Welcome to my website where you can discover more about me and East Antrim, the constituency I represent within the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is important for MLAs to be accommodating and accessible to all our constituents and I hope that through my website, I can engage more effectively with the people of East Antrim. This site also serves as a platform for you to contact me directly with any concerns or comments you might have and I would encourage you to get in touch regarding any issue, big or small. Thank you for taking the time to visit the site and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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East Antrim Alliance Party MLA, Stewart Dickson, joins the Energy Saving Trust during Big Energy Saving Week in trying to encourage householders to start taking more control of their energy bills, particularly as three quarters of us are still worried about our energy bills.

Patrick Thompson from the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Rightfully hundreds of thousands of householders are confused by their heating controls because, let’s be honest, it can be a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of myths out there and it’s no wonder people aren’t getting it right. We are urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.” 

Mr Dickson said: “We can now ‘shop around’ in Northern Ireland for our energy supply for the cheapest energy deal and switch suppliers. The number of suppliers is growing and that alone should encourage greater competition which helps drive down prices. Also, some of the myths surrounding energy and control use are nearly unbelievable: 

  • MYTH 1: Turn the heating up when it’s cold outside. Half of us turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside. A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.
  • MYTH 2: Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. Over a third of us turn the room thermostat up when we want the room to heat up quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.
  • MYTH 3: Leave the heating on low constantly. Thirty-eight per cent of us think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.
  • MYTH 4: Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third of us leave the water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out of hot water, which could be costing far more on energy bills than necessary.
  • MYTH 5: Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38%). This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.

Mr Dickson went on to say: “If householders in the three councils that are coming together to make up Mid & East Antrim applied a sensible energy regime of Turning down the thermostat in overheated rooms they could save a collective veritable fortune of £8,440,000 and 25,800 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s £3,880,000 in Ballymena, £2,560,000 in Carrickfergus and £2,000,000 in Larne – its absolutely staggering”.



Stewart Dickson MLA said:  “I am delighted to welcome LifeCycles and the Mayur Indian Restaurant into the town centre.  These new businesses are a fantastic addition to the on-going regeneration of Carrick Town Centre.

“Lifecycles.bike Coffee House is an innovative new business, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.  While offering bicycle sales and repairs it also has a Cyclist’s Café, which offers quality coffee and light bites available to all.


Mr Dickson continued: “The Mayur Indian Restaurant offers an impressive 50-plus seater restaurant, overlooking the harbour and Carrick Castle; it is the only seated Indian Restaurant in the town centre.

Mr Dickson concluded:  “I wish both these businesses every success and I look forward to Carrickfergus having a long and prosperous partnership with them.



Stewart Dickson MLA at the First Trust Bank in Carrickfergus - 1 Oct 14 

East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has blasted the First Trust Bank following a meeting with Mr Des Moore, the banks Director of Personal and Business Banking.  Mr Dickson expressed disappointment and frustration on behalf of the banks account holders, particularly charities, churches and personal account holders. 

Stewart Dickson MLA said:  “The move of accounts to Glengormley will be a massive blow to personal banking customers, especially those without their own transport.  There is no direct public transport to Glengormley and to get there customers will have to use two trains or buses there and back, with any customers who are elderly or ill, this is a totally unacceptable situation.

He went on to say:  “I consider that the First Trust is abandoning Carrickfergus completely with the additional withdrawal of its the cash machine.  Their offer of Internet Banking may be a solution for some but certainly not for all clients.

“This decision will impact adversely on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).  Local businesses are concerned that due to the now enforced extra travel involved, and the expenses incurred while they have to go about their daily banking duties, that their services will be reduced and they will lose customers whilst costing businesses time and money.  They are also concerned that the Post Office will be unable to provide a suitable alternative or full replacement service.

Mr Dickson concluded:  “Businesses and customers may wish to download Consumer Council Factsheets regarding alternative banking options at:  www.consumercouncil.org/publications Consumers can also get a free copy by contacting the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or via facebook or twitter.”


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