North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has called on the DRD Minister to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that problems with the water network, and more specifically the disruption to the local community in the Ballymoney and Rasharkin areas are not repeated. Mr McKay said
“Within two weeks in this area we have had water cut off to households as a result of a pipe being burst and subsequently we have had a water quality scare as a result of failed tests. That is concerning to say the least and the loss of service to many NIW customers is unacceptable.
“I know that some businesses have lost trade and some were forced to close as a result of the burst pipe and the Regional Development Minister must ensure that these businesses are in some way compensated as the financial loss was due to no fault of their own.
“My party colleague Cllr Cathal McLaughlin is currently looking into this on behalf of businesses and it should be remembered that businesses are getting it tough enough at the moment due to less money being spent in the economy and a tougher approach from banks without further pressure being exerted on them.
“I must give credit where credit is due in one regard however. There seems to be a better approach to communications from NIW this year in terms of the use of social media and keeping customers and elected representatives up to speed and it has been useful to assess this on a small scale ahead of a possible repeat of last year’s sub-zero conditions.
"The challenge for NIW is to ensure that a high quality customer service is upheld throughout this winter and that information is accessible and up to date. A repeat of last year’s performance will not be acceptable especially given the effect that this could have on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.
“I have put a number of questions to the Regional Development Minister in regard to the recent problems with water in Rasharkin and want an assurance from him that he will ensure that there will be no further incidents in this area as a result of this work.”