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News

Make Someone's Christmas

11th November 2016

Ards and North Down is the place to make somone's Christmas with a packed programme of events and shopping! 

www.visitardsandnorthdown.com

Best of the Borough

17th October 2016

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Deborah Girvan, will host an evening of music, song and dance to raise money for her charities; RNLI, Integrated Education Fund and The Samaritans, on Saturday 5 November at 7pm in Queens Hall, Newtownards.

The event will showcase talent from across the borough with a wide range of performances including the Donaghadee Male Voice Choir, McElhinney School of Dance, local poet Moyra Donaldson, Cleland Memorial Pipe Band,  Ards CCÉ and special guests Swing Belfast.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Deborah Girvan, said; “I would like to thank all of the acts who are giving up their time to perform at the event. We have such a wealth of talent here in the borough and I am delighted to be working with so many fantastic and diverse groups.

All of the acts will bring something different to the evening. The Donaghadee Male Voice Choir who formed 84 years ago and now have over 70 members and numerous recordings will perform a mix of popular, traditional and operatic songs.

 Ards CCÉ will bring traditional Irish music, song and dance to the stage while Swing Belfast will bring you back to 1930’s and 40’s with the Lindy Hop and Charleston. This really is a night not to be missed”.

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased from North Down Museum, Ards Arts Centre or by contacting the Mayor’s Secretary on 0300 013 3333.

Aspects Festival 2016

Friday 12th August 2016

A quarter of a century has passed since the first Aspects Festival took place and its spirit remains ‘a celebration of Irish Writing’.

We are delighted to return this year still celebrating, nurturing and exploring the extraordinary literary talent found locally and throughout the island.

We would love you to be part of this year's special Silver anniversary Festival. A full programme can be download via the link below. To book tickets visit aspectsfestival.com or call 028 9127 1200.

Call for Social Partners to the PEACE IV Partnership

Thursday 21st July 2016

Ards and North Down Borough Council has agreed to develop and implement a PEACE IV Partnership Strategy and Action Plan for the borough that will address the issues of sectarianism and racism. A Partnership will be established to manage and implement the PEACE IV Strategy and Action Plan taking account of the following three specific objectives: Children and Young People, Shared Spaces and Services and Building Positive Relations. 

The PEACE IV Partnership will manage and implement the PEACE IV funding. It is a basic requirement that members of the Partnership should either live in, or have a significant interest in, the geographical area covered by the Council. The PEACE IV Partnership seeks to be representative of the groups identified under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act. The Partnership will comprise of Elected members, Statutory Agencies and Social Partners.

We are seeking to appoint six Social Partners, one from each of the following:
•    community sector
•    voluntary sector
•    black and minority ethnic community
•    older people
•    younger people
•    women’s sector.

The role is in a voluntary, unpaid capacity and will require a time commitment of approximately 2/3 hours per month with up to eight Partnership Meetings per year. Being a Social Partner has rewards. It is good personal development, with access to training and additionally, you will gain an enormous sense of satisfaction in being part of a Partnership working to improve your local community.

This is an open call for applications from nominees from constituted groups or organisations, to represent their sector on the Partnership. Each application will be competitively assessed using clearly defined criteria. Applications are now invited from individuals with the necessary skills and particular experience in tackling sectarianism and/or racism.

Application packs and further information are available from:
PEACE IV Officer
Ards and North Down Borough Council
2 Church Street
Newtownards, BT23 4A

Phone 028 9127 8082
Email gillian.mccready@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk
Visit www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk 

Online: Download application pack

The closing date for receipt of applications is 4.00pm on the 12 August 2016. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The PEACE IV Partnership is committed to equality of opportunity for all and would particularly welcome applications from women, people with disabilities and individuals from the black and minority ethnic community, to ensure a balanced partnership composition. 

A programme supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Mayor Girvan Announces Charities

Monday 4th July 2016

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Deborah Girvan, has announced the charities that she will be supporting during her term of office.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Deborah Girvan, has announced the charities that she will be supporting during her term of office. They are the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and The Samaritans.

