Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Forward movement on local beach issue

Monday 27th June 2011

Many people who live in North Down will be interested to know of the progress that is being made with regard to improving the dreadful state of our beaches at Ballyholme, Ballymacormick point and Groomsport.

Many people who live in North Down will be interested to know of the progress that is
being made with regard to improving the dreadful state of our beaches at Ballyholme,
Ballymacormick point and Groomsport.

I have written to Alex Attwood, the Minister for Social Development, twice in the last
month regarding the matter and am very appreciative that my party colleague, Peter
Weir MLA, has asked a question of the Minister in the Assembly.

The Minister has stated that £7 million pounds of capital investment will go into the
‘Bangor Catchment Area’ over the next 3 years. I welcome this investment but it remains
to be seen if this investment will be sufficient to provide alleviation of the problems that
Ballyholme and Groomsport beaches have in terms of pollution.

It may also be of interest to concerned residents that I have acquired a Department of
the Environment (DOE) report this month which admits that,
Despite all measures Ballyholme bathing water continues to be vulnerable to bathing
water failure
‘.

Three departments are working on solutions for this problem, DOE, Department of Regional
Development (DRD) and Department of Social Development in conjunction with
Northern Ireland Water (NIW). The report goes on to state,
Further work is progressing to include work on identified impacting combined sewer
overflows and a new attenuation tank will further reduce spills. The effectiveness of this
interim solution will be reviewed
.

I intend to write to the Ministers in DOE and DRD and the Chief Executive of NIW to
convey the concerns of the people of North Down who are frankly dismayed that according
to the Maritime Conservation Survey Ballyholme beach continues to have the worst
bathing water quality in Northern Ireland and every statutory agency admits that during
certain summer periods bathing in it can be extremely dangerous to health.

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