Crossgar drainage work will benefit the businesses

SIR, — Last week’s edition carried an article about businesses in Crossgar which are struggling financially due to work on a new drainage system.

I would hope work on this project is finished as soon as possible.

While some businesses are experiencing problems due to the loss of parking spaces and the inconvenience of the the ongoing work, this scheme will make a major difference in the long run.

The work is underway as a result of the efforts of Strangford MP Jim Shannon who organised a meeting with Northern Ireland Water officials shortly after being elected.

Local businesses and residents were represented at this meeting which was held at the War Memorial Hall.

Work to significantly improve the drainage system in the heart of the village is nearing completion. While I understand the concerns of the business community, the pain they are suffering should be eased by the fact that they will never again experience the nightmare floods which engulfed a number of homes and shops several years ago.

Since work started on the Crossgar scheme, my Rowallane councillor colleague, Terry Andrews and myself, have held a number of meetings with NI Water officials to discuss the progress being made.

Councillor Andrews has also made frequent site visits and spoke with contractors delivering a scheme which is solely for the benefit of residents and the Crossgar business community.

In last week’s edition, South Down MP Margaret Ritchie called for resources to be made available to ensure the drainage scheme is completed.

While I welcome this, I would remind people who was responsible for delivering this scheme in the first place and making sure the financial resources needed to make it happen were in place.

Crossgar will be the winner when the new drainage scheme has been completed and business owners will no longer have to reach for sand bags when there is heavy rain.

Yours etc.,