Speaking about her choices, she said:

 "I have thought long and hard about the charities that I want to support. I have chosen the RNLI because the new council has 115 miles of coastline and we have three lifeboat stations in our area – Bangor, Donaghadee and Portaferry. Each station responds to numerous rescues at sea throughout the year and have saved many lives. 

I have chosen the Integrated Education Fund because I am an ardent support of integrated education.  Having worked in the sector I know the incredible work that the Integrated Education Fund does to support the growth and development of integrated schools and shared education. 

I have chosen the Samaritans because they have a local office in Bangor which responds to calls right across our borough. Demand for their assistance has increased considerably in recent years and with extra funding they will be able to expand their network of services.”

I have set up a charity committee.  By working together over the next 11 months I hope to raise an ambitious target of £30,000.  I would also encourage local residents and businesses to consider raising money for my chosen Charities, all of which are totally dependent on charitable donations from the public. You can get involved by coming along to the events that the charity committee will be organising - further details of which will be publicised in the local press and on the council’s website and Facebook page over the coming months - or arrange an initiative of your own to help raise funds."

For more information visit ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk or contact the Mayor’s office on 0300 013 3333.

Summer Music in Ward Park

Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Live music will take place at the Bandstand every Sunday in July and August in the beautiful grounds of Ward Park between 3pm and 5pm.

Live Music at the Bandstand set in picturesque Ward Park

Live music will take place at the Bandstand every Sunday in July and August in the beautiful grounds of Ward Park between 3pm and 5pm. Bring along a picnic and spend time with family and friends whilst enjoying the FREE entertainment.

Ward Park is just a short stroll from Bangor Town Centre and makes a wonderful backdrop for this superb annual programme of music which culminates in a grand finale on the 28 August with a Bluegrass Picnic, part of the popular Open House Festival.

2016 Programme

3 July
Salvation Army Brass Band

10 July
The Blues Street Preachers

17 July
Les Petits Hardchargers

24 July
Chris Keys Band

31 July
Sam Wickens and Band

7 August
Jigs and Reels in the Park

14 August
Punk in the Park – Shock Treatment 21

21 August
Nathan O’Regan and Band

28 August - Note, this event takes place 2.30pm-5pm
Bluegrass Picnic with Prison Love, plus the Open House Festival Choir

 

Please note the park operates a strict no alcohol policy

Community summer schemes

Wednesday 18th May 2016

Our community summer schemes are for children aged five to twelve

Active summer schemes

Children take part in a range of fun packed activities such as sports, games, arts and crafts, day trips at our annual community summer schemes.

The first schemes take place in Redburn Community Centre in Holywood, Kilcooley Community Centre in Bangor and Glen Community Centre in Newtownards from 18 July until 5 August. The second schemes take place in Westwinds Community Centre in Newtownards, Alderman George Green Community Centre in Bangor and Portaferry Sports Centre from 8 August until 26 August.

For information about registering your child on a scheme, go to "Active summer schemes" web page.

Holywood Residents Association AGM 2016

Wednesday 1st June 2016

HOLYWOOD  RESIDENTS  ASSOCIATION

                                          ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

                                                will be held in the
                                            Methodist Church Hall
                                                   Holywood
                                                         on

                            Wednesday the 22nd June @ 7.30 pm



The speakers for the evening are :

Supertendent Kee.    On "future community participation, in the North Down area"


Professor John Barry  On "environment matters"


This meeting is open to all Holywood Residents, so we warmly invite you to join us on this evening and even consider helping the Association by becoming a member.

Click here to download application form (PDF)

Ards and North Down Footie Family Picnic

Thursday 19th May 2016

Watch Norhern Ireland’s Euro UEFA matches on our outdoor screens

Ards and North Down Borough Council invites families to join the ranks of the ‘Green and White Army’ and enjoy outdoor screenings of Northern Ireland's UEFA Euro 2016 matches in parks across the borough. 

