Retailers in Northern Ireland could now pay more than twice as much in rates as English retailers…

When Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his budget earlier today, he announced significant financial assistance to help small and medium-sized high street retailers in England, lobbing 1/3 of business rates bills for properties with an NAV lower than £51,000. It is still unknown whether similar savings will be extended to the struggling retailers of Northern Ireland. Technically the revised Barnet Formula will allow for such savings to be included in future Northern Ireland Budgets, however due to the current Stormont impasse, …

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Council Results

It seems like the BBC is making an effort: Latest Results As at 14.35  15.50 we have: At 19.45..and at 23.30. Not far off at 10.25 Tuesday. 11.25 30 odd seats to go. At 13.30 – 18 seats to go..15.00 9 to go…Finally …(I’ll put in 2005 figures: – from Nicholas Whyte) DUP 62 73 114 141 162 169 174 175 175 Sinn Fein 42 54 92 113 128 132 137 138 UUP 17 26 52 71 91 94 95 …

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“Although the delivery timetable for local government has not yet been finalised by the Executive…”

The Northern Ireland Environment Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, may be introducing a Planning Bill to the NI Assembly next week – with the intention to absorb Planning Service within the Department of the Environment before transferring planning powers to local councils. And he may be seeking views “on proposals aimed at modernising and strengthening local democracy”.  But as he admits in his press release, the timetable for the proposed “transfer of Development Plan and Development Management powers to councils” has yet …

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Independent Republican Cllrs Confirm as Candidates in 2011

This should make the 2011 local council election in Magherafelt interesting.  The Irish News reports today that The brother of IRA hunger striker Francis Hughes has confirmed he will stand against Sinn Féin in next year’s local council elections.  Oliver Hughes sits on Magherafelt District Council as an independent republican representative for Moyola district after resigning in 2006 with former Sinn Féin colleague Patsy Groogan over what they described as “internal differences”.  Mr Groogan also confirmed he intends to stand …

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