Belfast's Lord Mayor, Pat Convery, has thanked all those volunteers who gave up holidays to help the public during the water crisis.
He called a meeting of the council and other agencies, including NI Water, to assess how they can continue to work together until the situation is fully resolved. “We stressed the frustration that many citizens have in terms of being able to contact agencies — we received assurances that additional call handling resources were now being provided, and that this level of support will be maintained,” said Councillor Convery.
He said much of the extra cover was being provided by staff who had given up their holidays to help in the crisis.
Among those agencies at the meeting were the Federation of Housing Associations, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, PSNI, and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Belfast Health Trust and the Red Cross.
“One of the problems NI Water has is in identifying sources of leaks — and we, the PSNI and others, have committed to assist with this task. We also urge members of the public who spot leaks, particularly in empty premises, to report them immediately to NI Water,” said Councillor Convery.
“We raised concerns with representatives of the insurance industry and urged them to expedite claims and authorise work for water damage quickly. We asked them to take steps now to prepare for the avalanche of claims which will surely be made over the next few weeks.
“As Lord Mayor I would urge everyone in the city to be a good neighbour, to look out for the elderly and vulnerable; to call and check with them and to contact the statutory agencies if they have concerns.”
He said the council would continue to operate its emergency arrangements with 10 centres providing water across the city, while they were needed. For a list of facilities providing water, see www.belfastcity.gov.uk or call the c ouncil’s emergency number 0800 707 6965.