Alliance Infrastructure Spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has called upon the Infrastructure and Finance Ministers to urgently work together to resolve the critical financial position Northern Ireland Water now finds itself in, with real problems also on the horizon for the Public Transport provider Translink.
MLA’s attending the Assembly Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, December 1 were provided with a budget briefing by Departmental officials where need for additional funding for Northern Ireland Water by second week of January was detailed otherwise clean drinking water and wastewater treatment may be imperilled alongside possibility that Translink may be unable to retain going concern status if funds are not secured in next financial re-allocation exercise in January known as the Monitoring Round.
Commenting on the developments, Andrew Muir MLA stated “I have been extremely concerned about these serious issues ever since news surfaced a few weeks ago, with questions already raised with the Minister in the Assembly Chamber last week and meeting held with Senior NI Water Management.
“Just a few weeks after COP26 Climate Summit it’s scandalous to see both NI Water and our Bus & Rail provider plunged into financial uncertainty with the most basic of services under threat such as provision of clean drinking water and processing of waste water with sharp increase in pollution incidents now on the horizon. The future ahead is both stark and bleak if urgent action is not taken to provide financial support to Northern Ireland Water within a matter of weeks.
“Whilst long term action must be taken to provide a better governance and funding model for NI Water the immediate crisis must be addressed without delay. I urge both the Infrastructure and Finance Ministers to get together and urgently work to resolve this crisis before it’s simply too late”