Northern Ireland Water chief resigns

As anticipated, the chief executive of Northern Ireland Water (NIW), Laurence MacKenzie, has resigned from his post.

It follows the water shortages crisis which hit Northern Ireland over the Christmas period.

The resignation must now be approved by Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, and will take effect from midnight on Friday (January 7).

In a statement Mr MacKenzie accepted responsibility for the inadequate response to the shortages. He said: "I readily accept and recognise that there were aspects of the way in which we handled the situation that could have been better.

"In particular our ability to communicate with our customers and let them know the reasons for and the times at which they were going to be taken off supply.

"This failing added to the considerable inconvenience experienced by our customers; for that I apologise sincerely both personally and on behalf of the organisation."

NIW said that there were currently no properties without water and no planned water restrictions.

However yesterday they said that in the East of the Province 10 properties had intermittent supply due to low pressure on high ground, and in the West 23 properties were similarly affected.

The Board is recommending that Trevor Haslett, Director of Engineering Procurement, be appointed as acting CEO and Board Director of NI Water.

At a meeting at Stormont on Thursday, senior NI Water officials will be asked to answer questions about the company's response to the crisis. Alison Brown



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