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Northern Ireland Assembly



The Committee for Regional Development met on Wednesday 6 June 2007, and received briefing from the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Water, Katharine Bryan. Also present from Northern Ireland Water were Chris Mellor, Chairman, Ronan Larkin, Director of Finance and Regulation, and William Duddy, Director of Customer Services.

After a useful discussion the Chairperson thanked the representatives from Northern Ireland Water for attending. The Chairperson, Fred Cobain MLA, then went on to say:

“The Committee was pleased to hear that Northern Ireland Water welcomes the forthcoming Review of Water and Sewerage by the Executive. However, the Committee still has many unanswered questions about the creation and operation of Northern Ireland Water.”

The Chairperson, Fred Cobain also said:

“Water costs will not go away. It is fundamental too that the Review proposed by the Executive has an independent chairperson, and is open, transparent and accountable to this Committee and to the people of Northern Ireland.

“The Review must encompass the decision to opt for a Go-Co model, an exploration of alternative vehicles for water reform, and the use of capital values as the tax base.

“The Review will specifically have to re-examine the valuation of surplus land and building assets, revisit staffing issues, and review bad debt provision in light of the high levels of social and economic deprivation in Northern Ireland.

“People need certainty on this matter - the sooner this Review begins, the better, and the Committee is making itself available to meet with the Minister and the Review team over the summer.”

At next week’s meeting, Wednesday 13 June 2007, the Committee will receive briefings from the Regulator, Iain Osborne, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR). The Committee will also hear from officials on the work of the Roads Service, and the Department’s budget bids for 2008-11.

Note for Editor:

The Northern Ireland Assembly has established a Statutory Departmental Committee for Regional Development.

Membership of the Regional Development Committee is as follows :


Mr Fred Cobain

Deputy Chairperson:

Mr Jim Wells

Committee Members:

Mr William Irwin


Mr Stephen Moutray


Mr George Robinson


Mr Brian Wilson


Mr Cathal Boylan


Mr Willie Clarke


Mr Raymond McCartney


Mr John Dallat


Mr John McCallister

The Committee will meet in Parliament Buildings on Wednesday mornings at 10.00am. Visitors are welcome to attend open sessions. Members of the public are advised to check the website prior to arriving at Parliament Buildings as it is likely the Committee will take meetings outside Parliament Buildings.

For further information on the work of the Regional Development Committee, please contact:

Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office,
Room B2, Parliament Buildings,
Belfast BT4 3XX.
Telephone 028 90521137/521396.
Fax 028 90521961.

Website Address: