Agri-Environment Schemes

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture and Rural Development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 7th February 2000.

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Photo of Mr Oliver Gibson Mr Oliver Gibson DUP 2:45 pm, 7th February 2000

Does the Minister accept that there is an urgent problem in respect of drainage in rural areas? Some 15 or 20 years ago a great deal of improvement work was carried out on drainage systems in rural areas, but due to the clogging of the systems, all this good work has now been undone, and water is pouring out on to the roads, thus causing a great deal of damage. Would the Minister be prepared to co-operate with other relevant Departments and introduce an agri-environmental scheme to restore the good work that was done some 15 or 20 years ago? Water on the roads is causing millions of pounds’ worth of damage, and the drainage system should be improved urgently.