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 MLA Stewart Dickson has expressed optimism that the DRD and Translink will make the right decision on relaying track and widening the Dargan Viaduct which can only be done during the York Street Interchange Project.

During a York Street Interchange Event, Mr Dickson said: “The single track Dargan Viaduct was built on the cheap in the 1990s, and has become a choke point the centre of our railway network, and especially to East Antrim.  Now is the time to widen it and relay the track, to allow for a faster and more efficient flow of traffic.”

While I gladly welcome the long-awaited York Street project, it must coincide with a plan to widen the Dargan Viaduct.  If it does not, the foundations will not be strong enough to support widening for decades to come, as the cost to widening will be astronomical massively reducing the chances of any development in the future.”

Dickson concluded: “I call on the Regional Development Minister to ensure that Translink make a firm decision soon on whether they will support a widening of the viaduct, or at the least the strengthening of the foundations underneath, future proofing it for further development.  The alternative is to do nothing, and lament the squandering of a clear opportunity to improve our rail network for decades to come.”

Further info on the scheme can be found here.

Alliance Party MLA for East Antrim, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his hope that a series of new measures will help stamp out fuel laundering in Northern Ireland, particularly in border areas.

Speaking in an Assembly motion calling for a joined up approach to fuel laundering, Mr Dickson challenged those who see fuel laundering as ‘a victimless crime’, by pointing to the criminal gangs terrorising their communities, cars damaged by sub-grade fuel and the environmental damage inflicted by criminals who dump the toxic sludge with wanton disregard in our countryside.

Mr Dickson said: “HMRC have confirmed the use of a new and more sophisticated dye in fuels, making fuel laundering all but impossible and uneconomical for the criminals involved.  Ultimately however, the impact on fuel laundering will be seen in the future months and I expect HMRC to continue to work with the PSNI and authorities across the island to make sure this new initiative is effective.”

ENDS

East Antrim Alliance representative Stewart Dickson MLA, has applauded a new Big Lottery Fund Programme – Empowering Young People. This programme will seek to support projects for young people including young carers, young people with a learning disability and young people who face barriers to education, training or employment.

Mr Dickson said: “The Big Lottery Fund has had transformative effects on many areas of social need in our society and these projects will help empower young people to gain the tools to transform their lives and circumstances.

“Skills are key to the future of our young people and our economy, however alongside this we must tackle issues of education and social and health wellbeing.  The Empowering Young People Programme will seek to target all these areas, and I urge all interested groups in the East Antrim area to apply.”

The programme will run until 2021, with grants of between £100,000 and £600,000 available to qualifying projects.  In total the Big Lottery Fund hope to invest up to £50m to support young people aged between eight and 25 years.

More information on the programme can be found here

ENDS

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