Four Lagan Valley MLAs refrain from publicly supporting Cllr Jenny Palmer in Social Dev debate and two vote against report

On Tuesday the NI Assembly debated a motion about the Committee for Social Development’s Inquiry into allegations, arising from a BBC NI Spotlight programme aired on 3 July 2013, of impropriety or irregularity relating to NIHE managed contracts and consideration of any resulting actions. Locally within Lagan Valley DUP circles, there has been strong personal support for Councillor Jenny Palmer who appeared on a BBC Spotlight programme as a whistleblower. She alleged that the Social Development minister’s special advisor had …

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Brimstone evasive in face of DSD questions re Red Sky and Palmer

UPDATED – Now with video DUP SPAD Stephen Brimstone had a stock answer (“I’m not prepared to answer questions in relation to internal party matters) for most questions put to him by the DSD Committee Hearing today in light of allegations made in BBCNI’s Spotlight programme into Red Sky, Nelson Mc Causland and Cllr Jenny Palmer.             Ably put on the hook by the TUV’s Jim Allister, Brimstone looked more than evasive as he paused …

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Jenny Palmer explicit in restating Spotlight claims

DUP Councillor Jenny Palmer appeared at today’s Committee for Social Development ‘Inquiry into allegations, arising from a BBC NI Spotlight programme aired on 3 July 2013, of impropriety or irregularity relating to NIHE managed contracts and consideration of any resulting actions’. Under oath Councillor Palmer restated her claim that Stephen Brimstone had telephoned her in an attempt to bully her to change her vote at a Housing Executive board meeting, considering the termination of a maintenance contract by the firm, …

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McCausland to downsize the Housing Executive to a small strategic body?

Okay, so thanks to Barry McCaffrey of The Detail for the detailed commentary on the announcement of the reform of the Housing Executive of Northern Ireland. According to the notes to editors that comes with the publication of the Minister’s written statement, this measure was agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive on 13 December 2012. We don’t have any detail of the discussion that followed, but you might say that it’s long reign as the only provider of public sector …

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Stand-off between Housing Minister and Housing Executive?

The BBC are pointing to a potential stand-off between the Northern Ireland Social Development Minister, the DUP’s Nelson McCausland, and the NI Housing Executive over the use of Red Sky building maintenance company.  From the BBC report The housing minister had asked the executive to extend the contract with the Belfast maintenance company. The housing body announced in April that the contract would end on 14 July due to allegations of overcharging. Earlier, Mr McCausland denied Red Sky received preferential treatment …

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