DfI putting Eglinton's drainage problem on long finger, says Mark H Durkan

Mon, 12/08/2019 - 16:37 -- Editor

SDLP Mark H Durkan MLA has criticised DfI Roads response regarding the maintenance of clogged gullies in the Eglinton area of the city.

The Foyle MLA said:

“Last week I highlighted concerns of Eglinton residents regarding the widespread issue of blocked drains and gratins throughout the village and called upon DfI Roads to undertake urgent maintenance.

“They have since issued their seemingly ‘copy and paste’ response, which has become typical of late, referencing a limited service and lack of resources for regular maintenance. Concluding that the gullies issue will be attended to when ‘resources and manpower become available.’

“Whilst I have no doubt that the Department are struggling under a heavy workload and increasingly diminishing resources, it is totally unacceptable that an area which has previously been devastated by flooding, this time two years ago, is not being placed as high priority.

“In many cases drainage in the area has become heavily compacted with dirt and leaves- Mill Path, Main Street, Coolafinny Rr and Ballygudden proving particularly bad. This in addition to this week’s especially heavy rainfall, has the potential to create the perfect conditions for flooding.

“We must ensure that every precaution is taken, every measure acted upon in a timely manner to minimise this risk and safeguard the Eglinton area from a repeat of previous destruction. However, blame does not lay solely at the door of the Department for Infrastructure, this is yet another issue compounded by our lack of an Assembly.

“The issues affecting the day to day lives of people here are continuing to deteriorate on all levels- from gully maintenance to never-ending hospital waiting lists. We need to resolve the smaller matters affecting our cities and villages if there is any hope to tackle the larger issues affecting the North. We can’t dance around a return to government any longer- people are sick and tired of the blame game where no-one wins. They care about resolving issues on the ground; be that maintenance of their streets or protecting their homes and livelihoods from flooding. The current political standoff certainly does not have people’s best interests at heart.”