JIM Allister has challenged an answer from the Minister of Regional Development regarding compensation for those caught up in the water crisis in Ballymoney last month.
The TUV leader sent the following to Mr Kennedy recently:
“(i) under what circumstances NI Water pays compensation to customers for the interruption of their water supply; (ii) what are the criteria applied; and (iii) why the Ballymoney residents, who were without their supply for a week, are not eligible for compensation.”
In Mr Kennedy’s response, he said:
“(i) The Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006 places water supply duties on Northern Ireland Water (NIW) and if a person sustains loss or damage as a result of a breach of these duties (subject to the legislation) they are entitled to make claims against NIW. (ii) NIW is responsible for handling claims in respect of its duties and considers each individual case on its merits. (iii) I have been advised by NIW that as a precaution in the Ballymoney incident, a boil water notice was issued for consumption for food preparation, cooking and drinking. Although this was both inconvenient and regrettable during the incident the water supply was maintained to all properties and could be used for washing and sanitary purposes in the normal manner. In these circumstances there was no breach of the supply duties.”
Commenting afterwards Mr Allister said:
“I do not accept the statutory duty on supply was not breached.
“The duty is to supply drinkable water; that was not done, so compensation should be in issue.”