On 7 October, ICE NI Regional Director Richard Kirk offered commentary on the proposed Water and Sewerage Service Bill at Stormont. The Committee for Regional Development at Stormont had invited ICE to lend its expertise on legislation, which is currently in the committee stage of review.
ICE NI commented on six Clauses, with topics ranging from water bill charges to sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). ICE NI has historically supported the implementation of domestic water bill charges for those who can afford them, and at the session spoke in favour of modelling Scotland's system of partial council funding for NI Water.
ICE NI encouraged the Committee to ensure that soft engineered solutions (detention ponds, etc.) are also encouraged. Such assets are not just important for the drainage network, they also improve the natural environment and add value to the community.
"Giving the evidence was an opportunity to draw on ICE's collective knowledge, and to use that expertise to influence policy-makers," Kirk said. "Our continued work with government and politicians has reinforced the benefit that civil engineers bring to society."
Members of the Committee for Regional Development are:
- Mr Trevor Clarke, Democratic Unionist Party
- Mr Adrian Cochrane-Watson, Ulster Unionist Party
- Mr John Dallat, Social Democratic and Labour Party
- Mrs Brenda Hale, Democratic Unionist Party
- Ms Claire Hanna, Social Democratic and Labour Party
- Mr Seán Lynch, Sinn Féin
- Mr Chris Lyttle, Alliance Party
- Mr Declan McAleer, Sinn Féin
- Mr David McNarry, UK Independence Party
- Mr Stephen Moutray, Democratic Unionist Party
- Mr Cathal Ó hOisín, Sinn Féin
Read ICE Northern Ireland's submitted written comments in full.