All posts by Gareth Hanna

Council story: Campbell criticised at council

Over 250 DVLA jobs are set to be moved from Coleraine’s County Hall (above) to Swansea.

UUP Councillors have slammed local MP Gregory Campbell for failing to “rally” councillors over the threat of DVLA job losses in County Hall.

It is feared 259 jobs will be moved from Coleraine to Swansea as part of ongoing centralisation in the DVLA. Councillors David Barbour and William McCandless, speaking at the Policy and Development Committee meeting on Tuesday evening, weren’t happy at how the DUP’s Campbell handled the situation.

Barbour complained: “It’s been coming for 18 months. The council did not know and weren’t told about it until the last minute. We’re very shocked about it. We should all get together and work out a strategy in advance for the good of all involved.”

McCandless was also disappointed that the council were not notified about the potential job losses sooner and claimed that, “It’s disappointing that the MP and MLAs didn’t rally us sooner. If we had garnered all of our resources, we might have had a more positive outcome. A concerted effort could have had significant weight. We can’t do anything about it now.”

McCandless hastened to add “this is not an attack on the DUP. It’s not one party attacking another” but DUP councillors at the meeting leapt to Campbell’s defence.

“It (potential job losses) had been reported in the (Coleraine) Chronicle three or four times over the last two years. Were we all really surprised? The MP has worked very hard on the matter,” said Mayor Maurice Bradley while councillors Mark Fielding and James McClure shared his sentiments.

Town Clerk and Chief Executive Roger Wilson agreed that there was “wide knowledge” of the DVLA’s centralisation.

Wilson also claimed that the job losses “would be a devastating blow and we will do all we can to ensure the jobs are kept. For a town like Coleraine, losing them would have a huge impact.”

Wilson added that “all of the lobbying and pressure that can be applied is being applied”.

More positively, councillors praised the decision to open a new prison at Magilligan.

“This will create new jobs, keep current jobs and I’m very pleased at the decision,” said councillor McClure.

Album Review – Beady Eye: Different Gear, Still Speeding.

LIAM Gallagher has done it again.

After Oasis split, it looked to all the world that the front-man’s career was buried alongside the dodo.

Few expected new band Beady Eye, basically Oasis without Noel, to have any success, but have they lost any of the panache that made Oasis so successful without their songwriter in chief?

If their first album is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding no.

That unmistakable Mancunian voice still bounds through the speakers as Liam loses none of his force but the new band’s sound is a bit of a throwback to his heroes of old. Think Oasis meets the Beatles. In fact the penultimate song, ‘The Beat Goes On’ could have come straight out of the Cavern, and Lennon wouldn’t have been ashamed of it either.

The band themselves target a place alongside their heroes in this album, as their songs promise that it’s the beginning of something special. “I’m gonna stand the test of time, like Beatles and Stones” proclaims Gallagher in his typically brash fashion.

This offering has all the wistful guitar riffs needed for a link to the 60s, with songs like ‘Kill for a Dream’ and ‘The Morning Son’ adding a new sensual dimension to the Oasis sound and showing a whole new side to Liam’s erstwhile harsh Mancunian tone. He even sends out a heart wrenching invite to out-in-the-cold brother Noel. “Life’s too short not to forgive… I’m here if you wanna call,” he sings pensively at the start of ‘Kill for a Dream.’

Not that they’ve gone all soft on us. The forceful guitar intros are still there and the band are arrogant as ever. A statement of intent, the opening track “Four Letter Word” kicks it off with a convincing riff and “Bring the Light” showcases that unique mix of potent guitar and extreme self-confidence perfectly.

Not to forget the best of the lot, “The Roller” which shows just what the band are capable of, and just why there’s life after Oasis.

It may be a different gear, but Liam and the boys are definitely still speeding.

Rating: 9/10 – A must buy for any Oasis fan or anyone looking for a link back to the sounds of the 60s.