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Sinn Féin MLA criticises snow response for Lagmore area

25 March, 2013 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has criticised Lisburn Council and the Roads Service for their lack of response to clearing roads in the Lagmore area

The West Belfast MLA said:

“We were assured by Lisburn City Council following the lack of response to severe flooding in the area last year that an emergency service would be available from Friday, which would co-ordinate any crisis response.

“It became clear by Friday evening and early Saturday morning that roads in the high parts of Lagmore including Mount Eagles were being badly effected by the snowfall.  Despite repeated calls to the council by one of our elected representatives, who was given the contact role by council, and calls by myself to Roads Service's emergency number there was no snow plough sent into the affected area until Sunday night at 6pm.

“This was in spite of Roads Service and council both claiming that it was a priority. The result was that from early Saturday morning the roads in and out of Mount Eagles and other parts of Lagmore were closed to residents.

“I realise Road Service was under a lot of pressure but this is unacceptable because if action to employ a snow plough on Friday evening or early Saturday morning had happened then the main roads would have been kept open.

“Local Sinn Féin Councillor David Bell along with other Sinn Fein representatives and activists helped residents during most of Saturday and Sunday to clear roads. The first time the Roads Service came into the area was late on Sunday afternoon with a manual gritter, which by that stage was of no use.

“Lisburn Council have once again let down residents in this area. They had plenty of warnings about the severe weather conditions and if they along with Roads Service had acted sooner residents would not have been stranded in their homes all weekend. I intend to take this issue up with both Ministers who are responsible for councils and the Roads Service.”

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