Family picnic

When Northern Ireland competes in France, families can dress from head to toe in green and white and cheer them on at the picnic events. Fans supporting Poland, Ukraine, Germany or any other team in the Euro finals are also very welcome to come along. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and children can watch the games on big screens in a fun environment with their picnics, deckchairs and blankets. 

Outdoor screens

Families can watch the matches onscreen and enjoy the great atmosphere on:

  • Sunday 12 June, 5.00pm NI v Poland in Ward Park, Bangor
  • Thursday 16 June, 5.00pm NI v Ukraine in Londonderry Park, Newtownards
  • Tuesday 21 June, 5.00pm NI v Germany in Millisle Beach Park, Millisle

Gates open 90 minutes before kick-off.

Safe environment

To ensure a safe, family friendly environment, there are some restrictions at the venues: 

  • strictly no alcohol allowed onsite
  • under 18s should be accompanied by adults
  • no dogs allowed
  • no knives or metal cutlery
  • no umbrellas or seats with spikes

Free tickets

You need a ticket to attend a screening. Tickets are free which you can book online or at our visitor information centres in Bangor and Newtownards and Ards Arts Centre.

Ards and North Down Borough Council Ticketsource

Community summer schemes

Wednesday 18th May 2016

Our community summer schemes are for children aged five to twelve

Children take part in a range of fun packed activities such as sports, games, arts and crafts, day trips at our annual community summer schemes. 

The first schemes take place in Redburn Community Centre in Holywood, Kilcooley Community Centre in Bangor and Glen Community Centre in Newtownards from 18 July until 5 August.  The second schemes take place in Westwinds Community Centre in Newtownards, Alderman George Green Community Centre in Bangor and Portaferry Sports Centre from 8 August until 26 August.

For information about registering your child on a scheme, go to "Active summer schemes" web page.

Active summer schemes

Ards and North Down Puppet Festival

Wednesday 18th May 2016

Our puppet festival includes workshops, drama and a puppet open day

The fun filled festival takes place in Newtownards, Bangor, Donaghadee and Castle Espie with performances to entertain children of all ages from 28 until 30 May. 

Some of the festival highlights are:

  • Lyngo Theatre's "The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio"
  • "Gruff" by Banyan Puppet Theatre
  • The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
  • "Curious Creatures and Stones and Bones" by Squash Box
  • "The Trouble with Fairy and The Flea Circus" by Pignut Productions

To book tickets, contact our arts centre. 
Ards Arts Centre

Download the festival brochure.
Ards and North Down Puppet Festival brochure

Dispose of dog waste in litter bins

Wednesday 6th April 2016

Dog walkers in Ards and North Down can use any public litter bin for dog waste.

Ards and North Down Borough Council reminds residents that they can put dog waste in all public litter bins, not just dog waste bins. The reminder follows a number of dog waste bins being replaced with larger litter bins in several locations to encourage visitors to place all their litter in a bin.

We share public concerns at littering and believe that by making more general waste bins available it will discourage the practice. Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham said:

“Dog fouling and littering detracts from the visual attractiveness of our area and is a source of complaint from residents and visitors alike. The Council shares public concerns at littering. Providing even more litter bins at key locations across Ards and North Down is just one of the measures that the Council has put in place to tackle this ongoing issue.

It will also continue to issue fixed penalty notices to those caught littering, to educate members of the public about the importance of keeping our area clean using methods such as its school education and to display litter and dog fouling signs to tackle the issue also.

All litter, including dog waste, can be disposed of in general public waste bins. I would encourage everyone to help keep our area beautiful by availing of the bins provided.”

Ards and North Down Sports Awards​ winners

Wednesday 16th March 2016

Olympic swimmer, Bethany Firth from Comber, was awarded Sports Person of the Year at the 2015 Ards and North Down Sports Awards on Friday 11 March at Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex. Bethany was among 14 individuals and teams recognised at the annual event, organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council.

