Flood risk consultation 'cannot be box ticking exercise', says MLA

A LOCAL MLA has said that a consultation for the preparation of the Northern Ireland Flood Risk Management Plan must not “be a box ticking exercise.”

A public consultation, which was officially opened last week, will enable the Department of Infrastructure to progress development of the Flood Risk Management Plan for 2021-27 and address all aspects of flood risk management including prevention, protection and preparedness.

However, with several areas of West Tyrone experiencing significant flood damage as a result of unprecedented rainfall in August 2017, SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has said the consultation must deliver “real financial resources” for future flood victims.

“I am currently preparing my response to the consultation where I will demand that there is an emergency fund for flood victims and that real financial resources are put into flood prevention measures,” he said.

“This consultation cannot be a box ticking exercise to satisfy the authorities and the public that they are attempting to do something about flooding here.

“The flooding in August 2017 has devastated people, especially from an agricultural background, and they have yet to receive any sort of compensation.

“Over the last few years, flood prevention measures have been found wanting across West Tyrone with many families and businesses left out of pocket.”

Speaking on the consultation, a spokesperson from the Department of Infrastructure said: "A public consultation is now open on the draft timetable and work programme for the preparation of the Northern Ireland Flood Risk Management Plan (2021 – 2027).

“This will help to mitigate the impacts of flooding in areas where potential significant flood risk exists or might be likely to occur. It also helps the Department prioritise investment in measures to reduce flood risk where it will have most impact.

“The draft timetable and work programme outlines the proposed work programme for the preparation of the plan, details the key deliverables and their deadlines and provides a statement on the consultation measures to be taken with stakeholders and members of the public.

“This will enable the Department to progress development of the 2021-27 Flood Risk Management Plan to address all aspects of flood risk management including prevention, protection and preparedness.”

The public consultation is open now, available at www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/consultations/

timetable-and-work-programme and runs to June 28, 2019.

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