NI Water Thirsting for Profit

Tommy Doherty with a letter protesting water charges that he unsuccessfully sought to have carried in the Andersonstown News. Tommy Doherty is a Republican Network for Unity activist in the Lower Falls.

Reply to Cllr. Stephen Magennis' article on water meters in last weeks Andytown News. Unfortunately because its a state controlled paper it didn't print this reply. 
I was perplexed while reading Cllr. Stephen Magennis’ article in last week’s paper, in which he claimed that NI Water would not be installing water meters in West Belfast, subsequently labelling those who are opposed to these manifestations as 'selfish'. While speaking of selfishness, particularly bemusing and slightly hypocritical was the fact that Stephens’s evidence was based on the word of a profiteer, Sarah Venning.

Surely as an elected representative of the people in West Belfast Stephen has a duty to investigate the work of NI Water which has been consistently scrutinized by community activists, republicans and residents. However, instead of exploring the work which has been routinely criticised, he chose to base his argument on the word of a £150,000 per year Chief Executive who wouldn't have any reservations about pulling the wool over the eyes of working class people.

The assertion that the installation of water meters is not in line with ‘assembly legislation’ is simply untrue. There is no current assembly legislation on the installation of water meters. The assembly simply deferred the debate on water charges until 2016, refusing to sink it outright. With the neo-liberal agenda of the DUP/UUP/TUV which has directed anti-working class ventures in the past, coupled with the Green Party's support of water charges, it is looking increasingly likely that the Six Counties will be bogged down with water charges after 2016.

Not once during original debate did the assembly attempt to pass legislation that would restrict NI Water from purchasing and installing these anti-working class devices. In fact, a bit of basic research shows that NI Water tendered a £30m metering contract less than 12 months ago.

NI Water have been installing Boundary Boxes and manifold connections all over Belfast in hope of a passing of the water charges motion in 2016. This not myth or hearsay, this is absolute fact. That can be seen on a daily basis in Beechmount, Clonard, Ardoyne etc.

These boxes and connections are a necessary component of water meters. The erroneous claim that these aren’t being installed is an insult to every individual in West Belfast who has the ability to see and recognise Boundary Boxes and what they are used for.

Cllr. Magennis and his party should be ideologically opposed to water meters, while resisting attempts to install them in every working class area across the Island. However, for some peculiar reason they are selling our community NI Waters deceptions and falsifications.

What is incredibly galling is that the installation of meters is a direct attack on the working class people of Belfast and beyond, and while it may not affect them tomorrow or next week, it has the possibility to affect them in two years, forever.
 I am more than willing to meet any individual, including Cllr. Magennis, and bring them through the working class areas which have had this work carried out. Furthermore I will show them the Boundary Boxes and how they are used in conjunction with water meters.

This will also give me the opportunity to produce an email I received in February from NI Water which stated that they are installing Boundary Boxes for the use of water meters in the future. Hopefully this will change Sinn Fein’s public position on the matter.

1 comment:

  1. Sinn Fein’s public position on the matter.

    Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has branded those responsible for a shooting, the issuing of death threats and the burning of a lorry in Ardoyne overnight as criminals masquerading as republicans.

    The North Belfast MLA said;

    “This series of incidents which included a local man being shot and wounded, the issuing of several death threats and a lorry being burned must be condemned outright.

    “Those responsible are simply criminals masquerading as Ardoyne republicans. It's as simple as that and the people in the area know that.

    “There is no place for such actions in Ardoyne or anywhere else and I’m calling for the threats to be withdrawn.”

    "Most bizarrely, those responsible for burning the lorry have attempted to accuse the contractor of installing water meters.

    “For these criminal elements to dress their activity up as an attempt to stop water charges flies in the face of the fact that water meters will not be installed because Sinn Féin secured a political agreement to block water charges.

    “Work in underway in the area on a much needed multi-million pounds investment in the water infrastructure which has been hard won on behalf of local residents.”

    “The workers involved must be allowed to get on with their work to improve the area's water system and do so free of threats and intimidation.


    Block them until after the elections..... not stop them, rule them out forever.. Only put them on hold... Almost the same as the water tax in the 26 counties.