The award for Sports Coach of the Year went to Nelson Lindsay from Ards Swimming Club where Bethany is a member. Swimmer Rebecca Reid also received the title of Sports Person of the Year in the under 15 category with bowler Chloe Watson picking up the award in the under 18 group.

Ballyholme Yacht Club was heralded Sport Team of the Year with Sullivan Upper School Hockey Awards 1st XI Boys and Girls picking up the title in the under 18s category and Bangor Ladies Football Club Under 13s claiming the award in the under 15s category.

Ards Rangers scooped two awards with father-son duo Gary Gallagher and Brandon Gallagher being awarded Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year under 18s respectively.

Lifetime service recognition awards were also presented to Harold White for his contribution to Orienteering; Jackie McArthur and Ken McMullan for their service to football; and Rab Dunn for his involvement in cricket.

The event was sponsored by Charles Hurst Renault, and individual awards were sponsored by Ulster Bank, Danske Bank, Trophies by Design, Lambert Smith Hampton, Mash Direct, Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex, Belvoir Lettings and Progressive Building Society.

Speaking at the event, Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham, said:

“With more than 100 entries from athletes, coaches, volunteers, teams and clubs, we see the strength and depth of sporting talent and commitment locally. The Sport Awards celebrate this success. I would like to offer my congratulations to our nominees and our winners. As well as thanks to everyone who contributes to the promotion of sport, the participation in sport and the development of sport in the Ards and North Down area. May we continue go from success to success!”

Primary seven pupils play TAG rugby in Ards and North Down

Friday 11th March 2016

​Pupils from 24 schools in Ards and North Down played friendly TAG rugby matches

Over 300 Primary seven pupils from 24 schools in Ards and North Down took part in our TAG rugby ‘blitz’ at Londonderry Park, Newtownards on Monday 29 February. The event encouraged girls and boys to participate in sport.

Friendly matches

TAG rugby is a game for children under 16. They play without line outs, scrums or tackling. In our friendly matches, each team of eight had at least two female players to boost participation amongst girls. They played friendly matches during the day. We gave a medal and certificate to every child who played.

Encouraging boys and girls to play sport

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham, said:

“Ards and North Down Borough Council is committed to encouraging participation in sport. With still significantly fewer females than males playing sport, the Council delivers a range of programmes geared at opening up participation for this group, such as last week’s TAG rugby event and its girls football league. It was great to see so many young women participating in the rugby matches, and even giving some of the lads a ‘run for their money’ out on the pitch!”

Community and professional support

We organised the blitz event with support from Ulster Rugby community representatives and Sport Northern Ireland Active Communities coaches. Up and coming sports star, Ulster Rugby Academy member, Jake Byrne, attended the event. He took time to share his passion for the sport with the children and encouraged them to keep active.

Ards and North Down supports campaign to report drug crime

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Ards and North Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) asks residents “Drug dealers don’t care… do you?”

Ards and North Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has joined with Belfast PCSP to tackle drug crime with a second run of the provocative campaign, ‘Drug dealers don't care...Do you?’ The hard hitting question puts the onus on members of the local community to help the police prevent drug crime by reporting drug related activity.

The campaign is on billboards, buses and taxis across Ards and North Down and Belfast, as well as on television, radio and online. It targets all those affected by drug trafficking and drug use, especially parents, users' families, concerned communities, users and dealers.

The campaign asks Ards and North Down residents to use Crimestoppers free and anonymous service to provide the police with information that helps to remove illegal drugs from our streets.

More recycling and paying less landfill tax in 2016

Wednesday 13th January 2016

​Council resolves to reduce landfill tax by recycling more food waste

At around £15.5 million per year, waste management is almost one third of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s operating budget. That’s why we're prioritising recycling as a major issue in 2016.

Millions spent on landfill tax

Ratepayers Ards and North Down pay £4.2 million per year in landfill tax to central government. With current trends in grey bin waste disposal and increases in landfill tax during 2016, our yearly bill is set to rise by almost £100,000. We need help from residents to end this waste of ratepayers’ money.

New rules about recycling food waste

Councils must comply with new statutory obligations under Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015. These rules mean councils must collect food waste separately from other waste for recycling. Residents must no longer place any food waste in grey bins, only in our green or brown bins.

Putting food waste in grey bins

We estimate that food waste incorrectly disposed of in grey bins costs Ards and North Down residents up to £1 million in landfill tax.

Information for households

During January and February, council staff will deliver an information letter to every home in the borough. The letter will explain important changes for households disposing of food waste. Placing food waste in grey bins will no longer be allowed.

Food waste caddies

All homes will receive free compostable liners for their kitchen food waste caddies. We'll deliver rolls of 50 liners through letter boxes over the next three to four weeks.

Householders need to put all their food waste into their lined kitchen food waste caddy and then empty their caddy into their green or brown bin. The contents of green and brown bins go to a composting plant, where it is made into high quality commercial garden compost.

For more information about food waste or how to request a kitchen caddy, go to Food waste page.

Council invites nominations for Ards and North Down Sports Awards

Wednesday 6th January 2016

Sports Awards will recognise athletes, coaches, teams and volunteers in Ards and North Down

The 2015 Ards and North Down Sports Awards are open for nominations. Residents can nominate outstanding athletes, coaches, sports teams and volunteers in the area for an accolade.

Closing date

Nominations close on Friday 29 January 2016.

Ten sports awards

The awards are organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council. There are nine award categories which will recognise junior and adult sport achievements by individuals, teams and volunteers during 2015. We will make a special award to an individual for their lifetime dedication to sport.

• Sports Person of the Year
• Sports Person of the Year (under 18)
• Sports Person of the Year (under 15)
• Sports Team of the Year
• Under 18s Junior Team of the Year
• Under 15s Junior Team of the Year
• Sports Coach of the Year
• Volunteer of the Year
• Under 18s Junior Volunteer of the Year
• Lifetime Service Recognition Award

Making a nomination

You can use the nomination form on our Sports Awards webpage or collect a form from council offices in Newtownards and Bangor.

Ards and North Down Community Safety Events

Five hundred people attend our community safety events in Ards and North Down

Nearly 500 local older people attended one of five community safety consultation events held by Ards and North Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to share their views on community safety in the area.  The events were held in Bangor, Holywood, Ballywalter, Comber and Portaferry from 8 until 12 February. 

The PCSP, PSNI, and AGENDA gave short case studies on community safety in Ards and North Down. The older people took part in round table discussions on crime and the fear of crime.  They identified their main issues of concern and suggested possible solutions to address these. 

Pupils from Bangor Academy and Nendrum College attended the events held in Bangor and Comber.  The pupils worked alongside the older people to develop solutions to the issues that were raised. 

Christmas Fire Safety

Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Follow advice about staying safe this Christmas and avoiding house fires

Photograph shows Jonathan Gamble, NIFRS, and Councillor Trevor Cummings, Ards and North Down PCSP

The tree decorated with fairy lights, open fires, candles and roasted turkey are some of the things we associate with Christmas at home. At this time every year, there is a rise in reported house fires, often caused by carelessness when using these items. Ards and North Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) have advice on how to stay safe this Christmas.

Fire safety steps

To have a safe and enjoyable Christmas, take simple fire safety steps to protect yourself and your family from fire hazards. Keep vigilant for any fire hazards by making sure that all Christmas lights conform to the British Standard. Turn off tree lights at night or when leaving the house.

A candle is a naked flame. Don’t let candles burn unattended or near decorations. As most accidental fires start in the kitchen, don't leave cooking unattended. You should always extinguish cigarettes fully before going to bed.

STOP FIRE checklist

Follow the "STOP FIRE" checklist to keep you, your family and your home safe:
•fit Smoke alarms on each floor
•Test smoke alarms every week
•remove Obvious dangers
•Plan your escape route

Follow the tips below to stay fire safe this Christmas
•check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard - don’t use lights with worn or frayed cables
•turn off tree lights at night or when you are leaving the house;
•don't burn candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings
•make a fire escape plan and make sure your family and guests know what to do in an emergency
•don't attach decorations to lights or heaters
•don't overload electrical sockets
•celebrate Christmas and New Year safely, the risk of accidents is greater when alcohol is consumed
•don't leave a cooker unattended
•make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished before going to bed
•test your smoke alarm every week and replace the battery or the smoke alarm if it is not working
•keep candles, lighters and matches out of children's reach
•check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas – make sure they are fire safe

For more Christmas safety advice, go to Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) website.

A Christmas message from ​Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham

Tuesday 22nd December 2015

Mayor Alan Graham said:

"It is my privilege - and pleasure - to wish the residents of Ards and North Down a very happy Christmas. Since becoming Mayor I have met many great people and taken part in various events, right up to the launch of our festive AND fun programme of over 40 council run or sponsored Christmas events.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those who work for the Council. Whether it is staff who deliver services, sometimes in all weathers, or those who manage our financial and human resources. Thank you to one and all. Thank you also to the retailers and businesses that provide vital employment, contributing to our thriving local economy. Last, but by no means least, thank you to the many wonderful community groups and volunteers that give of their time and talents to make our area a better place to live.

For me, this season is a time of getting together with family. It is also a time for considering the announcement to Judean shepherds of good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

What an unique experience (eclipsing all concerts or carol services!) it must have been to hear the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

As a borough we are aware that Christmas will not be happy for everyone. There have been high profile and less publicised local tragedies. There are those with financial and health concerns. As a community we need to remember such people. My work as mayor has brought me into contact with organisations that help such needy people at home and abroad. I salute these groups and say thank you.

One of the happiest occasions of 2015 was the "Rejoice with Josh" event . Many gathered to thank God for his hand of healing upon young Josh. Situations such as that experienced by Joshua remind us of the contribution to society made by doctors, nurses and others in the medical professions. We certainly owe them a debt of gratitude.

The Boom Foundation is a charity that supports those with sarcoma. This group gave support to Josh and his family. I have chosen it along with the RAF Association as my Mayor’s charities. I thank all who have already generously supported these great causes.

Again, a happy Christmas to all in Ards and North Down. God Bless."

The Big Conversation in Ards and North Down

Thursday 29th October 2015

Help us make Ards and North Down a great place for everyone

The Big Conversation about community planning has started in Ards and North Down. You can get involved by telling the community planning partnership what you think about the area. Describe your likes and dislikes about living in Ards and North Down. Identify the issues in the area that you want treated as priorities for the future.

Public agencies working together

In Ards and North Down many organisations are involved in providing services that improve standards of living in our local communities. Community planning is about joining up the efforts of these public sector, business, voluntary and community organisations and making sure they work with local people towards a common goal of improving all aspects of community life. It will help public agencies work together and with the wider community to plan and deliver better services.

Fifteen year plan for Ards and North Down

While Ards and North Down Borough Council lead the community planning process, we're working with other organisations as partners. Together we will prepare a plan for the borough that outlines how all partners will work together to achieve results that we couldn’t achieve as individual organisations. The plan will cover the next 15 years, but will also have goals for the next four years to help track our progress.

Ards and North Down Community Planning Partnership

Ards and North Down Community Planning Partnership needs your help to identify the priorities that the community plan should address. We want to actively engage with as many people and organisations as possible to gather evidence on the issues that should be prioritised.

Big Conversation postcards

You can give your feedback about community planning by sending an online postcard at www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/community-planning
You can also collect and return Big Conversation postcards at Ards and North Down Borough Council offices in Church Street, Newtownards, Bangor Town Hall and at libraries until January.

Stay up-to-date with Ards and North Down’s Big Conversation by following ANDbigconversation on Twitter #myvoicemyAND