Committee Calls for Better Communication at Northern Ireland Water

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 June 2011

Reference: CRD 01/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development today visited the Northern Ireland Water call centre in Belfast city centre. The Committee held a meeting and quizzed the interim Chief Executive on Northern Ireland Water’s performance, particularly regarding its Major Incident Plan.

The Committee also toured the call centre facilities, viewing at first hand the communications systems.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee after the meeting, Committee Chairperson Jimmy Spratt MLA, said: “The devastation experienced by so many people during the freezing weather and subsequent thaw is fresh in everyone’s mind and the way Northern Ireland Water managed itself is not forgotten. The Committee sought assurances today that, should such a major incident occur again, local consumers could have confidence that adequate systems and plans are in place to avoid a repeat of the debacle of Christmas 2010.

“While no-one can control the weather, Northern Ireland Water’s lack of communication with customers was unacceptable. To this end, the Committee wanted to view the systems which are in place to communicate with customers and to ensure that improvements have been made.

“Northern Ireland Water has revised its Major Incident Plan to better cope with a similar scenario. This Committee will be keeping a close eye on progress against the Utility Regulator’s recommendations in the Freeze Thaw Recovery Plan.”

ENDS

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