Farmers need support on gate prices

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UKIP North Down Councillor John Montgomery has responded to the recent submission by Farm Groups NI to the Stormont Agricultural Committee.

Commenting, Cllr Montgomery said:

“The submission by Farm groups NI to the Stormont agricultural committee is starkly worrying, not least in view of concerns in recent times following various food scares.”

“We need the security of locally produced supply. The shocking statistic that farm gate prices of virtually all commodities in Northern Ireland now leaving farms is at an average of approximately 35-45% below the cost of production renders security of supply questionable.”

“This unsustainable situation facing farmers comes as large processors, large corporate food wholesalers and corporate retailers continue to maintain their enormous unsustainable profits.”

Commenting Further, the UKIP Cllr added:

“Mention is made of the mobile phone companies having to reduce their prices which has been to the benefit of consumers, a similar legislation designed to provide realistic income for farmers as proposed by Farm Groups NI could provide that vital safety net.”

“Those high profile chefs are continually extolling the virtues of locally produced produce, we can only take that counsel if farmers obtain a realistic survivable income.”

Save our car parks

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Councillor John Montgomery is today shocked to read a press statement from his UKIP party leader David McNarry
“Last week, in the Assembly Regional Development Committee, I pressed departmental officials over safeguards being put in place to prevent these new councils, who are getting these car-parks for free from Mr Kennedy, selling them on to the highest bidder to help plug a hole in their finances if it arose. The officials said they were happy to consider an amendment to the Bill along these lines. Yet here we are, less than a week later, with the Minister moving super-quick to complete the give-away before any amendment to the Bill is made.”

This is disturbing news for Bangor and North Down in general where chronic lack of car parking spaces exists. The fact that our car parking space, such that it is, could be sold for development is a stunning oversight reinforcing the not fit for purpose Assembly view.  I have no doubt such revelation will disturb our residents and business people especially those who are currently struggling with public realm works. Just another potential nail in the coffin.

Unfortunately, that is not the only disturbing revelation. The proposed traffic modifications to make Hamilton Road once again a two way street are to be shelved. This despite spending £8236.60 on a Bangor Traffic Management study which demonstrated that Hamilton road was a viable proposition based on projected traffic growth.

Both issues are indicators of shameful neglect of the future of Bangor by a department notoriously difficult to deal with. North Down deserves better representation from our representatives at Stormont, which neatly returns to “not fit for purpose”.

McNarry: How can Cameron pay £1.7 billion EU surcharge while he cuts Northern Ireland block grant?

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Commenting on the EU’s £1.7 Billion surcharge on the UK, David McNarry MLA, UKIP’s leader in Northern Ireland, has said:

“David Cameron has run out of road as he prepares to crash over the EU’s £1.7 Billion budgetary surcharge on Britain. Cameron is caught in the headlines with no choice other than to pay up which is a direct consequence of his dithering on EU membership. Only a weak and foolish Prime Minister would pay over this £1.7 Billion surcharge to the Brussels bureaucrats but “weak” perfectly described Cameron’s leadership. He is the quack Prime Minister of the sticking plaster solution. He should not pay a penny to Europe.”

Continuing

“How can he tell the people of Northern Ireland that the UK can afford this surcharge, which represents one fifth of the Northern Ireland block grant, when he has persistently refused to ease economic pressures here in Northern Ireland and, indeed, the other regions across the UK.”

Trick-cyclist Roads Minister

David McNarry MLA, UKIP’s Leader in Northern Ireland, has spoken up for Northern Ireland’s motorists.

In a hard hitting attack on the “trick-cyclist Roads Minister” Danny Kennedy, Mr McNarry has said :

“All we hear about from this Minister is cycle lanes. He is the trick-cyclist Roads Minister who has complete disregard for motorists. He has completely messed up the centre of Belfast doing untold economic damage to city centre businesses. Now what I have discovered from the Department of Regional Development’s own published figures, is that an average of £160 a year is being raised from each of Northern Ireland’s 1,050,000 motorists but only £118 a year is being spent on maintaining the roads. That means that some £44 million a year raised through vehicle excise duty from Northern Ireland’s motorists is not being spent repairing the roads. It is disgraceful because far less per mile is already spent on roads maintenance here than in the rest of the UK. Since DRD is responsible for roads maintenance it should seek the transfer of vehicle excise duty.”

