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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stewart dickson mla who had presented the llpg petition to the drd minister here with cllr paul sinclair llpg chair elena eceves-culley thomas the tank engine and john beresford right of the llpg

On Monday 2nd November, East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, presented a Public Petition to the Northern Ireland Assembly on behalf of the Larne Line Passenger Group.

The Petition, which has over 2,300 signatures, calls on Translink to reinstate their former timetable, which changed in September this year.

On presenting the petition Mr Dickson said: “Since the beginning of September, the people of East Antrim have been dealing with a downgraded railway service as the result of timetable changes.  Trains now run less frequently, service fewer stations and ultimately makes it downright awkward to use the train in East Antrim, driving commuters back to their cars.”

Following the presentation of the Public Petition to the Speaker in the Assembly, Mr Dickson and representatives of the Larne Line Passenger Group met the new Regional Development Minister, Michelle McIlveen to discuss the matter.

Mr Dickson continued: “We had productive meeting with Ms McIlveen, and I am happy to see that the DRD and Translink are truly starting to listen to the people of East Antrim.  However, ultimately it is the actions taken to solve this issue for passengers that we will judge the sincerity of their engagement.

“Finally, I want to thank the Larne Line Passenger Group, for their hard work in collating this impressive petition, it is very heartening to see such a grassroots organisation holding the goliaths of transport and government to account.”

East Antrim Alliance Party MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his dismay at the considerable rise in foodbank use in Northern Ireland.

Between April and September 2015, Trussell Trust foodbanks in Northern Ireland gave 8,921three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 6,021in the same period last year. 3,776 of the three day supplies went to children.

Mr Dickson commented: “More and more in one of the wealthiest countries in the World we are seeing hunger amongst low income families, this is an unbearable and complex solution, but we must set about trying to resolve it.  Strikingly 29% of people use food banks due to benefit delays, this is something that the Social Security Agency must take seriously, as faster processing of benefit claims would ultimately reduce the stress and hunger experienced by the most vulnerable in our society.

“The Tories continue to hammer the poor, ignoring the low pay economy and demonising those forced to use foodbanks.  It is for this reason that the Alliance Party supports Northern Ireland-specific mitigations to the Welfare Reform legislation, as well as support for those losing out from the Conservative Government’s raid on working family’s tax credits.”

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has expressed his delight that the York Street Interchange, and the associated Dargen Rail Bridge Foundation upgrade, is to move from the drawing board to the implementation phase.

Mr Dickson said: “I have been pressing the Minister, not only to ensure that the upgrading of the road infrastructure at the York Street Interchange progresses swiftly, but that it must include the laying of foundations below the single track Dargen Rail Viaduct to facilitate the dualling of the rail track between York Gate and Central stations.

“Having been so committed to this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to eradicate this rail bottleneck, and having been a thorn in the side of the previous Minister, I am thrilled for rail users in my East Antrim constituency that foundations to support the new rail bridge will be installed as part of the contract.

“I call upon the new Minister to ensure that the construction happens in its entirety and that no ‘cherry picking’ between road and rail facilities is permitted to spoil this wonderful opportunity to enhance what will be a true gateway into all parts of my constituency.”

Dickson concluded: “I now call on Translink to make a firm parallel decision to support the widening of the viaduct to accommodate more trains, and not squander a clear opportunity to improve our rail network for decades to come.”

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November 2015 Constituency Report

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Autumn 2015 Focus

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Stewart at work

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