28/10/2011

Other NI News In Brief

Belfast Wins Social Media Award

Belfast City Council's use of social media channels during last winter's water disruption crisis has won a prestigious national award. Efforts to keep residents up to date via Facebook and Twitter, as well as the website, was awarded the 'Best Use of Social Media in a Crisis' at the 2011 Some Comms Awards, which celebrate the best in social media work across the UK and were awarded at a ceremony in Manchester. Chairperson of the Strategic Policy and Resource Committee, Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: "During the water disruption in December 2010 and January 2011, we used Facebook and Twitter to notify homeowners about water distribution points across the city, as well as other facilities organised by the council. Residents were also able to use the channels to ask questions about how to handle burst pipes and insurance claims, as well as getting other useful tips and advice for dealing with the emergency."

Flood Alert

The Sinn Fein MLA for East Antrim Oliver McMullan has called for a greater focus to be placed on the long-term drainage plans for the Mid Glens area. This follows flooding in the town of Carnlough following heavy rainfall on Monday. "The recent difficulties of flooding that the residents of Carnlough have had to endure came as no surprise to anyone. I have been calling for the drainage council to rescind their decision of not allowing a designation line in the Cranny River in Carnlough," he said. "I've asked the River Agency to set up a meeting to discuss this issue and other issues concerning recent flooding in Carnlough area and the mid glens including Cushendall, Glenariff and Cushendun. Discussion needs to be centred on how we can focus more so on the long-term drainage in this area," he concluded.

Polluter Pays

A Co Tyrone business was fined £750 plus court costs of £31 at Enniskillen Magistrates' Court this week. William Keys & Sons, of Omagh Road, Dromore, Co Tyrone, was fined for making a polluting discharge to a waterway. On 30 April 2010 a Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, examined the Owenreagh River where it crosses the Omagh Road and observed the waterway to be discoloured and visually appeared to have an increased level of suspended solids. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the premises of William Keys and Sons. A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter, which would have been potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

(BMcC)

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