“While I know that the link between the old Road Fund licence (now the Vehicle Excise duty) and road repair was ended in 1937, like many I believe there should be a moral obligation for all of the vehicle excise duty – and more – to be spent on maintaining our roads infrastructure. What I found from the DRD’s own statistics was that :

· In 2010 there were 1,050,481 registered vehicles on Northern Ireland’s roads
· with a tax evasion rate of only 7%
· and 25,373 kilometres of public road
· In 2010, £124 million was spent on roads maintenance – structural, routine and winter.
· That is a spend of £118.85 per registered vehicle.
· DRD 2010 figures say 249,000 vehicles nationally evaded tax and this equated to a loss of £40 million.
· This suggests that the average road tax per vehicle is £160 per year.
· In 2010 the DRD Minister spent £118 a vehicle, £42 per vehicle short of what was raised
· In 2014 this has risen to only £138, still £22 per vehicle short of what was raised
· This represents between £23 million and £44 million a year raised in taxes from NI motorists but not spent on roads maintenance.

The logic of all this is clear. Motorists are being ripped off. They are the victims of this cuckoo-land Executive and this trick-cyclist Minister.

Well, UKIP is speaking up for Northern Ireland’s 1,050,000 motorists. I am demanding that each year the Minister publishes the amount raised in Vehicle Excise duty and the amount he is spending on roads maintenance side by side so we can all see just how much we are being ripped off. I am also calling for every penny that is raised in vehicle excise duty is spent of roads infrastructure and that this is topped up to bring roads maintenance spending up to English levels. In 2008 Northern Ireland was spending only 18% per mile of what England was spending on roads maintenance and while the situation has improved since then, it still falls far short. Roads maintenance shortcomings help confirm Northern Ireland’s status as the most over-governed and worst governed part of the UK.”

Plaque ceremony at Bangor War Memorial

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Montgomery honoured to be part of Plaque ceremony at Bangor War Memorial

 

Councillor John Montgomery was honoured to be part of the ceremony on 11 October to dedicate a new plaque on Bangor War Memorial. This new plate is in dedication to all those who died in service of their country or as a result of conflict since 1945.

 

Commenting, Cllr Montgomery said:

 

“This new plate is inspired by the tragic loss of Ranger David Gordon Dalzell in Afghanistan on 4 February 2011. I remember this sad event vividly as it happened during my term as Mayor of North Down. I Must admit that I was somewhat disturbed that those referred to on this new plate could not have been named individually. The uncertainty over who could or could not be included should have been resolved-before joining the names of our honourable dead already on the memorial.”

 

The parents of Ranger Dalzell also attended the ceremony.

 

Cllr Montgomery added:

 

“It was truly an honour to meet both of these exceptional people once again. They both typify all that is good about the people here.”

 

Also remembered on a separate information plaque was the sinking of the Steamship Troutpool and the five civilians killed during an air raid at Hazeldene Gardens.

Nuttall and McNarry welcome Cllr Bob Stoker to UKIP

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Nuttall tells people : take the same step into UKIP that former Lord Mayor Bob Stoker has taken

Paul Nuttall MEP, UKIP’s deputy leader, on one of his regular visits to Northern Ireland has welcomed Bob Stoker, the former Lord Mayor of Belfast into the ranks of UKIP.

“Bob Stoker is a first rate recruit to the ranks of UKIP. As a Councillor of many years standing and as a former Lord Mayor of Belfast, he brings massive experience in public service which will be of great value to the Party. Make no mistake about it, serious and experienced political figures are joining UKIP. The truth is out there – that UKIP is the party of the voter, the party of the people, the party that truly represents what people think. Bob is a great addition to UKIP and his dedicated record of serving the people and good judgement will be very welcome.”

“UKIP’s door is open – so people should come and join Bob in creating a people’s revolution in politics. Your old parties locally are as stale and self-interested as the old parties are across the water. We need to get them all out of office where they can, by their self-interest and selfishness, damage the lives of ordinary people. Come and join UKIP the people’s party now and help build a new country run in the interests of its people instead of the interests of a few political hacks.”

“Nigel Farage asked me to add his warm welcome to Bob and express his delight that Bob is joining the Northern Ireland team.”

David McNarry MLA, UKIP’s leader in Northern Ireland, said he was delighted to welcome Bob Stoker, the former Lord Mayor of Belfast into UKIP.

