Weekly Updates

Top 7 at 7am
8th May 2017
1. Another election here

On Thursday nominations close for the snap Westminster election, and we will see then exactly who is standing and who isn't across the 18 constituencies. The talk of pacts across a number of constituencies has not yet led to much more than a few commitments to stand aside, and the position of both the main Unionist parties in South Belfast is still to be determined at this stage.

2. And over there too

Last Thursday England, Scotland and Wales had local government elections and a number of Mayoral elections. Despite positive words emanating from people around Jeremy Corbyn, it’s hard to describe the election as anything other than a huge success for the Tories. Now Labour have only a few weeks to salvage their position, but few polls or pundits are optimistic.

3. New leader

The General Election on the 8th June isn't the only one coming up. Fine Gael is preparing itself for an election to replace Enda Kenny as party leader and Taoiseach, and it is expected to take place later this month. The two contenders are expected to be Minister for Housing, Planning, Community, Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar, who is Minister for Social Protection.

4. Meanwhile, on the hill

While the electioneering has replaced the post-election talks, there is still some activity going on in Parliament Buildings. This week sees a raft off the All Party Groups reconvening. These groups serve an important purpose of bringing MLAs together with key stakeholders on important issues, outside of the normal agendas of the Statutory committees. Groups include Housing, Congenital Heart Disease, Social Enterprise and International Development.

5. A more calming hill

North Belfastonians (ok, Belfasties) will always extol the wonders of the Cave Hill, particularly during wonderful weather as we are currently experiencing, which is why it makes perfect sense to use this as a location for healthy activity, such as tai chi. As part of the Hills for Health series, there will be a tai chi class on the hills this week. Tai chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements, so if you’ve got any breath left by the time you get up there, enjoy!

6. Shopping trip

St George’s Market’s twilight market returns this week, with its Spring Picnic on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. With so much on offer, from food and drink, to excellent entertainment, the market is one of the must visit sites in Belfast city centre. So why not head over and make a night of it?

7. The Great American Songwriter

The Never Ending Tour doesn't look like it is even looking like easing off, as Bob Dylan rolls into Dublin this week. At 75 Dylan is still recording, releasing Triplicate recently, where he explores songs from the Great American Songbook - it may not be everyones favourite version of Dylan, but it really worth at least one listen, and shows Bob, once again, as the artist who always does things his way.

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