SDLP Leader announces changes to front bench team
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP announced the makeup of his party’s opposition front bench team constituting MPs, MLAs, councillors and party representatives. The nationalist party confirmed Colum Eastwood would act as the SDLP’s ‘New Ireland’ spokesperson. Meanwhile, south Belfast MP Claire Hanna is named as the party’s ‘Europe and International Affairs’ spokesperson and the leader of the opposition Matthew O’Toole will also act as their ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ spokesperson. To view a full list of SDLP spokespeople, please click here.
Chancellor's removal of energy support is ‘flawed' [Department for the Economy]
The UK’s Chancellor’s intention to scale back future energy support is “flawed”, Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said. In an emergency statement designed to calm the markets, Jeremy Hunt announced the plan to cap the cost of energy for all households for two years will now end in April, with targeted help beyond that for those most in need. Mr Murphy said “It is clear the chancellor is firmly on the road back to austerity”. He continued: “With less than two weeks to go until the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan, it is time for the Westminster government to recognise the extreme hardship facing citizens and businesses. The most vulnerable in our society need support, as do our businesses if they are to survive”.
Economy Minister appoints Governing Body members to FE colleges [Department for the Economy]
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons appointed four new Governing Body members across three further education colleges. All have been appointed for a period of four years. Bill Montgomery has been appointed to Belfast Metropolitan College from 5 October 2022. Stuart Harper has been appointed from 29 September 2022 and Nick Harkness appointed from 3 October 2022 at Southern Regional College. Maureen Brunt has been appointed at South West College from 29 September 2022.
Lyons launches 2023 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards [Department for the Economy]
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launched the 2023 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards and is inviting applications to find the Apprentice of the Year. The NI Apprenticeship Awards recognise apprentices, employers and training organisations who have demonstrated exceptional progress as well as personal achievement and commitment and will culminate in a special awards ceremony on 29 March 2023.
Hargey and Poots launch Access and Inclusion Programme [Department for Communities; DAERA]
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots launched this year’s Access and Inclusion Programme at Greenvale Leisure Centre in Magherafelt. The Programme provides capital grant funding, through local councils and the Museums Council, aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by enabling disabled people to participate more fully in arts, cultural and active recreation activities.