“Bob has a wealth of experience in local government, having risen to what might be regarded as the top position in local government in Northern Ireland as Lord Mayor of Belfast. Bob is known for his honesty and integrity, for his wisdom, hard work and political experience. He will be a great addition to the UKIP team in Northern Ireland. I have known Bob for a long time and am delighted that he has chosen to come over to UKIP. Like so many before him, not only is he is attracted personally to UKIP but he also sees that UKIP is connecting in a real way with ordinary voters, voicing their deep concerns. We are the party of the ordinary voter, the party that speaks up for people when others prefer to hide behind political correctness and ignore – and brush under the carpet – the very real problems that confront our society. I give Bob Stoker, a warm and sincere welcome into the ranks of UKIP today.”

 

McNarry hails historic UKIP victory

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McNarry hails historic UKIP victory – national mood will happen here and hit our local not-fit-for-purpose parties

David McNarry MLA, UKIP’s leader in Northern Ireland, speaking of UKIP’s electoral by-election success has said :

“This is no flash in the pan. UKIP have trounced the Tories and shocked Labour. Both are reeling from the backlash of fed-up voters. My congratulations to Douglas Carswell MP for his historic breakthrough. UKIP have now representation in Stormont, Westminster and Brussels which no other party offers. I look forward to working with Douglas in our common aims and objectives and with our local UKIP Councillors. This switch of voting allegiances represents an unstoppable momentum with UKIP’s appeal right across the nation -which I see happening here as well as everywhere else and sending out shockwaves to our local not-fit-for-purpose parties.”

Councillor John Montgomery has today expressed his concern at the deployment of the Royal Scots

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UKIP North Down Councillor John Montgomery has today expressed his concern at the deployment of the Royal Scots Borders 1st Battalion based at Palace Barracks in Holywood, to Sierra Leone.

Commenting, Cllr Montgomery said:

“This mission, and the reasons for it illustrate the ever-changing face of the modern threat to our troops. Although I wish each of them well on this recently announced mission; I sincerely hope that Senior officers and commanders have put in place the specific measures to protect those under their care whilst out there.”

“In addition, upon their return, I would also seek assurances that the local population are protected through adequate screening of our brave servicemen and women upon their return.”

Cllr Montgomery added:

“Our hearts and our prayers will go with each them as they embark on this difficult mission.”

Ward Park and District Association AGM

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Councillor John Montgomery attended the Ward Park and District Association AGM last night and was impressed with the turnout on such a wet evening. Even the local Politicians got into the act with a good attendance.

The existing committee were re-elected unopposed so congratulations to Chairman Mr Peter Bayly and his team for what is obviously a job well done.

The meeting raised a number of issues of concern to the association within the park including Dog Fouling, Dead trees, Trees obscuring the lighting, Graffiti, Paths in need of repair and oil pollution from the river. Favourable comment was made about the new railings over the river, something I also was involved in having noted the dangerous state of the old metal version.

Other concerns related to concerts in the parkland and perhaps the greatest irritation was levelled at Friends of Ward Park association.

Ms Sandra Millsopp gave an excellent talk on the history of Ward Park and surrounding area, The building to the left of the Library is the old cottage hospital. i will be having a closer look next time I pass.

All in all a memorable night where the numbers attending is worth another mention.

Translink Update

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North Down politicians show support for Translink services

Translink has met with North Down politicians to discuss local bus and rail services.

At a meeting in Bangor Bus & Rail Centre, local representatives heard about the latest service performance.

Translink Service Delivery Manager (bus services), Richard Hudson, said:

“Local bus services are performing well with passenger numbers up compared to the previous year. We continue to encourage more people to take advantage of Smartlink cards to make great cost savings. For example, you could save £1.25 per journey using a Smartlink card compared to a single cash fare for travel between Bangor and Belfast. Our Town Service card is also just £2.50 for unlimited all-day bus travel in and around Bangor.

Translink NI Railways Route Manager David Graham added:

“Train travel continues to grow in popularity with the Bangor Line passenger numbers up 6% compared to last year. We recently released our latest independent Passenger’s Charter monitoring results which show the highest ever passenger satisfaction levels for NI Railways and Ulsterbus. NI Railways also exceeded its reliability and punctuality targets with ratings for value for money and train cleanliness also extremely high.

 

“With value for money a top priority, we would remind regular commuters to look into possible savings using weekly and monthly tickets plus all 16-23 year olds can enjoy a third-off bus and rail travel using a Translink ‘yLink’ card. For off-peak commuters, our third-off day return travel after 9.30am also continues to be popular. If anyone needs advice on choosing the best ticket and journey options to meet their individual travel needs, just call our contact centre on tel. 90 66 66 30 or click www.translink.co.uk for full details.

David Continued

 

“We appreciate local politicians taking the time to find out about our latest developments and would ask for their support for public transport, helping us attract more customers and making life better for more people in North Down,”