Browsing: VIEWdigital news

By Una Murphy Donald Trump becomes US President tomorrow amid allegations that fake news stories about his rival Hillary Clinton helped to sway voters. So it is interesting to note that UK regulator Ofcom is taking on the role of regulating the BBC not any of the new digital media giants. One would have thought that the BBC is well regulated with rigorous editorial guidelines already well- established within the organisation. Perhaps Ofcom should be thinking about regulation of the corporations which are spewing out fake news online? A Channel Four news team recently tracked down some of the authors…

An independent housing panel to deal with disputes between private tenants and landlords would be mutually beneficial, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Northern Ireland. The organisation is also supporting new checks on property conditions, saying it will help to boost standards. Responding to the Department for Communities’ private rented sector in Northern Ireland – proposals for change, published today, CIH Northern Ireland director Nicola McCrudden said: “More people continue to live in privately rented homes – whether by choice or necessity, it’s vital to focus on making conditions better for both tenants and landlords. “We are particularly…

Local advice charity, Housing Rights, has expressed concern that the potential dissolution of the Assembly could stop regulations mitigating the impact of the bedroom tax (Social Sector Size Criteria), from being passed. This could mean around 34,000 households in Northern Ireland are not protected when the policy comes into force next month. The charity has called for urgent consideration of all available options to ensure local households are not negatively impacted. Kate McCauley, Policy & Practice Manager with Housing Rights, said: “We are concerned that if the current political uncertainty continues it could have unintended consequences for people living in…

Health, housing, welfare benefit cuts and equality will remain as key social affairs issues as Northern Ireland faces the prospect of another election this year for seats at Stormont. The decision by a previous Stormont Executive to pass Welfare Reform legislation has already seen a steady rise in the number of benefit claimants who are being affected by the decision. Director Ken Loach’s recent film, I, Daniel Blake, powerfully portrayed the rise in food banks in the UK and the grim effects of austerity policies The recent decision by Belfast City Council to grant a three-month funding reprieve to the…

Image: Conductor Paul McCusker By Una Murphy Laganside Sinfonia conductor Paul McCusker said he organised a concert in Belfast in the run up to the New Year because he was appalled at the number of people he saw sleeping rough in the city. The talented conductor who is a post-doctoral researcher in molecular parasitology at Queen’s University Belfast combines his academic career in biology with music. He’s the force behind Laganside Sinfonia, http://www.lagansidesinfonia.co.uk – an orchestra set up in 2012 with the aim of raising money for local charities which have a local or global impact by performances of symphony…

Image: John Ruddy at his home in north Belfast John Francis Ruddy tells VIEW editor Brian Pelan that he never imagined that one day he would be sitting alone in his apartment with just a drink and TV soaps to keep him company Raindrops began to fall on a bitterly cold day in Belfast. I was standing outside a block of flats in north Belfast waiting for pensioner John Francis Ruddy to let me in. John, who lives by himself in sheltered accommodation, had kindly agreed to be interviewed for the VIEW issue on loneliness. I got a surprise when…

Image: Gerard Morgan (EBIAC), left, with Lora-Jane McDonnell (EBIAC), Sidney Ewing (EBIAC), Sinead Murray, Lady Captain, Knock Golf Club; Mary McManus (EBIAC), Carlie Martin (EBIAC) and Peter O’Hare (EBIAC) An east Belfast advice centre is celebrating an early Christmas present after it received a cheque from a golf club Every year Knock Golf Club, Ladies Section, organises a range of activities to raise money for good causes. One of their nominated charities is local independent advice centre EBIAC, located in East Belfast Network Centre, Templemore Avenue. EBIAC provides free, independent and confidential advice on people’s rights in relation to Social Security,…

Image: Mary Peters relaxing at home               Photo: Kevin Cooper Olympic gold medal winner Mary Peters talks to VIEW editor Brian Pelan about loneliness and why we need to try and care for each other more Mary Peters, Olympic gold medal winner and an ambassador for sports and numerous charity initiatives, would be a regular front-runner if there was a yearly award for being charming and gracious. In 1972, the year she won her gold medal at the Munich Olympics, I was 16 years of age. I can recall the fevered atmosphere in Belfast…

Image: Jonathan McAlpin of East Belfast Enterprise (centre) with Stephen Patton from George Best Belfast City Airport and Geri Wright from Phoenix Gas at the announcement of the finalists in the inaugural Eastside Awards By VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy Finalist in the Eastside Award. A great start for my review looking back at 2016 for VIEWdigital Publishing and Media Training Social Enterprise set up with co-founder Brian Pelan . I was born and raised in East Belfast and earlier this year we moved the business to City East Business Centre, where I have had great support from Chief Executive Jonathan McAlpine.…

Image: Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland VIEW editor Brian Pelan puts a series of questions to Eddie Lynch, The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, about his role and his plans to raise a number of pressing issues, including addressing loneliness Brian Pelan: Question: Your predecessor in the post, Claire Keatinge, said in her final report: “I am convinced that our politicians believe that they want Northern Ireland to be a great place to age. Yet I remain frustrated by the lack of decisive action which is required by Government to introduce the legislation,…

By Brian Pelan. VIEW editor Belfast City Council has been urged not to axe a service which has successfully represented thousands of city residents at benefit appeals over the last three years, at a time when the demand for representation is likely to soar with the implementation of Welfare Reform. The Belfast Citywide Tribunal Service (BCTS) is set to close its doors on December 31, when current funding comes to an end. Eight staff will lose their jobs as a result. The Service, which has been funded by Belfast City Council, with support from the then Department of Social Development…

The guest editor in VIEW’s latest issue on loneliness, Age NI Chief Executive Linda Robinson, above, tells VIEW readers why her organisation is committed to tackling the issue of loneliness affecting older people. My first role in Age NI was to set up a Day centre 29 years ago. I remember the dismay I felt after leaving a client, Anne, home to a rural location. She told me that she most likely would not have another conversation until I picked her up the next week. Sadly, with an ageing population and more people living alone, Age NI hears similar stories…

Image: Mary McManus, manager of the East Belfast Independent Advice Centre in Templemore Avenue By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor The manager of an east Belfast advice centre has hit out at the Belfast Telegraph over its recent front page story about benefit fraud. Mary McManus, manager of the East Belfast Independent Advice Centre, said: “The Belfast Telegraph has chosen to sensationalise and exaggerate benefit fraud to the detriment of its readers in its recent front page story. Ms McManus said: “On Tuesday, December 6, the Belfast Telegraph had a front page which read, ‘Staggering £800,000 weekly bill for benefit fraud…

By Una Murphy New Notions Cinema screened the Citizenfour documentary at The Thinking Café, Belfast, last night (December 13) at 7pm. The documentary Citizenfour “is a wake-up call that hits you like a cold slap in the face” according to a review in RollingStone. The subject of the documentary is former United States National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence analyst Edward Snowden who believes that “the public has a moral right to know the widespread extent to which the government, cloaked in the defence of monitoring global terrorism, is spying on its citizens, right down to each email and Google search”. The…

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