Sandbag bank call sidelined

Ballymena Councillor John Carson
Ballymena Councillor John Carson

A local Councillor says he’s “not entirely satisfied” that work to improve the drainage system will prevent a repeat of flooding at Tullymore Park.

Cllr John Carson’s comment came at the January monthly meeting of Ballymena Borough Council, last week, when it emerged that his recent request for a sandbag store, which could be accessed by residents at the nearby Waveney Road civic depot, was considered unnecessary.

That news came from acting Chief Executive Rodger McKnight who said the matter had been investigated and that no blockages had been found in the drainage structure.

Councillors also heard that a Transport Northern Ireland official had confirmed to Council that upgrading works completed last November in the Tullymore Park area should solve any water flow problems, leading to the conclusion that a sandbag store was not required.

While Cllr Beth Adger said she was “glad to see all this preparation is taking place and flooding is being taken care of”, Cllr Carson declared himself “somewhat reassured but not entirely satisfied”.

“I appreciate the work that has been done in Tullymore Park but we can all think of the Toome Road and the work that was done there,” he said.

“We were assured it wouldn’t happen again but it did happen. Hundreds of thousands was spent on the Toome Road and did it solve the problem? It’s all right to say it will never happen again but never is a long time. All I asked for was a simple store that if this (flooding) arises again they (the residents) know where to go to get sandbags,” said Cllr Carson.

Cllr Monica Digney added: “What’s happening is not good enough...people’s houses are getting destroyed.”