Urgent action needed in ‘Venice of the North’

COUNCILLORS in Moyle have called on urgent action to prevent further flooding in the Glens.

Cushendall in particular has been plagued by flooding this year and some locals have already dubbed the town ‘Venice of the North’ because of the amount of water on the streets much of the time.

Sinn Fein councillors Colum Thompson and Margaret Anne McKillop have called on Roads Service and Rivers Agency to stop dragging their heels and take decisive action to combat the ongoing flooding in The Glens.

Speaking after yet more flooding in both Glenariff and Cushendall Councillor Colum Thompson said” “We have had two meetings recently with both Roads Service and Rivers Agency and at the meetings both agencies were told by The Finance Minister Sammy Wilson that money was available for flood prevention schemes in the area.

“This information was given to them in August and here we are in October with people’s houses in both Glenariff and Cushendall being affected by flooding and still no flood preventing projects have taken place. We met with Road Service at several sites and agreed upgrading works on many gullies.

“Why have these works not taken place? Rivers Agency have been taken to several spots along The River Dall and shown where flooding regularly occurs. They have money available and yet they have not started flood prevention schemes which are badly needed. I am calling on both Rivers Agency and Road Service to take decisive action, we have had enough promises and as yet we have had no movement on flood prevention work.”

Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop echoed her party colleague, saying: “We have worked tirelessly trying to make Roads Service and Rivers Agency face up to their responsibilities in relation to flooding in The Glens.

“We have taken them to the places where flooding is regularly happening and I cannot understand why they are not doing more to help. In late June we had flooding in Belfast and the agencies took immediate action and spent millions on flood prevention. The Glens also suffered flooding in June and we are suffering flooding again in October and still no major action from either Road Service or Rivers Agency. Why are the people in The Glens being treated differently from people in Belfast? Roads Service and Rivers Agency must take action now before anyone else suffers the devastating effects of flooding.”

Following the latest in a long line of flooding incidents in Cushendall and the Glens of Antrim area, SDLP Moyle councillors Catherine McCambridge and Dónal Cunningham have re-issued their call for urgent effective action to be taken by DARD, Rivers Agency, and DRD Roads Service to address the recurring issue.

“People in the Glens require action and both Departments have failed to provide it, people are fed up with empty promises and ineffective action.

“Every time it rains heavily, residents here live in fear of flooding.

“It is simply not enough for DRD and DARD Ministers to meet with people and make empty promises. They must deliver.”