needs a different approach. However, I think we still would much rather see John Lewis in a town centre.”
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson is backing the scheme.