Armstrong calls for Assembly systems to enable remote debate

Alliance Chief Whip Kellie Armstrong MLA has written to the Assembly’s Committee for Procedures to request the possibility for MLAs to participate in plenary debate remotely. The Assembly uses the Starleaf software system for Committee rooms but unlike Westminster, there is no capacity for remote participation in the Chamber itself. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said […]

Dickson reiterates calls for no detriment policies from local universities

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has reiterated calls for local universities to introduce ‘no detriment’ policies to protect student grades against the ongoing pandemic. The policy ensures as long as a student passes a module, their grade point average will not be affected, meaning they will not fall below their current overall mark. A number of […]

Bradshaw welcomes domiciliary care worker inclusion as priority in vaccination programme

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed clarification domiciliary care workers who work for independent providers will be included alongside dentists, pharmacists and optometrists in the next round of the vaccination programme. However, South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw also renewed her call for consideration of all allied health professionals to be included at this […]

Bradshaw welcomes use of independent sector to maximise surgery capacity

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the Health Minister’s announcement he will use all available space in both health and social care (HSC) facilities and the independent sector to deliver surgery, in line with her proposal in media interviews this morning. In a written statement to the Assembly, Robin Swann announced any available […]

Economy Minister has questions to answer over planned schemes, says Dickson

The Economy Minister must outline her plans for the high street and tourism voucher schemes, given the new COVID restrictions, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said. The party’s Economy spokesperson said the schemes, announced late last year, still had several questions outstanding. He has now written to Economy Minister Diane Dodds, seeking clarity. “The Finance […]

Dickson welcomes ‘wet pub’ support announcement but criticises delay

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed an announcement a support scheme for so-called ‘wet pubs’ will commence next week but said the delay has been a “long and distressing process”. Economy Minister Diane Dodds announced the roll-out of the scheme would begin on January 11. It will see pubs only serving alcohol which […]

P7 pupils and parents deserve urgent clarity on transfer contingency plans, says Lyttle

Children due to sit the post-primary transfer tests and their parents deserve urgent clarity on contingency plans now the tests will not proceed as planned, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said. Mr Lyttle was speaking after AQE and PPTC would not proceed in January, only days before the first was due to take […]

Health Minister must make urgent statement on risk of private tests, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called on the Health Minister to make a clear statement on the risk involved with private tests taking place in school halls, as such arrangements seem contrary to current coronavirus regulations. The South Belfast MLA said any gathering in an indoor sitting, such as the first transfer test […]

Urgent action needed on Transfer Tests says Lyttle

The Education Minister has failed to take control of post primary transfer this year despite consistent calls for contingency planning throughout the pandemic, Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said. The Chair of Stormont’s Education Committee, Mr Lyttle said ‘the Minister, the Association of Quality Education, the Post Primary Transfer Consortium and selective schools have deemed […]

Bradshaw welcomes change in vaccination strategy

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has welcomed the Health Minister’s announcement of a change in vaccination strategy so that more people initially receive the first dose quickly. The South Belfast MLA stated: “The approval of the Oxford vaccine and further on-going indications of the significant benefit provided by a single dose mean that it is […]