O'Dowd praise for 'prompt' council response

O'Dowd praise for 'prompt' council response

UPPER Bann Assembly Member John O'Dowd has commended the staff and directors of Banbridge District Council for their prompt response to the difficulties caused by the thaw on Boxing Day.

"Many of the council's workforce cut short their holidays in order to establish and then implement an emergency response plan to deal with the problems caused to the water supply and individual heating systems by the severe freezing and subsequent thaw on St Stephen's Day," said Mr O'Dowd. "These workers gave up the holiday break with their families to distribute water at five separate locations.

"They also opened up council premises in Banbridge, Dromore and Rathfriland on a daily basis throughout the holiday period in order to provide shower facilities for those who had either no water at all or no hot water for bathing."

Mr O'Dowd praised the staff, under the leadership of council chief executive Liam Hannaway, for providing a "constructive and synchonized response" to the emergency. "The council staff have shown they can fulfill their responsibilites in an effective and prompt fashion," he said. "They are fully deserving of the thanks of all the residents of the Banbridge District."

He advised householders still experiencing disruption to their water supply outside their premises to contact NI Waterline on 08457 440088 or visit www.niwater.com for the latest information about areas affected by the disruptions.

"If the problem is within the boundaries of your property or is caused by the heating system, you should contact a plumber if you are the home-owner or the Housing Executive or landlord if you are a tenant," added Mr O'Dowd.