by JENNY MONROE
Danny Kennedy MLA Minister for Regional Development pictured at McCreath Taylor with members of Local Councils for a Seminar on dealing with Gritting Conditions during a harsh winter. US3611-11OA0
A LISBURN firm used its initiative and organised a one day Seminar to discuss the province's system of dealing with severe cold weather.
McCreath Taylor (NI) Ltd held the event at its Flush Park premises last week and Senior Officials and elected representatives of most of the local authorities across the province listened to expert presentations from Roads Services, Insurance Brokers, University of Ulster and Local Government.
This comes after the most prolonged cold spell for 100 years seriously affected Northern Ireland last winter.
A co-ordinated policy involving the Department for Regional Development, Roads Service and Northern Ireland Local Government Association (N.I.L.G.A.) is already the subject of much negotiation. When agreement is reached, the local company says it will go a long way to improving the co-ordination of winter services. Realising that final agreement is still some way off, it decided to organise the seminar.
Peter Johnston, Chairman of McCreath Taylor commented: "We were delighted with the turnout of local authority representatives and with the time taken by the Minister to deal with their concerns. Everyone left in a very positive frame of mind and with a 'gritty' determination to keep the country moving when winter arrives."
The findings and deliberations from the workshop situation were collated by Dennis Taylor MBE, Chairman for the day.
Mr Taylor is a former Chief Executive of Bury Metropolitan Council and Chairman and Managing Director of Deta-Associates Ltd who provide consultancy on a range of environmental issues. He was well placed to provide advice to the workshop groupings and then present their findings to Department of Regional Development Minister Mr Danny Kennedy, who was present for the afternoon session.
Minister Kennedy addressed the conference delegates and fielded questions from the floor. He impressed everyone with the honest and diplomatically frank way in which he represented his Department. He felt that the Seminar had been of great benefit and would give him further food for thought as he gets even closer to overseeing an outline agreement which will help to limit the effect that snow and ice has previously had on our Province.