Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council wants to remind people about its centenary civic gift initiative.
A bespoke coin will be presented to all residents of the borough, along with businesses or organisations, who celebrate their 100th birthday in 2021 as part of Council’s programme of events to mark 100 years of Northern Ireland.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, explained: “Several presentations have taken place since the beginning of the year and Council is keen to identify as many eligible recipients as possible.
“If you know someone who will reach the age of 100 this year, please let us know so we can mark their birthday or anniversary in this unique way.
“The coin has been designed to commemorate Northern Ireland’s centenary and we want to celebrate this significant occasion by recognising our oldest residents and institutions.
The scheme applies to all centenary birthdays and anniversaries from January 1st 2021 until December 31st 2021.
If you want to nominate an eligible recipient then email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 028 7034 7010.
Council and PSNI Make Joint Appeal Over Removal of River Bann Lifesaving Aids
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and the PSNI have issued a joint appeal following the sustained deliberate removal of lifesaving equipment along the River Bann.
The situation came to a head last week, when 11 individual lifelines were taken, leaving no emergency aids in place from the Old Bridge at Christie Park to the Cutts at Castleroe.
Throwlines and buoyancy aids can make the difference between life and death, and there is a growing concern that a tragedy will occur if this type of mindless behaviour continues.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, said: “This vital equipment is provided for the simple purpose of keeping people safe, and it is beyond belief that it would be removed or destroyed.
“To take all 11 lifelines, leaving a long stretch of riverbank without emergency equipment, is a disgrace and we cannot allow this to continue.
“To those behind this – it must stop before it’s too late. An emergency can arise at any time. It could be your friend or family member in need and this equipment could save their live.
“To anyone who witnesses such irresponsible behaviour please make sure to report it immediately and help us address this grave situation.”
Supporting the Mayor’s comments, Sergeant Clare Sweeney said: “It defies belief that people are willing to put the lives of others at risk through such reckless action.
We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the lines being taken or saw anything suspicious in the area earlier this week to contact us on 101 quoting reference 537 of June 25th. A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Council Set to Challenge Rates Support Grant Deficit
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is to challenge a Department for Communities decision to cut its annual Rates Support Grant by over £500,000.
The matter was discussed at Council’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday 22nd June 2021, where members agreed to ask DfC to reinstate the grant to its previous level, and work together with the other six local authorities who have also been adversely affected to highlight the seriousness of the situation.
Elected members will also be raising the matter with party colleagues and Assembly members to seek additional funding and an explanation for the major reduction in the grant.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “This is a very serious matter for Council and I’m glad the Committee has proposed to take this action as a matter of urgency as we cannot allow ourselves to become an easy target. The impact of this reduction will be borne completely by the affected Councils with no direct consequence for the Department for Communities.
“The detrimental effect of this decision on our Council is twofold. Firstly, it means Council will receive over £500,000 less in the current year, and secondly, we were only informed about this decision almost three months after setting our budgets for the financial year. We have had no opportunity to consider how to mitigate the loss and consequently Council will be in deficit due to the funding reduction before the year commences through no fault of its own.
“Exasperating this situation is the Belfast centric focus of Stormont’s economic investment strategy which sees most of the investment and business rates income in the greater Belfast area. The Rates Support Grant is a lifeline to the rural councils which are rapidly becoming commuter belts and left to service the needs of homeowners whilst wealthy councils take the business rates.
“Both the severity and manner of this reduction have been particularly hard to take, and as a Council we want to know what other Departmental budgets have been slashed by 25% and we will be making representations to DfC in this regard.”
Overall, the Department for Communities has slashed its Rates Support Grant budget for the incoming financial year by almost £4m or 25%.
The grant is paid to seven Councils across Northern Ireland whose rates base is not considered capable of generating the revenue required to fully fund all Council services without placing an unacceptable burden on the rate payers. Any cuts to this funding avenue have a direct impact on the Boroughs and Districts that are least able to afford the additional costs.
The decision agreed at the Committee meeting will go forward for ratification at the full Council meeting on Tuesday 29th June 2021.