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Copeland urges DARD Minister to further clarify her position over Flood Alleviation Scheme

East Belfast MLA Michael Copeland has called on the DARD Minister to urgently clarify her position over the Flood Alleviation Scheme for east Belfast after her figures for her Departments financial contribution to the scheme were heavily contradicted during Minister’s Question Time.

The Ulster Unionist said;

“In each of the last four years East Belfast has suffered the effects of some of the worst flooding this Province has seen. The Flood Alleviation Scheme which is to be provided by the Rivers Agency was designed to help defend those areas of the constituency which are most at risk. Due to difficulties with the Connswater Community Greenway project, I am worried that the Scheme may not get the finances needed to bring it to completion.’

“Following a question from me during Minister’s Question Time on 18th October, the Minister stated that DARD was contributing £1million to the scheme during the financial year of 2011-2012. During today’s Question Time, again in reply to a question from me the Minister revised her department’s financial commitment upwards to £7million which is very welcome. I however remain deeply concerned that the revised figure of £7million pounds it at the lower end of a £7-14million figure mentioned in the minutes of a meeting held during March 2010,which have been discovered by me, and that no current mention is being made regarding the progress of the combined works in the amount of £43million mentioned in the same document.

 “I would urge the Minister to clarify her position over the money needed to continue the work of delivering the agreed and envisaged Flood Alleviation Scheme.’

Ulster Unionists