Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans

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Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, visited Portadown on Thursday 30 November to assess the flood recovery plans for the area. During his visit, he examined the areas affected by the flooding, including Portadown Peoples Park, Shillington’s Quay, and Park Road. He also met with businesses that were directly impacted such as Kerrs Tyres & Auto Services and Portadown Boat Club, to gain a better understanding of the situation. On his tour of the area he also learned more about the proposed Flood Alleviation scheme for the area.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans
Chris Heaton-Harris MP Secretary of State NI meeting with staff from Kerrs Tyres and Auto Portadown, which was badly impacted by the recent flooding.

During his visit Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“I greatly valued the opportunity to hear first-hand from local business and community representatives of the damage inflicted by the recent flooding in Portadown.

“Following intervention from the UK Government, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Civil Service are working to develop a scheme to allow businesses to apply for support to help them address the immediate challenges. 

“We will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Civil Service to deliver support to those who need it as quickly as possible.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans
Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Secretary of State for NI meeting with Elizabeth Reaney Head of Environmental Health ABC Council & representatives from Portadown Boat Club, which was impacted in the flooding

Alderman Margaret Tinsley, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, welcomed the Secretary of State and emphasised the significant consequences of the severe flooding on both residents and businesses. During the visit the Lord Mayor also stressed the necessity of implementing a comprehensive recovery strategy for affected areas.

Commenting on the visit, the Lord Mayor said:

“The Secretary of State assessed the significant impact of the recent flooding on the residents and businesses in Portadown. In his conversations, he stressed the UK Government’s support for the Council as they continue to help local businesses recover from the flooding.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans
Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Secretary of State overviewing the extent of flood levels with representatives from Portadown Boat Club and ABC Council staff.

The Secretary of State also paid a visit to Portadown Townhall, which served as an Emergency Response and Advice Centre throughout the flooding. At the Townhall he engaged in discussions with Council staff and representatives from local government agencies involved in the recovery process, gaining insights into proposed recovery investment requirements for the area.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visits Portadown to assess flood recovery plans
Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Secretary of State for NI meeting discussing the proposed Flood Alleviation scheme for Portadown with representatives for local government agencies