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Michelle O'Neill hosts meeting to co-ordinate efforts to tackle flooding

7 January, 2016 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA and Agriculture Minister for the north Michelle O'Neill today co-hosted a high-level meeting along with Regional Development Michelle McIlveen to discuss the ongoing response to recent significant flooding.

The meeting held at Loughry Campus in Cookstown, was also attended by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

Representatives from Rivers Agency, Transport NI, NI Water and local councils joined the ministers to discuss and review the multi-agency response to help communities impacted on by flooding in the last few weeks.

The ministers explored measures to enhance flood protection in the future and also considered strengthening the multi-agency approach.

Michelle O'Neill said:

"For the vast majority of people, the multi-agency response, involving Rivers Agency, Transport NI, NIW and the councils has worked well.

“However, there remain some areas which were hit hard, where communities were isolated and homes and businesses damaged.

“While the weather will always be volatile, we are determined to do all in our power to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

"Today, we looked at where more could be done to reduce the risks of flooding in the future.

“As Rivers Minister, I intend to seek resources to use to improve our flood protections where necessary. Also, next week I will announce details of a new grant scheme to help people protect their homes from flooding.

“However, I believe the solutions are to be found through a co-ordinated approach both at ministerial level and on the ground at agency level.

“I am sure this view was shared by everyone around the table."

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