MP Meets Minister to Discuss Floods in Ballymena

October 3, 2014

Ian Paisley MP met with the Department for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy this week to discuss the now almost annual flooding problems on the Toome Road and Kells areas of Ballymena.
The meeting was proposed by Mr Paisley in order to plan for and think about radical solutions to this problem.
The minister chaired the discussions in his offices at Stormont and a cross departmental representation of public officials from DRD and DARD were there including the Rivers Agency and NI Water and Transport.
The department is already in the process of laying new pipes in parts of the area to take the increase in water flow. Importantly the minister has, as a result of the problem, commissioned a study of the flooding issues that, weather permitting, will be completed this year. The study will assess a number of proposals and cost them so as people can see what the options are available to the government.
Mr Paisley has welcomed this study and has been given the terms of reference and urged that the minister visits the area to meets with those who have to cope with the problem.
“A flooding group is in place and I certainly believe that in emergencies and for the purpose of management this matter ought to have one point of contact. The matter is currently split between two departments and proper management is essential.
Good work has been done to put in place a sandbag store at Wakehurst but other, more radical solutions must be considered. This may mean blighting some housing but I accept that can have major implications. I will certainly feed into the report and look forward to a proposal emerging.”

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