McGlone: Executive failure to agree Lough Neagh Action Plan not sustainable

Patsy McGlone Lough Neagh

SDLP Opposition AERA Spokesperson Patsy McGlone has warned the Executive that continued failure to agree the Action Plan on Lough Neagh is not sustainable.

He was speaking after the AERA Minister attended a meeting of the Assembly Committee on Monday.

Mid Ulster MLA Mr McGlone said:

“I welcome the AERA Minister’s commitment to addressing the ecological crisis in Lough Neagh. However, the Action Plan he has delivered contains cross-Departmental measures that need the agreement of his Executive colleagues. The Minister outlined some of those measures at the meeting in response to my questioning. They include investment in wastewater treatment works, a review of enforcement measures, and restricting the use of chemical phosphorus fertilisers where soil sampling shows the ground simply does not need it.

“So far, for whatever reason, the Executive has failed to agree to the Action Plan and its recommendations. Their continued failure to agree will condemn Lough Neagh to further decline. This is not sustainable. It is a betrayal of all those who rely on the Lough for an income or who enjoy its natural beauty.

“Responsibility for dealing with the crisis in Lough Neagh is shared between departments and it needs a united Executive approach. The SDLP is willing to work constructively with the AERA Minister and his Executive colleagues to properly address the ecological crisis in Lough Neagh, but they are the parties responsible for taking action, and we will hold them to account if they fail to do so.”

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