Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

MLAs clash over staff juggling in water crisis

Sinn Fein has accused the minister responsible for social housing of leaving residents in the lurch during the water supply crisis.

Foyle MLA Martina Anderson accused Alex Attwood of redeploying Housing Executive (HE) staff from Londonderry to Belfast during the emergency situation at Christmas.

Mr Attwood said Ms Anderson's comments were “preposterous”.

Ms Anderson said she had been “made aware that key HE staff who normally would have co-ordinated an emergency response such as was required over Christmas were taken out of Derry and moved to Belfast” and as a result people in Derry were ignored.

She added: “I find that incredible given that Housing Executive staff locally were warning that they were likely to face a crisis given the adverse weather conditions before Christmas.”

Mr Attwood responded: “This is a further statement of desperation from Sinn Fein. It is preposterous to claim that the needs of Housing Executive tenants in Derry were ignored over the Christmas period. All the Derry Housing Executive offices were open during normal working hours. All the public representatives in Derry know this but Martina Anderson pretends otherwise.”

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