DARD move raises flood response questions
QUESTIONS have been asked whether less money will be available to deal with floods as a result of the shift in the Department of Agriculture headquarters to Ballykelly.
During a debate at Stormont, a DUP MLA for East Belfast, Robin Newton, called the decision to move the DARD HQ to Ballykelly, which would bring around 800 jobs to the economically deprived Limavady Borough, “bizarre prioritisation.”
He said: “Prioritising around £13m for a new HQ while senior citizens, sick children and disabled are being flooded out shows a low level of concern and bizarre prioritisation.
“Is this what my constituents should expect? A minister who puts new HQ buildings before flood victims? Is it more important to have posh offices for officials than to invest in flood alleviation schemes?”
The Stormont Assembly was told a report by the Executive’s Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit into how flooding can be alleviated in the future would be delivered to ministers in the near future.
While the Agriculture Minister who took the decision to move the DARD HQ to the North West, Sinn Féin woman Michelle O’Neill, was not present for yesterday’s debate, Mr Newton said he understood Ms O’Neill has had discussions regarding the prioritisation of her budget for flood alleviation works.
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South