During the recent storms I discovered that Coney Island village was being excluded from emergency flood protection as the Roads Service did not regard Coney Island Road as one of their roads – and the Council was slavishly following the Roads Service in deciding who it would of would support.
I am fighting to change this policy, and make sure that places like Coney Island receive the same level of protection as all other villages in my area from Ballykinler to Strangford. See earlier blog on this subject
CORRESPONDENCE WITH COUNCIL FOLLOWS;
Your proposed Notice of Motion will, if adopted, by the Council, cause us to break province-wide agreements, arrangements and protocols. The Council’s role in an emergency is to follow the advice/guidance of the Lead Agency. Depending on the emergency the Lead Agency may be the DRD, Health Trust, Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade, Rivers Agency, etc or the Council. To adopt your proposal would mean we would have a priority action that may well affect our ability to provide the support asked of us by the Lead Agency. In the last flooding emergency the Lead Agency was the PSNI and they provided us with important information and advice on the areas of greatest risk and where we should focus our limited resources.
In an emergency we collaborate with others and collectively decide what needs done and who should do it. Last week our role was to support the DRD in the distribution of sand bags.
The Council has no sand bags of its own, other than to protect its own property and its not our role to distribute sand bags to the public. There is a province-wide protocol that sets out who does what regarding sand bags and we signed up to that. To adopt your Notice of Motion would mean we wouldn’t be following the protocol.
Finally, I do not believe that the response to an emergency is a matter of the Council, it is an operational matter and for that reason and the other reasons set out above I will refer your comments to the Council’s Emergency Team.
Clerk and Chief Executive
Down District Council
Downshire Civic Centre
—– Forwarded by /Down District Council on 06/01/2014 07:57 —–
From: Cadogan Enright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: committee clerks
Date: 04/01/2014 18:55
Subject: notice of motion
I would like to put a notice of motion before the next council meeting please. The wording is as follows
“That the Councils emergency plan for dealing with floods and other emergencies will be amended to deal with the protection of ratepayers in areas that other agencies are unable to provide assistance.
For instance Roads Service is unable to provide flood protection to Coney Island during tidal surges. It should therefore be the priority of the Council to ensure that these few areas be attended to first, before going to the assistance of other agencies.”
Thanks a lot and happy new year Sarah